One of the things that I promised not to blog about…
I’ve tried to be respectful of other’s privacy, which is why I don’t really write about my friends beyond the IVP and such, or about Narda’s personal stuff, or my mom.
But I started this blog as an outlet for ME, and then it became a land of self-censorship. But I need to get this out, I need to share, I need to know that I’m not a bad person, and that sometimes, it actually IS the other person, and NOT me.
This may be long.
At the end of 7th grade, my K-8 school and another local K-8 school changed, merged, what have you, and my school (which was my primary school after I left private, Yeshiva-Day school,) became a K-5, and the other school became a 6-8 school. So just before my 8th grade year, I went to Robert Gray Middle School. I made some friends, I still had friends from the old Hebrew Day-School, and all was good.
In High school, I made some other friends, not tons, but some. I went to two high schools, actually – one in the morning for academics, and another in the afternoon, for theatre arts. I can count on one hand the number of people I am still in contact with from those years, despite the best efforts of classmates.com, facebook and myspace.
After High School, I went and lived in Israel for about a year and a half, and then moved to NY, and went and got my associates, and then took another year off, worked doing theatre, and then transferred to Hofstra, and got my Bachelors in theatre production.
Upon graduating university, it became imperative to move to NYC, in order to, you know, “be a professional artist, and work in theatre for the rest of my life (koff koff)” I moved in with a college friend, who’s family lived in NJ for a spell, and then got in touch with an old High School friend, whom I had known since the “merger,” if you will, of the two schools in Jr. High. It was great, she and her roommate were looking for a third roommate, to split expenses, and we were all in our mid-20’s, when multiple people in a tiny amount of space was natural and comfortable.
A few years later, the old friend from High School and I moved on, and got another apartment, where we each had our own bedroom, a shared living room, kitchen, etc. We even got two cats. We had separate, and together social lives – we’d hang out and do stuff together sometimes, and sometimes not.
Fast forward to 7 or so years later, it’s 2000, and we each, of course, enter the “7 year itch,” we find every little thing annoying about the other, we each have our own girlfriends that we are bringing over, and all of our quirks seem expanded. It’s normal. I was still a smoker then, and refusing to smoke outside, I’d smoke in my room, with the window open, sure, but I’m sure it was nasty.
Then she started getting a bit too specific about things. If I did the math wrong on a bill, and I mean, by being off by ONE PENNY, she’d leave me a nasty note for me, all in caps, saying that it was WRONG!!!!!! It’s $23.84 each, not $23.83 each. Um, OK. Now, granted, she had survived me not being the best bookkeeper, but I was far from being a vagrant, and even if late, I always paid my share of the rent (I was a free-lance stage manager – HELLO…. Not a “9-5” kind of world). But things started getting weirder and weirder. She had decided to cancel the phone service, and I had called the phone company to ask about changing it to my name, and she WENT OFF on me for calling the phone company, and if I wanted my own phone, to create one from scratch. Um, WTF? The phone company was cashing my checks, too – what difference does it make if it switches to my name or cancels? (obviously, this was before cell phones took over our daily lives, and we were still using the phone to access the internet… you know, on a MODEM.) And all kinds of weird shit like that started happening.
About a year after Narda and I were together, she (the roommate, not Narda) started leaving me “hints” around, like ads for apartments, and the like – and THEN she started bringing boxes home, with notes saying that these would help me in my move.
If you are looking at the screen funny, with furrowed brow, head tilted to the side, that’s the same reaction I had in the moment. Now of course, I’m not the easiest person to live with, but I DO believe in communication and even if it’s hard, I believe in talking about the hard stuff. I believe in getting things out in the open, and I DO NOT believe in head games. Which obviously, were in place here.
After some discussion, and Narda having talked to HER roommate, we agreed that I would move in with Narda and her roommate. I did one of the hardest things I had to do – I gave custody of the cats to my old roommate. I did, however, in a vindictive act of retaliation, call and cancel the electricity and AOL, and told her that if she wanted either, she’d have to set up her own account. I also had a good relationship with the landlord, and told him to use MY half of the security deposit as MY last month’s rent. She had a hard time getting her girlfriend on the lease, but the landlord gave me a beautiful letter of recommendation a year or two later when Narda and were applying for a mortgage, etc.
So after I moved out, which SHE claimed as a victory, and I felt was empowering myself, she had sent an e-mail, stating something to the effect of that “in time, we could both be friends again, yada yada yada.” I moved on with my life, and many of our mutual friends were simply amazed that we had lasted 7 years as roommates, and all agreed that it was best that we had gone our separate ways.
Then September 11th happened. She worked downtown, and all self-imposed superiority complexes aside, I was worried about her, and we re-connected, thankfully, she was OK. (I finally got a hold of her folks).
I think we saw one another a few times after that, and made some e-mail attempts to make plans, and exchanged a few holiday cards, but that was that.
And now we come to present day, more or less. (If you’re still reading)
Someone a while back suggested, that for fun, to google your name. I did. I found myself in lots of theatre quotes, reviews, mis-quoted for something a lighting designer said to me eons ago. Heh – they still had me listed at my old job as a contact. (That was helpful, so I let them know about that one) And then I googled a few friends names, including hers. And I found out that she and her partner were TTC w/o luck. Now I didn’t bring this up to her, because, well, that’s kind of personal, but I did e-mail, and ask if anything new was going on, to, you know, open the door, so to speak. I told a mutual friend of ours, in confidence, about it, and we both pondered the concept of her as a mom. And we both kind of had a quick visceral reaction that we both acknowledged.
As many of you know, I recently received my Ravelry invite. It’s AWESOME. There are MANY knitters there, with talents that are FAR superior to mine. And I searched around for some patterns for Malka that I might use in the future, and guess whom I found? The old roommate. I dropped her a line, added her as a friend, and excitedly awaited a response. Her response was pleasant, and encouraging. I then responded with: “Great, I see you’re on flickr, and I’ll make you a flickr friend, so that you can see pictures of Malka.” I got the following response:
I have tried to be gentle, but you are not getting it.
I don’t want contact with you. Please unfriend me on flickr and Ravelry and do not attempt to contact me again.
I spent the better part of the morning crying. Not so much in that I didn’t’ expect the royal welcome, but in the stinging, sharp rudeness and hurtfulness of this response. Narda called, mid-cry, and immediately, used a number of negative words about her. I said I KNOW, I shouldn’t have expected anything less, but it’s still hurtful, and WTF?! I sent our mutual friend a note, forwarding this message, asking her if she’d heard anything from the old roommate, and she simply replied with love and support, which sent me crying even further. I’ve shed the tears I needed to shed over this, and I’m moving on, but the sting, the pain I felt at the emotional slap in the face was hard, and writing all of this down, which was the original point of my blog has been helpful.
Again, I know that I’m not perfect, and that I’ve made many big mistakes in my life, and I know that we can get enmeshed in other people’s “emotional stuff,” but it’s helpful to know that sometimes? It’s the other person who’s the wack job.
So if you’ve made it this far?
Thanks for letting me share, and for having an outlet for my emotions.