Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Mutual Apology Society ...

Pinky wrote me to today to make peace.  Her tone was contrite ... and, to her credit, the message contained not a single "but" ... which, I admit, is what drove me tears last night.

When I saw her name in the sender's spot, I'll admit I cringed.  I imagined it was going to be one of two things.  It would either be a written version of her argument from yesterday ... further attempts to convince me how wrong we all are ... or it would be a simple note saying, "I told J everything today ..." 

But, happily, I was wrong on both counts. 

It really was a simple note ... but it simply said that she was sorry she'd upset me.  She wrote that she likes me and misses spending time with us.  She talked for a bit about how she knew how hurt I'd been this last year and she knew J hadn't been there for me.  In the end, she just wants us all to be happy and for things to be like they used to be.

I wrote her back a response ... telling her I was sorry for getting so emotional last night ... and that I genuinely liked her as well.  I told her I agreed ... I hoped that our group would heal and things would get back to "normal."  I told her it was true that J hadn't been there for me ... but I was also sure he felt I hadn't been there for him.  I told her that, sadly, I liken our relationship to a couple who loses a child and eventually divorces.  Neither party is necessarily in the wrong ... we're just both far too hurt to be able to comfort the other.

Pinky wrote me back a quick, final note ... girl power ... great minds thinking alike ... things like that.  My main concern yesterday was less about me ... and more about Stoney getting flack from either her or J.  Or anyone else, for that matter.  I didn't want him to lose friends over me ... and so I was more than happy to make peace with her.

Years ago, headquarters required my entire office to take a retreat.  We were required to take personality tests and listen to speakers.  The one thing I remember from that entire day is this ... when faced with the prospect of an argument, you unconsciously make one choice.  What is more important?  The relationship or the issue.  If the relationship is more important, you don't argue.  If the issue is more important, you argue.

Today's peace offering aside, I don't think J is a subject I'll be talking with her about anytime in the near future.  After seeing her olive branch, I made a vow that I'll be better next time.  No matter what excuses she gives for his behavior ... in fact, no matter what he does ... it doesn't matter.   I just need to remind myself that the relationship is more important than the issue.

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.
I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

Elvis Costello - Peace Love and Understanding

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