AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Reconciliation DATE: 1/14/2005 06:42:00 AM ----- BODY:
The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday, and it all started two years ago. Two years ago I wrote this post about seeing an old nemesis from school waitressing at a restaurant, where she waited on me and Stephen, and how mean-spirited I felt seeing her again. Well, because this was years ago when this blog first started and I figured no one read it, I put up names. Like, whole names. Last names. And everything. Yeah. Well. Yesterday one of the people I mentioned (not the waitress) emailed me. Yeah. For purposes of this post, since I now know better, I'll call her Sarah.
Beth: I can only imagine how shocked you must be to see my name pop up in your inbox. After hearing a news report on how companies have started "googling" potential employees, I decided to give it a try and see what came up for my name. A bunch of sites came up for "Sarah's" that weren't me. One that works at BU, one that attends a high school in NC. Towards the bottom, was a June 2002 entry from your blog. I was really upset after reading it and wanted to get in touch with you. Given that the entry was so long ago, I couldn't just post a comment on your site, because, chances are, you'd never see it. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to you. I do not believe I, directly, did any of the things that you mentioned in your entry, but, I sincerely apologize if people that I had associated myself with at that time did things to terrorize you and I didn't do anything to stop it. Kids can be cruel, and I think we all deal with "bullying" (if you want to call it that) at one point or another. For me, it came in eighth grade, with girls the grade above ours, and was the direct reason for me not going to [our hometown's high school]. So again, I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have done, directly or indirectly, that hurt you. I wish you all the best in life. Best regards, Sarah PS - I think your blog is great. And, Congratulations on being published in the Red Sox book.
Can I say? I was blown away by this. Absolutely fucking flabbergasted. And embarrassed. This is what I wrote back:
I think I owe YOU an apology. I had completely forgotten about that entry until I saw your email; going back I am KICKING myself for putting names--and last names!--up there. That's really irresponsible of me, and I have edited the entry. The only excuse I can offer is that when I wrote it, I had just started the blog and no one but my family and close friends read it. I've not only grown up a lot since sixth grade, I think I've grown up a bit since writing that entry, and there isn't any need for you to apologize to me over something like this--I'm pretty embarrassed now, too. I should have realized that people could / would find it, and I should have thought a little harder about the fact that everyone was going through their own version of hell at that school. There was something REALLY WRONG there, and hindsight has shown me that virtually everyone there during those years was completely miserable, whether they were the picker or the pickee. I don't know if you agree. And seriously--seriously--I hope the choice you made to leave [our hometown] was the right one, and I hope you were happier where you ended up. I'm glad that you had the guts to send me this email after all this time, and I respect you for that. And of course, I'm glad you've enjoyed my blog. I hope you'll keep reading it, even if I've been an ass. Beth
And THEN!!

I am so glad that you wrote back. I appreciate your apology, but I understand why you had done it. Don't be embarrassed - things happen.... I agree about middle school. I don't think the administration really took the time to help anyone out even if they asked for it (which most people did NOT). Eighth grade was one of the worst years of my life, which led to me making some pretty stupid decisions. But, live & learn, I guess. Although I still lived in [our hometown], I went to [nearby school] (older cousins and close family friends to help me out of a rough time) and I was much happier because of it. I don't have any regrets about not going to [our hometown's high school]. My brother and sister went there and both did extremely well - it just wasn't for me. I also respect you for writing me was hard for me to write the email initially, but I really thought it was the right thing to do. I will definitely keep reading the blog...

Take care, Sarah

By now, some of you may know who this is. If you do, please don't mention her real name if you comment. I want to protect her privacy, even if belatedly.
Me:You know, I remember you talking about going to [other school], but never really why. do you mind me asking? Sarah: Not in the least. Aside from the fact that I was running w/ a crowd that was getting into some bad things and my parents didn't like it....a few girls in the grade ahead of us had kind of ganged (is that a word?) up on me. [description of various jaw-dropping abuses] Nice, huh? But they basically threatened me - told me that if I went to [our hometown's high school] that they would make my life hell, etc, etc. And, given the fact that they were delivering on that promise so far, even being in a different school then me, I believed them and figured it would be best for me and everyone involved (mostly my family) if I changed schools. What is even more ridiculous than all that? When I was in high school (junior year, I think), a couple of those girls had come for a field hockey tournament. My best friend was a captain, so I went to watch, and when I walked by them they started yelling names at me. AND....I happened to work at the same place as one of them (the ring leader) even after I graduated high school and she would still try to intimidate me by making comments to coworkers and being downright rude to me in front of other people. Oh well. I guess people like that will get what is coming to them. I've made my peace with it - I'm happy with the way my life has turned out so far.
If I'm talking funny, it's because my jaw has still not left the floor.