It’s time to get real
Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: “Let he who hath no sin cast the first stone…” Is there anything you have judged prematurely, only to find yourself walking in the same shoes later?
I’ve noticed that it is much, much easier to find others’ faults than to acknowledge our own. But the truth is, upon self-examination, we are generally every bit as guilty as those we judge.
I have a friend who recently went through a divorce. His ex-wife is not a nice person (to put it mildly) and she has a terrible reputation around town. And it’s no secret that she strongly dislikes me. In fact, she told one of our friends, “Heather is really sweet, but I still hate her.”
There could be several reasons for resentment: I moved to town and became friends with everyone she grew up with. He ex-husband and I are close. Her kids adore me. (And I adore them.) But when it comes down to it, I have never done anything to intentionally make her mad — and I never would. I’m not a spiteful person.
Despite telling everyone we know how much she hates me, she comes across sweet as sugar every time I see her. Big fake smile. An excited, “Hey! It’s sooo good to see you!” And sometimes even a hug. Really?? I know the things she’s said about me. I know how she really feels. Why the act??
But you know what? I smile and fake it, too. I say hello and act as pleasant as possible, even though my insides are screaming out something foul about what a terrible person she is. She uses and abuses my friend – taking advantage of the feelings he still has for her. She doesn’t spend the time she should with her kids. She’s hateful and irresponsible and she’s tried to turn my friends against me. But I smile and speak to her when I see her. I’m every bit as fake as she is. Because if I were honest and upfront, I’d quickly tell her how those feelings of dislike are mutual.
I don’t know about her, but I think my reasons for pretending stem from a desire to keep the peace. I’m not sure if that’s a valid excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Sure, I could ignore her. Turn away when she speaks to me. Act like she doesn’t exist. But what would that accomplish?
I’m sure neither one of us will be able to keep this up forever. At some point, one of us is bound to snap. Probably me. I can hear the conversation:
Her: Hey!!! It’s so good to see you!!!
Me: Cut the act, skank. We both know you don’t like me. And news flash: I don’t like you either.
Hahahaha. Okay, I’m sorry. That’s not a very mature thing to say and I hate that there’s a side of me that would really like to say it. I wish I could be a better person. I wish I could just ignore all of the things she’s said about me and wear a genuine smile when I see her. Maybe I’ll get there one day.
In the meantime, I’m stuck looking like a hypocrite. Judging her for being fake while I pretend everything is fine.
What would you do?