This morning I saw the friend who did not follow through on the toothpaste trade that I wrote about here. You might want to read it first if you just came here. She was actually in a hallway and we walked together and sat at a table. While in the hall she stopped and said she needed to talk to me.
What she said shocked me: I am very sensitive, and you may not know that. But, I just wanted to let you know for the future. The other day, you really hurt my feelings over the toothpaste.
I smiled; she continued. I thought, "Damn, it is just a tube of toothpaste! I'll go buy her a case if it means so much to her. Then, I could not figure out what you meant by "second trade."
Remember the time I gave you 8 lbs of Kraft shredded, fat-free cheese for the tea you had but gave to someone else?
Well, Linda, that was not my fault. C brought that little old lady up to me and C said, "Here is all the tea" and showed her the tea in my car.
So, that is when you were still catering to C? And, you had told her that you were giving it to me?
Wellll, yes. I did.
Stop right here and let me tell you the back story. D, my almost-trader friend, had a tragedy. Her husband committed suicide well before the first almost-trade of tea/cheese. When D was not at the dinner on a Thursday night, I said to C,"Where is D?" C answered, "She's busy." Yes, she was busy sitting at the bedside of her husband who was near death after a deliberate drug overdose. The next Thursday, I asked C, "Where is D?" C would not look at me, "Oh, she had something else to do." Yes, my friend D was at the viewing of her husband's corpse, the visitation. The next day she buried her husband.
Two weeks later I was sitting at a different table since D was not there and C was. D came over and put her hand on my arm and said that T was dead. I almost passed out. Then, we put our heads together and discovered that C, who called D her best friend, was at fault. D had asked C to tell me what happened and where she was. D told me she was crushed that I did not come or call when she needed me.
The problem: C did not like the friendship of D with me. I was an intruder, an interloper. So, these two met two months before? Hmmmm....D said that C was jealous of me.
Another time several women whom I barely recognized were rude to me. Another was talking about me so I could hear her, and she wanted me to hear her. I mentioned all this to D, wondering what they were all so angry about. D told me that C, mentally challenged, cannot read or write, had told some whoppers about me...like she was afraid of me and I had tried to chase her down on foot to beat her up...lol. Anyone who has seen me struggle to walk would laugh.
Sooooo, back to today....You mean you allowed C to give away what she knew was promised to me? You had told her?
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know I need to grow a new set...as her voice trailed off, I continued.
By the way, I am sensitive, too. I can feel a stab in the back. But, the incident with the tea/cheese trade was gone from my thoughts until I did not get toothpaste we agreed to trade. NO, I was not holding a grudge. But, it appeared that you had no honor or either I was just someone you did not respect. Either way, you were and are in the wrong. I have never mentioned this to a soul until the toothpaste trade went sour. I had let it go entirely and never mentioned it to you, right?
D apologized. Whew! BUT, she insisted it was the fault of C. I refused to agree with that opinion.
C is still trying to wrangle her way back into the life of D.
So, now I know she did not just decide to give away the tea on her own. It is still a breach of honor on the part of D. I still am out the cheese, but I do have the toothpaste I took back! However, this C is a real problem since I know she continues to talk about me and lie. Gee, at least tell the truth about me.
The way I handles apologies--my opinion will not change (still wary) until I see future actions that show someone is sincere. Okay, I am just wary. I trust until betrayed. An apology says to me that actions will change.
I would not have ever blogged about this today, but since I complained the other day, I just knew you were all salivating for the second and final episode.
My children were trusting me to see their magic words, I' m sorry, as the reason for no punishment plus I can deliberately act that way in the future and apologize and get off the hook. I do not have to take responsibility for my actions if I apologize. Yes, I punished my children sometimes, even when they said, "I'm sorry" because they thought they could do anything as long as they apologized afterwards.
Okay, I will stop since I do have successful trades: car repair for hemming jeans and mending pants for friend, yard work for tutoring, ride when car was down for jelly....
Does anyone see my point in the story of tea/cheese/toothpaste story and lack of trust right now? She still insists she is trustworthy. I am not much moved to compassion or trust by continued aggressions or continued lapses of manners after an acknowledgement of the offense and an apology.