Growing up

*Little note, sorry if this has errors or seems to get off track. I haven’t slept yet today and didn’t bother to really proof read it.*

Recently I have taken an interest in Facebook.  Now if you know anything about me, I have a history of hating Facebook.  Frankly, my feelings on the service are in no risk of changing.  I spent a good thirty minutes or more this morning blocking applications I have no interest in.  It’s nothing against the people that send them.  I actually had second thoughts blocking some of the ones that were sent to me by some of my favorite people in the world.  I just don’t see the point in these silly little games that usually are just a competition to see who can spam the most people.  I have no interest in that.

All of that is beside the point though.  This post is about a very specific thing.  I doubt anyone reading this will know the people I am about to talk about, but I am still going to make it vague and change the names because I don’t want any feelings hurt or any childish nonsense.  Childish nonsense would be the antithesis to this post.  Today I grew up a little.

Back when I was a kid I had a friend.  We’ll call him Sam.  Sam thought he was in love Ginger.  She was a year older than Sam, who was in the same grade as myself.  I remember when the two first met.  Sam and I were in the Eighth Grade and were soon to join the ranks of the fresh men and women of our local high school.  Both being the promising school band type, we were allowed to accompany the High School marching band one weekend as it went to a local competition.  This would be the first time that Sam really met Ginger.  Myself and a friend of Ginger pushed a little bit, trying to get these two to make a love connection.  We were successful in our mission.  Everyone thought they were perfect for each other, especially Sam. That’s why it never made sense to any of us a couple years later when Ginger decided that she did not love Sam back.

Now mind you, we were all kids playing adult games.  While friends with Sam and Ginger, I have no idea what went on with them.  By this time I had a girlfriend of my own who was the center of my universe.  I dated the same girl for the last three years of my high school and part of my college career, during which time I successfully built my entire world around her.  I was a world away from all but her and my family.  I had no time to keep up with the affairs of others.  That being the case, I have no insight on if something went wrong or something was done.  Maybe it’s that strange thing where children stop playing at being in love and their world is shocked by the realization that sex isn’t what they were expecting.  Honestly, I don’t know if they had that manner of physical relationship.  All I know is that Ginger was ready to let go, but Sam was no where near letting go.

Ginger moved on.  She dated a guy that nobody liked.  Acting out and seemingly getting a little trampier.  Though to be fair, she was the model of our community’s WASP conservative nature, so even the slightest act of rebellion would seem like having sex in front of the high school for all to see.  All of us loved Sam, so we were less than fair with the situation.  Even Ginger’s friends loved Sam, we just couldn’t understand…

Looking back, Sam’s actions were almost stalker in nature.  I don’t think he did anything illegal or even anything malicious.  He was simply a young man that thought he was in love.  Being from a loving family and having a loving circle of friends, maybe he didn’t understand that sometimes feelings weren’t reciprocated.  I can understand the feeling, because it’s an issue that I myself still deal with today as an adult.  The problem is, he wasn’t an adult yet.  He was still just a kid.  A kid that didn’t know how to deal with it.  So he did that thing that teenagers are known for.  He made a grand production of his misery.

Sam knew the pills that he swallowed would likely only make him sick, but the emergency room staff still did everything and did it the most uncomfortable way possible.  Sam would later tell me that he over heard two of the nurses saying “Well if he’s just doing this as a scream for attention, lets show him there are better ways to go about it” as they decided to insert the stomach pump’s hose into his nose rather than his mouth.  It was so clear to everyone that Sam wasn’t the suicide type that the nurses had him pegged the moment he was wheeled in.

At this point, I believe I would have only been sixteen.  All I knew was that one of my best friends was hurt by a girl so badly that he would do something drastic.  Something completely out of character.  Something that scared me and would change my life forever.  For this, I decided then and there to hold a grudge against Ginger.  I shunned her for the rest of our time in high school.  I said mean things about her.  It’s been so long, I can’t remember if they were only behind her back, knowing how stupid and passionate I can be, I likely said it straight to her face.

All this happened in 1998.  Twelve years.  Twelve long years I held a grudge.  Even today when I just by chance stumbled upon Ginger’s Facebook I thought “Jesus, it’s Ginger. That fucking bitch.”  Then I looked at her picture.  She grew into this beautiful woman that looks nothing like the girl I remember.  I could see the resemblance sure, but the person I knew was a child.  Then I realized, how could this poor girl be expected to handle a situation like that?  Most adults don’t have the ability to deal with relationships properly, let alone a child in an unusual situation like the one she had with Sam.  Then I felt guilty.

I am holding a grudge for a person I don’t even talk to anymore.  After high school, Sam and I kept in touch, but eventually we drifted apart.  He got married, joined the military.  We seriously couldn’t be more different if we tried.  I still think of him as a great friend in high school, but he has no part in my life today.  Why am I holding on to the very worst part of that friendship?  Of all the things that I could keep from that time and I choose hate.  Hate for a person that just didn’t have the right tools.  Hate for a person that was just as much, or maybe even more, a victim as my friend?

Today is a day when I throw off yet more of my childish things.  I’m sorry Ginger, I was just a kid and didn’t know any better.

Say something... I dare you.