Let me spare you the suspense, absolutely no drama occured today. Brad assured me everything would go just fine with "the meeting", and he was dead on. What was I expecting? A food fight perhaps? Hair pulling? Let's get real, this is Kansas and I am Kim Antisdel. That stuff only happens to Sarah Jessica Parker on "Sex and the City". Oh well, you have to have a goal, right?
I think my biggest fear about this lunch meeting was wondering which personality would come out of me at the moment of truth. Would I be "Cold Shoulder Snotty Kim" that Brad sometimes meets when he makes fun of me? Would I be "Over Zealous Nice Kim" that I tend to turn into when I'm uncomfortable? Luckily, it turned out I was just myself since that's the least annoying of both choices.
I arrived after my friend and her guest had been seated. A little intimidated, I approached their booth and felt immediate relief when T stood up and gave me a hug, saying it was great to see me finally. After sitting down across from the pair I had the bizarre feeling of being at a job interview. I actually wondered if my hair looked okay. For a minute, I was afraid there would be a hugely awkward silence in which we all toiled over what the hell to say next. Thankfully T had plenty of questions lined up. She asked about work, married life, the new house etc. etc. I asked the same questions. This was easier than I thought.
When the subject turned to my brother's up-coming wedding, I felt a twinge of panic. After all, it was my wedding that was the catalyst for this whole disaster to begin with. But there were no angry words, no shouting and no accusations. Brad had been right. T didn't come to talk about the past. In fact, it was swiftly avoided three or four times. I shouldn't have been surprised, there was no way talk about last July was going to happen as long as C was sitting there. These two are in a brand new relationship, where indications of past emotional baggage are kept eerily locked away, along with bodily function discussions and inner-family drama. I really can't blame T for keeping the past quiet at our lunch. Just imagine if someone spilled all of my awful stories right before I had gotten married or something. Oh wait....
All right, so if it isn't obvious, I still have issues with T. What can I say, I'm human and flawed. Which leads to an interesting question: if saying I'm human excuses me from forever forgiving T, shouldn't being human excuse T for the awful things she did? I think the answer has to be yes.
So the overall consensus is this: I saw the real T again. The girl I played house with and endured countless 8th grade cheerleader car washes. I saw the T that needs me to forgive her. She's not an idiot, she knows what she did was wrong and hurtful. But who made me judge and jury? In her own way, she's probably suffered enough with her own guilt. And I know from experience the worst punishments are those we bring on ourselves.
Try as I might though, I have given up on the forgive and forget nonsense. There's no way I will ever forget, nor do I want to. Life is all about memories, both good and bad. If you forget every bad experience life dumps on you, you're just left with a bunch of Tuesdays all strung together. Knowing what T did is simply a bad memory that I (and she) can hopefully learn from. We can only move forward from here. But I'm proceeding with extreme caution. See? I'm learning...