Wednesday, May 18, 2011

thanks. part 1.

Heyo, I've been writing like a lot of thank you notes to people near and far lately and I think I may make it a weekly feature. butttt, I HAVE tried that before... and obviously lacked the crucial motivation to keep it going, so we'll see. It could be lively. 

The people I'm writing to thank sometimes pop into my mind and I may still talk to them often, or may have cut ties them them many years ago- like the old friend below. 

Regardless, it just feels good to say what I have to say to them, whether or not they know it, so that's what I'm going to do. 

Here is letter numero uno:


Hey, Girl. It's been a minute.

I know if I saw you today on the street our meeting would go one of two ways. If you are by yourself and we bump into each other in line at H&M, or knowing you, Express, you'd do that thing where you act like no time has passed and you still tell me all your secrets and let me ride your coat-tales. If you're not alone, more specifically, if you're in the presence of anyone that knows us both, you'll probably pretend you don't see me and do that mean sideways-glance-loud-conversation thing that people of your social confidence do to make people like me feel small. I don't feel small often, but you could always take me there. I know now that even if I got the first version you'd probably just pump me for tiny scraps of useful/relevant/to your benefit information and then hang me out to dry the way you always used to.

But really, I promise, this letter isn't to cut you down. It may not appear this way, but I'm actually trying to thank you. Show gratitude, that's what I'm trying to do here.

You see, I learned a lot from you. A lot about people and a lot about myself. I'm very thankful for that.
So first of all, thanks for letting me into your world for a while. You seemed so glamorous in a way, so popular and charismatic. My own real-life Samantha, so worldly and outspoken about everything from your sexual exploits to everyone else's underbelly. Our flingfriendship was brief, under a year, but fairly deep. You were funny and confident and so comfortable with farting in public and always saying things like "God, I'm so good-looking," only half-jokingly. I loved that. I loved having a friend so strong and openly confident with herself, it was mesmerizing. Thanks for oozing self-confidence when it seemed like everything around me was insisting that no woman could possibly be good enough as-is. You were. I was. That felt good. Thank you, truly.

It took me a while to realize that you needed me at that time, too. You never made it seem that way. But you were always broke, your parents aren't worth a damn, and you didn't know anyone in the city where you'd moved and I happened to live. I still don't know why you moved there after the summer, other than someone offered you a free couch for three weeks that turned into two months. Really, it took me a while to see you for yourself and I'm partially to blame for getting scammed, I suppose. I didn't see at first that you were just trying to survive, that a person like you still gets lied to, cheated on, and deserted. All the people that meant the most to you were always letting you down and you were scrappy out of necessity. I'm not scrappy out of necessity, I do it to get what I want; maybe you do it simply to get what you need.

And you always seemed to have what you needed, but it must have felt precarious, sleeping on my couch for three months, living with your ex-boyfriend's parents the next six, crashing in wherever someone willing would take you- until the siren's summer song of the island brought us all back up for another go. It never occurred to me that you didn't like living that way, sliding in wherever you saw an opening. I thought you were an opportunist- turns out you're probably just a survivalist.

Thanks, though, girl for the shiney moments. We've got a fair amount. You'd take me to trendy places and I'd get polished and I'd take you to the second-hand shops so you could learn the joys of finding a perfectly-worn tee or that just-broken-in pair of Citizens at like a third of the cost. Thanks for helping me get (both) of my two extra jobs that year, I needed that money to live the way I like, and not the way you had to.

I look back fondly on nights where we'd drink bottles of wine and sit on the front porch and just talk. I was 21, and used to getting belligerent and stumbling home from parties by myself. It was good, better, than doing that. I don't miss you going crazy and logging into your ex's facebook every other night and getting hysterical, because I don't understand that way of coping. But I don't mind being the person you talked to about the way life had jarred you and hurt you. I've never told anyone your secrets. I know it meant something for you, even if it seems small and far away now.  You never would have taken a rando to your mother's run-down and filthy house. or your old job. The one where you'd had a fling with the married boss. You looked so small in those places. It was one of the saddest things I'd ever seen, seeing where you came from. I think I started realizing then that your mean was so much deeper in you than I'd ever go. Thanks for showing me that before I got caught in a web I couldn't walk away from, or more aptly, be forced from.

I never tried to come back or salvage any of our friendship and it's one of the decisions in my life that I value most, and I'm grateful you didn't try to keep luring me back in. I didn't need the hurt. You'll always be stuck in that sticky web of toxic people and I get to keep moving. So long as you're a part of that crowd, you and all of them will be jockeying for position, temporary alliances and quick fixes to deep-rooted issues. Thanks for showing me the way things really work, and for letting me walk away relatively unscathed. For as many times as my non-intentioned private words with you were twisted and passed on to less understanding ears.

 I don't hate you.

I don't anything you, except thank you, I guess.

You built me up in a way that not even could you could tear down.

Thanks, dear, for teaching me that I don't like stirring the rumor mill. Thanks for showing me that not all friendships are healthy, but that doesn't mean you can't grow as an individual from their rubble. I have.
I won't see you around. In fact, I can say with relative confidence that our paths will likely never cross again. You're probably still bartending somewhere in the city you fled back to and well, I like to avoid it if it all possible. Different strokes. It is funny, though, because I didn't take a lot away from the island where we met, but the few friendships I've kept from there are full of laughter and genuine caring- and none of us choose to keep in contact with you or your once-enticing circle of sharks. 

Thanks for everything, I really, truly, wish you the best. You always figure out a way to get it.

But I know the truth.

XO Sara

1 comment:

  1. This is f'ing FANTASTIC. I have a very similar one that I really should write (and not sent), too.