Today is the birthday of the most selfish, self-centered man on the planet. When he and my mother divorced, over twenty years ago, he divorced his three children as well. I can count the number of times I’ve seen him in the last twenty years on both hands and still have a few fingers left over.
When I was a youngster, I was involved in everything I was able to do, and was in recitals, twirling at ball games, etc. He came to maybe two of my recitals my entire young life. I do not recall one single night, not one, that he ever engaged me in conversation after dinner. Not one. Several years ago, after I separated from my ex-husband, my brother told him about my situation. Guess what he said? This is a good one. He said, “Well, Vanessa is hard to get along with.” (Of course my brother shouldn’t have told me he said that, but that’s really not the point.)
Oh, it gets even better. That last time I saw him was about three years ago. Up to that time, it had also been about that length of time since I’d seen him, and that was just because I ran into him at the grocery store. Anyway, the last time I saw him was when I approached the bleachers at one of Emily’s softball games and there he was, sitting with my sister-in-law. I walked up and said hi to him and sat down beside him. Just try to guess what he said. You’ll never guess. He asked, “Where did you park?” That’s right. After three years, that’s the best he had for me.
A couple of weeks after that incident, like a dumbass, I called him and asked him if he wanted to go get coffee with me sometime. He asked, “Why?” (I swear it!) I told him I just wanted to visit with him since I hadn’t seen him in a long time. He said he was going to the lake and would be out of town for a few days. I said okay, and asked that when he got back in town, to give me a call. My phone number was listed in the telephone book. I never heard from him again. Did I mention that we live in the same town and have never lived further than a few miles from each other?
I can forgive, I think, but I will never forget.