Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crawl Under a Rock and Turn Into Lichen

WARNING: This is a pretty whiny, self-indulgent post.  I don't blame you if those nauseate you.  So feel free to move along; this is not the post you were looking for.  
Did you know I'm an awful person?  I did, but I generally try to hide that fact from people and charm them with my wit and knowledge of obscure meaningless trivia.  For some reason it works as I seem to be generally well-liked by people who don't know me that well.
The problem with being ourselves is we know all our strengths and weaknesses.  And we try to hide those weaknesses.  Unless we're Oprah  Then we turn them into money.  We'll go for years hiding something so well that we even fool ourselves into thinking it's gone.
We came so close.
This morning though, I had the unpleasant reminder of just how rotten I have been.  For those who weren't around during the late teens/early twenties years of my life, I was pretty rotten.  

I'd really, REALLY like to go back and just erase 5 of those years.

One of my smaller indiscretions was that 10 years ago I borrowed something and then never returned it.  SHOCKING.  It belonged my cousin's girlfriend.  There was a breakup, it was awkward, and I didn't really know the person that well, and didn't want to deal with returning it.  Because of the awkwardness.  So I didn't.  Lame, but that's why.  And then I got married and moved 1,000 times.  It was just a book.  Something I figured this person replaced for $20.  I felt a twinge of guilt and mostly moved on.  Couldn't fix it anyway now.  $20 sucks, but it's not the end of the world.  Right?
Is she really this upset about losing a book?, you're wondering.
YES.  I wasn't before.  Just twinges of guilt and regret.
Except that I just got an email asking if this book was still around because apparently there were personal notes in it from her mom with priceless meaning.
I don't even know what to say to that.  There's a small (very small) chance it's at my moms.  But most likely I lost something important to someone and it make me feel ashamed.
And I don't know about you, but shame if just about worst of the human emotions.  Guilt, fear, anguish-they have nothing on the sickening, feeling of shame right in your stomach.  You feel naked and exposed, which is not a good thing because we both know you look nothing like (insert hot childless model).  Only people aren't laughing at you "ha ha, she's got a mole on her butt!", instead they're grossed out because the mole is hairy, scabby, selfishness!  "Didn't I get that removed?"  No, you didn't.
So now the closet's open and the skeletons that are still in there are mocking me.  And I sit here and figuratively stare at them in wretched anticipation.  Because now I wonder not if, but when they'll be brought up again and some of them are pretty ugly.  And my kids wont be able to run for president because their mom had some major screw ups in her youth.

Which just goes to prove, dear internet, that I should never, ever, ever interact with people.  Because things go horribly wrong when I do.

update: and yes, I roll my eyes at my own self-loathing.  You know you've felt it over something small too; unless you were raised in a free love hippie commune where guilt was the ultimate sin.  I can't really relate to that.  But kudos!


  1. I think you might be being a BIT hard on yourself, dear. I think many of us would have done the exact same thing. There's actually a saying about never lending a book you'd be upset if you didn't get back. That's because people don't return books. For many reasons. Usually it's just laziness, but I guarantee that I wouldn't have made the effort to return a book with an awkward situation like that unless the person had made a big deal about getting it back in the first place (ie, "I'll lend you this book, but it's really important that I get it back.") Otherwise, I think most of us would assume it's not a big deal. And ESPECIALLY after 10 years, I doubt many of us would still know right where the book was.

    For the record, I don't think you're a terrible person. And I actually wish you'd interact with people more. Namely, me. :D

    1. Well OF COURSE I'm being hard on myself! Because something I was hoping would just stay away didn't. And I really don't want to be thoughtless, but I am a very thoughtless person. Which is probably why I don't interact with you more. :( I do miss you, btw.

  2. Take a deep breath. Yes, you lost it. It happens. I know you feel terrible, and I'm sure the owner knows (or will know) that you feel terrible, horrible, ashamed. The best you can do is apologize, admit your mistake, and communicate how terrible you feel about it. Shedding tears might help, too. If I was the original owner, yes, I would be sad. But I had done without that book for 10 years. Not having it now wouldn't be the end of the world.

    Cheer up. Obama has major skeletons in his closet, and he became president. Apparently society doesn't care about issues of the moral nature. ;)

  3. sometimes I wake up at 2 in the morning and think about all the horrible, awful, crappy, stupid mistakes I've made and the things I've done.


    1. EXACTLY. It's the door that it opens and then takes years to shut again.