Thursday, May 17, 2007

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

I don’t spend my days or, worse still, my nights, reliving my past. I am a very much of-the-moment person. With a few elementary school kids, a spouse, a puppy, a house, and so on, it’s probably not surprising that I find there is little time to ponder the past.

I do buy in, globally, that those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. And I suppose I buy into it on a personal level as well. So, great, learn from what’s happened to you and move the frick on.

[Am I going somewhere with this? I think so, but I don’t know how to get there easily.]

My F&B faraway friend Lori called the other night. She’d received an invitation to a reunion of sorts for former residents of our college dorm. She mentioned the organizer was Ward B. She said his name, and I could recall quite a bit about him. She also mentioned another person – she couldn’t recall the last name – but she wondered if the other person, Marsha Something-or-other, was the same Marsha who we had been friends with.

Thus did the floodgates open. And it was the mention of Marsha’s name that got me going. The Marsha I knew was Marsha G. She hailed from outside of Philadelphia. We were best friends our freshman and sophomore years of college. As freshmen, we were both wild. [Feel free to imagine the definition of “wild.”] As sophomores, I was less so, being pulled more into working on the college newspaper and, hard as I find it to believe now, being the president of the dorm.

The summer before junior year, I lived with Marsha and her grandmother on Brigantine Island. We both worked at Brigantine Castle. And every night, until a few weeks before summer ended when her mother finally found us out, we would get ripped down at a local bar.

We had a falling out – a kick-ass big falling-out – in October or so of our junior year. Part of me feels I should go into the details so anyone reading this would see that the fault is clearly with her. Another part of me thinks the details are probably not that important. Suffice it to say, I felt wronged. She felt wronged. In the beginning, she tried to get even in fairly minor – although a bit harmful to me – ways.

In the beginning.

A couple of months later it was pouring down rain. The dorm was far away. My boyfriend was driving me and the folks we were with back. And Marsha wanted a ride, too. Hardly.

The next school day saw her down at the dean’s office, trying to get me kicked out of school for living illegally in the dorm. Was I living illegally in the dorm? Yeah. My mother had sold her jewelry to pay tuition that semester, but that had tapped her out. We couldn’t afford housing. So I said I lived with my boyfriend a long ways away. I didn’t. I lived with my former roommates. It was like that for one semester. But, yeah, it was like that.

Did my illegal living arrangement have any impact on Marsha? No. Her anger, though, was not going to go away, particularly after being made to walk back, I don’t know, a quarter-mile in the pouring rain. She didn’t care that my roommates, two women who had no part in our battle, would also be up for getting kicked out of school.

Asked point-blank by the dean – whom I knew through my work on the newspaper – if I were living illegally on campus, I looked directly in her eye and lied. I lied easily. I lied effortlessly. I lied with heart pounding. And I chalked the whole thing up to Marsha’s anger, bitterness, etc.

I didn’t get kicked out. Neither did my roommates. I went on to be editor of the paper my senior year, living – for real – off-campus with three friends. I think I ended up with one class with Marsha my senior year. She was easy to avoid and to ignore. Although I swallowed bile every time I saw her. And I’m swallowing bile right now.

I’ve truly not thought about this in years. But it’s amazing how quickly I can recall it all with the same emotions and, perhaps, a bit more clarity.

There is nothing the Marsha G. of today could say to me that would make me not forever harbor ill feelings toward her. I am not a saint. Those who know me know that to be true. I did cruel things to others as a child, as a teen. And, although I never tried to ruin someone’s life nor to ruin the lives of people who had nothing to do with our “battle,” I was cruel enough. “Cruel enough” as in I am able to bring to mind feelings of shame when I think about a handful of people from my past. Actually, I can only think of one girl – now a woman, of course – whom I still feel bad about. And I fear: does she feel about me the way I feel about Marsha?

There is nothing that I want from the Marsha G. of today. She might have been younger then – about 20 – but what Marsha did to me was not a childish act. It was vicious. And vicious people don’t grow out of viciousness.

So, no, I don’t think I’ll be going to the Poyda B reunion at Rider University. I’ve learned my lesson about vicious people.


Anonymous said...

This post spoke to me: Injuries and betrayal in our youth are very difficult to overcome. When I was in my 20's I was fairly naive' and overly trustful. Some hurts just stick with you. I find it much easier to forgive now 20 years later.

Stine said...

I'm glad she didn't manage to get you kicked out... There's getting back at someone, and there's being, as you say, vicious... Thanks for visiting my WW!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Pretty intense stuff. I have a vague recollection of all that drama...I think I was living "up campus" that year. I forgot about all that! Man, you guys really went at it. I also forgot that you lived with her in the summer...maybe you were such good friends because you were alike in some ways... and I would imagine you were a team against the world then when the team broke up you turned on each other. But that's just my humble opinion.

I had no idea my mention of college would bring up all this! You see, my memories of that time don't bring back anger and shame, just falling in love, being with my friends all the time, and then losing my mom.

I have a feeling that one reason why I think I still have feelings for the guy I dated in college is because when we were together, my mom was still alive. I think being around him somehow makes me feel like I did before the worst day of my life happened, which is when the part of me containing the ability to love without fear of losing the person one day without warning was still in existance. In other words, I live in a state of "If I don't allow the feelings of love to be there, then they cannot be taken away". I know, logically, that's stupid, but tell that to my emotional side and you'll hear lots of echos. I play it safe with my hubby because he doesn't demand affection.

So, anyway, I have learned many things about you this week, that's for sure, and reading your blog is providing insight to things I never knew. It's really amazing how much we don't know about people who we've known for so long. We only know what they choose to share with us. But no matter what I learn about what you have done in the past or will do in the future, I do know that I will always love and have a bond with you.
I always question my friendships...I wonder, what does this person see in me? Why do they want to be my friend? Goes down to those feelings of inadequacy and low-self-esteem. I am not worthy...ok enough jibber jabber for now.

Sian said...

This post spoke to me too. I know just how you feel, some hurts just stick don't they?

Love your blog BTW


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