All right guys, this is something I’m not really proud of, but you learn some of the best lessons in life from the mistakes you make, right?
So let’s flash back to the third grade. Where was I in grade three? Well, I had a little stealing phase, mostly due to my love of candy and some bad influences, but I also had an awesome teacher who helped me get back on track. So that’s what we know so far.
Aside from my little friendship fling with Sara, I had a good group of friends. I also had a best friend. Her name was Allison.* I don’t remember when we hit it off and made the move from regular friend to BFF, but I know that in grade three, we were tight. We hung out all the time, went to each other’s houses regularly, and talked on the phone WAY TOO MUCH.
SIDENOTE: Remember when there were landlines? And also when people only had ONE phone line and no call waiting? And then you’d be talking to your friend and your mom or dad would pick up and interrupt you and it would be really awkward and they’d be like, “Oh, sorry, honey!”? And then like, an hour later when you were STILL TALKING, your mom or dad would pick up and be like, “Okay, that’s enough – it’s time to get off the phone!”? And all you wanted in life was your OWN PHONE LINE?! And you begged and pleaded, but you never got one?
Those were the days.
As the year went on, I started to get close to some of my other friends, too. I wanted to branch out a bit, have new experiences, play dress-up at other people’s houses. Allison had other plans. She wanted us to be the only BFFs in our world. She wasn’t keen on me having other friends. She started to morph from a cool friend into an overwhelming, overbearing friend. She wanted ALL OF MY TIME ALL THE TIME. She got clingy.
In my mom’s words: “Oh, she was such a pest.”
SIDENOTE: I don’t know Allison now, and I have nothing against her. Allison, if by some weird circumstances you’re reading this, (A) I’m sorry, and (B) no hard feelings?
If you know me well, you know I don’t deal with clingy. The best way to end any sort of relationship with me is to be clingy and overbearing. As soon as it begins, I put a firm arm out in front of me and I keep you just out of reach of it. I’ve had too many frustrating and genuinely scary experiences in my life that are directly related to clingy to put up with it anymore.
But even back in grade three, before any of that, I was over it.
I tried my best to distance and detach, but Allison would not quit.
She pushed and pushed and pushed until she released The Beast. (That’s me. Weird, right?)
Like I said, I’m not proud of this, although looking back, it is kind of funny that I became a writer.
Because I decided the best way to cope with this troublesome friendship was to write a letter.
I just wish it had been a little more tactfully written…
Basically, I told Allison off. Big time. I told her I didn’t want to be her friend anymore, I called her some very third grade names (I think I might have said she was “smelly”), and then I pulled out a word I had heard, but didn’t understand: bitch.
Where I got the word “bitch,” I do not know. But I knew it was bad, so I threw it in there. You know, just to emphasize my point.
Then I gave her the letter. I don’t even remember how I gave her the letter. We didn’t have lockers, and I don’t think I handed it to her. I might have mailed it to her. I honestly have very little memory of this. I probably blocked most of it out because of what happened next.
A few days later, I was at home and the doorbell rang. Being a kid (also see: being a dog), I ran to see who it was as my mom opened the door. When I saw Allison’s dad standing there, I immediately ran away to my bedroom and got under the covers in my bed. I knew the shit was going to hit the fan. (Even though I didn’t know the word “shit” yet…)
He tried to push my mom out of the way to get into our house. He was going MENTAL. Just screaming at her about how he wanted to “talk to me” (more like kick the shit out of me, but whatever). I just closed my eyes and hoped no one would ever find me (in my bedroom, in my house, not actually hiding – what the hell, Andrea?).
Eventually my mom got rid of Allison’s dad.
Then I got in trouble.
Then it eventually faded away.
Many years later, Allison and I reconnected in junior high, and we became friends again for a brief time, but to this day, I still feel guilty about that damn letter. It was just so mean.
That was when I learned to break up friendships in a more tactful way, like just not ever calling the person (obviously), and also that things in writing can always come back to haunt you. (Except I still put things into writing every single day – oops – like this blog, so…)
Now, someone make me feel better about myself by telling me the mean thing you did when you were a kid. Annnnnnd go.
*Almost, but not really her name.