Did you wonder if my friend Veruca Salt read the post?
Do you think it made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
Should I have saved it for Festivus?
Should I have worked through my feelings in a more private and productive way, like talking to a therapist?
That's not a bad idea.
Better still, could I have perhaps taken my issues directly to Veruca instead of publicly humiliating her on the internet?
She certainly thinks so.
In the interest of forgiveness (and as a testament to the power of friendship), the title and content of the aforementioned blog post have since been edited, so this post will only make sense to those who read that post in its original form. However, enough people read "The Blog" that I feel a follow-up is in order. It's only fair that I stop referring to my friend as "Veruca Salt". She would like to henceforth be known as "A1". It's an old nickname. Don't ask.
I believe that I best process my feelings and express myself through writing, and that in doing so I was able to lay out my detailed account of how her words and actions hurt others and that this would prompt her to re-examine herself and return to being the sweet, loyal and fun friend I have known and loved for so many years. Urban Dictionary would call this an "interfriendtion". It's catchy and concise, so let's go with that. I would like to think that my post opened up a healthy and honest dialogue that repaired our friendship.
A1 would say that I could have accomplished this in a much less public way. One woman's catharsis is another woman's humiliation, and I take no pride in hurting someone. I recognize that my blog is available for public viewing, but to say that the response to this particular post was unprecedented for this blogger would be an understatement.
You should know that A1 and I both agreed that this post is necessary. She certainly didn't want me to leave this story open-ended, with her cast as the villain. We have been friends since we were 18-years-old. The events I described in The Blog do not accurately reflect A1's character, or our history together. Hearing her heartfelt apology and explanation (not to be confused with excuse) provided clarity and a context that made it clear to me that we can absolutely move forward from this. We value our friendship and hurt feelings on both sides have been mended.
If you've been blessed in your life with important friendships that have withstood the test of time, then you know that times can get stormy. Borrowing from one of Steve's favorite expressions, "It's not all rainbows and lollipops." If you take anything away from this mini-drama, I hope it's the understanding that we all fall down sometimes. We hurt the ones we love the most. Sometimes when we hurt our loved ones, they hurt us back in ways we never imagined. But we always forgive, because we're a family. A1, The Gypsy, Mama, Cara, Beana, Sally, plus Panda and The Dr. (both absent from this year's trip), and me--we'll be playing cards in the old folks' home when we're 90.
If you have your own "Veruca Salt" in your life, A1 and I would encourage you to pick up the phone. Y'all talk it out. The outcome could be better than you ever hoped.