Rivals for No Reason

January 18, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now | 5 Comments
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The original Mean Girls

Recently, I ran into this girl I knew growing up.  She wasn’t someone I was friends with, but we had a lot of mutual friends.  When I had first heard about this girl, her name came attached with a seriously bad reputation — one that I didn’t really want to get involved in.  So for the entire four or so years that our circles overlapped, we never so much as stared at each other across the parking lot, sometimes giving the occasionally fake smile to acknowledge each other’s existence.

Girls are like this. But so are guys.  Usually we use the word caddy.  I might go so far as saying ignorant.  What’s a reputation if not something perpetuated by others?  I’m not the type to usually listen to what others say, but I am also not immune to judging people before I meet them. Heck, my best friend and I hated each other when we first met (that’s a whole other story for another day).

So here I am, ten years later, stuck in an enclosed space with this girl for a short duration of time, shooting the shit with her.  And why not?  We know a lot of the same people, are the same age, come from the same place.  Why can’t we have a cordial conversation like two civilized adults?

I can’t say it was totally comfortable.  I mean, it’s not like either of us completely forgot about the past and all the stupid crap girls fight over or say behind each other’s backs.  But when you are 16, 17 years old, you aren’t thinking, “what if I run into this person in ten years? what then?”

When you are 17, it matters who your friends date, it matters which girl your crush picks over you.  It matters who your friends ditch you for.  Ok, let’s be honest.  This stuff still matters when you are older. I guess the difference is that it is easier to remove yourself from the situation.  You aren’t going to run into your arch enemy walking down the hall going to third period, or driving down to the parking lot you both hang out at.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance that you will run into each other.

I’ve had a few of these encounters over the years and the truth is, what happened in the past really doesn’t matter.  You both went on your merry ways and came out on the other side alive and well.  Maybe it could have been different between you two.  Maybe rivals could have been friends if this drama or that drama didn’t tear you apart.  But life goes on.  And you will always run into the person you least expect to run into.  And all you can do is laugh and remember how ridiculous the drama from the past really was.

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