Forgive and Forget
Not so much, actually.
I am not really a forgive and forget kind of girl. I can forgive mistakes; flaws in character, however, are another thing.
Other people seem to be far more fickle than I am. I don’t usually burn bridges until I am absolutely positive that there is nothing on the other side I will truly miss before I set ablaze the only means by which to reach it.
I do have a temper, but it rarely flares. I am more an Ice Princess type than a Drama Queen. Revenge is a dish best served cold, after all.
It takes a lot for me to write someone off. It’s not a whim thing, it’s a considered decision. I have to believe you to be essentially dishonest, obstructionist, untrustworthy and/or singularly unreliable.
I have never made the decision to sever ties with someone based on one incident. I’m sure there are actions that would bring that about, but I’ve never had that happen.
It’s a series of incidents, observations, reactions. I also don’t take people’s words, without a lot of corroboration. If someone I trust implicitly tells me something, it weighs as heavily as my having direct knowledge, but even in those situations I would weigh what I was told with what my experience with someone was.
In other words, I don’t make opinions based on general gossip, at least not without considering the source and the potential motive of those carrying the tale, compared to whether the gossip is something my experience tells me is plausible.
But when I am done, I am done.
There are people with whom I have had mild dust-ups over the years who I have learned to like, respect, or even tolerate well. In all the cases I can think of, though, I never believed they were intentionally malicious. I think that’s the factor for me, did you MEAN for this to not only hurt me or a person, but did you intend to hurt the community or group. That’s pretty unforgivable for me.
So, anyway, the real item of interest to me, what spurred this, is how fickle others seem to be.
I did write someone off years back. I sent them an email that said very clearly what they had done that I knew about, that told them I did not want to have any contact with them again in the future, that they were, for all intents and purposes, dead to me. I also said that if the person continued to spread the lies I knew for a fact were lies, I would make sure the rest of the things I knew had been done over the years were made very public.
When I am done, I am done.
I have seen this person relatively recently and heard from another person who had occasion to spend time in the same place, and it is clear this person wants to make up, straighten out this “misunderstanding” between us.
The problem to me, of course, is that there was no misunderstanding. I know what I know, I saw what I saw, I witnessed what I witnessed, and they were not mistakes in perception or judgement, they were lack of character.
I don’t do anything to try and sabotage this person. I have been asked about events in which the person has been involved and have said that while my personal relationship with them was not good, I had never heard anything bad about the event.
I simply don’t want to have contact with them, ever. I don’t want to be their friend, I don’t want to make up, I don’t want to pretend that what was done wasn’t intentional and malicious, to behave as though the patina of the years has dulled my memory or my reaction.
When I am done, I am done.
If I say, I do not want to speak to you again, see you again, or have contact with you again, I promise, I will not be knocking on your door a month later. I thought about what that meant before I said it.
I also don’t make threats I can’t or won’t keep. It’s a bad practice, and makes such things much less effective.
So, I went to a high Leather dinner many years ago, nearly a decade now, I think, maybe more. In any case, there was that person there whom I had said that.
In entering the room to be seated, I was on the arm of a friend, Kevin, a black gay male top who also went by the name of Demon. I did everything I could to avoid the issue, but still managed to have the boy who was seating people try and seat me to the left of the person with whom I had cut ties.
I still think of the poor boy. We walked in, in high whore leather, dressed to the nines. There were some fairly well-known people there. Tristan Taoramino, Jack Rinella, Master Steve Sampson, Master Taino, Master Roy, Master Dean, and more. The boy seating us indicated the seat he expected me to take, to the immediate left of the person I had tried so hard to avoid.
I shook my head and said, “No.”
I didn’t say it loudly, to be clear, and I genuinely had tried to avoid the confrontation entirely, but because of whatever manner they were using to seat us, though I’d waited for several other people to go in between us, the seating still worked out initially just as I was hoping to avoid.
The boy had clearly not been told what to do when a woman in leather fucks up your carefully planned seating. He looked like a deer in headlights, then gestured to the chair again, nervously.
Again, I shook my head and again said, quietly, “No, I’m sorry, that won’t do.”
The boy clearly didn’t know what to do next, but about that time a single gentleman came in behind us, and I simply stepped back, indicated with a nod of the head to the boy that he should go ahead in seat the newly-arrived gentleman, and the problem was solved for the evening.
Master Steve Samson that night was the keynote speaker and he made me cry, something I do rarely and not easily, and even more rarely in public.
He read passages from the Little Prince and The Velveteen Rabbit.
From the Little Prince, he read this passage:
“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the colour of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”
The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.
“Please– tame me!” he said.
From The Velveteen Rabbit, he read:
The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
So, this started out about not forgiving and forgetting, and ended with passage sthat still makes my eyes tear up, and which will always and forever remind me of Master Steve and that dinner, long ago.