Thursday, November 20, 2008

Someone Owed Me One?

A few months ago I had a series of blog entries in which I apologized to various people in my past for various lapses of decency on my part.

The other day I received an unusual e-mail from an old classmate who apparently felt they hadn't treated me very well. Here is what that person wrote:

I didn't have anything to do and began playing around with google. I entered my name and came across your blog. There isn't much I care to remember about XXXX [school name deleted]. Believe it or not, you are the only recurring memory from that period these past 40 or so years. I use to tease you a lot, often resulting in you shouting out my name in frustration. It has remained vivid in my memory all these years. I've made worse decisions in my life and have a few regrets. Why this is on my list of regrets is not clear to me. I suspect it is because I have always believed you are a very good person and should not have been subjected to that. I am thankful for your blog. It provided me with the ability to say what I've wanted to say for a long time. I'm sorry for treating you the way I did. I was a jerk. No reply is necessary.

You know, I've done my share of googling names of former classmates and for most, there really aren't much in the way of results. I've also googled this particular person and have never come up with anything at all - nada, zip, zero - and I wondered if they had moved out of the country or something.

I definitely remember this person, but not like the picture painted in their message. We used to cap on each other all the time in school and I'm sure whatever we did was just a part of all that - nothing serious intended. I don't remember ever shouting out anyone's name in frustration, including this person. They were definitely not a "jerk."

Hey, person who wrote the e-mail, if you are reading this, first of all I hope you don't mind that I reprinted your message; there's no way anyone would know who wrote it, but more importantly, I'm sorry you went all these years feeling like you had wronged me! Honestly, I never had any sort of bad or negative thoughts about you.

In case they don't return to this blog, I wrote back and told them that their memory didn't match mine, and they had nothing to apologize about. I've sure done my own share of things I am ashamed about! Anyway, I'm sad that this person has felt so badly for such a long time, and it's rather miraculous as to the mechanism that allowed them to contact me, wouldn't you say?

What was really odd was they wrote that I was the only recurring memory from our school days. I wonder why that was. Me, of all people.. Gee, maybe Carolyn Tse doesn't remember how I used to drive her to tears by never listening to her when she would tell me and my buddies to stop goofing off in the tutorial room back in junior high. Now she would have a reason to remember me all these years! And I really do feel bad about giving her such a hard time, too, because she was a nice person.

Kind of makes me wonder who else came across this place by either googling their name or my name or someone they know. And it makes me wonder how closely the perceptions we had of ourselves and our behavior matches that of how our classmates viewed us. Any lurkers out there - you can always drop me a line!

It seems to me the above has the makings of some sort of story.

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