*Author’s note; I started this entry about a dozen times, and I can’t seem to get it just right. Bear with me while I work my way through this.*
Today is my friend Mary Margret’s birthday. The thing is, I haven’t seen Mary Margret in years. Mr. Chili happened to see her in the grocery store a few weeks ago and reported that she looked well, but I haven’t laid eyes on her in far too long.
Mary Margret and I didn’t have a falling out. There was nothing (that I’m aware of) which precipitated our losing touch. While this has never been confirmed by any sources outside of my own head, I strongly suspect the reason that Mary Margret and I don’t see one another anymore is because Mary Margret’s wife never liked me.
I met Mary Margret some 20+ years ago when she was a patron at the bank where I worked as the only customer service representative. Something about her energy was instantly sympathetic with mine, and we became friends over the course of her conducting business at my branch. One afternoon, her car wouldn’t start in the parking lot. I asked her if she could drive a stick, and when she said that she could, I tossed her my keys (much to the dismay of my coworkers); I trusted her early and easily. She would call me to check on her accounts, and I would ask about her significant other in ways that made her plainly aware that I was an ally. We got along gracefully and well, and it wasn’t very long before we were friendly outside of work, too.
When I was cooking Punkin’ Pie, Mary Margret got me a job working alongside her at our public television station’s annual fundraising auction. We had a wonderful time together – it was often just the two of us making phone calls to potential donors, and I remember laughing like fools most of the time (“Ooooh! I’m calling a psychic next! Let’s see if she knows it’s me!!“). Everything about Mary Margret radiated warmth and acceptance and generosity of spirit, and I loved her deeply.
I was never comfortable around her wife, however. Charlotte always gave off vibes that let me know she deeply mistrusted me. I doubt that she was jealous per se, she and Mary Margret had been together for some 20-odd years before I met them, and I am clearly a player on the proverbial other team. It could well have been jealousy, though; Mary Margret and I did have a kind of ease and comfort that belied the short time we’d known each other. Regardless of the reason, though, Charlotte was very clear in her attitude and her body language that she didn’t approve of my presence in their lives. I think that was why, eventually, Mary Margret and I lost touch.
I have to respect Mary Margret’s decision not to maintain our relationship; while it has never been a feature of my own marriage, I understand that lifelong commitments sometimes come with certain conditions. I am sad, though, that it worked out the way it has. I’m sad for me because I’ve lost a true and dear friend. I’m sad for Mary Margret because, at some point, she felt had to make that choice for Charlotte’s sake and, knowing Mary Margret as I do, I know that must have been wrenching for her.
I’m mostly sad for Charlotte, though, because I can’t imagine being that fearful all the time. I brought nothing but love and good intentions to her doorstep, but she saw me as a threat. I’m sorry that I made her feel that way, and I’m sorry that, because of it, we’ve all lost something special.