i never really was aware that i was a slow eater. my mom always used to tell me that i was a fast eater and just gobbled my food without tasting it. so, i really don’t know if eating slowly is a new thing of like the last five years or not. i just know that when it’s just me and i’m on my own meter, it’s fine to take an extraordinarily long time, but when i’m with someone it has begun to make me feel really uncomfortable.
we continued talking as i ate, but with each bite i began to feel more and more guilty for wasting two hours of my friends time. i began to overanalyze everything. it was nothing that my friend did or said. this was all on me, my problem, my discomfort, and my guilt. i felt badly like i was keeping my friend for the things that she not only needed to do, but her sick dog, luna…whom i knew she was really worried about.
i couldn’t think of what a “normal, socially acceptable” person would say, instead, i said something that i realize now (after going back and reading through past email) that i had done before (but in a really yucky way). instead of asking, if she needed to go. i dismissed her…not just once, but a few times. without thinking about what it meant, how it felt to hear it, or remembering that doing so could be a trigger…i said,”you know you can leave. you don’t have to wait for me.”
the first time was met with,”no, we’re catching up.” the second time was met with,”i’m still finishing my coffee.” and the last time was met with,”look, i’m a big girl and i’ll leave when i’m ready.” it was that statement that finally got my attention. i realized that i wasn’t doing what i thought i had been doing, which was to communicate that i was sorry and to “let her off the hook.” instead, i was telling someone (who made a special effort on my behalf…someone whom i care about and is special to me) what to do.
i felt badly about what i had done, but wouldn’t even realize the full ramifications of what i had done, until just a few weeks ago (when i rediscovered something similar, but yuckier almost two years ago). after a few minutes, she looked at me and told me that she had to go. she got up and we hugged quickly and she was gone. buggs and i were left there with the last bite of pancake and a weird, bewildered feeling. i took some photos and we walked back to the car.
***what i rediscovered in my past email a few weeks ago, made me really sad to think back on. almost two years previously, my friend and i had a phone conversation in which neither of us wanted to get off of the phone. my friend, however, had school and homework to do. we were cute going back and forth, until i thought that i would be both “funny” and “the older person” and i said something that i will always regret. i said,”get off the fucking phone.” she did and i had a sleepless night and sick feeling in my gut. however, i was incredibly fortunate, when she called me the next day. i listened as she told me how my statement had made her feel. i told her that i knew that it was wrong the moment it came out of my mouth and i apologized with my whole heart. i never ever wanted to hurt my friend, but i did then and i think that in did in gig harbor, too. it’s probably too late now and there’s nothing that i can do to change it. the only thing i can do is own my fuck-ups, learn from them, apologize, and move forward.***
d******e, i am very sorry and owe you an apology for being dismissive and for not remembering the past and being lazy in my diligence to not repeat it. you are and always will be special to me and i let us both down. thank you for being kind to me and giving me your time and a memorable brunch.