i bitched about someone in an e-mail i sent to the husband. only i sent it to the person. i bitched about. instead.
and you always hear about these things and you hope it never happens to you and it feels just as you would imagine something like that would feel. and yes. there was the OMG maybe i can get it back!!! hopeless totally sinking moment.
with shaking hands and a pit in my stomach i quickly sent a sorry. i explained what caused the bitch. why i was upset. it's been an upsetting day. i should have just said no. this has been a problem before. this is my issue. this is not your issue. i apologize for dragging you in. i understand if it's just too much and you want to terminate the agreement. (this was a professional acquaintance) please let me know.
she didn't let me know. not yet.
just because you mess up and feel like a colossal ass doesn't mean you don't have to feed your kids. chopping the cucumbers and the tomatoes washing the lettuce. vegetables are easy. slice slice neat rows of four. turn and chop chop chop. they get shoved to the side in a tidy little pile. i set the table with a fresh tablecloth. i sat down. i ate with my kids.
and the thing wasn't that it was bitchy *about* her. just the situation. but it could very definitely be interpreted as directly hurtful. it was not an e-mail any of us would care to receive.
moreover, it revealed my inner ass. it shed light on my absolute ability to appear passive aggressive. to BE passive aggressive. my 'say one thing with a smile and feel quite another with a bitch' side. sure, it was supposed to be private. a vent from a wife to a husband at the end of a long day. i'm entitled. but it revealed to someone else what i cannot stand about myself. it revealed my inner silly mortal. i felt ashamed. and embarrassed.
i am a good person. but i felt like a bad person.
i messed up.
she didn't let me know. still.
i went upstairs and brushed my teeth. a shower. a shower might be a good thing. i never shower at night. but it was if cleaning my teeth and my person could clean my conscience. see. i'm clean. good people are clean. i AM a good person. as if the minty flowery foamy steamy would really wipe the slate.
the thing is, when you hurt someone's feelings it feels worse than when you get your feelings hurt. at least when my feelings get hurt i get a dose of righteous indignation. the free pass to cry. the opportunity to rise above it. to forgive and feel better. even as we are hurting, these are soothing balms. when i hurt someone's feelings i just feel like shit. and there's nothing i can do about it. except keep breathing, know that we all slip up, and hope for the best. and feel like shit.
i wanted to cry. but i didn't. because i was way too anxious. and because i didn't think it would be fair.
i messed up.
she didn't let me know. still.
i set up the coffee for the morning and made the husband's lunch for the next day. the salad arranged so nicely in the container. the dressing separate and nestled in so it was presentable and convenient. the leftover homemade pizza fanned out in the next container. containers stacked neatly. good people do nice things for others. see! i AM a nice person. look at the care i am taking with someone else's lunch. look at me be a good person.
i wonder if she who does not know me well knows that i am a good person. not the sum of my bitchy parts. i wonder as i wait for her to let me know.
here i am on the couch. doing flashcards with wingman. i cannot stand doing flashcards. but here i am doing them. with encouragement. and a smile. good people do things they don't want to do to help others. with a smile. yeah. and that's what got me into this mess. this is not lost on me. but mothering is different. yeah. at least that's what i tell myself as i ignore the blurred lines in my life.
i see wingman through the evening and get him into bed. i am a good mother. good mothers are good people. see me being a good person. see.
i messed up.
and then i opened my e-mail. she let me know. she was more than gracious. i was gracious back. with humility. and appreciation. and after all that, that was that. she is a nice person.
so. we go from here.
yeah. and did i still go overboard and agree to a bit too much (though not as much as before?) yep. i absolutely did. but, this was a good huge humbling step. and i am still learning. and truth be told i created a HUGE situation over what, in the end, amounted to changing two hours. two freakin' hours. even though i felt justified and she didn't listen to my needs as closely as i would have liked, i didn't take a step back i just jammed forward. i should take more time to take that step more often. and i am too accommodating, it's true. BUT i am also a person who does like to help others. and in the end i agreed to a bit and she conceded a bit and it will work for both of us. maybe not perfectly for either, but...
there is a balance. and i will find it. it will likely take me the rest of my life. but, isn't that why we're here? to keep trying until we get it? hoping we'll get it.
so. i'm an ass. i mess up. and i can hurt people's feelings. and sometimes i do.
my advice to my kids in this situation is exactly what i did. own up, be honest, apologize. hope for the graciousness of others. learn from it. move on.
and, as an addendum, absolutely check the name in the TO: box on your e-mail before you hit send.
because lessons can be learned and we can move forward but that does not mean the silly mortal won't rise again. because it always does.