I am exceedingly good at arguing. This comes from a long childhood of yelling matches with my mother, who hates admitting she’s wrong, and about a million strained “discussions” with my father, who always carefully thinks through what he says before he says it so that I can’t find any holes in his argument. The outcome is a very well-spoken teen who never loses her cool during an argument, and is always, always right.
It was only a matter of time before this came back to bite me in the ass.
So La was super mad at me today because I broke Zee’s heart and he’s going through a really tough time and I should feel bad etcetera etcetera. Well, yes, thanks so much La, I think I know that I screwed up big time. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t mean to do this, it just happens, and it’s true. And I honestly feel so so bad about it, to the point where it keeps me up at night; I just don’t make a big production out of it. Actually, mostly I write about it, because that’s what I do.
But how do I explain that to La? How do I show her just how frusterated and miserable and guilty I feel, and how much I wish I could turn back the clock?
On top of it, I was hurt that La wasn’t taking my side. I mean, yes, I knew I screwed up. But I thought my best friend was supposed to overlook my shortcomings, or at least try to be semi-sympathetic. I mean, I defended her when everybody was gossiping about her after she got together with boyfriend number three last year, even though I knew everyone was right when they said it wasn’t going to last. And I was the one who told off this nasty girl in our class when she started spreading rumours about all the nasty things La was supposedly doing with her boyfriend.
To have her tell me that I’m mean and awful hurt so much more than anything a bully or an opposing player has ever said. I trusted her to be my friend and she turned against me. I know that’s not what she meant to do, but that’s what it felt like.
So anyway, as soon as her words started feeling like an attack, I went on the defensive. Every hurtful thing she said to me I threw right back in her face; a ball of biting words and retaliation. I tore holes in everything she said, I was sarcastic, I was flippant, and I didn’t back down. Finally I asked her,
Kay: “So what do you want me to do, La? If I were a perfect person, what should I do to make this right or whatever it is you want?”
My voice was acid.
La: I don’t know Kay, I just wish you hadn’t been so awful and mean to Zee.
Kay: Well as soon as I get my time machine working, I’ll let you know.
La: *Hangs up*
Sometimes I forget that when you win an argument, you can lose something much more important.