So we finally meet after 5 years. She finally meets the woman who her ex-boyfriend fell head over heels in love with. I finally meet the woman who loved and cared for the man I married for more than a decade before I came (pun unintended) into his life. She finally meets the woman she referred to as the “fat b*tch” and I finally meet the woman I referred to as the “ugly b*tch” (Out of disdain, I always thought, well you can lose “fat” but what do you do with “ugly”? Plus, she wasn’t so skinny to begin with).
It wasn’t so bad. Just a bit of formalities here and there, a shaking of the hands (I offered mine first –brownie points!), uttering the automatic “nice to meet you” that goes with the handshake (did we really mean it?), partying with the rest of the crowd and maybe scrutinizing each other in stolen glances. Simple. So bitterly peaceful. It has been five years anyway. I guess we both anticipated this meeting. It is a small world after all.
At one point, we were all singing and “Dancing Queen” came up. I announced to everyone, in between sips of beer, that it is my song. No one, except for her, volunteered to sing it. And I danced to it. I know, she wasn’t doing it for me…she was just having fun singing. I wasn’t doing it for her either. Dancing Queen is my anthem, I will heed its call anytime. I am a Dancing Queen –which I know she isn’t! I must say though, even if she doesn’t sing as good as Cristina Aguilera I definitely pale in comparison. I should give it to her. (uhrm…)
Two concerned guys asked me if it was okay that she was at the party. And because I wanted to prove unfazed by the situation, I confidently said “No worries, you’re asking me now when I finally proved to myself with my very own eyes that I’m really a lot more beautiful than her?” My husband always said too that I’m 100 times nicer. Better inside and out. But I kept that part to myself. Good thing. I should have kept my mouth shut to begin with. I really wanted to kick myself for not screening my words. I hate it. I just put myself down. I was embarassed with what I said even if it was supposed to be a self-appreciating joke directed to two carefree guys. I stooped too low. It was definitely a self-defense done in poor taste. Look who’s ugly now???
How can I be so proud? How can I make fun of being prettier than someone else, even just as a joke, or to casually prove a petty point…when we all know too well that beauty is only skin deep. What matters is what lies beneath. What is important is who the person is inside. As the days go by since that meeting, there is a ball of guilt that keeps on swelling in my heart about having said it. She didn’t do anything bad to me anyway. And even if my husband and a lot of other people who both know us tell me I’m a lot nicer, observing her…I saw that she couldn’t possibly be too far behind. I know for sure she is a great friend to her friends. She’s probably great with the kids in the facility she works for. Maybe. It takes one to know one.
I don’t want to hurt people. I should take care of this inner beauty. It is what is important. It is what is worth preserving. It is what is worth being proud of.
When the party was over, she said goodbye and if smiles were worth ten seconds to a dollar, she flashed me a 10 cents worth. Good enough. Then I said “Goodbye, drive safe”.
Did I mean it? YES.
And how did it go last night, you ask? The same. But I didn't get a chance to say "Goodbye, drive safe" though. And I really wanted to. I wanted to run after her to say it.