Last night I checked on my passport a final time in preparation for today’s trip to Canada for a baby shower with a good friend. Imagine my surprise to discover that my passport had in fact expired two months ago. My first thought was, oh, she is going to be furious at me. Mistake number one.
There was no other option but to message her about what happened and apologize. We generally text with each other so it never occurred to me to call her. Mistake number two.
There was no answer, so I texted again twenty minutes later. No response.
Waited up until midnight in case she got her messages late.
Went to bed with my phone so I wouldn’t miss her message.
Worry grew and grew with each passing hour of no response.
Texted again at 9 am this morning. Waited an hour and still no response.
My anxiety was really ramping up by this point.
She’s not speaking to me! Oh no! It was just an oversight. Nooooo! This seems familiar to me. I remember two past friendships that were ruined by similar thoughtless mistakes on my part. But that was in high school and there was hell to pay for those mistakes. And it clearly left an impression on me.
Then something else came to the surface of my boiling thoughts and memories. My mother does this to me. She does it to everyone, really. Innocent and thoughtless mistakes can never be forgiven. Ever. Because her feelings get so badly hurt.
Grudges will be carried to the grave. Ten, twenty, thirty years later, an innocent and thoughtless misstep will be thrown back at the offender like a lightning bolt and nothing can ever be the same again. Healing and forgiveness never happen. An uneasy truce can be established and that’s the best one can hope for. That or the end of the relationship.
I sent one more message to my possibly former friend at 10 am and the phone rings immediately after. She wasn’t mad. She just hadn’t checked her phone in twelve hours.
I told her what I thought was going on. No, no, no! She was not mad at me. She wouldn’t get that angry over something so small. Don’t worry, get some rest, do some yoga. It’ll be okay. When I tell the others at the baby shower about your passport, they will probably laugh. Who even thinks about a passport for Canada anyway, right??? It will be fine.
Maybe there aren’t any mistakes. Maybe things get mixed up sometimes and then you work it out and get past it. And then you leave it in the past once and for all.