fellow fat camper

In ALL, JUDY BLUME MOMENTSby Stephanie Klein49 Comments

Wendy Warner emailed me, and it wasn’t even mean.  The subject line read: Fellow Fat Camper.  And the content was downright flattering.  "I went to camp with you.  Do you remember me?… I have read so many of your blog postings and they are GREAT," her email stated.  "You are such a talented writer.  I will read your book this summer and eagerly await your book about fat camp.  I also ran into your camp boyfriend when I lived in Boston.  It was great we had alot of fun hanging out. If you get a chance write me back."

There was more to the email, things I won’t reveal out of respect for her identity (shocking: her real name in not Wendy Warner). The email was pleasant, and I was surprised to receive it.  How nice to know that people grow up.  So, I could respond with similar light pleasantries,perhaps asking what she was up to these days, thanking her so much, so nice to hear from you, my "fellow" fat camper.  Or I could be myself.

"So damn sorry it has taken me this long to respond," I wrote, and the rest went like this: 
I get into this habit of quickly checking email before bed, planning to respond the next morning.  And of course, the next morning I had to race to the doctor’s office with the kids, blah blah.  But I’ve been reminding myself about your email, and now, here it is.  Of course I remember you… pretty sure you hated me.  Like capital H hate.  You, Erica, and someone else.  Don’t "mean girls" always travel in threes? 

You were friendly with Maddy, a girl I knew from home, and I remember thinking, "Yeah, but Maddy likes me, so why don’t you?"  But Maddy struck me as a sweet girl who liked talking about getting high and little else. That is to say, she always seemed the type to yes people.  "Yes, Wendy’s a bitch," she’d say to me.  "Yes, Stephanie’s awful," I imagined she said to others.  It’s funny what we remember from our lives.  You were kind of a nemesis, and I’m pretty sure I spent at least one night crying because of you.  For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you why.  Thank God our brains don’t work that way.  Clearly, I don’t think these things of you now.  Just memories.

I know what you mean about how great it is when you reconnect with others from camp.  My boyfriend from that summer and I have always been in touch.  He drove eight hours, non-stop, to spend the weekend in the hamptons with me for my 30th birthday.  It’s so much fun remembering all of it.  What, may I ask, are the things that stick out in your mind when you think of camp, or that summer? I can’t wait to hear back!

I didn’t hear back.  I hadn’t even included the part where she’d planned to put cigarette butts in my bed, how I was afraid to sleep at night because she and her friend were planning on cutting off my hair in the middle of the night.  I’d never done anything to her or her friends and never understood why they were so mean to me.  I get that sometimes you just don’t like someone.  You think they’re stuck up, too loud, abrasive, boring, inappropriate.  Whatever.  But for she and her friends to get up from a table simply because I sat myself at it?  I was relieved when I returned the following summer and she wasn’t there.  Her boyfriend from that summer, though, was back.  We became friends, and he confided, "I never gave you a chance as a person last summer because Wendy poisoned me against you." 

I wouldn’t have remembered all these details had I not been brushing up on my camp history via all my old diary entries for MOOSE.  Had someone emailed me something similar, I would have responded right away.  I would have maybe tried to remember, or at least would have offered some kind of explanation or apology, or even admitted it was all fuzzy to me.  Or, no, I thought you hated me!  Something.  So after not hearing back for weeks, I decided to email her again, asking if she’d ever received it.  "Yes, I did," was her three word reply.  Perhaps I’d just offended her.  "Did I?" I asked in another email.

"No I am not offended," she wrote. "I am sorry that you felt that way. Did you want a longer response?"

I left it there and reminded myself it’s okay if people don’t like you. 

Comments

  1. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that it's okay if people don't like you. It continues to baffle me when it happens to me, as I'm one of the most likeable people I know – but it happens. Hurts my feelings for a bit – but as I get older and wiser, it hurts less and less. Now – mostly an annoyance – a prick of discomfort.

    Now – back in the time where insults were almost unheard of and oh-so-impactful…

    3rd grade – there was the trio of Amy A., Brenda B. and Virginia V. Amy was the first person in my whole life who called me the 'b' word (tooooo terrible to say the word bitch). Hurt my feelings to the core. And Brenda B. teased me that my second toe was longer than my big toe and kept me from wearing open toed shoes for 30 years. And Virginia V. – well, she was my friend until the dreaded utterance of the 'b' word – I never got over it, and I never spoke to her again.

    God.

  2. "i am sorry you felt that way" is my stock response when i know i've totally screwed up and don't want to admit it. i generally reserve it for the people i love and care about most because it's hardest to admit i'm wrong to them. i probably don't need to mention that i hate it more than anything when those same people say it to me.

  3. wow, a better reminder would be that it's OK that some people, clearly, never change.

    And it's always a treat to remember you're better for not having let them "in".

  4. Sounds like your "friend" wanted to bask in your glory, Stephanie. At least you had the decency to change her name when you shared the story.
    According to her response, it seems that she really never apologized or felt some sort of remorse for her behavior toward you at camp.
    Do you ever wonder if she's still treating people in the same manner?

    Hope the little ones are doing well.

  5. I always lurk and never comment, but I can't resist a response to the "Wendy Warner" post.

    I couldn't help but laugh when I read her responses to your emails, Stephanie. I look at your email (or at least the life I see via this blog) and then to contrast it with her response and the fact is that some people truly never do grow up. People like her think that they can just insert themselves into other people's lives on a whim, without any regard for their past actions. They are wrong- they can't. Don't let them. Use them for best selling book material- that's the best revenge.

    Keep it up Stephanie!

  6. Stephanie, I loved this post. This has happened to me twice recently. Two friends-turned-enemies came out of the woodwork suddenly acting like we were BFF and for some *strange reason* we'd lost touch. Both times, like you, when this happened to me I reminded these women that their version of the story was very different from mine!

    No response from one, clearly she had hoped I'd somehow suffered amnesia and forgot all the horrible things she did to me and my friends while we were in college. I think she heard news that I was getting married and how all the other girls from our group were going to be there and was somehow trying to get herself invited. It didn't work in her favor.

    The other friend asked me to dinner where we spent hours talking about our troubled relationship as children (all the way through high school), apologized – both of us – for our past immaturity and vowed to be friends as adults. And we are!

  7. Wow! How interesting! I've been mean in my childhood and I think if one of the girls from primary school said to me what you said to Wendy, I would probably want to talk all about it! E.g., "I know! I was so mean! I'm so sorry …I wonder why I was so mean? What did you think of me?" etc etc. It would be great!

  8. And conversely, if I may, it's okay if you don't like people.

    Thanks for the therapeutic posts, Stephanie. And for what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Wendy was offended; saying she wasn't simply goes to show that she still doesn't know how to communicate in an honest manner, even though she's had more than a decade to work on it.

  9. I went to camp. I was picked on. I think it was everyone's "turn" at some point. I wouldn't be surprised if there were times when you picked on other kids — most kids who get bullied bullied others. I did. I'm not proud of it but that was 25 years ago. People are kids at one point in their life but do grow up.

    I understand that these things stick with us for years, so fair enough that you wanted to remind her of how horrible she was to you. But to follow up with another e-mail asking if you offended her? If you're being honest, wasn't it your intention to make her feel uncomfortable? Again, fine, maybe she deserved it. But it was your choice to reject her olive branch.

    You say "I left it there and reminded myself it's okay if people don't like you." It sounds as if she was liking you, you just wouldn't let her.

  10. Hi Stephanie! Great post. It would be great if you could expand a bit on this topic. How will you prepare your daughter to face the "mean girls" in school? I know you have many years to go but I do remember being a victim as early as the 3rd grade. Thanks so much!

  11. Well now she seems to be one that has changed as she matured. Why, yes some people just don't like you, I don't understand harboring that hate and that general unkindess for a decade. I suppose what disturbs me was how matter of fact she was about, like she hated you when she was a kid and oabviously was cruel and that's fine by her. That's just so odd and like I said, not all that mature.

  12. That's the best.
    Thanks on behalf of all of us who were brutalized and used as the personal scratching post for some random, incredibly mean person.
    My nightmare was a boy named Sam. He was popular, good-looking and HATED me. I don't know why.
    I would love it if he were to drop me an email! I would savor it as if it were the most delectable morsel of food ever. It would take me forever to get back to him as how would I word how is torture changed me forever? How I resent the fact that I kept hearing his voice, his comments, his utter disgust of me; with every type of rejection that has come since my 12 year-old self crossed his path. Then of course, I would have to thank him for I eventually came out the other side with a sense of worth that all the "Sams" of the world can't penetrate.
    I hope he's well… because then that means I still have a chance of getting that email. :)
    Ahhh… revenge is a dish best served cold.
    Me thinks someone was hoping to serve a better "character" in your book. What she's 'sorry' about is the fact that her mean-ness will be forever inscribed.
    I LOVE when the underdog wins!!!

  13. Do you know what I would give to have the opportunity to say those things to the girls who made my life miserable??? Well, I wouldn't give my first-born child, but I would love to have the opportunity to remind them how horrible they were…maybe it would help make their children less awful. As of now, I have to pretend to be polite and care about their lives…ugh, southern manners can be overrated at times. SK, you continue to inspire me!

  14. oh the memories of social nightmares from summer camp! i clearly remember my "wendy's" and i would love for them to email me so i could write back a piece of my mind. good for you for putting her in her place, in an honest and straighforward manner. maybe it made her – just for a brief moment – feel a piece of the mortification she had caused you so many years back. yummy karma!

  15. Is it at all possible she meant this as an initial overture on the way to sticking out an apology but felt like any apology she offered was likely to be rejected, so just dropped the attempt?

    I realize you posted just a bit of her email, but it sounds like she was testing the water, so to speak, not attempting to continue to beating.

    I went to all girls camp. Regular, not fat, though we had fat girls and skinny girls and girls of all shapes. A girl named Stephanie (from Florida, I think) was the one the cabin alpha girls picked on, and although I never did, I stood by silently and never defended her. I've often wished I could apologize to her for doing nothing – her childhood summers must have been hell. At the time, though, I was just glad they chose her and not me.

  16. Wow. That was quite a response to her initial email. Not to be harsh at all, but it certainly sounded to me that you still "feel that way" about her.

    Having said that, I can't say I'd have responded differently. I had the same kind of experience in camp as a kid – some little bitch and her minions hated me for no reason and made my life hell. Now that I'm a successful adult, if she were to contact me and be chatty, I would be suspicious of her motives. If I had treated someone like shit and then tried to reestablish contact with them, I sure would start that email by saying, "Hey. I know I treated you like shit, and I'm sincerely apologizing to you because I had no right." If she didn't, she should have.

    On the other hand, people grow up and change. Some people I absolutely hated in high school and college (and who hated me back) have become some of my most fun friends. If I'd thrown their past misdeeds in their faces instead of being gracious, I would never have known them as the people they are now and they would always be stuck in my memories as "the bitches from hell." And I'm not really sure how else "Wendy" could have interpreted your email other than you still feeling hurt and angry about how she treated you.

    Again, not trying to be harsh.. that's one of the crappy things about the written word, whether in comment or email form.. even if you don't write it harshly, it's really easy to read it harshly.

  17. Hi Stephanie,
    Those old memories of being picked on would be painful to remember. Kids can be just awful, being mean becomes a 'sport' for them. I was only teased for being short, which is no big deal, but it did make me feel inferior.
    Good luck finishing the book, looking forward to it.

  18. Maybe she was worried you'd start rehashing things and maybe she *does* remember the cig thing and is embarrassed now and fears you sharing this in your blog, and her real name.
    Maybe Im just trying to justify her acting like a cold bitch when she owes you an apology for making your life miserable back then. Maybe she is reading this and asking 'who is this Julie cunt?'
    Maybe maybe maybe. Too many to worry about, just keep writing.

    Maybe try to get in touch with your other fellow campers so they can help bring back some memories since obviously Wendy isnt going to help with that.
    Just out of curiousity what did you mail back to her when she asked you if you had wanted a longer response? You were more kind in your mail to her than I would have been.

  19. I LOVE that you responded how you did. Its not harsh, its the truth. I don't know that I could have done it, and would have been fake-polite, while talking about it to my friends. Which is way worse then putting it out there (and you even left the hair-cutting and cig butts out!). I admit I have never really been picked on, although all young girls suffer at the hands of bitchy girls, but still love this nonetheless! Good luck with finishing Moose!

  20. She probably wasn't as much offended as she was shocked by your boldness in calling her out on such horrid behavior, and then horribly embarrassed to have to admit to doing all of those things.

    As she should be.

  21. Have you ever heard of taking the high road? Why after 15+ years would you feel the need to respond to her that way? Did it occur to you that she knew she'd been mean and by emailing you and complimenting you now she was trying to make up for something that happened when you both were kids? Or that she didn't remember it that way at all and always wondered why you hated her? Either way, would it have killed you to just say thank you for the compliments, hope all is well in your life, I'm super busy right now and then never respond again if you didn't want to? It's called growing up, moving on, realizing that what happened to you as a kid sucked but hopefully the things and people who have come into your life since have made up for it.

    I was a mean girl at one point and I was on the receiving end of mean girls immediately after. I'm completely ashamed of my mean girl behavior and was devasted by what people did to me. I have run into girls I tortured and girls who tortured me and you know what? We looked at each other, said hello, made small talk and walked away. Probably not forgiven or forgotten but definitely moved on.

  22. Ha. Well you didn't actually expect her to write you back did you? I mean, did you read your email? It certainly did not sound like, "Hey, I am so glad to hear from you. I hope we can continue to keep in-touch", and I do not think you meant it to sound that way.

    I think it was great. Absolutely hilarious, actually, but you couldn't have honestly expected her to respond, could you?

  23. She must have thought you would have forgotten how she had treated you and now wants to have a connection because you are a well-known author. I think the reason she did not respond/respond as she did is that she was embarrassed when you recollected your memories of her; at least she should be.

  24. As a mother of two young children, I hope your finished book ends up being read by people who run camps in places like Maine and upstate NY etc…

    I know that the world isn't a perfect place and that we all must deal with the harsh realities of life but I think that the bullying and meanness that goes on in camps and schools should not be tolerated, should be exposed when it happens and acted upon by those in charge.

    If I am a parent paying for my child's camp, I do not expect that my child should be left to the wolves with little supervision or protection. It seems like in many schools and camps there should be a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior.

    Mean kids should not go unchecked. Maybe they need guidance and a reality check. If the camp or school had a policy that if this type of thing goes on, the camper is on the next bus home maybe it might help eliminate traumatizing some really great kids. And create better memories for them.

    I just don't see how being on the receiving end of this kind of thing is a rite of passage.

    FROM STEPHANIE: I'm willing to bet things have changed since then especially since bullying has gotten so much attention in the media (with cases leading to suicide, etc.). However, they had a hard enough time enforcing all the rules with food and evening raids. They threatened to send us home if we were ever caught with food or with a boy, say, in the woods… but we were usually let off with a warning, and very little stopped people from doing what they wanted anyway.

  25. You are such a girl after my own heart because I would have reacted the same way. I am too old to fake pleasantries when I know someone is being insincere.

    I am sure the thought has crossed Wendy's mind that she might end up in Moose and perhaps that's why she was reaching out.

  26. I think she was reaching out as a way to say sorry. All the things she did to you were rooted in her inability to love and accept herself.

    I bet "letting her have it" didn't really make you feel better on the inside. Maybe just surface "feel good" for a few moments, but not down deep. Humans just are not built that way.

  27. Wow… you said all the things that I wished I could have said to the girls who picked on me in 8th grade. Your feelings are completely valid, but it seemed like you were just stooping to her level. It would have been great if you had been the bigger person and had a more mature response to her, but instead you just came off as bitter and resentful.

    But like I said, I think everyone wishes they could say that to that person in their lives that made their life hell.

  28. Stephanie,

    This is really interesting. And I'm glad that you had the balls to say that. It seems there are so many times when you may encounter someone that was mean to you or you crossed in some way, months or years later, and you think to yourself, maybe it was all in my head? I'll be nice, I don't want them to think it was a big deal, it didn't affect me, they're being nice and that's what matters now, it goes on and on.

    But you know what? If you're an ass to someone, you should pay for it. Now or in the next life. It's NOT okay, it's NOT not a big deal, if this girl was a bitch to you and in childhood no less, when we can't even begin to comprehend the coping skills for dealing with such rejection then seriously, screw her. She's sorry you feel that way? That's an un-apology if I've ever heard one. Sounds like she was trying to jump on your bandwagon and I for one am glad you didn't let her (and of course respect that once again you have the balls to do what so many people can't).

    Whoa, was there bitter in my coffee this morning or what?

    -K

  29. Just wait until your children hit school-age. Then the first time a child (or three) picks on your babies, that is the worst pain in the world. It's like reliving the angst of your own childhood rejection coupled with theirs. All of the ways you swore and swear it will be different for your kids seems to blow right out of the window. And as you stutter out a "IT will be okay" you wonder if it will be. Children are wonderful and amazing but they are also vicious to each other. I like to think the rejection I received from certain @#$E^*Y, ahem…I mean girls, in school gave me the steely inner strength I have today. But in truth, I also know its made me very vulnerable and with a lingering anger. SO I am glad you wrote her back and what you said. I wish I had the opportunity to write an open letter to the girls that ripped at me. Mine would not have been as reserved and cool headed as yours. Good Job!! Digging up emotional childhood shit for your book sounds tough, good luck and well wishes to your babes.

  30. I didn't find your response to her at all rude. Frank and analytical, and rightfully so, but not rude. I can understand her intially being put off by it, few people have the wherewithal to speak so openly about past transgressions and you probably shocked her entirely! I would almost be surprised if you didn't hear back from her later, once she has gotten to a place where she can own her part in that and can apologize for it, if for no other reason than a sense of propriety.

    It is almost a shame that she didn't rehash the experience with you from an adult perspective..it could have been quite cathartic for both of you.

  31. I think you can chalk it up to nobody likes to be reminded about their own past bad behavior. Not to mention, they often have a completely different recollection of it.

  32. Isn't it funny how some people only want to dredge up THEIR version of the past?

    Kudos to you for letting her know how that impacted you. Adolescence is hard enough without being needlessly victimized.

  33. Really Stephanie. You should be more tolerant of people who want to put cigarette butts out on your head. I mean, if you feel THAT WAY about it, the terrorists have already won.

  34. Ha, excellent. Good on you for writing that email, and not sucking up. Moving on from the torments of childhood doesn't mean you automatically forget them, either.

    "I am sorry that…" and "I am sorry if…" are never at the beginning of real apologies.

  35. So, she was a mean girl then and you're a mean girl now. It all seems to have balanced out.

    She was a kid for heaven's sake. You, on the other hand are not. You are a grown woman…with children. Lord help us all.

    Do you really have time to respond to that? If you don't like her or what she did to you, why respond at all?

    I suppose it's a blog and the more drama that appears, the more readers will read,the more books you will sell, and the more money you make. Lovely.

  36. I can't believe the number of posters here who are apologists for "Wendy Warner"! It's obvious she is an insincere hanger-on. Numerous people on here actually interpreted her email as an 'olive branch'? Were we reading the same thing? She made no acknowledgement of her past behavior which consisted of uninterrupted cruelty and bullying. I mean, even a little self- effacing or ironic phrase would have, at the least, shown evidence of some personal reflection. I also think it's reasonable of Stephanie to expect a reply to her email. Wendy expected a reply, but when Stephanie expects a reply she's 'bitter' or 'lowering herself'? If Wendy had the balls to message Stephanie and expect to be happily embraced, she certainly risked being replied to in an honest manner. I don't think Stephanie is bitter; it would have been quite phony of her to pretend she was "happy" to hear from this fellow camper who was a nemisis. Taking the high road is not synonymous with phoniness people! Geez, grow up! I fear that your readership is comprised of a lot of former or current queen bees, bullies, and cowards. Also the comment, "I'm sorry you feel that way" is the classic slap in the face. It means one thing only, how dare you call me on my sh*t and I don't respect you enough to reply. Stephanie, are you surprised at these comments here? I'm so curious. If "Wendy" had matured or experienced any remorse she would have said so. This was her oppportunity to show that. She still sounds like a child.

  37. Stephanie, I am wondering if you are spending any time in MOOSE analyzing what did or did not work at the fat camp and why. For example, as a family therapist, I often view problems and strengths within a family context. In order to help change the individual (identified client), I believe it is very important to help change the family. If viewed through this lense, how then could a fat camp for kids be successful. After all, at the end of the summer, they are going back to the environments which played a role in their eating/weight issues. Is there any education for parents on food/nutrition. Is there a family therapy component? Do you think there should be?

    FROM STEPHANIE: Parent education and follow-up are part of many fat-camp programs today, and were also part of camp when I was there. Here's the thing, kids don't respond to "Do as I say, not as I do," so parents need to live healthy lifestyles if they expect their children to. This all is pretty obvious. However, my parents were both relatively active. They didn't keep junk in the house, and I was still medically classified as obese. I didn't learn bad eating habits from my parents, so they didn't need to be schooled in nutrition or exercise. And they certainly could not police me, as this would have made me sneak and eat more. The best thing any parent can do is to educate themselves and to be supportive and loving, to emphasize the positives and to build, not break down, a child's esteem and confidence. "You can do this, and I will do whatever you need to help, but it's up to you." And no, this is not going in the book. Moose is a memoir, not a self-help guide. Though I do make it clear what worked and what didn't as far as what I observed of other kids and what I went through myself.

  38. I did ONE mean thing when I was in high school to one of my best friends, Erin. She and another good friend of my were having problems, and I thought Erin was being incrediblty mean to our other friend–who generally needed someone to stand her ground for her. A third friend and I took it too far. And by too far, I mean public humilation. It was awful, I felt awful as soon as I had done it. Interestingly, I took all the blame for it too, third friend remained mum.

    After our first year at different colleges, Erin and I both returned to our home town for summer and took a couple summer school classes. Of course, we were in the same classes. We had a few awkward conversations. I always admired that she could be civil toward me. We had known each other for 6 years and had been inseparable for 4 of those years. The only explanation I can come up with was that my behavior was uncharacteristic of me. To this day, it is the one thing in my past that I am truly ashamed of…and it was nearly 10 years ago!

    HOWEVER, had she been in any way rude or called me on it, I would have completely deserved it. It was her right to do so, had she chosen to.

    So, good for you, Stephanie.

  39. Um, I agree with ONE thing that Sue said, and something that an earlier commenter alluded to and that I meant to write in my previous comment.. the whole "I'm sorry you feel that way" crap. If Wendy considers that to be an apology, she's sorely mistaken. She's not apologizing for what SHE has done; she's pointing out YOUR reaction, which doesn't address her actions at all. That's a crapload of an apology only designed to make Wendy feel better about her actions.

    Sue, do you know the commenters personally? No? Maybe they/we all sound like "queen bees" who need to "grow up," but your generalizations make you sound quite immature. Am I wrong? Maybe you are, too.

  40. I'm with Rebecca – well said. Stephanie, your email positively oozed with bitterness and immaturity. "my ex boyfriend drove 8 hours to be with me on my birthday" – could you be trying any harder to tell Wendy how cool you clearly must be? can you sincerely look back on your childhood/adolescence without ANY regrets for how you treated people? How about your adult life now? And seriously, the memory is fickle, can you really trust that you recollected everything without a shadow of personal interpretation? Weak -and all it tells us is that you're still bitter. Living well (and being happy) are the only true revenge, because it means you're actually over it and have moved on. you clearly have not.
    and all of you saying that wendy is just sucking up b/c Stephanie is successful now, seriously WHAT is wendy getting out of contacting stephanie except the possibility of a bit of a catch up? do you think she's looking for a job or something? silly.

  41. If I had achieved a modicum of literary success and if I had a blog and if a mean girl from my past contacted me all friendly and shit, I'd like to think I'd respond with "Dear Sue Mean Girl: Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Unfortunately, I am unable to respond individually to every email message I receive, but I assure you that I do appreciate your taking the time to write.

    Sincerely,
    Barbare E. Writer

  42. When you don't like someone, that's one thing, but when you are shown to yourself in a way that makes you ugly and hateful, you maybe hate yourself in a new and bad way. It is hard to take. So Stephanie, it is not that Wendy doesn't like you, it is that she's probably ashamed and in some new and unwelcome way, doesn't like herself.

  43. Sue? Stephanie flat out says she didn't post the whole email.

    "There was more to the email, things I won't reveal out of respect for her identity (shocking: her real name in not Wendy Warner). The email was pleasant…"

    So I at least am wondering if Stephanie maybe left out part that might be interpreted as a tentative olive branch.

    We've all done things as kids of which we aren't proud, whteher it was outright cruelty or not standing up when we witnessed it. Kids are by their very nature imperfect, works in progress. But maybe this girl-now-woman's a better person today. Many of us are.

    Personally, I choose to approach unknowns giving the benefit of the doubt to people. I'm happier when I live that way. But if it makes Stephanie happy to have replied in the way she did, I'm glad for her.

    FROM STEPHANIE: There was no olive-branch. The bit I left out was a quick detail about her then boyfriend, which I believe would reveal her identity to some readers. That's it.

  44. Suzannadana, I reread the comments after I posted and realized that actually a minority were interpreting Wendy's actions as the olive branch. So my generalization about the "queen bee" nature of the readership was way off and overstated. Mea culpa.

  45. This reminded me of a like conversation that I had with an old friend of mine. I went to visit her after many years of being out of touch (she still lives in my hometown in NJ and I live in AR). She was reminiscing about what great best friends we were and I had to remind her about all the times in junior high that she was horrible and two-faced to me.
    I was something of an outcast (for having buck-teeth, not being fat but same effect)and we were in Girl Scouts together. She would be great to me at Scouts but horrible to me at school. She smashed a banana in my hair at lunch one day in front of everyone. I had forgiven her but couldn't stand her glossing over all this in her mind and had to set her straight. It's a shame because we haven't talked since… People really want to think the best of themselves and like to think of the past as 'better' than now. I totally understand your need to set her straight.

  46. I think Stephanie's reply to Wendy Warner was quite harsh. Talk about holding onto a grudge. While I'm not saying Wendy's email was an olive branch, I do think that it's unfair to immediately jump to the conclusion that it was insincere or that she was trying to somehow get a piece of the Moose pie so to speak. My guess is that she was interested in getting in touch upon discovering your blog. People do grow up and there are far more important things in life to expend energy on than the people who were mean to ourselves when we were young. Just a thought.

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