Sometimes you have to be careful about giving too much information. I made the mistake of using real names in my post about growing up Mormon among Jewish neighbors.
The person I described as my “personal nemesis” just called me on the phone. We hadn’t spoken in a good 25 years or so, but he stumbled across my blog and called both to apologize for seventh-grade behavior and to reconnect.
First, let me say, paraphrasing Jesus, that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. Heaven knows I wasn’t exactly perfect as a middle-schooler. Nor were those years full of unending misery. We did share some good times (and some not so good), and we survived. Oddly enough, he agreed with my assessment of the dynamics of middle school. We really were trying distinguish ourselves as both “normal” and better than normal. And of course the easiest way to do that is to pick on the weak.
Second, it was really great to reconnect after all this time. For whatever reason, we both seem to have turned out to be decent, relatively well-grounded adults. We both have families and careers, and we’re both successful, at least the way that term is used most often.
We talked about our siblings and growing up together. He mentioned that he had once had a fierce rock fight with my brother Danny that had ended in my brother causing him to go to the ER for stitches. As I said, Danny was definitely a fighter. And it’s really good to hear that someone remembers him. I still think about Danny almost every day. I miss him.
Last, “obnoxious” is probaby not the word to describe my former neighbor. True, we have almost opposite personalities, but I suppose when you’re quiet and shy like I was you consider anyone more outgoing to be obnoxious.