It’s funny (metaphorically speaking) how something seems to become a well-worn pattern in your life that you can never fully escape. For me, that is the “Promiser”.
“I promise to…” does not necessarily need to be spoken. When I am told (repeatedly by someone I think I have reason to trust) that said person will do something, I believe it. It’s my one weakness.
My friend, Diane, from day one of school. We got on like a house on fire in every way and were best mates for many years…until. You see, Diane was one of those who would make grand statments and then forget…or never really mean to fulfill those “promises”. During August when almost everybody went on holiday (apart from mine..we did occasional day trips instead) Diane’s family would pack up and off to somewhere nice. Diane always promised to “bring me back something”. I didn’t expect it, and my manners would have never allowed me to ask for anything, if it had occurred to me.
So, of course, when you’re seven, this seems quite intoxicating to know you might be getting a trifle from such exotic places as Blackpool..or..oh, dare I hope, Brighton? You have to know I didn’t really get out much. So, the first several times Diane came back empty handed, I didn’t fret, just went on our way being best mates. I would have been chuffed with a shell or a handfull of beach sand.
Sadly, not even that would be the case because, quite plainly, Diane FORGOT! Yes, every time, she would come back having forgotten not just my “gift” but ME! Here I sat for 2 weeks and nothing to do because I didn’t want to have too much fun without Diane around to share it with…but hey! She was having the time of her life wherever she was and had the audacity to “forget” ME! Not sparing a thought for her very best friend…whilst I pined away for her. That finally occurred to me one day when we were about 13. That’s when she said, “We’re going on our holibobs next week! I’ll bring you something back!” Oh, no she didn’t!
Drawing a deep positivity breath and exhaling the negative, I simply put to her, “Diane, don’t tell me this anymore. It never happens. It has gotten to where it hurts my feelings. Just go and have fun. You can tell me all about your trip when you get back.” I could have as well had slapped her face by the look on it. This is when she turned on me and calling me a selfish so and so, stormed off, out of my life, and out of our friendship. Just like that. Oh and how she could blank me after she returned to school! This went on til…well, it has never ended.
Lesson learned. If you tell someone you’ll do something, move the heavens and earth to do so or just keep your lip zipped in first place. And, try harder to catch on to the “promisers” early days before you fall for their “grand statements” enough to let yourself be hurt. I suppose it’s something I’ve never really gotten past. And, with it happening again so recently I just had to finally write about it. As The Who put it “We won’t be fooled again!”