A long time ago. A LIFETIME ago. When I was married to my ex husband. We were going to downsize. We had a tremendous house. Expensive cars. A JUMBO mortgage. And…we were sinking. Both financially AND emotionally.
So we enlisted the help of a realtor. She showed us a TON of houses. None of them were as nice as the house that we lived in but…we were downsizing so what was to be expected?
After a couple of months of a futile search, we came across a house that I LOVED. It was perfect, except for the funky backyard. I loved the house. The price. The size. The decorating. Except, we hadn’t put our house on the market and the sellers of this house weren’t interested in receiving a contingent offer.
Which was fine because, shortly after seeing this house, I left my husband. Downsizing and everything that went along with that was forgotten. Splitting assets and keeping kids in some semblance of normalcy became priority.
I had forgotten about the house. And, the lovely owners with whom I had spoken with at length while scrutinizing their house.
Until…one day, a couple of months later…
I was walking out of my daughters preschool…she was about 2.5. I ran into the owner of that house. Her youngest went to preschool with my daughter.
She smiled at me in recognition. And she walked towards me to chat.
She asked if I had put my house on the market and if any more thought was given to her house. That’s when the floodgates opened. I told her of my separation and preliminary divorce actions. And every detail of why I left him. The poor woman didn’t want to hear about it. She only asked about whether or not her house was an option for me.
I didn’t read her body language. I didn’t see her attitude towards me change. I stood there. In the parking lot of that preschool, unloading my heart and soul to a stranger. And she wanted to bolt. I didn’t care. She didn’t care. She was just in the wrong physical place at the wrong emotional time.
After that…whenever I saw this woman, she would avert her eyes. She would avoid walking by me. She was TERRIFIED that she would get trapped in a one sided pity party by me. And I, in turn… avoided her. Out of embarrassment.
Because, that wasn’t me. That was a sad, pathetic shell who was feeling desperate and hopeless. And…no matter how many people I told, it wasn’t enough. I was trying to unburden.
I see her around the area. She doesn’t recognize me. But…I recognize her. And I always want to go to her and apologize for that day. Because, it’s always bothered me. And even though she has probably forgotten about that incident, I haven’t.
But I won’t ever say anything. Just in case I start to walk towards her. And she suddenly recognizes me. And walks quickly away before I could go and apologize.
So, I’ll just always remember. And keep it inside as a lesson learned.
And one day, if I’m walking in a parking lot. And someone looks familiar. And I walk towards that person and ask a question. And I get an answer that I wasn’t expecting. I will be understanding. Because…I was THAT person.
And thankfully, I’m not anymore.