Okay, so the mom was in town last night, and as she and Doug and I sat at Jim 'n Nick's eating way too much barbecue and reminiscing about the good old days, I realized that I owe someone an apology, and it's way, way overdue. So here's an open letter to accomplish just that.
Dear everyone I encountered between the ages of 11 and 15,
Boy, am I ever sorry. I really am. I'm so sorry you had to meet me/talk with me/fit me for running shoes/try to teach me something/make fleeting eye contact with me during that part of my life. That was more than should be reasonably expected of anyone, and I couldn't feel worse about it.
You see, Everyone (can I call you Everyone?), that stretch of years was a really tough one for me. I was awash in unfamiliar hormones, living in a new town, trying to make friends, trying to establish some sense of self. That's not an excuse, I realize, but I hope it at least serves as an explanation. So if at any point during that time I might have, say, snapped at you, or sassed back, or screamed at you, or hit you upside the head, or belittled you, or hurt your feelings on purpose, or poked you in the ribs over and over and over again until you wanted to break all of my fingers off, or burst into tears without provocation, or pretended I couldn't hear you, or rolled my eyes, or slammed my bedroom door, or slammed someone else's bedroom door, or stormed/flounced off in the middle of a conversation/argument, you have my sincerest apology.
And for what it's worth, I'm sure that if 11-to-15-year-old ACG were here today, she'd probably say, "What have I done that's wrong, huh? Huh? What did I do wrong? God, maybe if you people knew what you wanted, I'd be able to give it to you. But noooo, instead I get to figure this out all on my damn own. Oh, yeah, I said it. I said a cuss word. What are you going to do, ground me? Oh, please, please don't ground me, I didn't mean -- I'll load the dishwasher, I'll wash your car, I'll -- That is so totally unfair! You're such a jerk! I -- Oh, no, I didn't mean that, I -- But -- But -- I am so totally running away from home."