Maybe it’s just me reminiscing, maybe it’s the fact that “The Princess Diaries” is on, or maybe it’s just guilt, but I am remembering a moment from when I was in middle school in New Jersey. I was by no means popular and I was just as much of a private person as I am today, which is a bit oxy-moronic for my two loyal readers, but there was a young man named Jamie Papp that I knew. He was one of those guys who always seemed popular and was the “cool” guy who didn’t lead any teams or anything like that (or at least so far as I remember at this moment). I will admit freely that I don’t remember much about those years anymore, but this one keeps popping up in my head.
He had recently split with his girlfriend who was also known to be cool, but a little unstable (I believe that she downed a bottle of aspirin at one point). I was at my locker and I remember that he came up to me and very seriously began to tell me that I was not like any of the other girls that he knew at the school. Thinking back on it, it must have taken a lot of nerve to come up to me like that, since I was not the most welcoming person in the world. He was a genuinely nice person, but at the time I didn’t trust anyone. I thought that he was making fun and would go back to his friends and laugh about it later if I was receptive to his interest. Needless to say, I expressed to him how little I believe what he was saying and walked away.
It’s one of those moments that I do regret and no matter how much I’d like to say that I don’t regret much, I do. I was mean- unintentionally so, but I probably hurt his feelings and I feel badly about it. This leads me to wonder- how many of the things we regret have stemmed from our own insecurities?
Were I in a better place personally, I wouldn’t have reacted that way. Had I not been scared and hurting I probably would have either been nicer or whatever else would have happened, but I wasn’t and I didn’t. That day has informed many of my choices since for the better and for the worse, I’m sure. I wish that I could say that this regret has made me more open to relationships, but it truly hasn’t and that reality is due in no part to Jamie.
There are so many things in life that effect others in ways that we had never intended and that were truly no fault of their own that will inform their actions for years to come. For him, I have no idea what effect I had, if any. I honestly don’t believe that he would even remember who I was if my name came up, but I can safely say that I will never forget him. I will never forget the imagined wrong that I’ve done him and it will probably show up in one of the books that I plan to write.