Friday, August 7, 2015

Frat Boy: Gracie - The Gala Part 2

“Where is Gracie?”

I stormed through the ballroom looking for Gracie, yelling as I asked for her whereabouts. Jessica rushed up behind me as Diana and other friends came up to explain what happened. Diana and Gracie had gotten into an argument. Things got heated and Diana didn’t take Gracie’s lecturing and stood her ground. People stepped in and got the problem settled. Diana was a little annoyed but she knew Gracie’s deal from what I had told her so she let Gracie’s condescension roll off her back.

I was relieved that so many people had Diana’s back. Not only undergraduates but also alumni who had the perspective that Gracie lacked. I was proud of Diana that she stood up and that she didn’t let Gracie win this round. But I was still furious at Gracie. After I heard the whole story, I finally got the answer I was looking for: Gracie went down to the bar.

I ran out of that ballroom, down the hallway and down the stairs into the bar and angrily screamed “GRACIE! You do not get to mess with Diana!” Gracie was sitting at the bar with some alumni and calmly turned around to face me. She had a look of satisfaction in her eyes as she held a martini glass. I again yelled at her as I came into the bar and before I knew it two security guards immediately were at my shoulders, “Sir, I need to ask you to leave.” “Fine, no problem here,” I replied breathlessly as I turned around and walked back to the ballroom.

As I walked back into the hallway, I saw Diana and Jessica coming up to me having tried to follow me out of ballroom and hearing all the commotion in the bar. “Let’s calm down,” Diana stated calmly. She looked at Jessica confidently and Jessica left us knowing that while she was once the person who knew me best in this world, it was now Diana.

I was still fuming. “Gracie can mess with me and she has for years, but she doesn’t get to mess with you! For years she’s gotten away with stuff because everyone just explains her crap as ‘Gracie being Gracie,’ but that’s not fair.  We can’t get away with her behavior. This needs to end.” I exclaimed.

Then there was Diana’s hand on my shoulder. Then there were her calm words. She put her hands on my shoulder and looked straight into me eyes and promised, “Gracie gets away with being ‘Gracie’ and you don’t, because you are better than that and all of us here believe in you.”

The anger passed and we walked back into the ballroom holding hands. Jessica came up to me and gave me a hug and whispered, “it’s okay, little man. We still love you.” She led Diana and me to the dance floor and we enjoyed the rest of night dancing with our friends, past and present.

To this day, I have never gotten that angry and I have never let someone get to me in that way. I still don’t fully understand why Gracie made me so angry and I hoped by writing this post that I would figure it out, but I still am not sure what happened inside of my head that night.

I do know that I lost control and in that way Gracie won. The thing is that whatever happened between us that night wasn’t what has really lasted. The reason that I’ve never lost my temper like that ever since that night is because Diana is has never stopped believing in me. She talks about how angry I got that night and reminds me how much she didn’t like what she saw.  I take this reminder knowing that she stuck with me despite of what happened because she knew that this moment wasn’t all I was about.

I think about Gracie sometimes and I still bristle at the thought of her, but then I refocus on the present. Part of me feels hate for her and it’s really sad to hold negative feelings about someone else. I know that the only person I’m holding back is myself.  Gracie let me down in a big way. Once upon a time she seemed like a rock in my life and then she revealed herself as a flawed human being, just like anybody else.

We learn from the past and I have and maybe someday I’ll see Gracie and hash this out. That might be nice but it might only make things worse. Like the colors in a photograph, my feelings towards Gracie are fading. They are not given more depth like the feelings I have for the people I love in my life.

It’s getting harder and harder to remember how I felt when I stormed in that bar, but I still remember like it was yesterday the feeling of her fingers squeezing my arm when she said goodbye after taking me out to ice cream.

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