Well, it happened this past weekend.
I saw Stacy at a Friday night event at a friend's church. Stacy had been married and divorced from my former brother-in-law before I ever met my ex-husband or his family. But, perhaps because they had a child together, she often showed up at family gatherings, so I knew her fairly well. She's a very outgoing, gregarious woman, she's one of those that are hard not to know.
As a side note, I often wondered why she attended these family events. Sometimes she'd appear with a date, other times she'd come alone. The family liked her well enough, but her ex-husband (my former brother-in-law) had obviously moved on and was in a serious relationship with someone else (who also attended the family gatherings), so I never quite understood why Stacy would come. I also remember thinking to myself that if I ever divorced by ex I'd never show up at his family's gatherings. I've kept my word. Anyway...
I saw Stacy this weekend. Now, as I mentioned, she's very outgoing, so I figured that at some point she'd see me and she'd come to speak.
But she didn't.
She looked in my direction several times, but never did she speak to me.
I immediately "got into my feelings" as the young people say, and thought that she must have heard bad things about me and didn't like me anymore. Yes, I'm an adult, but please don't judge me for my junior high school fears. I don't care how old you get, if you're honest, to some degree we do care what others think of us.
I spent WAY too much time that evening wondering if she was ever going to speak, wondering if I should go speak to her, wondering what she might do or say, and then wondering how I would respond to it. I also spent a fair amount of time watching her, trying to see if she was watching me, but not wanting her to see me watching her. It was crazy!
At the end of the evening, I decided to put on my big girl panties and speak to the woman. "What the heck?" I thought, "she will either be nice or she won't. Either way, I'll live."
(In retrospect, I really don't know why I couldn't have just left without saying anything to her, we weren't especially close. But, for whatever the reason, I felt compelled to say something to her. So I did.)
Her reaction was nothing like I expected.
For starters, she didn't know who I was. Yep, Stacy didn't even recognize me! Out of sight, out of mind I suppose, but I actually had to remind her who I was.
How funny is that? I had spent more minutes than I care to count thinking about her and Stacy had no idea that I was in the room! How humbling aka embarrassing! LOL!!
What, the world doesn't revolve around me and my divorce? Who knew? :-)
Once she figured how who the heck I was, she greeted me with a big smile and a warm hug and she rushed me over to speak with her mother. On the way over she whispered, "You're not married to 'him' anymore, right? and I told her that was correct. The only reason she asked the question was so that she'd know how to introduce me to her mom.
Then I introduced Stacy to the friend I was with and Stacy quickly told my friend that she'd always love me because of something I did for her family years ago. And my current relationship with my ex or with his family had done nothing to dim the gratitude she felt.
She also made a great connection with my friend, which is wonderful because they're both new members at this church. Now that I think about it, maybe that's the reason I felt so compelled to say something to Stacy.
I also think I needed to speak to her to be reminded of the fact that that my divorce is not the topic of every conversation (smile!), that at least one member of that tribe will remember me for me, and that life moves on.
Join me on Facebook at Living In The Key Of Joy and on Twitter at In The Key of Joy.