Off-color comments about dead babies don’t make new friends

Evidently, fate decided that I didn’t have enough bullshit going on in my life that it dropped a steaming pile of drama at my doorstep tonight. My besty’s boyfriend went through the entire length of our messages together and took umbrage with an off color joke I made nearly two years ago. Do I remember this comment? Fuck no. But it does track that my mouth would get me into trouble. That has been the theme of my life so far. Granted, it wasn’t my best joke and, most likely, probably my worst, because it had to do with his son who died shortly after birth.

Before you demand my head on a pike, let me explain. First off I have no memory of this conversation. Even now it’s a faint whisp of smoke and I can only recount it to you now via the way she did for me. How it went was when she was explaining everything she liked about this dude (after meeting him, because he went that far back) she had stated he “wanted to have more kids” and I replied “well… not more.” It was unwarranted, cruel and said in the privacy of my friends and my text conversation. Never in a million years would I have thought he would read it, and never EVER would I say such a thing to him, but here we are. Now this young man wants to fight me. He wanted me to drive an hour out of town, to their apartment, so I could apologize to him face to face.

When my friend texted this scenario to me, my immediate response was “yeah I’m not doing that.” I didn’t say that to her. Instead I gave her a ring so she could further explain the whole sordid affair. I was/am furious that I had/have to deal with this. Why did it have to be me? I understand that in reality I don’t have to do shit. I could just say, “this is not my problem, I have enough crazy right now, please sell yours somewhere else,” But in the end I will eat crow and do it because I love her. She loves him. And I hear how this dumbass statement has completely upset her life. He’s furious with her for not defending his dead child, as if I said “good I’m glad his kid is dead,” Or “the kid knew he got a dud, he died to get away,” or “he couldn’t even keep the one, what’s the luck he’s going to keep any others?” See? It could get way worse. Yet I said none of those things in the moment.

What I really want to say to him is that I’m really sorry that your life is either going too well or not bad enough that you LITERALLY went searching for a problem. I’m sorry that you are so hung up on the past that you fail to realize if your son hadn’t died you wouldn’t have the daughter you have now. I would say, I’m sorry that you feel so threatened by my presence that, even though I haven’t seen her in 8 months, you felt compelled to scour through the entire length of our messages together to find this one comment to get furious about. I’m sorry your son was taken from you, but do you know what it’s like to have to be the one to pull your father off of life support because your mother is dying of Alzheimer’s and can’t make that decision? Do you know what it’s fucking like to watch your mother slowly forget how to make a phone call, how to bathe, how to dress herself, how to fucking use the bathroom? Or watch your mother struggle to string together a coherent sentence? Do you know what it’s like to watch your spouse, who used to throw you over his shoulder, struggle to barely hold a fucking cellphone?! Do you know what it’s like to hear your lover talk about how he just wants to die because he doesn’t want to be a burden to you? And do you know what it’s like to deal with it all at the same fucking time? I would never, ever, EVER wish the death of a child on anyone. But just be fucking glad that you can make kid after kid to watch you and care for you in your old age, when I’ll be lucky if my niece and nephew in-laws remember me when their uncle has gone. I’m sorry you haven’t gotten over the trauma of losing a child, but instead of picking a literal fight with someone who isn’t even present in your life, who you have met and spoken to TWICE, maybe get some therapy. Deal with your grief. Stop projecting. But most of all, learn to take a fucking joke.

Will I say any of this to him? No. Not a word. I will talk to him, on the phone, and apologize. There are things I have no control over and instead of fighting I’d rather just say “I’m sorry” and move the fuck on. I have bigger things to deal with than the fallout of some dumb comment I have absolutely no memory of making. And that apology will be more than enough because, in the end, this drama is not my problem.

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