My sister isn't socially inept like me, so she pointed out with some deliberation this past weekend that I was most likely wrong to be upset with Hopkins. Not that I hadn't considered it, mind you, but my other friends' reactions informed my own response.
To wit, Little Sister said, "Maybe he thought he was being funny. You know the way that some people are trying to be self-effacing by saying that somebody's exaggerated about them to others," i.e., that he was not calling me a liar, he was saying that I tend to present the rose-colored glasses version of him. In my defense, I asked him. No response, zip, nil, nada, which pitched me into the frame of mind in which I poured out my anguish (and anger) in a blog post.
This brings me back to a couple of things: you can't unsay it, and in a way, it's a karmic debt that came back for repayment; and it's my fault for losing my temper.
It's a long and storied relationship, and one with which I've been trying to make peace for thirty years. I have been so hell-bent on proving to Hopkins that I was and am worthy of his friendship that I forgot one very important thing: I'm worthy of friendship, whether or not I'm worthy of his, particularly. I was and am worthy of love, whether or not he has ever felt I was worthy of his. The pain of feeling inconspicuous and meaningless haunted me for three decades because a careless boy was certain that fleeing to a prestigious university would solve all of his problems, and that the only way to set the stage for it was a nearly hospital-sterile clean break.
In his defense, I believe he'd characterize me as fickle and shallow. It's something I could have solved then, or now, if he'd only actually talk to me about something other than Doctor Who, Sailor Moon, or 'net neutrality. Lack of honesty, communication, and let's face it, mutual social awkwardness, has led to a lot of pain and unhappiness over the years.
Then again, he could've meant what he said, and I'm rationalizing again.
Drama. I hate it.