Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Yesterday when I checked the mail, I was excited to find the Alumni newsletter from the college I attended and later worked for. It only comes out twice a year, and contained therein are little snippets of information about people whom I might once have known well, or only known by name.

"Ansley Sutter married her middle school sweetheart in Florida and now resides in New Hampshire where she teaches 12th grade English."

"Alexis Greenwald gave birth to her second son, Samuel, on April 11 and she and her husband John and big brother Paul are enjoying the new addition to their family."

I'm sure that you all know the drill. It's a small college, so when it comes to information about the classes clustered around my own, and those that I helped to recruit, I know almost everyone. The news is generally happy, although it still comes as a shock when an alum that I recruited out of high school has finished law school, gotten married and had a baby. That right there means I am OLD.

But today, contained within those school-color saturated pages, was a slap in the face.

Long-time readers will surely remember the suicide of my husband's nephew, my peer, B. We were close, for a time, and there is a story that I have neglected to share on this blog until now:

When JR and I went on our second, or possibly third, date it happened to be Halloween. We were just going out for Thai food and possibly a movie, but on the way to dinner he explained to me that his nephew B always hosted a Halloween party at his place and that he needed to put in an appearance. "We don't have to stay long, I know that you won't know anyone there," he told me, "But my nephew is one of my best friends and I need to at least stop in."

Lucky for him I'm a social enough gal and I said, "Sure. No problem."

Imagine our surprise when after B opened his door (dressed in a purple pimp-suit complete with a feathered hat) and ushered us inside, a Catholic school girl squealed, "Natasha?" and flew across the room at me.

It was a friend of mine from college, Maggie*, who turned out to be B's long-time roommate. Needless to say we spent quite a bit more than a few minutes at the party, and I had a lot of fun discovering the ways in which my life and JR's had overlapped without our being aware of it.

We went on to spend a good bit of time with both B and Maggie during our courtship, and they were thrilled when JR and I got engaged, and they both attended our wedding reception (we eloped, so no ceremony).

Yesterday afternoon, as I scanned the Alumni newsletter Maggie's name jumped out at me, and my heart stopped when I read the following, "Maggie is sad to announce the death of her long-time roommate B in February. He was a friend to many [alumni of our school] and is sorely missed. His memorial was attended by: Mary Smith, Susan Perkins, Patricia Neals, Joy Lowe, Maggie Negel."

I was not listed.

I was shocked. I was heartbroken.

And now I'm mad.

This was not a simple oversight. It's not a matter of her somehow missing the fact that I was there. I was. I was front and center with THE FAMILY. I was in the effing receiving line at the door. She gave me a g-damn tissue when I had soaked all of my own.


I'm not sure what she was trying to prove, by excluding my name, by excluding the fact that I was B's AUNT by marriage. But I do know that I am terribly hurt by it.

I also know that B deserves better than that. He deserves to have everyone know the names of every single person who loved him and misses him every single day.

I was shocked. I was heartbroken.

And now I'm mad.

*names have, of course, been changed to protect the guilty.


Funnyrunner said...

That is awful. Were other folks left out too?

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

To my knowledge, no other alums were left out.

The way the college newsletter works is that if an alum gets married, for example, and 2 of her 7 bridesmaids are also alums, those 2 are mentioned by name, but not the others.

I was the only one not included.

Stacey said...

wow, that's a slap indeed! perhaps it was an oversight by the editor of the newsletter or something like that. is it possible there was no malicious intent and it was just a mistake? are you still in touch with maggie? maybe you could broach the subject with her somehow. gosh, that's a tough one. sorry i don't have any words of wisdom!

Mama Goose said...

Oh, that's heartbreaking and maddening. I'm sorry your "friend" was so thoughtless...

lonek8 said...

what a stupid and inappropriate way to be a bitch. I'm sorry your feelings were hurt