Put the Important Things in the Yellow Envelope

Elizabeth - Piermont, New York
Entered on April 23, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I took a road trip with my dear friend Aileen to help her find an apartment, with which she was planning to live in with her lover. What started out as two teenage girls giggling and discussing raw food and veganism turned into frantic faxes at the twenty-four hour FedEx and multiple phone calls. Somewhere between rent money and credit scores, the phrase “co-signer” was indeed uttered.

In a fit of anger and frustration, Aileen’s mother ended up spilling the majority of the beans of her plans to her otherwise unknowing father—conveniently leaving out that she knew about said plans all along. I ended up convincing Aileen that she should call her father and let him hear the truth from her, and not from her mother who was already exaggerating details. As I listened to Aileen’s father berate and belittle her over the phone in tones soaring with rage, an extreme wave of guilt flooded over me. I tried hard to hold back the tears as I listened to him kick her out of her home, demand back many of her things, and call her names I would not wish on my worst enemy. Yet, another thought came over me as I thought about her father: One day, you will regret this.

I was raised by a liberally religious Episcopalian mother and a slightly grumpy ex-Catholic father. The church I attended as a child welcomed people of all walks of life and all faiths. As I grew older, my own religious beliefs became scattered. Much of it was caused by nonreligious peers, and another large part of it was caused by preferring to sleep late on Sunday mornings. I only talked to God when I felt I needed to. Regardless, if I had come to believe anything in my eighteen years, it was Karma. I am a strong believer in “what goes around comes around”—which I think can be applied to almost all faiths.

Seven hours later, thanks to a mostly-empty middle-of-the-night thruway and some extremely generous friends, we had successfully moved Aileen out of her home. This was the beginning of a new life for her. Sudden? Yes. Not exactly as planned? Even more so.

I think about that night every day. At work I have daydreams of Aileen’s mother coming in, and me telling her that what I thought she did was selfish and malicious. Conversely, Aileen would never approve of that kind of behavior. She would never stoop to that level. And I tell myself that every time I look dreamily out the window into the parking lot.

If I can take comfort in anything, however, it is that I believe that one day, Aileen’s parents will be judged. They will be judged for what they did. One day, they will truly regret their actions.

I believe that people can be good. I believe that people can be bad. But, if nothing else, people are people, and should be treated, regarded, and loved as such.