A little more than eight years ago, I went to a party hosted by my ex-boyfriend. My mission was two-fold: work up the nerve to talk to the chap I'd been crushed out on forever, and make the ex-chap jealous in the process. So I threw on my leather pants and headed out.
Alas, me being me -- shy and insecure even in leather pants -- I was very slow to tackle my evening's assignments, and so I spent the first chunk of the night chatting with safer foils.
At one point I began talking to a guy we'll call J. Somehow the conversation rolled around to insults, and I boasted that I was a master insulter. The guy asked me to prove it.
"Give me your best shot."
"No, come on, just do it. I can take it."
"Okay." And so I did. J.'s face immediately fell, he muttered something about getting a drink, and then he quickly got away from me. I felt like an ass, but soon thereafter I found myself actually talking to the chap I liked, and so I quickly forgot about the insulting exchange.
Flash forward to this past Saturday night. I am now married to one of the aforementioned chaps, and it was his 10-year college reunion. We walked into the reunion venue, and lo and behold, J. was one of the first people we ran into.
My hubbby reintroduced us. J. gave me a rather wan smile and said, "Oh, sure, I remember her."
Crap, I thought. He remembers. But then I told myself I was being silly. Silly! Twas eight years ago, after all. Stop it with the self-centered paranoia.
We followed J. and his wife to the bar. J. placed his order and then turned back around to me.
"So I've never gotten over what you said to me. It crushed me to my core."
"Oh, SHE'S the one?" his wife asked, as my hubby laughed hysterically.
So let this be a lesson to all of you: never, ever tell someone you don't know very well that he is a "nonentity," because it may hit a nerve, leave a deep psychological scar, and cause you untold social embarrassment almost a decade later. Although the way J. remembers it, I actually called him a "nonfactor," which is just absurd. I'd never be that mean.