Monday, March 20, 2017

On Not Particularly Liking Someone

There are certain people who somehow keep entering your life, albeit at the periphery. You don't hate these people, but you don't particularly like them and they don't particularly like you. You have polite but uncomfortable interactions with them and that's enough.

Here's the story of one such person: We were on a summer program at Northwestern back in 1998. I didn't understand why he was there, as he didn't seem that interested in the subject. All I remember is that he wanted to compare SAT scores and reading habits and he was relieved that his score was higher than mine and irritated that I read more widely than he did. I met him again during my freshman year at college on the green in front of the library. We exchanged some words about classes, and then went on our way. I saw him again at a nightclub. He was there alone and so was I, and neither of us felt the need to talk to one another since, even though we didn't hate each other, we didn't particularly like each other. He transferred to another school after his freshman year. He ended up becoming close friends with a friend from high school. I had started drifting apart from that high school friend around that time. We had a falling out about a year later, and because you're petty when you're young, I decided that his friendship with someone that I didn't hate but didn't particularly like was indicative of a moral flaw. The break was painful, but it wasn't as terrible as other breaks. We saw each other a few times after that and then there just didn't seem to be a point anymore. About 12 years ago, we saw each other with a group of friends and he told me to call him anytime and he meant it, but I didn't like him very much anymore, but, as with the other fellow, I didn't particularly hate him.  

Anyway, back to this person, who kept entering into my life, whom I didn't hate but whom I didn't particularly like. I just saw while glancing through some articles about the short-staffing at the Trump White House that he went on to stellar legal career. He was a clerk for a Supreme Court Justice and then he argued before the Court itself. And now he has taken a job in the Trump White House as an advisor.

My immediate reaction when I saw the news was to laugh, as it was the first time I saw an amazing success story about an old college classmate and didn't feel a pang of anger at myself for not being a spectacular success at 36. I thought: Maybe he'll be able to defend himself at the tribunal after the new regime comes in. I don't wish a long sentence for the guy. After all, I don't hate him. I just don't particularly like him.

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