I’m fairly confident that I’ve related my Lauren Bacall grudge story here before.  Or, perhaps it was a comment on another blog.  Raise your e-hand if you’ve heard it before.

So, I saw an interview with Ms Bacall wherein the interviewer asked if she still held a grudge against Dorothy Kilgallen for the nasty things she’d written about Bacall’s husband Humphrey Bogart.  With a look on her face somewhere between bewilderment and annoyance she replied, ‘Hold a grudge… she’s dead!’

I found this reaction to be sincerely liberating, that is, until my friend Franklin A said — laughing — that he still holds grudges against several dead people.

The New York Times published a piece entitled ‘Let Go of Your Grudges. They’re Doing You No Good’ last week.  It includes a link to a test-your-own-grudge quiz.


It begins:

“One of my favorite party games is to ask a group of people this simple question:  What is your oldest or most cherished grudge?

Without fail, every person unloads with shockingly specific, intimate detail about their grudge.  Career slights (intentional or not), offhand-yet-cutting remarks, bitter friendship dissolutions; nothing is too small or petty when it comes to grudges.  

One of my favorite answers I’ve gotten to this question came from a friend whose grudge stretches back to second grade.  A classmate — he still remember her full name and could describe her in detail — was unkind about a new pair of Coke-bottle glasses he had started wearing.  Her insult wasn’t particularly vicious, but he’d been quietly seething ever since.”  [etc]


Though I can trump that example — the loathsome Mrs S humiliated me twice in front of my entire kindergarten class — my current ‘most cherished’ grudge falls in the ‘offhand-yet-cutting’ category.

Stephen had become aware of a booking at the Hodgson Concert Hall on campus on the day of the performance, and had me call an acquaintance, an employee of the concert hall, to ask how purchasing unused subscription tickets was handled at the will call.  I left a message.

When I saw Bobby T in the lobby — we’d already bought tickets at that point — I greeted him and said I’d left a message.  He replied, ‘Yes, got it. I’m just sick to death of people calling me at the last minute looking for free tickets’, turned and walked off.

Out of curiosity, the other day I looked online to see when the concert in question had taken place.  Turns out it was eight years ago.  Now, who takes the most heat, the loathsome Bobby T for the rancid remark, or me for remembering it?

BTW, a couple of decades ago, I was visiting my aunt in a nursing home, and discovered that the loathsome child-humiliator Mrs S was also a resident.  Though according to friend Franklin this should have no impact on my grudge, she is apparently now dead.

For the record, I had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that…