Once upon a time, Charlotte and Renee took a trip to Nantucket. No, this isn’t the beginning of some risqué limerick.  Check your gutter-brain at the door, please.  This is a prayer blog!

But back to our tale.  They’d been old friends since before Charlotte’s marriage to Evil Harold.  Even prior to Renee’s twenty-year relationship with a singer in a Zydeco band who loved her daughter like his own.

Something went awry on this particular trip and they had a falling-out.  When they got back to central Jersey, word of the ballistic blow-out spread like wildfire.

Then the cold war began.  They refused to be in the same room with each other.  We started to have to see them in shifts.  Charlotte at brunch on Sunday at the Cajun place; Renee at the corner bar for cocktails later that same night.

“You won’t believe what that witch did to me,” Charlotte said in a theatrical stage whisper.  “Girl, let me tell you all the dirt….” And she did.  She told her version of events, all right.  To me, to all our friends, to the UPS guy, to the cashier at the market.  She told the world how she’d been wronged, in graphic detail and colorful language.  At the end of her spiel, you’d have thought Renee was evil incarnate.

By contrast, Renee said this. “In order to keep both of our reputations sterling, I will not be commenting on the matter.”  This is a true story, and that is what my friend said, verbatim.  The only thing I’ve changed is the names to protect the innocent, the guilty, the dramatic and the diplomatic.

I guess I’ll never know the truth of what happened on the trip, but I’m inclined to believe Renee, since she was so circumspect.  I’m sure there was an argument and they’re both strong-willed, so I know words were said.

Making a mistake is excusable.  Handling the aftermath can be combustible.  Here’s to taking the high road even when others try to drive you off the road and out of their lives.  No matter how much dirt they try to throw on you, it’s up to you to keep your own karma clean.

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