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Close The Door, Baby

Close the door, baby
And let me know you're mine
. . .

from "Close The Door" by Teddy Pendergrass

Those enticing words from 70’s singer Teddy Pendergrass were alluring to even those who had no hopes whatsoever of garnering the attention of the sexy crooner, including a middle-aged mother of six in the Sacramento suburbs (that would be my mom). But those words also have an application outside of the fantasies of middle-aged women from the 70's: They apply to situations where you have to let go of what once was and close the door on that which could be harmful to you.

For example, last week I ran into an old friend, a former friend to whom I haven’t spoken in more than ten years. Why we ceased being friends is still a mystery to me. All I know is that I wouldn’t go to Las Vegas with her after she broke up with her most recent beau (these break-ups were pretty common back then) because I had just started a new job, was assigned to a make-or-break-my-future case (or so I though at the time in my 31 year-old mind), and couldn’t take time off. All of a sudden I was branded as unsupportive and selfish despite decades of support and unselfishness that my own mother thought bordered on madness. We would now call it co-dependency.

When I saw her last week, she actually came across the room and hugged me. I would have been content to continue ignoring her from across the room, but she was actually the bigger person and reached out to me. And hugged me. It seemed sincere . . . .

And I wondered: Should I, in turn, be as magnanimous as she had been and at least tell her that it was indeed big of her to take that step, to reach out and hug someone she has ostensibly despised for ten years?

And then the words hit me: Close the door, baby.

Upon further reflection, I thought, “Why would I make any effort that would in any way open the door to someone coming back into my life when I still have no idea why I was dismissed so hurtfully from hers? What proof do I have that things would be any different than our co-dependent years, from childhood to our entry into the professional world?”

I didn’t.

Close the door, baby.

And with that, I didn’t consider doing anything more.

At this stage in my life, I’m doing a lot of emotional pruning – getting rid of dead weight in my life, such as people who don’t support me, people who revel in my failures behind my back, people who mean me more harm than good while smiling in my face. I don’t want to have to guess about the intentions of the people I choose to have in my life.

Close the door, baby.

And so I did.

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