Is revenge possible? I expect that most people here know the qualifier to “revenge is sweet,” and we all agree that it’s best served cold. And then there’s that bit about living well . . .
There’s a person who’s wronged, repeatedly, a friend of mine. It enrages me in a way I would never be enraged on my own behalf. Because I learned, accidentally, the best way to deal with someone who has done you wrong:
Act as if you have no knowledge of it.
Several years back, I got a pre-publication review that I thought was unfair. Of course, it was bad, too. I freely admit that I’ve never gotten a good review that I thought was unfair. (Although a few have been a little skewed, focusing on aspects of the work that I would not have emphasized.) But this was a case of someone with a little knowledge wielding it very dangerously, deciding that an off detail — a really inconsequential one, at that — was reason enough to proclaim the whole book as a shabby, shoddy enterprise. So it goes.
Eighteen months later, I was at a bookstore event held during one of the Bouchercon gatherings and was introduced to someone with a vaguely familiar name. Given the title of this blog, most readers can infer that I am regularly plunged into the panic of meeting people with familiar faces and names, only to come up empty. What can one do? I smile brightly, pretend familiarity, shake hands, move on. Who was this nervous-looking person? Another writer? A reader? I pumped her hand with great enthusiasm, saying it was WONDERFUL to meet her.
Yes, it was my critic. And when I figured this out later, I was delighted. The only thing that could have made it better would be doing it deliberately.
So I realize that I must do nothing on my friend’s behalf. And should my path cross that of my friend’s nemesis, the only thing I must say is, “So what are you up to these days?”
Has anyone here had a truly satisfying moment of revenge?