Too Far — Commentary
By Elijah Younger
How do you know when you’ve gone too far with a joke? If you’re face to face it’s pretty easy to tell. But when texting it’s harder to tell the signs that you have gone too far, especially with someone whom you always mess around with. But when you go too far and insult that person, everything can change. One moment you can be having a good time making fun of each other, the next your friendship can be on the brink of destruction. That’s what happened with me and my friend Ivy when I went too far with a joke. Back in October, around Halloween time, My friend, Ivy and I were texting each other on messenger. The conversation was fun and lively. We were arguing about a topic that we both had different opinions on, dating. Ivy had some really strong beliefs in why she doesn’t date. Despite that, I was trying to convince her that there is more to high school than just school, that dating people is a part of the joys of high school memories. Ivy stood by her reasons. No matter what I said, she just would not see my perspective. As the conversation went on and on, I was having fun. I thought we were having a fun time with the argument. Just some friends having a small, playful debate. That’s when things went wrong. I was giving Ivy many scenarios to see what she would say. In all of them she denied what I said. At that point, I made a very rude and immature comment towards her, totally out of character. I won’t say what it was but basically, along with disrespecting Ivy, I disrespected religion, sexuality and women all together. In my mind everything was fine. After all, we were just having fun. Then, Ivy’s entire texting style changed. She was furious. You could see from her texts that I had ticked her off. But if you knew Ivy as well as I did, you would know that Ivy is a mean person who punches, kicks and yells at everyone just because that’s who she is. It’s her way of showing affection. So I had no way of knowing that she was actually angry at me. As far as I knew, she was just being herself. Later that night, I finally figured out she was furious at me. When I found out how mad she was, I felt terrible. I had no idea I made her that upset. Ivy, out of all people. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I asked our friends what I should do. They told me to apologize and explain my side to her. That weekend I sent Ivy a really long paragraph doing all but getting on my knees and begging. She didn’t respond to me. So the next thing I did was post my apology on to our group page on Facebook so that all our friends would see it and maybe help me. She didn’t respond to that either. I was absolutely lost. Eventually, Ivy finally responded back. The following week, I apologized in person. We talked for a while about the whole situation. Ivy told me that what I said had hurt her deeply. She explained some personal info with me that I never knew about her. I then learned that my joke was something that she took personally, due to what she was going through at the time. By the end of the conversation, Ivy and I were in a better place. I didn’t feel better after apologizing but at least she forgave me and I saved our friendship. There are many lessons that I learned from this. I learned that just because you are good friends with someone, doesn’t mean you have no limits. Another thing I learned is that even though, you may think a joke you make is funny, it doesn’t always mean that the person you’re telling it to will feel the same. You never know how much of what you say affects a person until you hurt them with your words. Ivy and I are friends still and we still joke with each other. The only difference is that now we are actually closer because we learned things about each other and worked through them. I consider Ivy a close friend. My message to others is, be careful what you say to people, you never want to know what it feels like to go too far.