~Friday, January 20, 2012

Kid Gloves

"Am I going to see you this weekend?" I asked. I was lying in Abraham's bed in the early morning hours. We were awoken by the morning commuting sounds: a garbage truck picking up its load, a Mustang's high horse-powered engine idling while the condensation was being chipped off the windshield. It was unusually cold, and I tugged his comforter over my shoulder.

Abraham inhaled through his teeth. "It's not a good weekend," he began. He has a friend staying with him from out of town, and it's her birthday, and he promised to be DD all weekend.

"What about Sunday?"

"Noooo. Sunday is NFL semi-finals."

I slowly exhaled. I pursed my lips together and expelled the air like a broken whistle. Serenity now. The breathing exercise helped, but it didn't alleviate my stress.

"We didn't see each other last weekend," I said.

"You're right," he acknowledged.

This is an exercise in being easygoing. It's not a big deal. I know it's not a big deal, but it feels like a big deal. Abraham, one of his many strengths is that he always makes time for me. Sometimes it's three times a week, and sometimes it's one time a week, but he always makes time.

I wish stuff like this didn't creep up and bother me, but it does. I wish I was the perfect girlfriend, the kind that guys sit in bars and brag about to their friends. I’m worried that if I’m not Super Awesome All The Time, he’ll want to upgrade for someone who is.

I felt my throat tighten and tears prick the corner of my eyes. I was driving myself crazy just thinking about it. My choices were either to speak up and say something or probably cry on my drive home to get ready for work.

I haven't broken this barrier yet. I haven't acknowledged that something bothers me in a I-need-to-talk-about-my-feelings way. I felt like if I did, if I acknowledged there was a problem, then the floodgates would open, and then we'll be constantly fighting and bickering over nothing. I still wanted the fa├žade, even if I knew that's all it was. I wanted to be good to him.

Abraham made a sexy morning move toward me.

"I'm feeling anxious," I said weakly. It wasn’t even a choice; the words just escaped my mouth. I felt myself become a puddle in his worn sheets.

He stopped. Instead he wrapped his arms around me. I pressed my face into his chest. Poor Abraham must be so confused.

"Is it the sound of the garbage trucks?" he asked after a moment.

"No. It's this weekend." I pulled away and looked at him. "Do you not want to see me, or do you just not care?"

"It's not either one of those things," he said slowly. He met my eyes. I believed him, but he misunderstood me.

"Let me explain: do you not care because you know you'll just see me another time?"

"Oh, yeah. That's basically it."

"I figured that's what it was. That's the guy's way of thinking." I rolled and laid on my back with my arm draped behind my head.  "I wish I could think like that, but I don’t. I wish I could just high five you and say, 'No problem, bro. See you another time.'"

"You can," he offered.

"It's my New Year's Resolution."

"To high five more?"

"No, to chill out."

"I think that's a fine New Year's Resolution for you."

"I'm trying, but it's exhausting. In order to be easygoing, I have to first fight my natural instinct to fight you for my way. I know this weekend isn't a big deal, but I find myself getting worked up about it," I said as I curled up into his chest again. "At least I know I'm being nonsensical."

"Yeah." He patted my back. "I'll do my best this weekend, okay?"


I immediately felt better. Just acknowledging my feelings helped me to exorcise them. And maybe it helped to receive confirmation that he is so comfortable in our relationship that he didn't feel the need to treat it with kid gloves. Kind of like how I was.


Je m'appelle Danielle said...

Your feelings are valid because they are your own. It seems like he "makes time" for you, but you want to be a priority. I think that's completely valid, especially since you guys have been dating for a while.

This is a perfect example to be who you are, even if its not easy going all the time. Things cannot always "go with the flow", no matter what any dirty hippie says!

Dawn said...

"Just acknowledging my feelings helped me to exorcise them."

You said that. Now REMEMBER that.

I was always one of those people who kept their feelings bottled up. Bad, I know. But I've started expressing myself more. Much more. Just TELLING my husband how I feel, even if there's no resolution to the problem, makes me feel a thousand times better. I feel lighter of mind. Lighter of burden. Lighter of spirit. Just by SAYING what I'm feeling.

Keep doing that.

Anonymous said...

While I applaude both you and Abraham spending time with friends without feeling that either of you have to drag your sig other around everywhere you go (because you know how I feel about that) I also wonder why you can't join him in partying with his best friend as well as watching football. I guess there's always a balance that needs to be maintained.

Anonymous said...

This is what I'm confused about- You obviously wanted to spend time with him this weekend so why didn't you ask if you could join?

When you see him on the weekends is it only after he's done something else or do you actually do things with him? It seems odd that you're spending so much time together during the week, but still not at the point where he'd invite you to watch the game or come out with another girl that he's having stay at his apartment. Obviously it's not a "boys night" if a girl friend of his is the focus of the weekend. Is that the real reason you felt anxiety? There seems to be something about this story that you're not writing here.

I'm also confused as to how you can be a "breezy girlfriend" when you are not his girlfriend.

LLandL said...

As much as I feel like anonymous' tone was a tad critical and judgemental, I also wonder why you couldn't be included in some of the plans. A reaction which, I'm sure, is influenced by my own experiences. However, know that every relationship is different, especially as we mature and grow as individuals and value the time away from our mate. I live with mine and sometimes find myself making excuses to do things alone just so I'm maintaining a level of me-time that I feel is healthy.

One thing that I very much admire about you is that you're incredibly in touch and self-aware with your reactions and emotions, something I still struggle with. Being able to even have that conversation about why you felt anxious without picking a fight with him was, in my opinion, huge.

Amber said...

... You need to remember that no one is "super awesome" ALL the time.

Rose said...

Lordy, good god - the amount of times I've felt this way! Trusting would be the obvious answer and choice - but I don't because I've been burned before.

I'm thankful for the knowledge of the past, but sometimes I just want to forget the hell out of it. Be more present, in the moment, and believe.

Sarah said...

Rose, I swear I'm going to stencil that on my wall.

To clear up a point of confusion, where I come from it's bad etiquette to invite someone to someone else's birthday celebration. I'm not worried about the girl; I've met her a handful of times and she was there while we were cuddling on the couch this week.

Anonymous said...

Bad etiquette aside, have you ever asked him, "Can I come with?" when he's had plans that didn't involve you.

Anonymous said...

Two things I noticed:

1) You asked him if he didn't want to see you or if he didn't care and then supplied him with the answer you wanted to hear. Why didn't you just say, "Why don't you want to see me this weekend?" or better yet, "Why don't you include me in your weekend plans?"

2) You broke down over not seeing him and he still did not offer to invite you to what he had going on.

Your posts are always set up as little stories, but these Abraham entries are wrapping up too nicely. It doesn't seem like you're sharing your real feelings on the blog or to him. It seems like you want to make this situation look better than it actually is. How many posts start with you in his bed or him in yours? What makes this a relationship and not sex buddies?

Red Stethoscope said...

I agree with LL&L completely. It's HUGE that you were able to say what was bothering you. Just this past week, I did the crying girlfriend face, followed by three days of "I don't want to see you," and summed up with, "OMG, I'm a crazy girl, aren't I? Why do you put up with me? WHY DO YOU LOVE ME?" Being in touch with your feelings is a big deal, not to mention having the balls to voice them. Still, I'd agree with your inner gut that two weekends in a row to be blown off is a lot. I don't have suspicions about Abraham, because you haven't given us any reasons to doubt him, but I would say that I'd be happier if he would have said, "I'm so sorry, babe! Next weekend is YOURS!" or something to that effect. But, everyone is different and if this is how he is, then it's OK.

Anonymous said...

Resolution or no resolution you need to chill on your own if not invited to join him.

I'm sure at 30 you do understand that appearing to be needy, anxious and insecure - even if you try to hide it in this blog - is a sure way to drive a guy away.

Annie said...

Sarah, I don't think anyone has malicious intents in their comments.

I think it's very apparent to all of your readers that his lack of commitment in making plans with you on weekends actually bothers and upsets YOU. In my experience, one can't be the girl that goes with the flow and the girl that wants something more, something deeper, at the same time.

I always wanted to be one of those girls that went with the flow, but with age, I became honest with myself and what I wanted...and alas, I found myself a man that could give that to me.

Ms_Jones74 said...

I think Sarah has the "chilling on her own" thing down pat. She is the busiest person I know. I think she's written before, but maybe it bears repeating... She doesn't post every single second of her life, here.

You make her sound like she's sitting on her couch, staring at the phone and willing it to ring. You paint her as a loser, desperately hoping and wishing and praying for A to love her... and you couldn't be more off base.

I know assumptions create asses, but for all intents and purposes, we should assume that Sarah knows well how to fill her time away from A and also that if she is unhappy with what she has, she has the strength and will to walk away.

Let's maybe assume that she's happy and that what she has is what she wants at the moment (Not what others might want FOR her) and focus on the little things, like knowing, now, that she doesn't have to exhaust herself being Totally Awesome All the Time and also that A doesn't run screaming from the room when she dares to be a girl.

I mean, that's what I got out of it.

The Singleship said...

I do agree with you that you can't voice every minor complaint you have (can you imagine how unpleasant it would be to date someone like that?!) but at the same time, you should absolutely bring up the things that are legitimate problems for you, things that are causing you pain or unhappiness. I think you absolutely made the right call in bringing it up! If he's worth his salt, he won't run at the slightest expression of discomfort.

The Singleship said...

Also, to the anonymous person who said "I'm sure at 30 you do understand that appearing to be needy, anxious and insecure is a sure way to drive a guy away"- how is wanting to spend time with someone you care about being needy? How is being honest about your feelings being insecure? Are you seriously suggesting that people should be insincere in their relationships in hopes of achieving a certain outcome? That sounds pretty lame. PS, there is no faster way to derail a relationship than pretending to be cool with something when you're not.

A said...

When The Coach is in town, I walk the same tightrope.

I am mostly okay with chilling by myself -- I fill up my calendar just fine on my own, thank you -- but I still notice those weekends when he's too busy for me. I just do. And I wish that I was so easygoing that I didn't. But I'm not.

You don't appear needy. Not to me. (Maybe that's because we're walking in the same shoes, if you will.) You seem honest. There's nothing wrong with honest.

Anonymous said...

"And maybe it helped to receive confirmation that he is so comfortable in our relationship that he didn't feel the need to treat it with kid gloves."

How are you getting that from him not understanding why you were upset, repeating the line you wanted him to say, agreeing that chilling out was a good resolution for you, and then patting your back, and telling you he'd do his best this weekend? Doing his best could mean anything or absolutely nothing. How did you come to conclusion that his reactions made him comfortable in the relationship? What you are spinning as comfort could easily be viewed as apathy.

Northern Lass said...

Well said Ms Jones!

We ALL think like this, to a greater or lesser degree, we all want to be prioritized. Sarah, speaking up and exposing your feelings like that was a bloody brave thing to do and the reward: Abraham gets where you're coming from and your internal battle.

I don't think I'd be that brave in your situation so good on ya!

Anon commenters should maybe get their lives instead of over-analyzing/judging someone else's.

Anonymous said...

Whoa your Singleship! You suggest that I implied that stating one's want to spend time with another qualifies as being needy to which I say yes, if one's want encrouches upon someone else's ability to spend time away while the alternatives to being anxious and insecure don't necessarily involve being dishonest or insincere, just confident and grounded enough to know that you can't force anyone to relate to where you're coming from or to fit the mold you designed in your own head/heart of the perfect guy.

BTW: I dated my husband for 7 years with 1,000 miles in between and we managed to do so because we were not only busy with our jobs, hobbies and friends but also gave each other a sense of inner peace and security that was not only very reassuring but eventually did ensure "the outcome", which had nothing to do with "pretending to be cool" but rather with being cool about our expectations...

Anonymous said...

Post gave me a bad gut feeling.

That Sarah is second-grade NON-Jewish girlfriend.

Not to be taken seriously or included in outings with his "real friends"

What utter nonsense about driving another woman around on her birthday. If she's met you and seen you cuddling with A, how come she did not include you in the birthday party plans? Because they consider you a 'fling'? This story does not sound right. You sound more and more like a convenient F buddy than an "almost girlfriend". A will never include you in his other life with his friends if you continue to act like you're cool about "not being invited".

I recall you painted things with Scott with rose petals and then we were all shocked to hear the truth about how abusive he was. I hope it's not the same with A.

Diary of Why said...

Nothing really to add, just wanted to say that I've been there, and I can so relate. I always wanted to be the "cool" girlfriend, and instead ended up bottling up a lot of stuff inside--even when I was with a boyfriend of three years. I'm getting to the point though where I think I'd rather just be honest and up front about my needs. (That is, if I can find someone to stick around long enough to try it on. Yeah, it's a double-edged sword, the honest and up front thing.)

Anonymous said...

People need to stop with the hateful comments.
All the negativity and judgement is unnecessary and, personally, I think bringing up the past was a low blow.
I've seen plenty of bloggers that just quit or start a brand new anonymous blog after feeling the need to start editing their writing or that they can't write freely.
I hope this doesn't turn out to be the case because I love your writing and can definitely relate.

Angela said...

It is huge that you were able to say what was upsetting you. The only issue I see, in that, is if you keep speaking up, and there are no changes in the long-term.

I understand why some are concerned, because of the things you've written like this (like the FB thing, and New Year's eve). He has a history, too, though, and Sarah said that he wasn't used to girls wanting him (right? something like that). He might be just as nervous, and it's been three/four months, not a year. She's a writer, and has made no bones about the fact that she presents her posts here in a certain way (like a story); I was going to compliment her on her writing last night.

So, I get it, but remember Valdosta, his making time to see her on Christmas Day (I still love that post). He was gone the following month. I like that Abraham stopped with the "sexy move" and held you instead. I wonder about his not inviting you along to certain things, but I - as a member of your community here, who can do nothing about it if he does end up being a jerk - am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

She's being honest about her feelings here. She isn't hiding anything, with all of you, him, or herself. People need to remember that she isn't a character in a television show or a book; she may write a certain way, but she's actually living this. She's already written about the fact that she learned from S. and isn't about to go down that road again.

Anonymous said...

Conversely, I'm one of the anonymous writers - the married one - writing as such just to avoid having to change my username in in the event that Sarah or one of her followers decides to 'judge' my commentary, which does come with the territory when one keeps a blog but cannot keep up with the resulting fodder.

At this point, I'm more than a little confused by what I've read recently and then perplexed by what Angela said in her defense...is Sarah relating 'true stories' or just embellishing a common snow flake and if so, would the real Sarah a)stand up? b)be happy to continue to get what she puts into her writing exercise? or c)could she start telling it like it is so that others may relate real-life experiences so that she may finally land a decent man?

j said...

Ms. Jones has said exactly what I think. These anonymous commenters fail to realize that these posts are merely snippits of life. I know that you do not blog about every single moment, but rather choose the moments that mean something to you and make the best story.

klynne said...
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klynne said...
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Theresa said...

I LOVE your writing so much and I hope that some of the negative comments here do not prevent you from writing or change the way you write or what you write about. I can relate to so many of your dating experiences. I think there is a fine line between biting your toungue and being a "go with the flow girl" and being vocal about your feelings and needs. I think that Abe has been so used to you doing things on your own and not spending every weekend together that he doesnt even realize that you would be sad to not spend time with him on the weekend. You have probably been so easy, breezy that he thinks it is fine. So, I am glad you said something. I do agree with some of the others that it seems like you could have gone along for the friend's birthday party... I wish he would have invited you... and I think you wish he would have invited you too.

Sunshine Junkie said...

Sarah, I love your blog and think you sound like a fantastic girlfriend. I agree that the balance of nagging/ independent is difficult, I think you handled your feeling impressively well. Expressing your feelings doesn't make you that nagging gf, its being unreasonable about the feelings you have that does it.

And, I think everyone likes to hear that they are missed :) Surely Abraham was just a little bit chuffed. And how lovely of him to say that he would make an effort, acknowledging and validating your feelings.

Angela said...

Oh, for heaven's sake. I didn't mean that she embellishes anything.

Angela said...

She's admitting to any doubts and fears that she has, and admitting that she wants things to enjoy the happiness that she is getting in this relationship.

It's one thing to ask why Abraham didn't ask her to the New Year's party, or to whatever's going on this weekend - that I understand. Whomever suggested that this might be another "S", that he's being abusive and she's hiding it, crossed a line.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he's abusive, but I do think he might not be all that into her.

Lindsay said...

Most of these stories give me a bad impression of Abraham. It seems sort of like they all involve you being upset about something, trying to be laidback and then deciding that it's your fault for wanting more. But then he doesn't really seem to be wanting to make sure that you're happy with how things are. I guess it's just hard to see the big picture based on stories, so I don't want to make assumptions, though.

Anonymous said...

I agree with those that have said these posts give them a bad impression of A. It seems shady that he doesn't invite her out with his friends and that he has yet to meet her friends. And the fact that he doesn't invite her out with him is not a good sign.

I think the comparison to S's abuse was uncalled for, but this does seem to be a situation where she seems to be sugar coating everything in order to make herself feel better about it all. By this point he should be more involved in the relationship instead of seemingly keeping it a secret which makes it come across as an f-buddy situation.

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that Abraham's abusive either, just saying that what Sarah's 'story' implies is that he's getting away with what she allows. As someone famous says: "We teach people how to treat us" and so far, I think he's learned that she'll tolerate a lot, especially his lame excuses for 'being otherwise engaged'...

Anonymous said...

First, when you invite people into your life via a public blog, you can't really complain when they get invested enough in you and your well being. In fact, you have the benefit of so many out there rooting for you and your happiness. Some are a little harsh in comments, but I think most are well meaning enough. Haven't we all been there when we couldn't see the forest for the trees? Especially knowing the girl, I too feel like it's another huge red flag. She stays all weekend with all of this time devoted to her, time you cannot be a part of, and you have yet to have that kind of commitment from him. If she's just a friend, and she gets that and you don't, it doesn't bode well. If you were included in some of the time and they wanted to hang out just the two of them as well, that would be different, but that's not how it is.
The comment about being honest with yourself was dead on. You have a right to whatever feelings you have. As long as you deal with them in a mature way, you should never apologize for them or swallow them. If you want more, say so. He'll either give it to you or he won't, but you need to know. If he won't, he's not for you. I realize it's scary when you feel the answer won't be what you want, but you deserve better, and just like standing up to the idiot and Guy, you can stand up for yourself and your feelings now or hurt even more later. It's been plenty of time. Rip the band aid off, and if he's not willing to give you what you want and need, get busy finding the guy who will. The guy you deserve, and a guy that deserves you.

Anonymous said...

Whoever made the comment earlier that it's only been a few months is off. They met this summer and have been been sleeping together since late August/early September. I agree with the last anon., rip off the bandaid and have the define the relationship conversation for real this time. It's been 4-5 months of vagueness. You deserve to know what's really going on. I realize that you might be more afraid of being alone than you are of being in a friends with benefits situation, but it's going to hurt much worse when this ends. I think you are scared to have the conversation because you know that "being a girl" will cause A to stop doing what he's doing with you. You have to play it breezy and cool otherwise he won't stick around because he doesn't want labels or a committed relationship.

My suggestion is this- tell him you want an official commitment, girlfriend label, and access to his friends and his weekend or you will walk. See what he says. You've having anxiety about not being the casual girl so, in essence, you are upset by the person you are pretending to be around him.

All of your readers want you to be happy. It is just very obvious that many of these stories about A involve you swallowing your feelings and playing along to get along. The other stories seem to be you trying to pump up the relationship and justify it. When you were with Valdosta, you didn't have to create scenarios in which he was cute or tie things up with a "he must just be comfortable" even when that's not apparent. If this conversation with Abe was verbatim then all you did was comfort yourself while he hugged you. He didn't do anything.

Anonymous said...

Man o' Man, talk about a keeper...FYI, I think i am the only guy making a comment. I guess i have always been a bit of the more emotionally involved type in my relationships and i tend to find myself the dumped as opposed to the dumper. eh, what are you gonna do...here i am on your blog making things about me...me ex-girlfriend would like that...

Emily said...

I think your feelings were totally valid and that bringing it up was the right thing to do. I know you want to be "easy-going" but I don't think that should come at the cost of your feelings. You can't complain about everything, but if something is bothering you, you shouldn't hesitate to talk about it with him. That being said, I've totally been in this situation before and I know that voicing one's feelings is easier said than done. More power to you, girl.

Anonymous said...

Man o' Man, talk about a keeper...FYI, I think i am the only guy making a comment. I guess i have always been a bit of the more emotionally involved type in my relationships and i tend to find myself the dumped as opposed to the dumper. eh, what are you gonna do...here i am on your blog making things about me...me ex-girlfriend would like that...

Anonymous said...

Sarah, Pls don't sign off the internet. The comparison to Scott was NOT to imply that Abe was abusing you! It was to ask if you were telling us the full story and not embellishing it to make things sound 'better' than they really are.

I apologise for using S as comparison. I should have used Valdosta. Okay, here's the comparison I really meant: From what you were writing about Valdosta, he really seemed into you and caring and charming and it sounded like he was going to stick around. Then out of the blue you posted that he ended the relationship.

It just seemed like you were telling us the good things or spinning even bad things in a positive light, like the "puke and rally" story (if I recall correctly). And then the reality comes and kicks you and us in the teeth when the guy bails, for whatever reason.

Let me reiterate: I do NOT for one second think Abraham is abusive. He sounds like he wouldn't hurt a fly, and even if he did, it would be by accident, and he might even cry about it. He sounds very caring and extremely fond of you. I love that.

However I was cautious that he might not be as into you as you make out in your stories. If you are happy in a casual or F buddy relationship, GREAT!

But it sounds like you kindda want more. And your loyal blog readers want YOU to be happy.

Anonymous said...

Legitimate suggestion: Buy and READ 10 stupid things women do to mess up their lives.

No comment/judgment on your life/relationship/blog, just a legitimate friendly suggestion that I make to pretty much everyone. I'm not a hypocrite: I read it too.

Anonymous said...

I wholly concur with the last anon comment and likewise recommend reading 'Smart Women, Foolish Choices'. Even though it's been around a long time, the premise of it is timeless: "We find that far too many women forget the real importance of cause and effect in the interactive process of a relationship. They lose contact with their own sense of personal power, particularly when they feel powerless to make the man want to stay. They may confuse that temporary sense of power loss with a more long-term and crippling feeling of powerlessness.

A man may leave, but he can't take a woman with him. She and she alone is the owner of her personal worth and essence. No one, not the most clever or most dark-hearted of men, can steal that. It can only be given away."

p.s. My own copy of this book's dog-eared and tattered, just like a good book should be...

Bathwater said...

You know I kind of get the need for time together. It is an issue I have spoken about with Billy. I tell her, waken up in the morning and seeing you at night does not equal a date.

Fancy said...

Is it possible for the Anonymous commenters to assign themselves a name (you know, like "The Married One" or something) so we can keep track of who's saying what?

Under "Choose an identity" I selected "Name/URL" and then just typed "Fancy" and left the URL section empty.

That way you're still anonymous, but the conversations in the comment section can be followed a bit easier.

I just find it annoying... But then, I'm totally PMSing so that could by why.

married1 said...

Fancy: Your wish is my command! Not only because you asked so politely but also because aside from respecting your 'current state', I can totally see the value of moderating and organising the comments that Sarah's hopefuly mulling...

Henceforth, I shall refer to myself as 'married1', same one who commented on embellishing, non-abuse, quoted Dr. Phil and recommended another old book...same 1 who hopes our hostess will soon enlighten us with her thoughts to either affirm or refute our comments...

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering why, when everyone is making assumptions and putting DS on the offensive, she would have to have to address anyone's comments. She's said her piece and everyone sits here all high and might thinking they know all the facts and JUDGING her. Who are WE to pass judgment.

Good Idea said...

Caring enough to raise concern isn't judgment, it's caring. Are readers only supposed to have a comment when it's what Sarah would want to hear? I don't think she would want it that way.
She's done a great job with the blog and has many readers that genuinely care about her well being.
Is it better to pretend everything sounds perfect or to be honest as you would with a friend? If the concern offends her, she needs to say so, so that people have a clear understanding of what she wants from posting these stories - honest feedback or positive comments only, but you can't fault people for caring about her or the outcome, when as far as we know, that's the point of this blog.

Anonymous said...

I think caring and constructive criticism are one thing. I think blatantly calling DS's judgement and perception into question, and then to bash her is not we are here for.

If it were me, I'd just wrap my arms around her and tell her she's been through enough to go with her gut.

Anonymous said...

I hope you wound up having some time with Abraham that weekend, as you were hoping for some. And that it was good :)


Angela said...

"I think caring and constructive criticism are one thing. I think blatantly calling DS's judgement and perception into question, and then to bash her is not we are here for.

If it were me, I'd just wrap my arms around her and tell her she's been through enough to go with her gut."

Exactly. If something bothers her enough, she'll address it.

I don't remember "S" being like this. She wrote about his motorcycle accident, about his lack of work - those things I remember. Abraham doesn't sound like that; if anything, he sounds like Valdosta, wherein he is still seeing where this is going. He's been good to her - this seems to be the nicest guy she's had in her life in the past year.

I hope you enjoyed your weekend, Sarah.

amy said...

that is how your relationship is. you can not express your self to him so just do what you want but be sure that what ever action you do you will not regret it.

Ms. Wisteria Lane said...

Opinions expressed herein are based on the assumption that this blog's not only a creative writing outlet for the blogger but also an open forum for like-minded people and for those who hold a different point of view but still care about her and the outcome.

'Judging' by recent events and resulting commentary, I've determined that this might just be 'a fetus pilot' at best or a fluffy site 'a la Carrie' at worst, minus the sophistication and signature drink, unless beer in plastic cups count as such...

If this were the latter, the main character would be making a cameo appearance to address her fans' legitimate queries and concerns, or at least make a tiny entry to clarify that this in fact a carefully-edited version of actual events. Her doing so would allow me (and others) to make up my mind on whether I should continue to tune in out of genuine interest or if I should just wish her well, right before I change the channel.

Sarah said...

Hold your panties; I'm drafting a response. But know I am writing it for me and not to answer to your not-so-subtle threat.

NatInSydney said...

Can't wait, Sarah! :)

Sarah said...

If I'm getting what I put into my writing, then the answer is no. I feel. I cry when I write the sad posts. I laugh to myself when I write the happy ones. I've always been proud that this translates so easily in my writing. I've always felt like my blog is a lunch date. You and I are sitting at an outdoor table eating leafy green salads. Mine has carrots in it. And my posts are what I tell you over our intimate lunch. I expect your response to be what you would say to my face as you are sitting across the table from me. If you wouldn't phrase it that way to me--your friend--to my face, then it shouldn't be written here. And if you would say those kinds of things to my face, then you're not invited to lunch anymore. My words are not being received in the same spirit and vulnerability in which they are written.

I spent three days heavily considering everything that was written. That I'm wrong. That I'm a liar. And I knew that wasn't the case, but everyone was so insistent that it made me doubt myself. You took my decision-making capabilities away from me and told me my truth was faulty, and it made me feel crazy. This is what happens when you say the things I believe are not real. That the truth is not real. It makes a person feel crazy. You lose faith in yourself. By telling me I was wrong, I was taught not to trust my gut. That's what S used to do, and I felt it happening again.

Being with Abraham is the easiest decision I never had to make. I feel at peace when it comes to our relationship. And when the comments do invade my head, the people who know me in real life assure me that I am not mistaken. This is real and this is my truth. There have been other stories. Stories too private and far too special to publish on the Internet for strangers to chew up and spit back at me.

I feel sorry for you, that your heart isn't open enough to believe my stories. I've agonized over unchanged sentences because they were Abraham's words and not mine. (I would never say "not either;" I would say "neither.") I've abridged conversations I've documented because I thought they bordered on too cute. I'm glad my heart is open to receive such luxuries. I've done things my way before and look what happened: Valdosta left at my eagerness, Christopher relied on good looks that long since faded and S controlled me with his lies. I think it's a good thing we're not doing things my way anymore. I'm okay with being with Abraham and taking things at a snail's pace. If things are right now, then they'll also be right three months from now. We still progress.

More importantly, I'm sorry you feel that Abraham is an average snowflake. Truth is, he is very average. He's an average man who lives in an average flat and drives an average car to an average job that he averagely hates. If you saw him in a bar, you would walk right by him. Just like how you would pass me. And maybe that's why I'm anxious. I'm looking sideways at the world and wondering when it is going to catch up with me and realize what a great person he is. Anyone who has spent any time with him knows how wonderful he is. He is unassumingly funny. He has an attention to unfamiliar detail that I've never seen in a man. He's generous with his attention, affection and time. And if my writing has conveyed anything less than that, then I have failed as a writer.

And if you need an explanation about how a post is a snapshot of about 5 minutes of real life, then those posts are written here and here.

Anonymous said...

Well written Sarah - I am sorry these anonymous people are getting to you. Those of us brave enough to put our identities to our comments love your writing and that you share your life with us in this way.

klynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NatInSydney said...

Thanks for taking the time to write such a truthful and heartfelt reply, Sarah.
Your readers unfortunately can only go on what you write here - and by the sounds of it we have not been privy to many beautiful and significant experiences with Abraham because you have chosen to treasure those for yourself. This makes it difficult for many of us to really see what has been going on and how awesome it has really been for you and explains a lot. On this blog, you have dealt with so many difficult and intimate incidents in your life with such honesty, dignity and grace, we have been spoiled and expect the same level of openness as we have seen in the past. Good on you for doing things on your own terms.

Anonymous said...

I think you are awesome. And I love you. And I've seen you through SO MUCH, it seems, in the time we've known one another. Through the blog and beyond. I'm looking out for you. And I hope to say what most people are thinking but not gently or accurately articulating - I worry about you, I hope for you, and I'll catch you when I need to but I'm hopeful I won't have to.

Anonymous said...

Sarah - You have not failed as a writer. Your missives are eloquent, truthful and achingly honest. I will be less than eloquent when I address the anons. Fuck off. Like one of you said - if you don't like it - change the god damn channel. Piss off. It's easy to sound off behind a computer and be an asshole. If you don't like what you read here, well then, don't read here anymore. Scat.

Daisy said...

I appreciate the response, Sarah. Although I don't agree with the idea that if a friend told you how she felt things were going, and you didn't like it, then you wouldn't have lunch with her anymore. What you may view as "rude" or "mean" someone else may view as giving you a reality check for your own well-being. I'm sure you have had beauiful moments with Abraham, but it's still concerning that there's no official relationship title, minimal sharing of friends or going on group activities, and no mention of doing anything together on weekends during the day. As I posted earlier, if you are happy with what you have then that's wonderful. My concern as a reader is that you, as a writer, are exaggerating the good parts to yourself so that you feel better when you spend the weekends alone or don't get invited to join his friends. Sometimes the fantasy is better than reality, but reality hurts once it catches up to you.

Sarah said...

You missed the entire point: I know what's best for my well-being. I know my truth. I have earned the right to make my own decisions. I don't require a reality check from someone who knows about 5 minutes of information. Taking life advice from anonymous people on a blog is like handing over control of my 401(k)over to someone with a checking account.

And just because you haven't read an itinerary, doesn't mean it didn't happen. You want a docket of information to vote on, and that is just not my writing style. I'm afraid you are always going to be frustrated by my style, so it's up to you what you want to do with that.

Anonymous said...

@Sarah Maybe its time to close the comments. We all like seeing comments on our blog, "nice post" or "I can relate" but some of these comments certainly seem like maybe they could have an impact on your relationship with Abraham if you're not careful. I don't think anybody wouldn't want that.

Daisy said...

If you choose to show readers snippets of your relationship with Abraham, then why do you keep showing us snippets where he doesn't invite you along, doesn't confirm that you're together, etc...? You said you want us to see the best in him, but what you're showing is easily construed as negative.

I don't expect you to take advice from an anonymous commentor. I'm sorry if comments can make you feel crazy or judged, however you may want to re-read your post and notice that you were the one who said you were anxious and sad that Abraham wasn't going to see you that weekend. You then conjectured that he was comfortable in your relationship which was a non sequitur. Readers wanted you to explore why you felt anxious and sad and offer suggestions to help you not feel that way or make a change so you felt better. That seems to have gotten lost in the comments.

I agree that readers don't know everything about your situation, but sometimes someone is too involved in their own situation to see it from an outside perspective. I think that's all the commentors are trying to do.

Sarah said...

No, you are right. I did not address all 60-something comments. My response only addressed those who I felt did not use the comments section respectfully. People are welcome to dissent, and Lord knows y'all love doing that. I just request that people do it as respectfully as you just did.

Soupy said...

I love how the commenters have blamed their reactions on Sarah for what she does/doesn't show them.

Yo, folks, where do you get off? Sarah can write what the hell she likes, from whatever angle she likes. She owes you NOTHING. Get off your high horses. Stop talking like the depths of her soul belong to you. How bloody dare you.

Be grateful you get any of it at all. Your perspective doesn't matter. None of you actually matter. This is Sarah's blog. It's about her, not about you.

Fancy said...

Daisy - She wasn't saying that she wouldn't listen to a friend telling her something she didn't agree with... She was saying - if you can't be nice, then don't say anything at all.

Readers are very much entitled to share their opinions, whether it's positive or negative... It just needs to be shared respectfully.

If I were to sit down at lunch with a friend and share something with her (out of concern) that she may not want to hear - I'd do it carefully. I wouldn't just sit down and say, "Hey sista - it sounds to me like you're lying a whole lot!".

I'd probably take an approach more along the lines of, "I know that new relationships are really exciting and I, for one, tend to look at things with rose colored glasses for the first while. Do you think you have a bit of that going on?"

Not that I think that's what Sarah's doing at all... Just an example of how to be polite, even if it's a contrary opinion that you're sharing.


Sarah.... As for you? Just keep on keepin' on. Everyone's different so there will always be different opinions, perceptions, beliefs, etc. As long as YOU are comfortable with the choices you make then that's fantastic!

Does that mean you'll never get hurt? Nope. Does that mean you won't misjudge people and date more jack-holes than you'd like? Nope. But it DOES mean that you can always stand proud because you are comfortable with the choices you've made and the way you've treated yourself.

People make mistakes. I make a bazillion of them probably on an hourly basis... But that's how we learn. I'm proud that I treat people well. I'm proud that I've taken the high road in many situations, even when those closest to me thought I was "getting walked all over". The choices I made that I was comfortable with have paid off for me... In the (very) long run, of course. The choices I made that I wasn't comfortable with and made because I was doubting myself and listening to others around me - well... some of those have been BIG mistakes and hindered things more than they helped.

I'm open to hearing what people have to say, and more often than not I'm enlightened with things that I "didn't see that way". It's nice. But, when it comes down to it, I'm the one who has to live with me forever. So, I'm going to do what I'll feel good about. (Which might be different now than what I feel good about in a few months... But - you live and learn.)

I guess I'm trying to say - Try not to take the comments to much to heart. Some of them may make you look at something in a different way... But some may be way off base.

We're just getting a small glimpse into the parts of your life that you're willing to share. We don't know the whole story so we can't possibly judge too harshly based on that. We CAN, however, remember our manners.

Angela said...

I was the commenter who was off on the amount of time they've spent together, but I've been dealing with my own stuff - and my own PMS - and I didn't like the inferences that she was lying, or that I was stupid for standing up for her.

I feel weird commenting again, but I can see where your concern is valid. It's just that I also know that I don't know her well enough to tell her she should be doing this or that, and that goes for most of us. As of right now, he sounds as though he's head and shoulders (and then some) over the drama kings and queens who were in her life last Spring and Summer.

Anonymous said...

After reading the post in question and most of the comments that haven't been deleted I find that "kid gloves" was a well-chosen title but not necessarily for the purpose the author originally intended. Apparently the whole thing ended up being all about manners and treading lightly.

On the upside, it looks like the anonymous comments not only hit a chord with Sarah and her approved list of dining companions but they also managed to uncover the core issue that many of us ill-mannered-but-perhaps-wiser audience detected: fantasy vs. reality.

As a part-time server at the outdoor cafe where you and your cyber friends meet regularly, I wouldn't necessarily refer to the snippets of conversation I hear in passing and the snapshots of your feelings I casually catch as 'vulnerabilities' but rather label them as plain, old ambivalence, as in "I know I shouldn't feel this way but I can't help feeling this way" continuous conundrum.

Am I qualified or informed enough to judge content you ask? No. Not when you do admit to 'withholding' certain details and nuances that would definitely paint a more realistic picture, thus allowing both the couth and uncouth to draw far more educated conclusions.

Indeed, many of the points you make are quite valid and without question, you do have the prerogative to validate any of them as such but the bottom line is that you're either open to criticism or you're not so it's not about what one would or wouldn't dare say if seated directly across from you. It's about what you can and still cannot admit to yourself (not here, but in the privacy of your own head).

As they say, opinions are like noses in that everyone's got one. Among them, there are ugly and pretty ones and others are bumpy but mostly we don't even notice them; no matter, they're still part of the face staring at you...

That's why 'outside of work', I tend to select my friends based on their ability to take it as well as they dish it, which is why I won't be doing lunch with you, and not just because of the carrots in your salad. The truth is that I've followed your blog long enough to determine that even though you've been known to consume a lot of 'pickles', you continue to pile 'em on your plate, which invariably results in a serious case of heartburn, immediately followed by puking.

As someone's mother, I'm compelled to hold your forehead and offer you a cool rag, if you want it, but the truth is that I don't have the heart to watch you vomit any more than I relish reading stories about somebody taking a shit in your car or on your otherwise successful, engaged life, just as I wouldn't sit in silence while my own daughter 'dines al fresco'.

And in as much as I understand that 'this is your life' and not some made-for-t.v.-show, the assumption is that your own anonymity herein does afford you the liberty to be completely candid, unless of course, your ultimate goal is not to get and apply the honest and impartial feedback but rather turn your blog into a best-seller, in which case it would amount to something akin to "A Million Little Pieces" - a semi-fictional memoir that was 'outed' due to the sheer amount of inconsistencies and facts that didn't hold up to public scrutiny, despite being endorsed by Oprah herself!

Am I out of line in expressing my unabashed and unsolicited opinion? No. By granting public access to your blog you did invite the feedback and you got it. True, some of those comments weren't as nice as you expected them to be, but then again, neither were the pickles you've picked without anybody's input. Why? Well, maybe because you're not ready to take the constructive advice unless it's tied with pretty little bows, in which case, I wish you the best of luck getting published!

HMM said...

I agree, it's not what you say, but how you say it. If you put your feelings out there on a blog for all to read, you have to be able to take the little bit of bad with the mostly good comments. I feel like the major majority is cheering for you because the voice that comes through your writing is so captivating, everyone feels like they truly know you (I sure feel like I do, I get defensive over your right to happiness, it's a huge compliment that so many people care!).

I love this blog. I am routing for you, Sarah. You deserve to be happy and you have dated enough icky boys for a lifetime, you have earned the right to date a winner.

I will say this and I do not mean any ill will with the following, it's simply an observation I have made here (some others have mentioned it) and I am guilty of it in my own life, too. You do seem like a people pleaser, like it bothers you to not make others happy and that you put others before you. From recent posts, I can see that you are making a conscious effort to not do this anymore, I applaud you, it's a tough habit to break.

Abraham sounds like a good guy in many ways, but I can't shake the feeling that you post about him to either find validation that he is indeed a good guy, or to boast that a guy who has it pretty together has strong feelings for you. You deserve someone like this or even better, so I don't question that he feels nice to be around. He should be honored to be in your company because you are awesome, he is not the prize, you are.

When people are telling you that based on his inability to define the relationship, you may have grounds to worry, I do have to agree. Not because of what you may or may not have presented to your readers (no one knows what happens between the two of you, but the two of you, and you have a right to your privacy), but because on a base level, a guy that really cares won't make you feel insecure or uninvited or left out. The right guy for you will make you feel emotionally whole and safe. I want you to feel the way you deserve to feel, don't be afraid to continue to ask for what you need, don't please Abe with a relationship on his terms because of your own desire to please. I have stayed in 2 long-term relationships that didn't end up as I believed they could because I was afraid to ask for what I needed, not because the guys were lost losers, they were pretty awesome, just unable to commit. I got stuck between being cool and being afraid of hearing something that I didn't want to hear and I wasted my own time. If you are not getting what makes you feel awesome, perhaps let him go, and find someone who can give you want you need. There is no reason why you should settle, you have too much going for you.

Scrumps said...

Wow - I didn't think this post would elicit such a response! You know, I read your blog because I think you're a little like me - I think we'd get on in real life. I like the fact that I can relate to the posts that you write. I don't read because I want to know every detail about you - if we were "real life" friends - things would be different. And even that only after a fair few years of friendship. I started reading your blog in December 2010 and I read every single post from the beginning. I've read the shit you have gone through. I definitely cried with you and I have laughed with you (albeit probably 2 years too late in some instances!) so for now I am just going to enjoy this moment with you. You have "real life" friends who probably know the good and bad. Those "blogger friends" who know you much better than others. What everyone has said here - don't pay too much attention to it. You shouldn't write for us. You should write for you. Because writing cleanses the soul. Don't let us burden you. :)

Peach said...

Oh my word. Of all the posts of all the blog, and they had to break into this one.... Nutters! Sarah: hope you're ok honey XX

Ps if we're at lunch, then, mine's a beer, cheers xx

Lena said...

Hi Sarah, I've been reading your blog for years and I think I've commented once or twice. I just wanted to tell you that I love your writing style, I love that it feels as though I'm reading a book/story and I always look forward to your next post. I hope you still continue to blog as you do!

Ami said...

When you acknowledge what it is that you're feeling it can often take the air out of it and make it seem smaller.


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