Monthly Archives: August 2013

(Non) Fight Club

Not picking fights with a man means not picking fights with ANY of the men in my life, which is harder to do than I thought.  Take, for instance, this morning.  My friend/writing partner Matthew’s first novel Nightlife debuts in October. This has caused a lot of contention between us, mostly because I think his agent got him a shoddy deal.  But yesterday, on Twitter, he posted the cover, and I was annoyed that he hadn’t shown it just to me first.

But because it’s the week that it is, I’m not going to say anything about it (also, he doesn’t read this blog, so this isn’t some passive-aggressive way of telling him my feelings are hurt).  Instead, I tried to figure out what it was that was bothering me about it and decided it was a combination of wanting to feel special (i.e. total entitlement) and the continuing fear that this means he’s in a different world than me, as a published novelist, and that he no longer needs me as a friend and a partner. He’s got the whole world to show off to, so my fear is that he no longer needs me.

These are small, petty things, I understand.  But if I were to tell him, he would freak out, probably snap at me, and then we’d have this hour-long argument.  So I’m taking Arlene’s advice to heart on this matter–just keep my lips zipped and try to be as supportive as possible.  He can’t read my mind, and I don’t blame him for wanting to tell as many people as possible.  It’s awesome news, and I’m proud of him.  He’s worked hard, and he’s earned this.  And when it debuts on Oct. 21st, I want all of you to buy a copy.

In not arguing with him, I found that I was able to 1) Sort out my own dumb feelings and 2) Remind myself that he really is important to me, and that instead of trying to drag him down to how lame I feel, I should be lifting him up in his moment of glory.  George Saunders preached kindness to the 2013 Syracuse University graduates at commencement earlier this year, and that’s what the world needs more off-not petty bitching over little things because we are each the centers of our own universe and everyone else’s lives revolve around us.

PS: This doesn’t just apply to men, BTW.

Zipped Lips

“Stop arguing with him.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

Ian & I don’t fight much, but when we do, they can be knock-down, drag-out battles.  So this week, I’m not going to argue with him.  Not one word of disagreement.  Not even if he suddenly decided he wanted to go see Smurfs 2.

Today was a day that could have lead to lots of hurt feelings.  A late paper delivery, plus two assignments, one in a too-small room packed with tense women all hoping to win a free facial.  He even accidentally knocked me in the chin when I turned one way and he turned the other.  But I didn’t fuss, I didn’t cry out, and he immediately apologized and kissed me to make it feel better.  Since I tend to get overwhelmed and stressed out by even the slightest possibility of conflict, knowing that there were no arguments to be had was sort of a weight off my shoulders–as a result, Ian told me he loved me (and that he didn’t say it enough) and rubbed my shoulders and kissed me on the head and held my hand.  

Now let’s just see if we can keep this up for the rest of the week….