Thursday, October 2, 2008

I have issues.

Specifically, rejection issues.

Most of the time, my irrationality lies dormant. It sleeps peacefully beneath the placid waters of my consciousness like the monster at the bottom of Loch Ness. Those who have never seen it wouldn't believe it was there even if I had photographic proof.

The beast surfaced today. Twice. It made me cry both times.

My good friend was having a baaaad morning. She hadn't slept well for two nights in a row and had that sleep deprivation hangover: irritability, headache, lethargy, the works. She was bummed because she had so much housework to do and wanted to go back to bed instead. I needed to use her dance studio to practice clogging, so I asked if I could come over. I figured once I was there I could help pick up a few things, maybe sweep the kitchen floor, wipe off a counter... you know, the kinds of things a good friend does.

Her reply, "You can come over if all you do is practice. You are NOT going to come here and clean."

Ah... the girl knows me too well.

But an odd thing happened inside my brain when she spoke. I didn't hear the words she used. My irrational rejection filter changed the message to "You can come and practice, but then you have to leave because I have stuff to do."

Now, we're good enough friends that I know that she wasn't telling me that I could come just to practice and then I had to leave. I know she loves me and loves it when I come to hang out at her house. I know this. So why did I feel rejected when she wasn't jazzed about the idea of a maid-disguised-as-friend visit?

Fast forward a few hours to dinnertime The evening was hectic, with all six of us going in four different directions. I decided to make Dutch Babies, a quick, easy dish that uses lots of eggs, since our hens have just come into lay and I needed to use up the pasty, anemic store bought eggs to make room for the brown egg boom. I was whipping the eggs when my husband came home.

"Mmmm. What are you making?"

"Dutch Babies."


"Will you be offended if I make myself a sandwich?"

I stared at him with my mouth open slightly. What did he just say? This is the man who eats nearly everything I put in front of him. The list of foods he dislikes is very very short. He has always been very supportive and encouraging of my efforts in the kitchen, which makes him easy to cook for.

After several seconds of gaping dumbness, I finally found my voice.

"Yes I'll be offended! Don't you like them?!

He shook his head slowly, a hint of wariness in his eyes.

I was dumbfounded. I've known this man for Twenty-One years! How is it possible that this glaring food aversion fact escaped my notice?!

My eyes began to sting. "But... but... Your whole family loves these! I thought you loved these! Your mother makes them at family reunions, and I even made them once not too many months ago! You have never said anything about not liking them!"

He shook his head, eyebrows raised placatingly. "My mother loves them, but I've never been crazy about them."

Oh. Whoops.

I turned to the sink to wash some dishes so he wouldn't see the tears welling up in my eyes. Why am I crying!? What a stupid thing to cry about. Must. Stop. Now!

I felt like a fool for not knowing something so simple about my husband's food preferences. I mean, you think you know someone, and then something like this happens; suddenly the world tilts on its axis and you're left grabbing wildly for the kitchen sink sprayer to keep from being thrown off. Um... could we cut the drama please? He just doesn't like this dish. It's not like he just told you he wants a divorce. Oh, right... Right. Sorry. Uh... yeah.

He came up behind me and put his hands on my shoulders. His gentle voice tickled my ear. "Scrambled eggs sound really good, though."

"Sure thing. Just... I need a minute, okay?"

I fled to the bathroom and sobbed quietly into a towel until the pressure in my head was bearable. Then I dried my eyes and went back out to turn part of the whipped eggs into a ham and cheese omelet. He ate, kissed me goodbye, and went to help a family move.

What happened today was not a big deal to Tom. It wasn't a big deal to my friend. But my stupid guerrilla issues made it a really big deal to me, and my attempts to talk myself out of those feelings of hurt and rejection went mostly unheeded by my inner child.

Isn't it funny how a wound seems healed, and then the scab gets ripped off and it bleeds like it just barely happened all over again?

Yeah, Real Funny.


  1. I'm sorry you had a rough day!

    I would have eaten your dutch babies, (even though I have honestly never heard of them before - what are they?) but to be honest, I'd probably eat a can of cold lima beans, as long as I wasn't the one who had to open them. I don't get cooked for a lot.

    I'm going to venture a wild, crazy guess and say that you are probably not the only woman to suffer from rejection issues. It's surprising, I know! One of the many perks of estrogen, I guess. :)

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. I hope things are better today!

  2. Great post. I totallllllly get it. HATE rejection. HATE wounded child issues. HATE it when my husband makes a sandwhich.

    One time I went to the Big Island to chaperone my daughter's 4th grade trip and brought my husband a box of yummy macademia nut cookies from theeee macademis nut factory. I sobbed in the bathroom because he wouldn't eat them (was on the Adkins diet, but STILL).
    My son noticed and told one of his friends. Now, 5 years later, his cute friend still hugs me every time he sees me and says "I'm sorry your husband made you cry." (My poor husband. ;)

  3. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but Tom's whole family doesn't like them, because I don't like them either. It is a weird texture thing with me. Sorry.
    And I am sorry about your day. Where are you in your monthly cycle, because I personally feel like a completely different person this week than the suicidal me of last week, and am beginning to think it is all hormones. Dang it stinks to get old. I hope writing about it helped.

  4. having just come down from my "cry at anything and everything" stress of the last week... (if I had a dance studio I could be your best friend apparently) I think I can sympathize - or at least cry with you here - but right now I have to go find out what the heck Dutch Babies are!

  5. I was having a very similar moment - um moments today. Only I've been really cranky and taking lots of things personally. I'm not going to go into details.... sometimes for me it's just too silly. But I get it, too. :)

  6. Ok, firstly, I think maybe your next recipe post ought to be dutch babies. There is much curiousity about them. :D

    I'm sorry about your crying day. I've had major rejection issues in the past and they are no fun at all. I won't get into them here, because really if I wanted to do that I should have my own blog. I'll just say they are tons better these days.

    Somedays a good little bit of crying really is what's called for and it will find a way to happen for any little ol' reason. Sometimes I'll deliberately watch a sad movie or read a sad book when I feel the need to leak. And that keeps it out of my personal life when it doesn't need to be there.

  7. Yes, I'm dying to know what the heck Dutch Babies are.

    I freaked on my husband two weeks ago. He knows when Aunt Flow is visiting and is always great at pointing her out when I freak. Not to say Aunt Flow is visiting you right now...but maybe she is??

    You'll be better tomorrow. Not to worry buck-a-roo.

  8. For all those who want the recipe - I added a link to a similar recipe with a great picture of the Dutch Babies (aka German Pancakes). Like I said, I learned to make them from my MIL (Hi Marge!), using a 9x13" pan. My friend Amidey suggested baking them in pie plates, so that they would curl up higher and be light all the way through without turning custardy in the bottom.

    It worked! They were beautiful, bowl shaped, light, and airy, and the sides rose 5 inches up from the bottom of the pie plate! My kids loved them!

    If Amidey doesn't want to blog the recipe, I'll make a post with a picture of the finished product later this week.

  9. You silly girl. I am so obsessed with you I feel like a stalker. How could I ever not want you here? I am trying to get over my "letting people help me" issues. You know that is a huge mountain to climb. Not want you here. DUDE! You kill me. You know you made my day soooo much better. Thanks for sticking around.

  10. I know, I KNOW! That's why I came anyway -- which feat indicates that I was successful in talking back to the craziness in my head.

    It was a very fun visit and I was very glad that I came. I might even do it again one day. :D

  11. I have these same issues too! It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there!
    For me crying makes me feel better. I don't do it all the time but sometimes it's needed!
    I don't know you that well yes but from what I know of you I think you are great!

  12. I seriously hate days like that! I do it way to often and my poor husband is left confused! :)

    Hope tomorrow is better!

  13. Yeah, add me to the list of people who have major rejection issues. If I was an investment, I would have a 5-star Insecurity Rating. And it's only certain things that set me off. I'm very secure on some topics, and a black hole of neediness and touchiness on other topics.

    I found something that seems to be helping right now. I'm praying for charity. In the past, I've prayed to have charity for someone else, in a 'I know I ought to like you even though I don't' sort of way. This time, I'm praying to feel God's unconditional love for me. It feels like it's working. Something is different in a good way.

  14. Hi, I'm new here, and I think you have really interesting posts!

    Sounds like your battling hormones. I become weepy (over almost nothing, esp "rejections") about once a month... I keep track of this with a small sad face on my calendar, and when I look back and see that the last time was a month ago, I feel better knowing that it is chemical, normal, and will pass.

  15. No! I totally understand. In both instances you think you are doing something nice for someone you love, and here they are saying they don't appreciate it. Ouch. I would have cried, too.

    Although...are you sure you aren't pregnant?


    Just to clarify: I am most certainly NOT pregnant!

    That is all.