July 07, 2004

people who need people

When I know Im wrong, I find it pretty easy to apologize. When I like something, Ill gush about it without reserve. When Im tired, cold or hungry or miserable with a headache, I have no problem saying, I have a god damn headache. But when I need help, when it occurs to me that I cant go it alone and I need to be bolstered up, I am absolutely incapable of saying, I need you.

Lest it seem that I crumble into weeklong crying spells merely for the benefit of keeping things interesting here on the fishblog, Ill be a bit more forthcoming and say, something fairly big was up. For the sake of my own privacy (and pride), I didnt expose it here, or even to most of those that I would consider close friends. As a result, I was a teary, snippy, headachy, nauseous train wreck of a human being.

I touched on my distress in writing, though my posts were never meant to be secret code of any kind. I have long since given up artless subterfuge. But yet, uncorked, my bottled messages must have said plenty to evoke tidings of, What is really going on with you, girl?

Preferring to twist in the wind (because crying oneself to sleep is ever so vogue), I thanked-but-no-thanked my way through the week, until one girlfriend had finally endured just enough of my emotional short bus behavior.

I dont care if its me, your neighbor, or the ice cream man, she said. You need someone.

Then she proceeded to guilt me with the bodily harm that would befall her when she camped out on my street waiting for me to call and admit I needed support. You know, like a good friend does.

And so, I caved. I accepted company, comfort and really hot pizza. All of which I had needed, and couldn't ask for.

I cant get through cheesy horror flicks by myself. Without another warm body to hide behind or arm to cling to, theyre unbearable. Which makes me wonder: Why is it I think I can possibly make it through scary, real-life situations without the same?

Posted by This Fish at July 7, 2004 03:52 PM

Wait, wait, I know! Your rugged, individualistic, pioneering Texas spirit.


Posted by: Lex at July 7, 2004 04:53 PM

i would have, you know. camped on the street. been molested by weirdos. lovingly blamed it on you.

Posted by: k at July 7, 2004 05:47 PM

i hope the deliciously hot pizza didn't burn your mouth ...

Posted by: shelley at July 7, 2004 08:40 PM

i here ya with the calling on the help thing. for independent women, it's the hardest thing to do.

Posted by: Anna at July 7, 2004 11:34 PM


From what you've written here about your family and upbringing, it was a great triumph of spirit and an all around good thing for you to be strong and independent. It sounds like you are experiencing a humbler triumph these days - being able to receive as well as give.

With your talk of giving up the blog, I've been thinking about what it means to me, a daily reader. You seem to roll with the punches and keep plugging away, flinching but not balking. And, what an inspiration it is. Often, when I read your posts, I think to myself, "yay, fish! keep it up!"

Yay, Fish Keep it up!

Posted by: shelley lloyd at July 7, 2004 11:50 PM

i'm really sorry that you had such a rough time AND problems admitting you needed a shoulder. why are we - in general - so afraid of appearing 'weak'? isn't it just perception anyway?

and friends like that are simply priceless.

Posted by: becky at July 8, 2004 01:56 AM

Friends are so rockin' sometimes!

Posted by: annette at July 8, 2004 02:03 AM

Answer: you don't have to. Reach out. Someone good always cares.

Posted by: Michael at July 8, 2004 09:27 AM

God bless stubborn friends.

In my life I have acted as the dumping ground for many many friends. It's a mystery to me that I in turn find it so hard to dump on them.

When I have a headache or don't feel well, I have no trouble whining about it, but to let someone see me cry because my feelings got hurt? I'd really rather have my wisdom teeth removed. Again.

Posted by: petitchou at July 8, 2004 10:05 AM

I think there's a lesson in here about women, about how strong we're supposed to be. Tough. Like men.

We need to rewrite the rule book so that it says that everyone needs help at least sometimes, and that asking for it? Is a good thing.

But that'll never happen.

Posted by: Shiz at July 8, 2004 05:38 PM