Sweating the Small Stuff. Is it Worth it?
Two days ago I skimmed my sweetie’s Facebook page. His wall had the usual, the foursquare updates, the witty calls to action, the numerous unknown female postings…wait a second. What was that last one?
“Wish I hadn’t moved away, then we could have that wine together!”, one post touted. “Can’t wait to see you at lunch today”, another projected.
“Yesterday was fun, glad we could catch up!”, a third rejoiced.
Touting? Projecting? Rejoicing? I don’t think so.
Why is it that when I read these comments, I can’t just simply read them. Instead, I insert an exaggerative, flirting tone which breaks through like the inner jealous 10th grader I truly am. What bothered me most about these female foes, was that I didn’t know them. I’d never met them, and I’d especially never heard sweetie talk about them, one way or the other. What’s more, I wasn’t even in his list of friends on the left. It was almost too much, or rather, not enough.
On my page, sweetie was definitely a cute thumbnail…and scrolling down, I certainly didn’t have boyish flirting posts replying to dinner dates. I became madder by the maddening second! Should I say something? Just because my FB status includes or precludes certain things, does that mean his should also? Can’t I just be satisfied with my own determinations? My continuing reddening cheeks told me ‘no’.
When is it worth it to speak up about the things that bother us? I don’t really know.
It happened a couple of nights later while sitting side-by-side at a delicious Vietnamese mom and pop. (Thank you, Yelp!) Steaming noodles in front of me, I hid under my hair and asked if he’d done anything worth mentioning the previous week. Actually, it went something like this:
Me: “So, did you have lunch with anyone interesting this week?”.
Him: ”No, not really…oh, um, I did have lunch with Melinda, a girl who…” (blah, blah, blah)
I tossed my hair and shoved another mouthful in. I couldn’t help it and I couldn’t let it go.
Me: “Wow, you sure have a lot of fun LADY friends, I suppose”. I couldn’t even look at him, I felt so lame. What’s painful about this, is that I am not usually this insecure, there was just something about these chicks I didn’t like.
Him: “Well, part of it relates to how I grew up. All women. Only real father figure was my Uncle. I just feel like I can talk to them more”. I grimaced, he was being so honest. I felt like putrid vase water, the kind you dump out after the flowers have all died.
Him: “Do you have something you want to talk about?”, he inquired.
Ugh, I did not want to be having this conversation. I finally confessed. I told him I was resolved to stop looking at his wall, that all the girly comments upset me, and that it was my problem, not his. I’m not sure that I believed my own words, but I said them with such conviction, I began to waver. He asked if he was doing something that made me question my trust for him. Ouch. This one really hurt. This was the comment I was dreading. The answer was, no. No, he hadn’t done anything, and now I felt terrible.
Sweetie was treating me better than any boyfriend I had ever had. He searched for my hand, even in front of all his guy friends. Always sitting close to me, his arm would fall across the back of my shoulders, amongst a crowded dinner party, too. He spoiled me four different ways on Valentine’s…and I will say nothing more about how he accomplished that difficult feat 😉
There really is a reason why people say, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’. I get that. The thing is though, aren’t the big things just small things times ten? The conflicts between divorcees, didn’t they start with some thoughtless comment? The lazy husband who never gets the door for his wife, though her arms are spilling over with lettuce, tomatoes and small children. The monkeying two-year old drags along her pant cuff, yet he remains on the couch. Was this just my dad, people?
The timing of words…of when to say what? How to start the conversation? I will leave it to the master, William Wordsworth, who stated quite frankly: “To begin, begin”. Now, wasn’t reading this worth it?
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I'm glad that you voiced your concerns to your sweetie – many wouldn't! This post speaks to exactly what make men and women so different though; women overanalyze and men think these smal things that drive us crazy are no big deal. But the real conclusion is exactly the conclusion you came to … it IS no biggie! There is a reason you're with your man. You trust him and he makes you feel amazing, so let him. 🙂
Good thoughts, Laurie! I'm not sure why we have to put so much meaning in to everything. It is soo nice how men balance us, isn't it?
I'm glad that you wrote this. I can completely relate and it makes me feel a little better knowing that I'm not the only girl out there struggling with the question; 'do I bring this up or not'? My guy is fantastically-amazing too, and I've learned that you have to just let some of the small stuff go. But I would have brought up the face book thing too.
I'm relieved someone else feels this way. At times, I feel like the neurotic woman who nit-picks. I can't stand that phrase, anyway! Have some good times with that fantastically amazing guy of yours 🙂
This is the age of independence and hopefully a growing maturity that means we can have many friends and associates. Though I must say if I were at lunch with someone I would like to have some idea that it was just a friend.
Jenny G–you make a great point. Defining ourselves or others is paramount. Being a "friend" or a "lover" are quite different. What's the harm in assigning some sort of role?