Excerpts from conversations between Sam (S) and Me (M):
Lesson 1: Volunteering for causes you know little about so that the cool kids will like you = bad idea.
S: Remind me why you volunteered for this committee at work?
M: I like the people on it, and I want them to be my friends.
S: But you've been stresing out about the article you need to write for days now.
M: I need to submit it this week.
S: It's a volunteer committee - it's supposed to be fun.
M: I know.
S: That's it. It's getting late. Turn off the computer and go to bed. Tomorrow, you get in touch with these people and tell them you just don't have time for this right now. Which, let's be honest, is true. This is getting ridiculous. You've been up late three nights in a row spazzing out about your volunteer work. These people will like you even if you don't join their stupid committee.
(This actually turned out to be true. They invited me to their party tomorrow.)
Lesson 2: Starting a new job + getting divorced = you can't be there for everyone, all the time, everywhere.
S: You can't do it.
M: She needs me.
S: This is obviously stressing you out.
M: I know. But, you don't get it. I have to do this.
S: No, you don't.
M: Yes, I do.
S: Look, you are working the equivalent of two full-time jobs and dealing with a divorce. This is going to have to be one of those times that someone else plays the role of supportive friend.
M: Seriously. You really don't get it. I have to do this. You just don't understand.
S: No, I DO understand. You are running yourself ragged. You have enough on your plate. This is too much.
M: Look, clearly you don't get it. I don't want to talk about this anymore.
(Then, in the middle of the night, I had my first - and hopefully last - anxiety attack. Score: Sam 2, Me 0.)
Lesson 3: I am attractive (Ok, I know that sounds so arrogant, but I'm still going to leave it there.)
S: That guy we just walked past was totally checking you out.
M: No, he wasn't.
S: Yes, he was. Do you think he was turning his head to get a second look at me?
M: Fair enough. He could be gay though.
S: Well, I was with a girl, so he probably figured out that I'm not gay.
M: Point taken.
S: You're a beautiful girl, you know.
M: That's nice of you to say.
S: I'm not just trying to be nice. It's true.
M: I already said you're not spending the night.
S: This is not about sleeping at your apartment. However, if you change your mind, let me know. Anyways, you're very attractive, and you should know that.
(After the trauma of the breakdown of my marriage and the divorce proceedings, 'attractive' is hardly how I felt. I think I will always have a special place in my heart for Sam for reminding me that even in my brokenness, I can still be seen as attractive.)