Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Girl Really Listens

Nearly four years into our relationship, my girlfriend and I still go on dates. Big dates, little dates, fancy dates, simple dates... it's wonderful.

Today was a donut date. Très cas(ual).

So, my Sweet and I were sitting there in Tim Hortons, drinking our coffees and eating our pastries, and she started talking about my work--writing, that is. I'm a full-time writer. Writing devours my days, and sometimes I feel like a really tedious partner because I talk about my projects ad nauseam.

But today it wasn't me talking about my books, it was Sweet excitedly discussing my projects, using industry jargon, offering advice and opinions and help... and that's when I thought to myself, "Wow! This girl really listens."

I guess I'm used to everybody else in my life not listening and not caring, especially when it comes to the publishing industry and my little plot therein. My family is terrible when it comes to listening. If I start talking about current writing projects, they change the subject. It gets me feeling like nobody cares, or they have some moral objection to my career, or they think it's icky.

My mother is the worst.

Yeah, yeah, everybody blames moms for everything, but if you've ever read Only Angels or Wonderful Wing Boys, my character Deb who won't take her eyes off her BlackBerry? That's my mom.

Yes, Deb is based on my mother. Yes, that's weird. Yes, I know. Let's not get too Freudian about it.

The point is, every time I call my mother (I always phone her house number) I hear her attention shift away from me, and I know where it's gone. I ask her, "Are you texting?" and the answer is always yes--unless she's sending an email. Either way, it's always BlackBerry-related. She's like a 60-year-old teenager. It's ridiculous.

So that's what I'm dealing with when I try to have conversations with my family. And that's why it's so refreshing to hear my girlfriend using industry terms she only knows because she's heard me using them. When I mention the name of another author or one of my editors or publishers, Sweet knows who I'm talking about. We have real, deep conversations because when I talk, she listens.

She listens!

Maybe I had seriously low expectations before this relationship, I don't know, but I guess I've always expected my words to float into the ether after they've left my mouth. I'm still getting used to this idea that I say things and she acknowledges them, and contributes thoughts of her own. It's pretty kick-ass.

But when she talks, do I listen? Hmm... if you asked the Magic 8-Ball, it just might tell you to concentrate and ask again.



  1. I think that is a beautiful testament to love. I suspect you deserve such a love.

  2. Awwwwwww thanks. Everyone deserves to be heard and I think very few of us feels that in any relationship or circumstance.