Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Someone to Hold My Hair When I Puke

Pretty image, I know.

OK, somewhere in the mess of old posts (I’m still trying to get those under control, delete duplicates and clean up dead links/find the correct links – and yeah today was my deadline and YES I know that means I’m officially missing my deadline) is something I wrote a while ago about my weird issues with not ever letting men see me sick.  Ever.

Which is entirely true.  I’ve never let any of the men (read-boyfriends/lovers) in my life see me sick.  I’ve never let any of them bring me soup when I’m home with a cold, or come by to visit me when I’m really sick and could use some help taking care of myself.

It’s just an issue I have.

But at the same time, I have this distinct memory of being 20-something and joking with my friends that maybe more than anything else, I wanted to meet a guy who loved me enough to hold my hair when I puke.

I’m not sure how I can reconcile those 2 things:  wanting to meet someone who will take care of me, no matter how unpleasant that might be and not wanting to be in front of men.  I was thinking a lot about it this weekend, though.  I think it all comes back to my trust issues.  I think I’ve been afraid that showing my vulnerability would not be rewarded.  That instead of ending up with someone to hold my hair, I’d end up with someone who’d take (even more) advantage of me.

Which leads me to a conversation I had last week with Single Gal in the City.  It can be hard to discuss the whole, “happily single but if the right someone comes along then OK” thing with most people.  Most people assume it’s a defensive posture, or an issue of sour grapes.  When really, for me (I can’t speak for anyone else) it’s choosing to accept and be happy with my very fortunate reality.  Anyway, SGIC  and I were talking about how we were both hoping to one day meet guys who could ADD something to our lives.  Because our lives are pretty cool.  We have a lot.  We’re lucky.  And it would be great to meet a guy who could ADD something, make life richer.

And that, really, I’m not all that interested in entering into a long-term relationship that’s not about adding to my life.  That’s about giving more than I receive.  That’s about giving up huge parts of what I have now.

I want someone to hold my hair when I puke.


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40 to “Someone to Hold My Hair When I Puke”


  1. brewers_rule says:

    Funny, my past’s always been filled w/being the caretaking guy while watching the player guys taking advantage of said woman in need (and getting no thanks from the women in question, either). Maybe I need to just give up and be like Jules in Pulp Fiction who wanted to be like Caine and just walk the Earth alone already? Trying to understand women makes my head HURT.

    • jamy says:

      It always helps if you think about woman as human beings first and not some other race of mysterious creatures.

      • Simone Grant says:

        Um, yes. But I’m not sure how viewing women (as I am a woman) as human beings would help with anything relevant to this post: I’m seeking a guy who will compliment my life. And I have trust issues. And those 2 things are oddly connected. Or not. Thanks, though.

    • Christian S. says:

      Simone if you’re so lucky – why does this topic take up so much of your time – or is that the issue of the atheist constantly trying to figure out what possibilities are there and what is right whereas the believer doesn’t have to waste any time on it?!

      I think there is a different way of looking at the issue of not wanting to be vulnerable in front of your “man”?
      Wouldn’t that require even more strength to show that you too can be vulnerable – knowing that you might get hurt?
      All-In can cost you a lot – but at the same time you can gain the most.

      I personally don’t go for someone holding back anymore.
      (That can only lead to a mediocre experience in my opinion – just judging by what is important to me of course)

      On a side note – and I, as a man might be biased here – do women (generally) want to enrich their man’s life in the same way they expect it from their (future) partner?
      (might be an interesting poll)

      @brewers_rule:
      You’re the center of you own universe – what I mean is that first of all you need to focus on being happy with yourself.
      (which it doesn’t sound like you are at the moment)

      Making your fortune dependent on a woman does make you subordinate and thus unfree in your decisions.

      You sound like you’re trying to be the “nice” guy – but is that really who you are?

      Also you don’t need to understand “women” – that’s simply not possible because there are no “women” but each one is an individual. You just need to see the right one for who she is.
      What do you care about the rest?

      • Simone Grant says:

        Christian,
        I’m lucky for dozens of reasons that have nothing to do with being single. I’m relatively healthy, have a relatively supportive family, live in one of the most fabulous places in the world, have a high degree of personal freedom, etc. When I say I’m lucky, I mean those things. But also that I’ve never felt pressured to live a life that didn’t feel right. to marry because that was what was expected of me, to conform to standards of behavior that felt like lies.

        I never stop questioning my choices and beliefs (ALL of them). It’s just who I am. When I happen to meet another writer who writes about dating out for drinks, you can bet we’ll be talking about dating and being single, amongst other things.

        As to your point about showing vulnerability requiring great strength – yes, that’s true. But also trust. And of course, it’s a chicken-egg thing. Which comes first? Do I trust someone and then allow myself to be vulnerable or do I allow myself to be vulnerable and then have someone show me it was the right decision (by showing that he is trustworthy)? Or maybe it will all be clear at the right time with the right person?
        :-) Oh, and I’ve been doing the “enrich my man’s life” thing for a couple of decades. I’ve yet to ever get as much as I’ve given. I’m still not convinced that in most cases it’s a realistic expectation. Hence the whole single-thing.

        • Christan says:

          But also that I’ve never felt pressured to live a life that didn’t feel right. to marry because that was what was expected of me, to conform to standards of behavior that felt like lies.

          Is it at all possible that this belief system you have created, wherein you don’t need a man, you don’t need marriage, you’re satisfied and resigned to the possibility that you might end up alone has anything to do with why you’re alone and why you meet men just as ambivalent about commitment?

          As to your point about showing vulnerability requiring great strength – yes, that’s true. But also trust. And of course, it’s a chicken-egg thing. Which comes first? Do I trust someone and then allow myself to be vulnerable or do I allow myself to be vulnerable and then have someone show me it was the right decision (by showing that he is trustworthy)?

          I don’t know which came first, but I do remember hearing that the egg stands alone. You obviously get something out of staying in this holding pattern. That’s the only explanation for why you keep playing this tape. I don’t think it’s fear, though. Well, it is. It’s a fear of not being considered relevant or different. Who wants to be like everyone else? It’s hard to stand out that way, I would guess.

          It would be one thing if there was some progress from all this “introspection.” But you keep saying the same things over and over again and don’t seem to be moving forward.

          • Simone Grant says:

            A belief system that I CREATED? Wow, you’re giving me a lot of credit that I don’t deserve. There have always been people who choose not to marry. Always. It’s so funny how people choose to forget that. But 40 years ago, 80 years ago there were people who chose not to marry. Their numbers were just smaller then. As to my picking men who are ambivalent about commitment, um, no. Also not factually accurate. My last serious relationship was with a man who was married for 8 years. Most of my exes are divorced guys. I have lots of issues with men and relationships but can we please try to keep the analysis factually accurate and not twist things to suit the theory du jour?

            I can’t imagine what I “get” out of what you call my holding pattern (a rather judgmental way of looking at a couple decade’s struggle with trust issues with men, but whatever). I’m living and learning (and messing up and learning some more). And sharing. I can’t imagine why that would make me any different than lots of other people. Methinks those are your issues, not mine.

          • Christan says:

            A belief system that I CREATED? Wow, you’re giving me a lot of credit that I don’t deserve.

            That’s your narcissism talking. I wasn’t saying you created anything. I was speaking to your personal belief system, which we all have, which we all create for ourselves.

            As to my picking men who are ambivalent about commitment, um, no. Also not factually accurate. My last serious relationship was with a man who was married for 8 years.

            Was he married to you? No? Wasn’t he divorced and pretty much a mess who jerked you around and that’s why things didn’t work out? Then you get my point.

            I have lots of issues with men and relationships but can we please try to keep the analysis factually accurate and not twist things to suit the theory du jour?

            Sure. Could we also agree that you’ll include studies and data of people who got married later in life and how the divorce rate is lower in those cases the next time you go on your “Marriage isn’t a necessity. Be unhappy and alone like me” crusade? I mean, if you’re so against people spreading propaganda to suit their own agenda, you might want to start with your own blog.

            I can’t imagine what I “get” out of what you call my holding pattern (a rather judgmental way of looking at a couple decade’s struggle with trust issues with men, but whatever).

            Get off your high horse, princess. You roll around in the mud like the rest of us. You’re as judgmental as anyone else and, despite what you tell people, you are not above the negativity. You just choose devisive ways to spread your negativity and hide behind the guise of “just being honest.”

            I can’t imagine why that would make me any different than lots of other people. Methinks those are your issues, not mine.

            Ah, the ad hominem attack. You know, for someone who so desperately wants people to think she’s an intellectual, the way you argue is really quite pedestrian.

            • Simone Grant says:

              Like I said, methinks those are your issues. BIG, ridiculous issues. This is hysterical. I guess I should delete it under the “no nastiness” policy, but seriously, it’s just too funny. I gotta leave it up.

              • PKW says:

                Let’s see of this gets through:

                Got here like two days ago. Great reading!

                On this particular post, I guess if I were looking for someone to maybe the rest of my life with, it wouldn’t help to hide anything from them. While they may not hold my hair while I puke, they may be the only person that sees you without your make-up on, when I start using make-upo every day. The earlier they get with he programme, the better! In my culture, giving birth is considered so female (or gross?) that men traditionally were kept put of it, yet I would want him there.

                On a seperate note (I got sucked in by the exchange between you-Simone- and Christan). It’s hard to understand your take without understanding the cultural context-one where a lot of focus is on the individual being all they can be as individuals, unbridled self interest and whatnot. I like the whole ‘ADD’ to my life bit, but if anyone had everything they wanted/needed, they’d need (no I don’t mean you’re needy) anyone else. Not true for me, at least. Not that I have ‘it’ all, but I feel I have ‘it’ enough.

                It’s also a bit hard (for some people) to reconcile “happily single but if the right someone comes along then OK” . While actively seeking for that someone.

                I think it’s perfectly fine to be single and enjoying life to the fullest, and I see no need to justify it. At the same time, I see no shame in me confessing that I am (well, not now, hopefully, not any more) looking for a mate. It doesn’t have to be either, or, which is what Christan seems to suggest.

                • Simone Grant says:

                  You’re comment wasn’t showing up (you submitted it several times) because it was going straight into the spam folder. I use a very aggressive program and of the dozens of comments it tags as spam each day, sometimes one or two are legit. Sorry about that.

                  I don’t write a how-to blog. I never suggest that my choices should be yours. In fact, I go out of my frequently to mention the happily married people/great moms that I know. And as I frequently say, I don’t expect people to understand my take on things or be my cheerleader.

    • Simone Grant says:

      LOL. I think most honest people would admit to not being able to completely understand the opposite sex. And, as usual, I believe that there will always be more questions than answers. And that the questions are just more interesting than the answers :-)

  2. david (darkheath) says:

    Simone, my nurturing nature would have a VERY hard time with this. I know there are plenty of scuzzbags out there, but I can’t even see how someone could take advantage of a situation like this. Maybe it’s not in me to see it. Actually, I think I’ve seen the sick person be more likely to “take advantage” of the situation.

    I see relationships as a “team”. Both partners doing all they can to help the team succeed. When one part of the team is down or sick or even just running out of time, the other needs to do what (s)he can do to compensate. So if that compensation comes in the part of being there for you while you’re sick, or warming up & cleaning your car of snow while you’re getting ready for work, whatever the circumstances may dictate, then that is what is needed. It’s about doing what’s needed to make the life of the other easier/better/more pleasant, because in the end, the “team” benefits.

    It definitely sounds like these are issues of trust. You have to think about it and figure out what, exactly, it is that you fear losing.

    Cheers, Simone.

    david

    • Quinten_Brune says:

      David, I agree with you there 100% A relationship at any level is a team effort and when one person is feeling out of sorts the other should help ‘take up the slack’ without being constantly asked etc. It should come naturally for them there.

      It does all revolve around trust. And a person from the beginning has to figure out where they stand on it from the beginning so there are no misunderstandings, I’ve lost quite a few relationships over that one simple thing.

      • Simone Grant says:

        I guess there are some people who have no trouble trusting? Who can just trust a new person without that person having to earn it? I’m asking. Because I don’t get it, really I don’t. I can’t get there. I need new people in my life to earn trust. And if they do things to show me that I shouldn’t trust them, then I don’t.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I’d like to see relationships as a team. In my future, I’d like to get there. I just haven’t had those experiences in the past. And while part of that is about the men I was picking (def not team players) part of that is something else, entirely.

      • david (darkheath) says:

        Yes.. I do realise that most guys are NOT team players. But sacrifice during a time of sickness would be a great indicator.

        As far as trusting goes, my “date” count is barely higher than my “relationship” count. So perhaps I tend to trust a little easier than most out of blind naivete. But I have certainly had more than my share of heartache. But what does it take to earn your trust? Wouldn’t you think that someone who selflessly helped you through a tough/sick period would go a long way toward that trust?

        I’m still not sure what it is you feel you’d lose. What is this “something else entirely”?

        • Simone Grant says:

          Just for clarification, I didn’t say that most guys aren’t team players – you did. I said the guys I was picking weren’t. I’ve written often about my long history with a specific type of guy. The “king of the universe” types. The bullies.

          As to the “something else entirely” -> I am fiercely independent. Always have been, even as a child. My mom used to like to tease me with stories of how, as a baby, I wouldn’t let anyone feed me. Instead I’d knock their hands away and insist on doing it myself (before my coordination was really up to the task). I guess I didn’t eat much and was a mess to clean up after. And I am a bit of an extreme type A myself. I used to run things, in my old job. I was in charge. And I could only ever be attracted to men I couldn’t boss around (the bullies). The problem is that those men aren’t usually very kind or caring.

          I’m not sure it’s something I can ever properly explain. It’s not about losing anything. It’s just who I am, or was. A control freak. A fiercely independent control freak. I’d like to believe that the changes I’ve made in my life over the past couple of years (which have been RADICAL) will help me be better able to trust someone in the future. To let some wonderful man in. If I should ever meet a wonderful man.

          • david (darkheath) says:

            Thank you. Makes more sense now. I hope you can come to grips with it, and start to learn to trust. Realize, though, that “those” guys are fairly easy to spot, and they will most always be all about themselves.

  3. AC says:

    This whole post reminds me of a saying I very much so agree with, “I am looking for a man to compliment my life, not complete it.”

    • Simone Grant says:

      I like that a lot. Not sure I’ve ever heard it, but it gets to the heart of the matter. Compliment not complete. Exactly. Every time I hear the phrase, “you complete me” I want to gag.

  4. Lifebeginsat30ty says:

    I completely agree with the compliment not complete my life. I think looking for a relationship to make you complete is the wrong way to go about it! And in the same vein Im not going to keep people in my life who are not making it a better one or more fun.

    Now the trust issue I have no problem with. It’s the best feeling in the world to be vulnerable and know that you can be and they will love you anyway.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I guess I envy you. No, not guess, know. Somewhere along the way my trust function got broken. And truthfully, every time I’ve tried to reach out and try, it turned out to be a really bad idea, so…

  5. pansophy says:

    “I guess there are some people who have no trouble trusting? Who can just trust a new person without that person having to earn it? I’m asking. Because I don’t get it, really I don’t. I can’t get there. I need new people in my life to earn trust. And if they do things to show me that I shouldn’t trust them, then I don’t.”

    But see, this isn’t true either. You don’t give men a chance to earn your trust. If you did then at least some small subset of them would earn the opportunity to hold your hair when you puke and take care of you when you were sick. If they then let you down or took advantage of your vulnerability in some way then you wouldn’t do that again.

    That’s what earning trust is, but you have made a decision that men can be trusted to a certain point and that’s it. Ever.

    The cost of that decision is the impossibility of partnership with someone because how is true intimate partnership possible without trust??

    …and you know I don’t care what partnership looks like (i.e., marriage – no marriage, monogamy – no monogamy), but the elements that make up intimacy are pretty universal: trust, connection, and attachment.

    • Simone Grant says:

      What you say makes sense. All I know is that I’ve tried in the past (to open up and trust) and I’ll try in the future (if presented with an opportunity that seems appropriate). And hopefully I’ll have learned from my mistakes.

      Surely I’m not the only fiercely independent person who’ve ever built huge walls around themselves? Who wants to trust but has failed miserably at prior attempts? I’m guessing it’s a rather common phenomena.

  6. pups4me says:

    I did get a chuckle out of the posts between you and Christian–not sure what that’s all about, except it reminds me of grade school when some people need to pick on other people in order to feel good about themselves.

    As often is the case, the topic today is timely. I want a man to compliment my life as well, but I seem to have trouble finding such a man. Instead they are complicating my life…sigh. The last 4 guys I’ve dated have all fallen under the self-absorbed category–everything is about them and their issues, problems, etc…I’m tired of being understanding and making allowances for someone else’s “difficult” times. I have my own issues and it would be really nice to find a guy that asks me how my day was and honestly wanted to know. I mean, is it too much to ask?

    • Simone Grant says:

      Your grade school analogy is a good one. I didn’t get it then, either. At least it’s good for a chuckle now and again.

      It’s not too much to ask. Or it shouldn’t be. It’s frustrating, I know. There are, sadly, lots of men who are raised (by their parents, and so WOMEN are partially to blame for this) to believe that they are the center of the universe. That their thoughts, feelings, needs, experiences are far more important than anyone else’s (and yeah, I grew up in one of those families, so I’ve seen it first hand). And some women are clearly fine with this set up, or willing to pretend they’re fine.

  7. Black Iris says:

    I’m all for trust and commitment and love, but I have to say – no one has ever offered to hold my hair for me when I puke. I’m sure my husband loves me enough to do it – if something was wrong with my hands.

    It’s been nearly thirty years and I don’t think he’s actually seen me throw up. Heard me in the next room, sure.

    So maybe it’s not just about trust. Maybe he doesn’t particularly want to watch someone throw up – who does? From my point of view, I would prefer he not see me at my worst, although, when you’re really sick you don’t care. I wouldn’t see it as a test or proof of love, though. I’ve never rushed to help him when he’s throwing up.

    • Simone Grant says:

      :-) I’m not sure I’d ever actually want someone to hold my hair. Not literally. It’s not a pleasant image. But someone who’d offer, someone who’d come scoop me up off the bathroom floor if I was sick and weak. Well, that’s a fantasy of mine, as perverse as it sounds. The guy who comes by to take care of me when I’m sick, knowing I’ll look awful and be awful, etc.

  8. Christian S. says:

    Don’t know why Moxie calls herself Christian here … well wayne.

    From the writing you can tell that it’s a woman trying to force her beliefs on others thereby trying to to justify her own decisions.

    Hey “Christian” you don’t need us to tell you your views are the right ones. You need to be contented with your life – no one else.

    Live and let live?

    btw. being by yourself doesn’t mean being lonely for everyone.

    • Christan says:

      Um…my real name is Christan. C-H-R-I-S-T-A-N. Like Kristen.

      From the writing you can tell that it’s a woman trying to force her beliefs on others thereby trying to to justify her own decisions.

      I am a female. I kinda figured the avatar gave that away. As for forcing my beliefs, the fact that you’re here proves you don’t have an issue with a woman who forces her opinions down.
      people’s throats.

      I am fiercely independent. Always have been, even as a child. My mom used to like to tease me with stories of how, as a baby, I wouldn’t let anyone feed me. Instead I’d knock their hands away and insist on doing it myself (before my coordination was really up to the task). I guess I didn’t eat much and was a mess to clean up after.

      MOST children do this. It’s a normal part of child development. It doesn’t put you in your own little special category. Nor is it an early sign that you’ll grow up to be “fiercely independent.” When you don’t have many substantive relationships in your life, you don’t have a choice but to rely on yourself.

      • Simone Grant says:

        Ah, you know me so well. Oh wait, you don’t.

        • Christan says:

          Oh Simone, I know you very well. I was you, and still am to some degree. I see so much of myself in you. I know how this story goes.

          I know the tone of a lonely, isolated woman who’s lost hope. I’ve done the wanting a part-time relationship thing. I’ve told myself that men were intimidated by my intelligence and my opinionated nature. I’ve told myself every single lie you tell yourself.

          You can be flip or get all passive aggressive or get your fans to write their supportive comments. That doesn’t change the fact that you haven’t answered one question I’ve posed, or had one genuinely intelligent response. You’ve done nothing but deflect, trying to use sarcasm as a way to defuse the situation.

          I don’t think it takes a crystal ball to see in to your world, Simone.

          You’d prefer to have casual sex with a guy who couldn’t care less about you, who literally comes and goes, rather than having a date because getting ready for a date would be too much work. The few references you do make to your family are negative or at the very least sound strained. Your friendships appear to be inconsistent or only ever discussed in hypothetical terms. To me, you sound pretty isolated. The only question is if it is truly self-imposed or do you push people away? Maybe that’s what all this is about. Maybe you’re just trying to avoid people wondering if the real issues lie with you and your own inability to maintain healthy relationships

          • Simone Grant says:

            Darling, look. You don’t know me. And I, happily, don’t know you. You’ve been a bit of a running joke around here. Comic relief. Which is why I’ve let this continue.

            I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are interested in buying your particular brand of crazy. Heck, there are people who think Bush was bright. It takes all kinds. But please do me a favor and save your breath. I don’t buy it nor do I care. And I have better things to do than waste my time dealing with it.

  9. Melissa Ulto says:

    ladies, ladies…

    the amount of energy expended here on fighting over who is a victim or not is PRIME FUCKING ENERGY. seriously, think about how you guys feel writing this stuff – emotional, impassioned, focused, fierce – that’s exactly (well sans the over emotional stuff) what you need in the sac.

    harness the chi, ladies. the chi of the coochie…

    (if you ain’t laughing by now, pull the stick out of your butt)

    ;) m.


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