Friday, November 21, 2008

Debra - What I require in a friend...

I watched Grey's Anatomy tonight (which I love) and realized that I absolutely hate people that make stupid choices.

I don't mean unfortunate fashion choices. I mean the kind of choices which will never end well. The kind of choice in which the character even has a moment to reflect about how "not well" this will end and then makes the choice to do the stupid thing anyway.

Case in point: Grey's Anatomy has evolved over the years so that the lead characters, originally interns, are now residents. They are now responsible for teaching the new crop of interns and doing a pretty poor job of it. The interns, in an effort to get the medicine they feel they're being denied, have formed their own version of "fight club." Let's call it "Suture Club." What happens in Suture Club stays in Suture Club. They do procedures on themselves: iv's, sutures, catheterizations (ugh!), epidural, etc.

Last night someone had the brainstorm that they should do an appendectomy on one of them. Who needs that petrified useless organ anyway? What could possibly go wrong with such a simple we've-never-really-cut-anyone-open-before surgery?

A lot. Oh...let me count the ways.

While the episode allowed many important emotional conflicts to bubble to the top of the emotional heap, I said (to my dog, Sweetie) the moment the stupid choice began to take shape, "I do not believe this. How can any rational person think that doing an appendectomy on the spur of the moment, while looking at a text book would be beneficial or go well? How stupid are these people?"

Sweetie squeaked Bluey, her favorite blue fleece sheep. I can't be certain, but I feel my dog was trying to signal the answer, "Pretty damned stupid."

I thought about the friends in my life. There's not a one among them who would drag me into an unauthorized appendectomy. They have brains, a grip on reality, and rarely take the easy way out. They don't grab greedily at experiences they haven't earned, and yet they put themselves in the path of opportunity. Just like me they all have areas of their lives they are busily perfecting and other areas in which they shine brightly.

And most importantly they never, ever ignore the inner voice screaming, "STOP! This will not go well."

How about you? Have you managed to cobble together the right collection of friends over the years? Or do you have one that's all trauma drama and can't manage to discourage? How do you tactfully disengage yourself when you realize an acquaintance has decided you are their new BFF? We're talking friends today at Top Down! And if you want to we can talk about Little Sloane possibly entering Little Grey.


Playground Monitor said...

I don't watch Grey's Anatomy, but I certainly understand where you're coming from. I've had a few toxic friendships in my life and had the good sense to get out before too much damage was done. I guess age has helped me learn to recognize the signs early so I can shy away before a friendship even starts now.

The appendectomy with a text book reminds me of giving birth to my first child with the Lamaze book in one hand and an IV in the other. Okay, not the same thing.

It's 4 AM, I haven't even been to bed cause I took a 4 hour nap that ended at 9:30 and now my body clock is all screwed up. I hate this. But when I tell my group of friends about this tomorrow, they'll understand because my whole system is screwed up because of NaNoWriMo and my drive to finish my first book.

My sister has been helping me with some business details for my hero and somewhere in the course of all the emails we've exchanged, she quoted Mark Twain: The harder I work, the luckier I get. Your statement about friends who don't grab at unearned experiences and step into the path of opportunity reminded me of Twain's comment.


Keri Ford said...

I'm a grey's watcher and I had a lot, a LOT of beef with this episode. First off, nobody past of the age of 18 would be so stupid to do that surgery (espcially medical students responsible enough to become interns). Second. With as medically sensible as Christina is, the cheif would have heard her side that she put a stop to them doing stitches. Third. Christina wouldn't have taken Meredith to task like that, she was just as surprised! Fourth. What is up with the denny/izzy thing? Can we get any more weirded out? I was buying that she was seeing him, but touching? And all that other stuff that boys and girls do?? No way, this is just some crack-pot idea the writes came up with to put Denny back on the show since they killed him off. Five. Can they try any harder to force a romance between Sloan and Little Grey? I hope they don't go there. That'll be worse than Izzy and George.

Geez, they could try a little to make some sense! I have half a mind to email the writers and ask them if they've ever heard of plot holes and GMC!

And that's all I have to say about that. for now. :O)

Betina Krahn said...

Deb, I have had a friend or two who began to make bad choices and I realized I couldn't do anything about it, so I moved (or was pushed? away) from them and found new friends.

I've also had the opposite experience. . . being drafted into someone's "intimate circle" without my cooperation. A major symptom is having someone dump all of their problems in your lap and expecting you to take up their banner. I especially hate this when it's on a professional level.

I've also learned that for some people if you don't verbally distance yourself (disagree with what they're saying) they ASSUME you're on board with them and will represent you to others as believing/agreeing with what they say. That's kinda scary.

See I was taught to be polite and not to contradict people (it was called "keeping your own counsel")and not to cause a ruckus where one wasn't necessary. I've learned over the years that sometimes you have to risk annoying others to make it plain you don't go along with everything being said.

Cindy Gerard said...

Great insights, Deb. I used to be a huge Grey's fan but somewhere along the line - early last season maybe - the characters started making these stupid decisions you're talking about (decisions we could NEVER get by with in our books) and I could no longer relate to them. So I just sort of drifted away. From the content of your post, sounds like I'm not missing much.
As to the bigger picture - all of the above :o) I've been very fortunate so be surrounded by amazing, nurturing and fun people ... and I've struggled with some relationships that drifted away and thankfully drifted back and we're stronger friends than ever. I friendship - a close one - is like a marriage. You give and you take and you find some common ground. And then there are those special friendships that felt right from day one and you know will feel right until the end. Thanks for making me think about how blessed I am.

Michele Hauf said...

Haven't watched Grey's in a long time. But it sounds like it's in shark jumping territory just like my current, but frustrating fav, Dirty Sexy Money. I was screaming at the TV Wednesday night. What is wrong with the writers!? Do they have a whole new staff?

Anyway, I have few very good friends and I think they're all pretty sane. (PRetty sure about that one.) As writers we need writer friends to understand our weird angst that can develop simply because we've not received a phone call or written in a week.

Anonymous said...

Grey's Anatomy is exactly why I don't watch medical shows---they depart so much from reality that they are damaging to people and how they see their physician or other medical professionals.

House is another. Beyond unbelievable.

My WIP is a medical romance. Say what you will about "little books" the medical romances put out by Mills & Boone are vetted for medical accuracy----thank goodness!

*climbs off soapbox*

Helen Brenna said...

Okay. I've never been a Grey's watcher and was going to start. Now ... Deb, you may have just saved me a lot of time.

I love my friends and as I've gotten older I appreciate them so much more. Nope - no drama queens in my bunch.

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn-- I love the Twain quote. So true. And I love a 4 hour nap. Been there. Done that.

HOWEVER... were you making a joke about childbirth or is there a story here that we need to know??

Debra Dixon said...

Keri-- I'm with you girl !! I really feel cheated by the whole Denny thing. It can't possibly be going anywhere real. So, I'm thinking Izzy is just crazy. And I'm thinking the producer and head writer just love Denny. Heck, I do too. And I was happy to see him "appear" for an episode or two but he should have faded away after teaching her a lesson or helping her make a decision.

I have heard about that GMC thing you're talking about and I agree that strong, RATIONAL GMC went right out the window.

However, I think Sloane's comment at the end about taking Little Grey home was fabulous. That bit between Sloan and Shepherd did so much to make me adore both of them.

Debra Dixon said...


Oh that being "drafted" thing is a difficult one, isn't it? And then that whole Southern good manners thing makes it difficult to extract yourself. Actually for me it's the politeness and courtesy that gets me in trouble because people read "polite interest" for "look I have a new BFF."

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- Yes! Friendship requires maintenance. Friendship isn't for sissies. The real problems of life are difficult enough to deal with without supporting stupid choices.

I feel blessed with my friends too.

Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- Yep we need writer friends to talk us off the roof in this crazy business. Friends who understand we just need to vent and then we'll go be sane again.

Re: Writers in TV gone crazy
I swear I'm beginning to wonder what they are putting in the water. They write these stupid plots for shows that stay on the air and then MY OWN WORST ENEMY is cancelled??

Debra Dixon said...


I've done two romances that touched the medical field. I did tons of research but the research was to help me understand the characters and how that world operated rather than about understanding a medical specialty or presenting cases.

A good friend who was an ER nurse and now a doctor came to my rescue about soo many things.

Debra Dixon said...

Helen-- I'd love to recommend Grey's Anatomy to a new viewer but unless they "right the ship" I won't be. It's one thing to follow this when you've been there since show one. It's quite another to come into this and want to stab all or most of the characters for being stupid.

Michele Hauf said...

My Own Worst Enemy! I love that show! And it's cancelled after a mere four episodes?

And then. Then! They keep something like Kath & Kim on the air?

What is going on in Hollywood?

Playground Monitor said...

Not a joke about childbirth. We were living in Germany when #1 son was born. My husband was with the consulate but we were allowed to use the military facilities. There was only one Lamaze class being taught during my pregnancy and it started 4 weeks before my due date. On the evening of September 18, the instructor called and said the class would begin in two weeks. But because the class would run past my due date, which was six weeks away, she was going to take extra time with us to make sure we had all the info. At an Army hospital, you had unmedicated childbirth unless you were having a C-section. So you could learn Lamaze techniques and go with the flow or not.

I'd already been reading some books on childbirth so I had a general idea of what Lamaze was all about as well as all the stages of labor.

So I went to bed that night and at 1 AM I woke in a puddle. I figured it was the baby kicking my bladder. After all, it had sat on it from the point of conception. I went to the bathroom and couldn't control the flow of liquid so I knew my water had broken. The DH was already awake when I went back in to tell him (he'd rolled over and his foot hit the big puddle). We went to the hospital ER and I told the nurse who I was, when my due date was and that my water had broken. "Are you sure?" she asked. I was so tempted to grab her by the throat, pull her across the desk and say "Yeah, just look at the stuff running down my leg" but I didn't.

I was taken to labor and delivery, put in a room (thankfully it was a slow night and I was in a room by myself). I'd brought along my Lamaze kit, which for some reason I'd already assembled, and the Lamaze book. The DH would skim a chapter and tell me to do something and I'd say "Nope, we're further along than that." And he'd go to the next chapter, and so forth til we got where we needed to be.

I had a fast labor, and when I suddenly felt the need to push, I called in the nurse who told me I couldn't be feeling that because I hadn't been in labor long enough. The urge to grab someone by the throat reappeared but I restrained myself and in my sweetest southern drawl I asked her to please check me again. I was at 7 cm and dilating fast. They called the doc in and about 15 minutes later I was in the delivery room. #1 son made his appearance shortly thereafter with the help of forceps because he was compressing the cord coming thru the birth canal and causing his heart rate to dip.

He weighed in at 5 lbs 1 oz, pretty big for a 34 week baby (and the neonatologist confirmed from the respiratory and feeding problems that he was indeed 6 weeks early). He stayed in the NICU for a week and then we brought him home weighing 4 1/2 pounds. He's a 30 year old architect now with a wife and 2 1/2 year old daughter.

And that is how you literally have a baby by the book. :-)

catslady said...

Because of a problem with my vcr, I never saw the last 4 shows of last season so I never started it up again this year. Well my daughter is hooked and was visiting and although I didn't watch the first part, she pulled me back into it. It probably wasn't the best show for that because now I'm positive I'm not really missing anything lol.

Debra Dixon said...

Michele- I KNOW. I'm so upset I can't stand it. MOWE is a fabulous show with an intelligent take on the two halves that make a whole. What is good and what is bad? Can you really change when exposed to something other than what you've always known? Can you put yourself in the shoes of another and understand?

I could go on. But it makes me mad.

Debra Dixon said...

Marilyn!! That's a scream! Well, now it is. LOL! I totally understand the urge to throttle someone when they assume you are stupid. One nurse assumed I was joking when I told my husband he couldn't leave to have dinner with his parents. The nurse said, "Oh, honey, she's just kidding. You go on."

Needless to say she learned that I wasn't kidding and being pregnant did not effect my ability to make decisions or make her sorry she'd come to work that day. LOL!

I'm pretty sure the reason we only have one child is that the pregnancy and delivery were not pretty.

Debra Dixon said...

Catslady-- Yep. Not the best "reintroduction" show.

Just like in the books I read, I like real human emotion. Not melodrama. Not insane plot twists.

I want interesting people I care about, root for or hate. I don't mind people getting what they deserve but I don't want a foolishly constructed scene to deliver the blow. I don't want to be bounced out of the story.

terrio said...

I have heard so many people complaining about this show lately. I was an avid watcher from season 1, but when they put Izzy & George together, I baled. Now I'm happy I did. This ghost stuff would have made me even madder.

I do have one of *those* friends who makes terrible decisions, is only happy is she's stirring up drama, and is basically toxic. BUT, we've been friends for 20 yrs and I just put up with it. Though it's getting much harder lately.

Now I'm wondering if Deb wanted to run away when I made the joke that we were obviously long lost sisters. LOL! Was agreeing with me just the southern politeness thing?

Debra Dixon said...


LOL! No, I was not being polite. But I know exactly the friend you are talking about. (g) Since I asked you deeply personal questions (g) you can pretty much assume that I'd passed the polite threshold.

Polite: "That's lovely. How long have you been dating?"

Real: "Way cool. Now the important question is, how was the first kiss and how long had you been dating before he laid one on you?"

See the diff ? (g)

Debra Dixon said...

Terri-- Oh! And remember we had long conversations about how you make decisions. You're so like me. You don't want to make stupid decisions and you consider how to proceed to best avoid the stupid stuff!

terrio said...

It's good to know you were paying attention and I wasn't just boring you. LOL!

BTW - Things are still going well in that area. He may be going home with me for T-day. If my family doesn't scare him away, nothing will. LOL!

And I totally take that as a compliment. I will float through the entire weekend on that one!

Debra Dixon said...

Terri-- Oh, yeah. The T-Day gauntlet. That ought to answer a few questions for you. LOL!

Helen Brenna said...

OMG, sometimes, Deb, I can HEAR you in your comments. It's that DD sound. Today it's all there!

Debra Dixon said...

Helen-- "That DD sound." LOL!

Anonymous said...

Truly - I slept through Friday and missed your post. I watch GA and I've got 18 years as nurse. SO, yes, we did things to each other. BUT never anything as dangerous as epidurals and surgery. DUMB story.

And I have to go with Keri on the Izzy-Denny storyline. What is going on there???

Debra Dixon said...


Yes, dumb! And this just shows that readers/viewers will not accept anything you throw at them. You can't "phone it in."

I'm not sure what is going on with Izzy-Denny unless this is the writers way of punishing Katherine Heigel for her little "I didn't get the material this year" comment when she was asked why she didn't submit her name for an Emmy consideration.