Oct 292009
 

This post is dedicated to my new blog friend, Joelle.


My college experience was a little….vague. I am told that I had an excellent time, but I can’t be sure. Mercifully, I mostly recall college as a seven year black out, but sometimes a memory of something I did, said, or worse, WORE, hits me like a wave of nausea, and I marvel at how I made it out of there alive.

Throughout college I had this sweet little ritual where I’d enjoy a couple dozen drinks and then go for a walk, perhaps at 3 am. And then, usually, I’d get lost and decide to go ahead and sleep in a cozy parking lot or under a tree somewhere in town. It was like camping, except without a tent, clue, or functioning liver. There must have been a strict No Camping rule in my college town though, because I was often awakened by annoyed men and women with guns. These uniformed bandits were not my parents, although it would take me a good three minutes to understand this. They would ask me why I was on the ground and I would assure them that I planned to explain just as soon as they told me where we all were, and also, my name.

Fortunately they actually would be able to teach me my name because, well, we’d met before. We went way back. And they’d invite me into the back of their cozy car and put shiny silver handcuffs on me. And I would sort of settle in and ask them how their families were, and they’d tell me. They liked me, and I liked them. I went to school in a sleepy little town, and so I like to think that maybe the night police shift was glad to have the company.

So we’d continue to catch up and all would go smoothly, but inevitably during the ride to my new camping spot my officers would get frustrated. Because every time they turned around to check on me, my handcuffs would be off and placed in a tidy pile on the seat beside me. So they’d stop the car and put them back on. And I’d take them back off. My wrists are very small and I had decided that while it may have been silly for one to sleep under a tree in January, it was ridiculous for one to PRETEND that one is handcuffed. I just couldn’t fake it, though I did try for the sake of my police friends. I have a paralyzing respect for authority, so I was always vehemently on their side. But they really were going to have to do better with the handcuffs. I understood that they weren’t arresting child sized people often, but still. I explained that it was probably important to be better prepared.

{A few years ago, Craig and I were watching Cops and I noticed that police forces had started using plastic cuffs that look like garbage bag ties which close more tightly. I got very excited and told Craig that I was positive that the plastic tie handcuff innovation was inspired by me and my mini wrists. He stared, as always, and then asked me to never share that theory with anyone. But it’s hard not to discuss what may have been a real contribution to the law enforcement community on my part.}

When we got to the station I would say hello to Tom and Carla, who were often in charge of checking me in. “Booking,” I believe they called it. They were lovely people, just lovely. And they’d lead me into my very own private cell which made me feel like a bit of a celebrity, to tell you the truth. Special treatment, you know. One time, after having been there for a few hours I called Carla over and asked her if I could be released early for good behavior. I’d been quite well behaved that night, if I did so say myself. She said no, it didn’t work that way. But she did agree that I was being especially good, so she shared her granola bar with me. I was deeply touched.

Eventually I’d fall asleep and I’d awake in the morning and call my long suffering friend Dana, who had always wisely slipped an index card with our phone number into my back pocket. And she’d pick me up and we’d go to Waffle House and discuss what we were going to wear that night.

Wow. Strange, but true.

I started thinking of these stories yesterday when I got an email from a woman who is a sheriff deputy and reads this blog daily. In her email she thanked me for inspiring her. I was up all night thinking about her and how proud I am that she’s reading my blog. I forwarded her email to my dad with the subject line: DAD- THE POLICE ARE READING MY BLOG! which was probably so much more enjoyable for him to receive than my usual announcement “DAD- THE POLICE ARE READING MY RIGHTS!”

You guys, I don’t want to sound boastful, but I think I’m finally coming up in the world.

Joelle, Tom, Carla, Grandpa, and every other kind and dedicated officer. Thank you. Thank you for protecting me from bad guys, even when the bad guy is me. Thank you for serving so bravely and honorably. Thank you for improving all of my camping experiences exponentially. And thank you, especially, for the granola bar. I was really hungry. I appreciate you.



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  23 Responses to “A Little Help From My Friends”

  1. My husband is in law enforcement. Being liberally minded–or whatever you want to call it–we look at people as having feelings and parents and lives. But I know sometimes he gets frustrated and sad and feels as if he’s not getting through to whoever it is he is “spending time with”/picked up. I’m going to have him read this post. It will (a) make him laugh and (b) inspire him. I just know it. Thank you for being so honest. It’s a breath of fresh air in this sea of seemingly plastic blogs.

  2. I am so pleased that Dana thought about the index card, but I am happiest that she thought to introduce you to Craig. You both will always be very special.Keep up this wonderful writing Glennon,it's a daily highlight.

  3. Amanda,You're funny! I think everyone in your family got a special writing talent. Love your "voice" as much as Glennon's.

  4. Dear Anonymous at 11:46:Thank you for coming back here and for accepting my granola bar and for being honest and for being humble and for admitting things. While we are in the business of admitting things, I would like to admit that I am so terrified of anyone ever hurting my Sister or her family that I am overzealous in my reactions to anything that isn’t unequivocal praise. In fact, overzealous is too generous a word. I think a more apt description for my reactions is irrational. Paranoid, also. And rabid actually. Pretty rabid. So, while I am standing guard at the gate of Sister’s fortress, I have a rather unfortunate tendency of shooting at anything that moves. This occasionally results in some very unhappy instances of friendly fire and associated collateral damage.As you can imagine, this habit is not completely helpful for Sister, especially in places like this where she adores all of you and wants you to feel safe. Yet I am not certain that I am going to be able to completely eliminate this ingrained instinct. The fact is that my precious little world is small – comprised of my parents, Sister, Craig, the kids and a couple other senseless suckers that have unwisely entangled their worlds with mine. And all I want in this world is for my precious little world to be all right all of the time. So let’s all make a deal. Perhaps you could all think of me as the crazy aunt, you know like the one with 20 cats wearing old tent-like house dresses, and when I write something irrational you can all say: “Hey, there’s that crazy Aunt Amanda, isn’t she so silly and ridiculous and cute when she’s feeling threatened?” How about that? In exchange, I will take every opportunity I can to keep my mouth shut and in the instance I do write, I will promise I’ll try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and not get trigger-happy. Actually, in the words of Bart Simpson – “I can’t promise I’ll try, but I’ll try to try” – I really will.Sister

  5. We're cool. What time's dinner?Happy Halloween ~ Anonymous 11:46p.s. I forgot to mention earlier that there's nothing better than a sister who loves you and wants to protect you. You are lucky girl to have her and such wonderful friends and a wonderful husband and wonderful father and well you get the point…everyone you write about.

  6. Oh Gosh you guys are too funny! Glennon I'm sitting here feeding Amelia leftover pork chops and potatoes feeling very guilty that they are not organic and also feeling very guilty that I'm not really watching her…and trying to remember exactly what day I made them… are they older than 3 days? Crap… as I'm reading the blog… I know this is a safe place to admit this… no one else knows I do this ok? Please keep this between us and your 180 readers!

  7. Dear Anonymous 11:46 – I am so relieved. Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming back here, and for talking to me and sister. I have been worried about you for two days, truly I have.I am not sure how to explain the dynamic between sister and me. She is my shield, in a way, because I don't have a whole lot of my own armor. We have been through the wringer over the past decade, anonymous, and we are sort on a constant CODE RED for things that might hurt each other. And I think she is always a little worried that I am going to get hurt for putting so much out there on this blog. My whole family is worried. So she was waiting for the first opening to say publicly DON'T HURT MY SISTER. I am sorry that you were the first opening. Anonymous, when I read your comment, my first thought was that "skeptical" was a really nice word to use. Most people who knew me in college use the word "flabbergasted" when they learn that I can put a sentence together. Or tie my own shoes. I liked your comment, truly. I think I am a little bit tougher than my family knows. Maybe if I stopped bursting into tears for no apparent reason and constantly saying "I can't take it anymore" it would help my case. Baby steps, anonymous, baby steps.Also, you are right. This is a place where we are safe to admit things. Sister and I admit that we are a little sensitive and we are working on that. My dream for this blog is that it's a safe place for all of us to breathe and be honest about our feelings. Even sister, when she's a little loopy. And when we accidentally hurt each other's feelings we'll just say sorry. We're sorry, anonymous.I would love to invite you over for dinner. Would you like that? I just have to find out when Manal is free to make it and I'll get back to you. Anonymous, are we okay? Please, please, please stay.

  8. Dear Amanda and Glennon,Clearly I'm not a good writer because my message didn't come out anything like it was taken (or written I guess). I was trying to say I only knew a teeny tiny itsy bitsy portion of Glennon and that was the one passed out in the bushes so that's why I was skeptical. The first day I read the blog I was hooked in a good way. The next day I spent my kids entire nap time reading all the posts and was sorry I "skeptical". I laugh and cried and thought she was/is totally wonderful for putting it all out for everyone to read. Glennon you have a way with words and do this so well. I find myself relating to almost every post. You have made me want to find my faith. So what I'm trying to say is skeptical was probably the wrong word and I shouldn't have even gone there since I really like this blog. I guess I just felt like this a place where people admit things. I think I was trying to say sorry for being skeptical. Sorry I hurt your feelings, not my intention at all. I will try and choose my phrases more carefully in the future. I hope this continues to be a safe place for all. Thanks for the granola bar. Thanks for bringing this to my attention so I could clear things up. I would have done it sooner but just getting back to Momastery today. Now I will nervously wait for you to tell me you still want me around cause I have those weird butterflies that get caught somewhere between your stomach and throat.Anonymous 11:46 – and I know it's a little cowardly to post as anonymous but I'm feeling a little self conscious now and would rather stay that way for a while.

  9. Hey Amanda,There is a great quote that deciding to have a child is deciding forever to let your heart walk around outside your body. Perhaps you feel the same way about sisterhood? Which is lovely, and enviable. Glennon is lucky to have you policing her heart. But as do all cops, you scare me a little. In a good way. In a "you're kinda freaky but I dig that about you" way. :) Diane

  10. LOVING THE SISTER's DOYLE!Hugs, Amy

  11. Dear Anonymous at 11:46:Let’s make up.I have just spoken with Sister and she suggested that perhaps you may no longer feel like this blog is a safe place for you. Oops.I am sorry because maybe I responded a bit too strong to your fairly innocuous comments. I am just what you might want to call sensitive when it comes to anything remotely involving Sister. Or anything not remotely involving Sister but could be construed as involving Sister. You see I really love her and I fear that she is as sensitive as I am. In keeping with this post, perhaps I was a bit of a police force monitoring her feelings. Anonymous at 11:46, may I offer you a granola bar? I think we could share it and get through this together. Amanda

  12. Dear Anonymous at 11:46:That was a little bit mean to state that you were skeptical that you would like anything Glennon had to say. Sister bares her whole self here, including admissions that she has not been perfect in the past, including in her actions toward others, and admits that she is not perfect now (even though I know she is). Judging her – even previous versions of her – in this place where she is so courageously honest, and even if you apologize for it after, hurts my feelings. Because she is so brave and honest and vulnerable here. And because she is the best person I have ever met. Please do not be even a little bit mean to her, or to anyone else, in this safe place.Thank you,Amanda G’s Sister

  13. Pretty sure it was my tiny wrists that made them invent tighter handcuffs but if you want the credit go ahead:) I knew who you were in college but I didn't really know you. And I have to admit I was skeptical when I started reading your blog that I would like anything you said. I was wrong, I log in everyday. Thanks! I'm sorry I judged.

  14. I read the last few paragraphs (again) blinking back and peeking through the blur of emotions your writing produces.

  15. Tiny wrists, LMAO. I am picturing you in the back of the cop car. Thank you for making me laugh today, as you do almost everyday.

  16. Brett is my husband and he has the google account… Joelle

  17. Glennon-Wow! I don't know what to say..your post was the sweetest and humbling thing that anyone has done for me. I just want you to know that our college experiences were not that different. I spent many a night wondering aimlessly(drunk) around the streets of Radford and Blacksburg. I have slept in rolled up carpets that have been left for trash, knocked on strangers doors asking for a warm couch to sleep on for the night because I got lost-in the winter with out a coat and a fair amount of of my time during college is also a blurr. The only difference is that I didn't ever get arrested..atleast as an adult.Just another note..you are not the bad guy. So many people that end up in the pokey are good people that have made a poor choice, or are in horrible circumstances. Most are not repeat offenders. The prisoners that I do see over and over are the ones who are unable to overcome their addictions. My motto is what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. You made it and are an inspiration to me and so many other women! So thank you!

  18. I'm going to go stalk out the Po-Po and find out if Tom and Carla still work there. They've GOT to start reading your blog, obviously. Loving your writing!xoxoPaula

  19. Glennon – Your blog is the first thing I read each morning – It brings a huge smile to my face. I love your honesty!!! Keep posting, please – It makes my day!!

  20. Well that was much sweeter than the 'Top Cop' story I thought you were leading into. Well said, and funny as usual!:)MK

  21. You're AMAZING. Thanks for putting into words what most of us are thinking (albeit not quite as eloquently). And thanks for always providing a good laugh and some great "introspection inspiration." Sometimes, Craig and my hubby, Chris, remind me of each other with their reactions to some of the, umm, interesting things crazy girls say. My dear husband often tells me that without me, life would be too "normal." Hmmmm…..

  22. Glennon, God surely protected you in those days. Wow. Praise God that he did! The world would certainly be less rich without you around to help us look at it through your perspective.

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