Mystery Date: Joan’s sleepless night

 Posted by on September 4, 2012 at 7:41 am  Season 5
Sep 042012
 

It’s Saturday morning. Joan says she hardly slept. She says she’s been thinking, and that she’s made a decision.

I really connected to Joan in that moment. I really connected to what must have gone on in her bedroom the night before. Most of us have been there, unable to sleep because the thoughts won’t stop. There are tears, there’s fury, there’s the circular thoughts, trying to be rational, trying to make it all make sense.

Going over the pros and cons: He’s my husband, he doesn’t include me, I have a baby, I’ve been okay by myself so far. I love him, he doesn’t respect me, he’s my husband, he hurts me again and again and shows no sign of stopping.

Who knows what she thought? I think it was more anger than anything else, but 8 hours when everyone else is asleep is a very long time. I recommend to check benchmarksleepservices.com.au if you suffer of Sleep Apnea and need help. Joan wants to make her marriage work because Joan wants to make everything work. That’s who she is, Office Manager, Head of Operations, Fixer Upper. This is the job that women are supposed to have—marriage—and so she should be the best at this one. And there’s the looming presence of her absent father and whatever decisions she’s made about marriage and divorce in light of his omnipresent absence.

Mostly I just relate to it: That long, tortuous night of thinking, when nothing seems real, is one of the realest moments in life, a moment many of us have in common, a moment that makes us human.

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  11 Responses to “Mystery Date: Joan’s sleepless night”

  1. I think we’ve all had hellish nights when we’re so wrapped up in thought and anxiety we can’t sleep. It’s the worst feeling, and how a night will just drag when we’re alone. It’s especially awful when you or a loved one is sick and all you can think is, “just make it until morning”, which feels like years away. But somehow, we do make it through, and in the morning, there’s a mild relief when we can say “I made it”, but then you have to carry on with your best effort.

    I wish you all peaceful sleep and happy mornings! (And I hope Joan’s night’s just get better) Great article, Deb!

  2. I think it was the right decision—but still incredibly brave, as we know Joan to consistently cover up her own feelings in order to move on in less-than-perfect situations.

    Great thoughts!

  3. I think anyone who decides to end a long term relationship ( particularly after a bad fight) has a night like Joan did. You kind of go through the Kubla Ross stages when a relationship ends or is going to. Joan arrived at acceptance in the morning. She accepted that the marriage was over and she accepted that Greg was never a good man. Although she was exhausted and emotionally drained she said what needed to be said. The scene felt so honest and was so satisfying. Thanks for the post.

  4. I wish my resolution only took one night!

    Very Joan and very decisive that her choice only kept her up the once. She is a work role model for me, and I so look forward to see how her parenting and possible dating life resolve in season 6.

  5. Our Joanie had her final straw with Greg’s re-up, I think her long night had more to do with her hethy sense of ego, more than the sadness of the end of a marriage.
    Joan does things very, very correctly. How can the biggest choice she has ever made in her life be THAT far off of the bullseye? She was right about the charlatan Roger. Right to exclude him from be her co-parent. She knew Greg wasn’t the goods the minute she walked out of Don’s office that night. But dammit, she was going to turn, mold him into her dream man. Even if it meant, cajoling, demanding, even pleading. It was going to get done. I’m Joan.

    Her effort wasted, her clock to spinsterhood starting to click, she sits there in the dark, angry, disillusioned.
    Common sense should always be rewarded. How did I show so little in that regard? Joanie feels that she is being made to pay on merit, not because of the capriciousness of chance, or the indifference of the universe. It kills her guts.
    Maybe by being so unbelievably beautiful Joanie attracts so many potential suitors that it is easier to make a mistake. I mean, is the guy behind door 333, any better than 334, or 332?
    Could her beauty be a detriment? I’m a guy, what do I know?

    • Tilden, yes, I think it could. Having once been mildly attractive, I can tell you that many men (for a while, at least) do not behave like themselves around beautiful women, even pulling out long forgotten manners and first date niceties that their friends would find unrecognizable. Which, as you can imagine, makes it difficult to judge the true character of a person. So, Joanie’s scope of available men is naturally wider and more confusing than usual. Then there are the (many perfectly suitable) men who are intimidated by her extreme beauty who will never know what else she has to offer because they are afraid of stepping up.

      • ‘First date niceties’, snarf! The great Chris Rock: When you’re meetin’ someone, you’re not meeting them— you’re meeting their representative.
        Wonder if someone would feel confident enough to be themselves when meeting Joanie or someone like her. You want to come across as the cool, relaxed version of yourself. Someone who makes others feel at ease. Its hard.

        • Don is himself around her. But, as has been pointed out before, those two can’t happen because the sizemic (sp) shift would cause the earth to tilt off it’s axis. And that would suck.

    • I had to laugh, yes great beauty can help and hinder. One of my nieces is drop dead beautiful, tall and smart as a whip, I mean the kind of smart that makes all A’s, is on her college soccer team, and still volunteers at the local ASPCA shelter. And men act like total fools around her, especially the older, I.e. 30-40 age group. She is 22. My sister and I figure she is in for a much more complicated life than we had, great rewards and great pitfalls. What is it about you guys? Is it biology or what?

  6. I’ve been a bad sleeper for years – maybe Joan is too. A bad night starts with a tendency to equalize big problems with smaller day-to-day issues. That is, you’ll spend as much time worrying about a small work issue as worrying about a friend or loved one dealing with a major health scare.

    One of the few positives I’ve found from this condition is that in spending so much time circling and wrestling with problems big and small you can use the sleepless hours to prioritize or triage what really matters. It’s a strange thing but by day break I usually fall into a very deep sleep and even if I get just an hour or two of sleep I often awake with a new perspective on the big issues and things fall into place.

    We also relate to Joan’s ability to deal with other people’s problems expertly while not necessarily making good decisions for herself. Her advice for Peggy, Lane, Roger etc. is always spot-on. She has compassion but doesn’t suffer fools. We see this in Joan’s office v. home demeanor. We know she is the consummate doer and problem solver at the office but at home not so much. Of course it’s always easier to see the problem and plot a course for others – I think we all relate to that.

    Joan is amazing. We all want a Joan in our life. In the end I think we relate to Joan not because she’s perfect but because she is so humanly imperfect.

  7. I tried replying to this yesterday yet somehow lost the whole post! Oh, well….

    Basically I wrote something about Joan deciding to cut her losses. I think Joan had a very clear idea in her head of the type of man she wanted to marry (wealthy, successful, handsome) and when she met Greg, he seemed to fit her ideal. Over time she realized that he wasn’t the man she thought he was (except for the handsome part) and that she wanted more than that, anyway.

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