Monday, February 23, 2009

High Maintenance People

Congratulations to Susan Chaballa, you are the winner of Lori Devoti’s Unbound. I’ll be contacting you for your snail mail address (or you can email me on skully at skullybuzz dot com if you see this first) and mailing out your prize!

This time I’ve got Lord of Desire by Paula Quinn. As you know, I love historicals. So, post a comment, (you must type in your email address) and I’ll enter you in the drawing for Paula’s book. I’ll also add you to my newsletter for updates on all the fun stuff and releases, too. I’ll announce the winner on the March 9th blog! Good luck!

So, high maintenance people. A friend and I were talking about what this actually means. She said it was spending tons of money to have your hair done, your nails, cosmetic surgery, Botox, shopping addictions, etc, etc. I, on the other hand, felt it was more about emotional high maintenance. After all, if it’s hair and nails, why, that applies primarily to women. Hmm, maybe I also wanted to deny it because I have my hair and nails done, although I haven’t done any surgery, honest. But really, to me, a high maintenance person is one who always needs emotional sustenance. There’s always a problem, at work, at home, boyfriend, girlfriend, kid problems. One spends a lot of time on the phone listening to the same issues, different day. These people tend to see everything negatively instead of positively. The glass is half empty instead of half full. Something good does happen, and they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. You want to help them, but there’s nothing you can say that will make them feel better. You have to be very careful about what you say, too, because they take offense easily. Especially on email. And when you hang up the phone or shut down your email, you’re emotionally exhausted. This, to me, is high maintenance. It knows no gender barrier. I do love writing about high maintenance people, because they make a story very interesting. But in real life, they’re exhausting.

So let’s talk about your definition of high maintenance. What do you think it means?

Jasmine, Jennifer and JB!
http://www.skullybuzz.com/
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21 comments:

Estella said...

I have always thought that high maintenance meant they needed to have money spent on them, or they spent it on themselves

kissinoak at verizon dot net

Cynthya said...

I think of high maintenance as more the first definition, someone who is the opposite of down-to-earth and natural. A high maintenance woman (or man) would spend a lot on clothes and keeping themselves looking good (their definition of good) and they are also status conscious. But there is an emotional component, too, because a high maintenance person would expect their friends and family to give them a lot of attention and flattery.

Jasmine Haynes said...

Ah, see, you both agree with my friend! Though I like the part about the flattery and attention from family and friends, Cynthya. Maybe there's actually more than one kind of high maintenance!

Dena said...

Hi Jas, I can see what you mean by emotional high maintenance people but I've always thought of high maintenance people are like what your friend said. It applies to people who do more than their hair and nails. I think it also has to do with people who take several hours to get ready. It can apply to men too, they call them metrosexual.

I love Historicals too and have never read a book by Paula.
denwal1@aol.com

robynl said...

my first thought was as the others thought, they needing mega bucks spent on them to keep up their appearances and the 'keeping up with the Jonses'. But I do agree that it can be for feelings, acceptance, do I belong? aspects. So true. They are always seeking attention and wanting to be in the spotlight.

Debby said...

My daughter is high maintenance. She wants what she wants when she wants it nad how she wants it. She will not accept something that does not meet her needs. She needs her naiols done regularly and her hair as well. She own't appear in public unles she is very well made up. None of this comes cheap. DEbby debby236@comcast.net

Rhonda said...

I agree with your friends version of high maintenance. I always thought that some one who is high maintenance has the best of everything from clothes to hair styles. If they didn't it would be a total crisis to them. That brings me to agree with your version as well. I have a close friend who has the best of everything, very, very high maintenance. She will go to the best hairstylist money can buy, look amazing and say,"I'm not sure if i like it, what do you think?" I usually go on and on about how good it looks, at the same time I'm thinking about the last time i had my hair styled or died, oh, yeah after my daughter was born 5 years ago! Anyway, my point being, she still needed someone to say it looked good to actually make her feel good.These types of people crave the best and the attention they get from having the best. What's the point of having the best of everything if no one notices right?

Jasmine Haynes said...

Ooh, yes, Dena, metrosexual and high maintenance! The male and female equivalents. I wonder if it's sort of automatic that these kinds of people who are very worried about appearance also need a lot of attention, as you mention, Robyn. And they want what they want when they want it exactly the way they want it. I like the way you put that, Debby. I feel the definitions are coming closer together. The hair, nails, clothing, etc, are symptoms of it all.

Hah! Can you all tell I'm dreaming up a high maintenance character. The issue is how to make her likable at the same time!

Jasmine Haynes said...

Rhonda, I missed your comment! Yes, another good point. High maintenance people need confirmation, too! this is all great stuff, everyone! Thank you!

Cheri2628 said...

I agree with you that high maintenance people need lots of emotional sustenance. They are basically insecure. I tend to avoid people like this in real life. Being with someone like this is too much work. In books I can handle high maintenance characters in small doses!

Jasmine Haynes said...

I agree, Cheri, high maintenance people are hard to sustain. In books, I prefer them as secondary characters. One thing is true about them, they're always good for some drama.

Dena said...

I think to make your high maintenance character likeable Jas they are also going to have to be kid and child lovers,lol. Also be funny with some imperfections.

Rita said...

Trinity (from Show & Tell) was a perfect HM chic.

The drama that seems to cling to the real-life HM person is usually so exhausting for those around them, they simply have to back away slowly and hope no one notices.

Wait...that's my life. [grin] Sometimes I feel like a magnet for every nut in the vicinity!

Jasmine Haynes said...

You're so right, Dena, there must be some redeeming qualities in a high maintenance character. and like Rita said, Trinity was very high maintenance. The quality that seemed to redeem her for me was the fact that she was so supportive of Faith. and Trinity certainly had a lot of imperfections, too.

I also agree, Rita, that HM people can be very mentally exhausting, forcing you to step back. And congratulations! Folks, Rita has just sold her first book to LiquidSilver!!!! It's a wonderful story!

Rita said...

You are an amazing friend! [hugs] Thank you for spreading the word. You ROCK!!

Jasmine Haynes said...

It's never too early to start that promotion!!!

Maureen said...

I agree with you. High maintenance people require a lot of your time and patience. They might care deeply for you but they always seem to have a lot of problems. They might not have any more problems than anyone else but they need a lot of help with them.
mce1011[at]aol[dot]com

aromagik said...

I guess I think of both definitions, sometimes in the same person, sometimes not. Personally, I'm not keen on either one. HM characters in books walk a very fine line for me; they generally need to have some serious redeeming characteristics for me to enjoy them as main characters. I will often stop reading a book because the HM heroine annoys me too much to continue.

~Lindy
aromagik at yahoo dot com

Jasmine Haynes said...

Yes, Maureen, high maintenane people don't have any more problems than anyone else, but they seem to concentrate on them more. And always need help with them. And you're right, too, Lindy, they are difficult characters unless they've got redeeming features.

Great discussion, everyone, thank you, I'm really enjoying the different points of view.

Virginia said...

I have always thought that a person that was always spending money on themself was high maintenance. They don't think about anyone but themself. I am not a high maintenance type of person.

lead[at]hotsheet[dot]com

Jasmine Haynes said...

I agree, Virginia, spending a lot of money on yourself can be a symptom of high maintenance. But I do still think there's an emotional component, that while they need physical maintenance they also drain a lot of emotional sustenance from those around them. Thanks for the observations, Virginia.

 

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