Contemp April Henry's gripping novel GIRL, STOLEN hits the shelves today. You'll be hearing much more about this suspenseful page-turner tomorrow in our Spotlight Wednesday feature.

But briefly: 16-year-old Cheyenne Wilder is resting in the back seat of her stepmother's Cadillac Escalade, ill with pneumonia, while her stepmom runs into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for her. When Griffin carjacks the Escalade as a gift for his father, Cheyenne, who is legally blind, ends up a hostage who must rely on her own devices to try to save herself.

April says: "Cheyenne might have saved herself if she trusted her instincts and jumped out of the car first thing."

I don't know about you guys, but it's taken me a LONG time to learn to trust my instincts. I can't tell you how many unfortunate situations I might have avoided as a teenager - and as an adult - if only I'd paid attention to that nagging feeling in my gut. The one that warned, "Oy, Sarah, there's something not quite kosher about this," or "Saraleh, use your kop.(head) This isn't the smartest thing you've every done." My gut talks to me like a Jewish mother. It must be in the genes.

From The Contemps
The face of my Gut Instinct. Yes, my gut sounds kind of like Golda Meir.

Like when my cousin from the West Coast encouraged me to use Sun-In so I could get California Girl highlights. Despite the gut misgivings, I allowed her to spray half a bottle of the stuff on my long, brunette locks. At the end of the day, I ended up with seriously brassy hooker hair. Growing it out took forever and it wasn't pretty. My parents finally paid for me to have it dyed dark again because they didn't want me to look like a slut at my cousin's bar mitzvah.

(Okay, maybe it wasn't quite this bad, but it sure felt like it)

Even as an adult I've stupidly ignored my better instincts. When I started trying out the whole on-line dating thing after separating from my ex-husband (there's a book in that someday - a comedic horror novel) I could have avoided the Date from Hell with Bleeding Ear Guy had I heeded the rumblings of reservation in my tummy. Instead, I was too worried about being impolite and hurting the feelings of some psycho, who yes, really did have blood pouring from his ear when we met for our date.

There were a few times I did trust my instincts, and it was the right decision. Like when that guy I had the wildest crush on in high school was trying to get me to give up my virginity to him at the State Drama competition. I trusted my gut when it said, "No, bubbeleh. This should be something special with someone you really love." Boy was I glad later that night, when I saw him making out with my best friend at the cast party. Well, maybe glad is pushing it. Truth be told, I cried hysterically for hours and might have ended up having a teensy bit too much to drink. But the good news is that I didn't make a HUGE mistake.

How about you? Have you managed to avoid a bad situation because you trusted your guy? Or did you end up in a sticky situation because you didn't?

Spill all in the comments.

EDITED: Here's a further, somewhat more serious discussion about Trusting Your Gut over at my blog. xo Sarah


Claire Dawn said...

OMG! Yes!

The example that always comes to mind, is my volunteer trip to India. I didn't really have enough money to make that trip, but I felt like I had to. (It felt almost like divine intervention.)

Practical friends told me to stay home. But I went. And in the end, that trip has changed more in my mind than any other place I visited short term. And it's the only trip I've made that inspired a book.

Micol Ostow said...

I like to think it was my gut that lead me to my husband - I was doing the online dating thing like you, Sarah, and we'd put off meeting time and again. It was a rainy night and I didn't feel like going out, but I knew that if I cancelled one last time, that'd be it.

That was the last online date I ever went on!

If you asked me how I "knew," I would tell you I honestly have no idea. But I think on some level it's an intuition thing.

Lisa Schroeder said...

I think it takes time and practice to learn to listen to those gut instincts. As teens, it's harder because we have so many voices inside our head, many of them not our own. :)

Taffy said...

I'm glad you didn't give yourself to that neanderthal!
I wish as I got older my instinct were louder but I'm still an idiot sometimes. But when I do listen, I'm so grateful for that tiny voice!

Sarah Darer Littman said...

I'm going to do another blog post on my personal blog when I finish my column ( deadline rapidly approaching!) about the process of learning to trust my gut and why I think I didn't in the first place. I started thinking about that a lot when I was writing this last night, but it was a little too long and serious and reflective to get into here. But maybe I'll post a link at the bottom of this if and when I do it.

Denise Jaden said...

As I get older, I find that rationale often wins out over trusting my gut. Sigh, my gut is always right, too.

Melissa Walker said...

I love my gut. Trusting it is sometimes hard (the voices in my head are so LOUD), but it's never wrong.

Love the art you chose here, Sarah!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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