Blame my older sister, the kindergarten teacher, but I believe in the Golden Rule. Whether you’re my boss, my intern, my boyfriend or my third-cousin-twice-removed, I will treat you with the same amount of respect as everyone else.
Why am I wired this way? Other kids were really cruel to me from grade school through high school—whether putting Scotch tape in my hair during class, calling me “Cabbage Patch Kid” because of my chubby cheeks, or circulating my name on a list where girls were ranked by their hotness and I was rated 3 out of 10. That stuff made me feel terrible most of the time and I don’t want anyone knowing what that’s like. Instead, I try to be kind to every person, regardless of how popular/attractive/smart they are, and not be a kiss-ass, ever.
It’s striking to me, though, how not being an ass-kisser has ruined my friendships with some very pretty women. In fact, my only friendship Titanics have happened when I’ve stood up to extraordinarily beautiful women and lost out. The Pretty Girl wanted me to play by her rules; I didn’t want to do it, so Pretty Girl read me the friendship riot act and ditched me. Forever. Keep reading »
So you’ve made it through the horrifying breakup with someone you cared about … now what? To be friends or not to be friends, that is the question. Most of the time I like to make a nice clean break adhering to a “no contact” and “no getting back together” policy. I’ve learned from experience that this is a necessary move for me to heal my ailing heart and move on. In time, I am usually content to be “acquaintances with history,” exchanging an email every once in a while or having friendly drinks with the exes that I still respect. But that’s only after time has passed and I’ve removed the rose-colored glasses that I used to gaze at him through. And, of course, there are the guys that I know I won’t ever see or speak with ever again … those that have committed offenses of the heart too heinous to be forgiven in this lifetime. But it’s not always so black and white. Some people are worth keeping in your life. Keep reading »
“Sex and the City” illustrated many prominent issues that women sometimes encounter in their relationships: fertility struggles, unease about out-earning a boyfriend, being attracted to “toxic bachelors,” and wanting to pursue “sex like a man,” among others. While not every woman desires the unattached sex that Samantha pursues, “Sex and the City,” and in particular, “Sex and the City: The Movie” shined light on a phenomenon that nearly every woman deals with at one point or another: clashing with a friend’s love interest. On “Sex and the City,” Mr. Big continually treats Carrie like crap: never wanting to commit, marrying another woman yet expecting Carrie to happily continue as “the other woman,” and (spoiler alert!) eventually leaving Carrie at the altar at the Bradshaw-Preston wedding. But Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda are always there to clean up the mess Big made. Needless to say, the girlfriends develop a major grudge. Charlotte even confesses that she practiced what she would say if she bumped into Mr. Big on the street: “I curse the day you were born!” Keep reading »
The man I was engaged to was my first real adult love. It was mutual, it was committed, and it was mature. But there were other “loves.” Adam, the long-haired hippie in 8th grade, who held my hand once and played the acoustic guitar; Rob, the twenty-something video store employee, whom I stalked for the entire summer before I turned 15; Jesse who gave me emotional support when my parents divorced the summer after freshman year of college; and lastly, Aidan*, a fellow staff member at my college newspaper whom I fell for — HARD — my senior year. Keep reading »
Male blogger Craig JC over at Clutch Magazine tries to caution women against telling their best friends all the intimate details of their sexual life, saying that “we all need some type of privacy.” But while giving this advice, Craig helps to perpetuate the stereotype that all women are jealous backstabbers. Keep reading »
In a recent Salon article, Mary Elizabeth Williams challenges the idea that women and men can’t be friends. Because, as you might know, there’s been a rumor going around that straight women and straight men can never be friends, since sex always gets in the way. Supposedly, the best options ladies have for companions are among their own gender (or gay dudes). As films like “The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants” demonstrate, female bonds are some of the strongest. But does that make male/female friendships doomed and worthless? No! Keep reading »
This weekend, The New York Post ran a piece by author Lucinda Rosenfeld called “Why Women Are Frenemies.” Rosenfeld has a book coming out that’s related to the topic called I’m So Happy for You: A Novel About Best Friends, and in her essay she implies that the root of most female frenemy relationships is jealousy. I like Rosenfeld’s writing — she’s best known for What She Saw — but I’m a little resistant to the notion that all women engage in these “frenemy”-type relationships, and that if they DO have them, it all comes down to being jealous. She writes:
“For girls in their early 20s, rivalries tend to revolve around beauty and the attention of men. Later, it becomes easy to measure your lot in life (against that of your best friends) by the size of your wedding ring, the square footage of your apartment, the number of zeros in your or your husband or partner’s salary, and whether or not your kids got into a gifted-and-talented program.”
Really? I don’t have any frenemies I can think of, though I do have a few friends who occasionally grate on my nerves. But anyone who would ever fall on a list of enemies — even just for an hour or a day — is not someone I think I would call a friend to begin with. To find out just how true Rosenfeld’s theory is, I asked some fellow women about their experiences with “frenemies.” Keep reading »
The title is actually not the beginning of a joke. As unlikely as it may sound, this was gist of my most of my weekend. A little bit of background is necessary. Three years ago an Israeli is sitting in his room in Jerusalem getting ready to attend college in the US. He receives an email notifying him of the name and address of his freshman year roommate. To his surprise, the name and address are Iranian. What does he do: nothing. Despite the tensions in the region and possible conflicts, he decides not to complain to the college (whether this was out of cultural curiosity, tolerance, or extreme laziness remains a mystery). Simultaneously in another part of the world an Iranian receives his notification and pretty quickly surmises that his roommate is a Jew from Israel. He also decides to do nothing. Whether the college intentionally put two students from opposing countries together to foster international relations or some admissions director thought it would be a grand joke also remains a mystery. More likely than not it was just a screw up as both students later received an email inquiring as to their level of “comfortableness.” Both were comfortable and were now roommates. The unlikely combination of an Israeli and Iranian choosing to live together became more unlikely when the Iranian started dating a Palestinian. The unlikely group became an inseparable one. Keep reading »
This week I was reading an article in the New York Times called “She’s a Director Who’s Just Another Dude.” It’s about Lynn Shelton, who directed a movie called “Humpday,” yet another bromance comedy. The writer spouts off about why Shelton is so cool—citing “masculine” tendencies such as enjoying alcohol, showing confidence, and feeling powerful as reasons why she rocks. The article wasn’t too offensive but it got me thinking: why, for us gals, does being compared to men constitute a compliment? Keep reading »
Jimmy Fallon once joked about how choosing a friend as a roommate is never awesome:
“It doesn’t work out. You will fight each other––they have to much dirt on you. They’ll crush you in an argument for no reason. Like you’ll just say ‘Hey man the dishes have been in the sink for like two weeks and they’re your dishes. Are you gonna clean them or what?’ And they’ll say, ‘Yeah, remember when you had crabs in the sixth grade?’”
In the last month, I’ve learned that Fallon was so right. Keep reading »