The majority of my friends are doing cool things with their lives: I have lots of journalist friends, friends who got cosmetology licenses, friends in law school, friends taking the Series 7 exams, even friends deployed in Iraq.
Yet, for all the ones climbing up their career ladders, there are a few 26- to 30-year-olds who’re still hanging out on the first or second rung. I’ve pretty much stopped asking, “Do you think you’ll start applying to jobs in that field you’re interested in?” or “Do you think you’ll move out of your hometown?” because the answer is always some variation of “I don’t know” or “not yet.” Some of these conversations have been going on for years.
I’m starting to see that your 20s aren’t just about making bad relationship decisions. They’re about making bad career decisions as well. Keep reading »
I have a friend who’s really cheap. She’s so cheap that she often deprives herself of something she wants because it’s “too expensive.” I’ve told her plenty of times, “You get what you pay for.” Lately, her cheapness has really been getting on my nerves because she often complains to service people, like waiters, about how expensive the food is. I find this to be really embarrassing because I don’t want them to think I’m like her — you know, guilty by association — and I also don’t want any “secret sauce” in my food. I’m one of those people who also believes you tip well since you didn’t have to do the work. On more than one occasion, I’ve ponied up more than my share in order to make up for her sparse tip. Today, I’m taking her to get a beauty treatment at a spot that I frequent. Should I mention before we get there that she has to tip — and tip well? Or maybe I should give the tip instead?
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My best friend in the world was attacked. Her ex, upset and drunk one night, followed her home and up the stairs to her apartment door. Before she could close it, he’d muscled it open. She tried to force the weight of her body against it, to hold it shut. And couldn’t. He came through. He chased her through the apartment, bellowing about what she “owed him,” and knocked her down. He held her on the floor, but she got away, running down the street missing a shoe.
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Yesterday, I had a major case of the sickies. I was puking continuously and by day’s end, the only thing I could keep down was some chicken broth and ginger ale. When I’m sick like this, I usually get under the covers with a bucket handy and sleep until I feel better. But I didn’t go that route yesterday. Instead, I called for reinforcements. My best friend, who happens to be a guy, only lives a few blocks from me, and he’s the only person in my life who is often willing to drop everything to take care of me. He brought over the ginger ale, kept me company while I worked, and caught my laptop the few times I hurled it at him as I hauled ass to the toilet. My best friend even seasoned my broth when I was too weak to go to the kitchen.
When you’re sick as a child, your parents usually take care of you. And as you get older, a significant other takes over for them, to some extent. But I’m thankful as a single woman to have a friend who has been willing on more than one occasion to nurse me back to health. Keep reading »
It’s a loaded question: whether or not to tell your best friend she needs to lose weight. I imagine for many women the answer is a resounding “no!” But for the Express — and for me — the answer isn’t so easy. A recent study of 3,000 women discovered that one in five women secretly thinks her best friend is fat but would never say anything. And only “a mere one in four girls has ever plucked up the courage to tell a friend she should lose a bit of weight.” That quote is practically begging to be mocked, but truthfully, I think it does take courage to express concern for a friend’s health, particularly when you know that for women, especially, it’s a sensitive issue likely to be met with hurt feelings and perhaps even animosity. In fact, the study found that of the women whose friends said something about their weight, “12 percent ‘went mental,’ while one in five ended the friendship.” I suppose that may be a good enough reason to keep one’s mouth shut, but in some circumstances it’s more hurtful not to speak up. Keep reading »
The email perplexed me:
Joanne, Sorry to sound pathetic, but have I done something to offend you?
There was no clue, no context. Really, was I on my own here to deconstruct what the hell Michelle, a college buddy from 12 years back, was referring to? How could she have done anything offensive when we hadn’t spoken in more than a few months?
This discovery came on a recent Saturday morning; while mulling over my response, I poured myself a second cup of coffee and settled into the couch again with my laptop for another weekend ritual, catching up on Facebook, where Michelle’s status update, I suspected, was designed for my eyes: “Is it still possible to remain friends with someone whom you have very little in common? I thought it was.” Double-whammy. WTF? Keep reading »
I’ve been having a months-long feud with my best friend. I won’t go into all the details, but I pretty much believe she’s unwilling to admit her fault in this situation, though I realize that I had a part in the conflict, too. What could have prevented our disagreement? I decided to search deep within myself and examine how my friend hurt me in order to come up with a list of guidelines, a girl code that will hopefully help you with your best buds. Don’t forget to leave your suggestions in the comments. Keep reading »
I like to think I discovered using the internet to make phone calls long before anyone else did. The year was 2000, and I was backpacking through Asia and had stopped in Calcutta, India to visit with my friend’s extended family. My friend’s cousin and I had gone out nightclubbing and when we returned to his apartment at two o’clock in the morning, he offered for us to call my friend back in San Francisco, for free. Calling from Asia was pricey enough for me to stick to email throughout most of my travels, and I envisioned us breaking Indian law when I watched him put on some headphones and sit down at his computer to make our phone call. The next thing I knew, I sat like a customer service representative with my headphones and talked to my friend while she shopped through Chinatown. After a quick laugh and a shock to her system to hear from her cousin and me, we noted that the connection wasn’t half-bad and marveled that we could chat for nothing while halfway across the world.
I was hooked. Keep reading »
As some of you know, nearly four years ago, when I still lived in Chicago, I was set up on a blind date while visiting friends in New York. Things went well; my date and I began a long-distance relationship, I moved to New York a year and a half later, and we were married last July. It’s now been almost two and a half years since I made the move from the Midwest to Manhattan for love, and while much of my life is better than it’s ever been, there’s still one void I have yet to fill: I don’t have any gay guy friends in town. I’ve made some girlfriends, my husband and I have plenty of couple friends, but when it comes to the really important things, like karaoke, watching awards shows, and getting an honest opinion on my hair, I find myself in dire need of a few good gays. Keep reading »