Tag Archives: friendship

So Many Things!

It has been quite a while, my dear Internet friends. I’d apologize for the absence but I’m having way too much fun at my new job to want to apologize for it. The Matilda Effect is still ongoing and I’m truly hoping it lasts forever.

That said, I’ve missed sharing my new stuff with you! So… A few things that have happened since we last spoke (… wrote? read? communicated via pixels?). From newest to oldest:

Show up. Just do it. I wrote about the simple but often un- or under-appreciated value of showing up, especially when it’s cold, you’re busy, and Netflix is calling. This was partly inspired by Wait But Why and Eric Liu’s phenomenal book A Chinaman’s Chance (really just one chapter of it, but seriously, read the whole thing):


On Ego and Exercise. After running my first (and probably only) half-marathon, I wrote about why I exercise and the intersection of ego and self-care.


On slutty slutty Halloween. Every October (this now seems woefully out of date), there are endless think pieces about why girls dress so scantily. I’m so bored of this conversation, so… I wrote another think piece.


On the pay gap and “trusting the system.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella got into trouble by suggesting that women should just work hard and wait around to be recognized and failed to acknowledge systemic and cultural reasons for the pay gap. Oh yeah, this was at a conference for women in tech…




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Filed under Body Image, Chicago, Gender, Media, Politics, Sports

The worst breakup ever, and we weren’t even sleeping together

To kick of 2014 for Role/Reboot I wrote about the friend-breakup. Not the gradual kind, where you sort of grow apart and drift away aided either by distance or different life choices. No, I’m talking about the dramatic friend breakup, the one that, were it not for the sexlessness, might as well be a romantic breakup for the abruptness and the hurt. I’ve had one big one of those, and it’s only now, a few years later, that I was ready to write about it:


Related Post: How to make a bro friend.

Related Post: How Grey’s Anatomy is depicting the distancing of a friendship really, really well. 

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Filed under Gender, Republished!

S(Monday) Scraps 106


1. WEIGHT: How not to be a dick to your fat friends. Spot on advice from Marianne at XOJane.

2. HOLLYWOOD: This clip is old, but man is it good. Watch Dustin Hoffman have a few on-camera epiphanies while talking about dressing like a woman in Tootsie.

3. RACE: Kiese Laymon on multicultural writing, what it means to be a “real black writer,” and the state of modern publishing. For Guernica.

4. ABORTION: My second favorite dude comedian, Rob Delaney, writes for the Guardian about why he’s pro-choice.

5. SEX ED: The always excellent Marianne Cassidy on the sex education she wish she’d had (but never got, because she grew up in uber-Catholic Ireland).

6. WRITERS: Roxane Gay at The Rumpus applies the Vida test to race and publishing. Guess what percentage of NYT book reviews were of non-white writers?

Related Post: Sunday 105: Bodies that matter, old cities, tiny islands, literacy tests

Related Post: Sunday 104: Bookish pie charts, bro Venn diagrams, the Girlfriend Zone, etc.


Filed under Body Image, Books, Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Really Good Writing by Other People, Sex

If women don’t talk about men all the time, what do we talk about?

Remember the Bechdel Test? It’s that set of three rules that helps determine the presence of women in TV and movies? Rule 3 stipulates that two women must discuss something other than a man. Back when I wrote that overview, some hilarious internet denizen wrote back, “but women do mostly talk about men…” Hardee har har. Bro, I think you’ve been watching a little too much SATC.

Though his joke was clearly stupid, it did make me wonder how much of what I discuss with my girlfriends has to do with dating, men, sex, etc. We like data and graphs around here, so we did a little experiment. My best friend and I gchat much of the day most days. Although our gchats are in no way a comprehensive view of communication (lacking face-to-face, phone, text, and email), there’s no reason to think they aren’t a reasonable proxy for our typical patterns of communication.

I went through and tagged two weeks worth of gchats with their subject matter and the amount of time devoted to each item. Then, I graphed that as a ratio of the whole. Bottom line: Gentlemen, we hardly talked about you at all. 


Related Post: What are the most common names of men I’ve dated?

Related Post: Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman


Filed under Gender, Media

Couple or Bust?

This was a tough one to write. I knew I wanted to talk about the idea of “the primacy of the couple” and different kinds of love.  I knew I wanted to include some of Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo research about the demographic trend towards solitary living. Fun fact, single-occupant homes are the most common domestic unit in America. Here’s another: the average American spends more than half their adult life unpartnered. There’s a lot more. Read the book.

Also, read my essay for Role/Reboot (title, as usual, not selected by me):


Related Post: How to make a bro friend.

Related Post: The break-up museum.

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Filed under Books, Republished!

How to make a bro friend

This week at Role/Reboot, I wrote about how hard it can be, post-college, to make new cross-gender, platonic friends. As to the title of this post, I learned the answer. Want to make bro-friends? Write about how you have no bro-friends on the internet. DONE.

What’s kind of amazing is that since I’ve posted the article below, dudes have literally been coming out of the woodwork offering to be my straight-dude friends. Maybe there should be an audition process of some kind?

Will You Be My Straight Male Friend?Related Post: One of the perks of dude-friends is getting their insights on job convos

Related Post: My views on splitting the check


Filed under Gender, Republished!

Schmaltzy Title, Bangin’ Essay

Don’t let the self-help title fool you, this The Rumpus essay by Emily Rapp is no schmaltzy ode to girls’ night and chick flicks. “Transformation and Transcendance: The Power of Female Friendship” is a slow-building, artfully arranged emotional symphony. Scratch that, it’s a roundhouse kick to your gut. A slow-building, artfully arranged roundhouse… yes, that sounds right.

It’s about girlfriends, yes, but it’s not about cosmos or cupcakes or Manolos. It’s about love. It’s about the moments in Sex and the City that resonate because of the underlying truths they dramatize: Charlotte’s fertility struggles, Samantha’s cancer diagnosis, Miranda’s mother’s death. You gather friends because they add laughter and joy and glitter and all things wonderful to your life, but it’s only when shit hits the fan, as it inevitably will, that you realize what a fucking solid rock all that glitter is heaped upon.

Did you see 50/50? A laugh/cry ratio that high is hard to pull off, but I really think they nailed it. At its heart, it was a movie about what happens when disaster strikes in that awkward period between fleeing the nest and building a new one. Your parents are thousands of miles away, you don’t have a spouse yet, you’ve only got your friends.

It’s the “only” in that sentence that I’m thinking about, and that Emily Rapp wrote about so eloquently. Too frequently we attribute to the spouse-less some sort of weird social failure, “Awww, look at you without your husband, you only have friends! How sad!” What a terrible attitude! Building the kinds of relationships that last a lifetime, like the Wrinklies in the Rumpus piece, or the Rogan/Gordon-Levitt bromance of 50/50, is amazing and inspiring and should be a thing we all hope to have. Those relationships are not the fall-back, not the consolation prize, not the thing to settle for if the partner game doesn’t work out.

Related Post: I wrote a response to Kate Bolick’s Atlantic piece about singledom.

Related Post: I’m preemptively angsting about friends leaving Chicago.

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Filed under Family, Hollywood, Really Good Writing by Other People