All posts tagged friendship

USA and Denmark Friends Unite Over Love for Animals

Published April 9, 2017 by Maryanne

Her photoIben (left) and Maryanne at Mundo Vegan in Montclair, NJ 

Yesterday was an incredibly special, happy day. I finally got to meet my lovely friend Iben, who is visiting the USA, from Denmark. And her 14-year-old son, Mads, who is wise beyond his years and an all-around great kid.

Two years ago, Iben and I bonded online, over our love for animals. Cecil the lion was just killed and, of course it bothered us both terribly.

This was the summer of 2015. A short time later, Iben told me she’d be visiting the USA in 2017, so we planned to set a date to meet.

Yesterday I met Iben and Mads for the first time at a train station in Cranford, New Jersey. They’ve been staying in NYC, enjoying their holiday.

After two days of rain, we lucked out with a warm, windy day, perfect spring day. First stop was Montclair. We first went to an indie bookstore, then enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Mundo Vegan:

We couldn’t rave enough about how great the meal was. I had organic quinoa salad and pumpkin “cheese” cake for dessert (made with tofu, almond crust, pumpkin and cashews). Delicious!

Afterwards we did some shopping in Montclair, then went for a walk around the gorgeous Verona Park. There, we coincidentally started a conversation with a woman who was from Denmark, living in the United States for 60 years! What are the chances of that?! And her brother lives in the same town as Iben.

And why did we start talking to the woman to being with? Because she had two cute dogs! It’s always hard to resist stopping to meet dogs, especially in a park.

We all ended our beautiful day with a last stop to my house so Iben and Mads could meet my kitty Nicholas. Nicholas is definitely a “people kitty.” Nicholas loved my new friends and did his “Circus flips” for them (which my husband taught him).

I’ve been so high since yesterday, meeting two incredible people. Fresh air, good food, and great conversation. So much fun!

I wish Iben and Mads a beautiful, safe trip while they continue their visit in the USA. And thanks to Facebook, we’ll be in touch, ’til we meet again! ❤

Montclair - MadsMaryanne and Mads, Montclair, NJ 

Verona ParkVerona Park (Photo by Iben) 

High School Friends Reunited 35 Years Later!

Published July 31, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8136Maryanne (left) and Pam – Class of 1981!

Today’s most awesome reunion with my high school classmate Pam was phenomenal on multi-levels. As adults, we had a super duper time lunching at New Jersey’s famous Tick Tock Diner. But this meeting goes way beyond a reunion. I had an agenda … to thank Pam, personally, for a favor she did for me back in high school.

Pam was my high school hero. She defended me, standing up to a bunch high school bullies! That was a very brave thing for a young, petite girl to do. At the time I was a deer in headlights. I was grateful, but shocked. I was young and so awkward, I never gave Pam the proper thank-you. Nor did I even give her a smile. I just stared blankly and went about my business. Not that I didn’t appreciate what she did, but perhaps in my young mind I felt undeserving? Why would this cool girl, who was obviously mature beyond her years, defend me?

As the years went on, I often thought back to this genuine act of kindness and that if I ever ran into Pam, I’d give her a big hug and thank her. Back in the 1980s we didn’t have internet. So if you didn’t have someone’s phone number, you had to wait until you ran into them.

In the mid-1990s I ran into one of Pam’s high school boyfriends on a train while commuting to work and I told him, “If you ever see her, tell her I said ‘Hi.'”

Then the internet came, and I looked Pam up several times over the years and then finally found her on Face Book. I hoped she’d remember me as a nice person, not the awkward girl who was too shocked and shy to say “Thank you for defending me.”

Shortly afterwards, she friend-ed me back and we made a date to have lunch! I was ecstatic and counted down the days til I was able to meet my hero!

After 35 years I was finally able to give Pam a great big hug and some flowers! We spent three hours catching up and having a blast!

Mission accomplished! It’s never too late to thank someone for their kindness! ❤

I look forward to seeing my “forever friend” again in the near future!

I love you, Pam! ❤

Gearing up for Book #3!

Published July 11, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8011Me, left, and model friend Ashley

During one of my book signings last year for “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” ( I met Ashley. Even though I was 25 years older then her, we had a lot in common: we’re both deep, sensitive, positive, writers, tattooed, fans of the love metal band HIM, and animal adorers.

Two months later Ashley invited me to read at an event she was hosting with her friend Nataly called “Rock ‘n’ Paws” to benefit animals. During this time I started writing my third book, “The Gypsy Smiled” and figured Ashley would be a great cover model. Not only was she beautiful, as you can see, but she was someone I just knew would work well with me. I was so positive I wanted to use her that I when I described my character Lucy, aka Lucretia, I described Ashley: And then there was Lucy, about 5’5” and curvy. She had shoulder-length straight dark hair with long bangs, which she dyed pillar box red by Manic Panic. Her eyes were so dark, they were almost black. 

A fun coincidence was that my character Lucy, who is 26, Ashley’s age, meets a guy who is younger than her — 23. In the real world, Ashley shared with me today that her boyfriend is 23.

During our drive up to the photographer’s home, I shared more of the “Gypsy” story with Ashley and we were laughing because the character Lucy had qualities similar to both of us.

We had a great time working with photographer Zander of Zander Images:

In fact, Zander invited Ashley back to work with him again!

Now if “Gypsy” gets picked up by a traditional publisher, we probably won’t be using my cover idea, but the good news is, it was a perfect hang-out day, never-the-less! As an author I would like at least one of my books to be picked up by a traditional publisher, but if that doesn’t happen, I can bask in the fun of working with people I highly admire, from Ashley as my model, to Zander as photographer, to Cynthia my copy editor chick to Darlene, my cover designer ( and self-publishing companies (I’m still deciding whether to try someone new or to stick with the same company I’ve worked with for “Guest List” and “Love Cats”). Either way it’s a win win: someone else foots the bill and I’m in their hands; or I foot the bill and have a blast doing the work! A win/win, I’d say!

After the model session, we grabbed a bite at Chilly Willies, in Boonton, New Jersey a fabulous Mexican eatery! Great food, greater conversation. A five-star day!

I love you Ashley! xo

SAM_8009Vegetarian Tacos!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s newest book “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format:

My Favorite Girlfriend, Diane!

Published April 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_1779I love this chick! (Me, left; Diane, right)

On National Honesty Day, I’m thinking to myself, what better day than to praise a good friend — honestly, straight from the heart!

It’s really been way too long since I last wrote a tribute to Diane, so for a little background on how we met, etc., you can check out my blog from 2013:

When I count my blessings in life, Diane is one of the people right on the top of my list and here is why:

1. She really is a FRIEND. When I think of the one person I can count on, if I’m sad or upset and can’t sleep, I know, in my heart I can call Diane and she’ll get right on the phone. While other people might be secretly “happy” that a positive person like myself is upset (as it would give them an opportunity to one-up me, or pity me) Diane will give that comfort and sincerity like no other person can. When I’m in pain, she’ll feel it and offer compassion and common sense. Luckily it’s not too often I have to cry to a friend, but when I cry to Diane, I can do so freely, without shame or embarrassment. And I LOVE her for that!

2. Diane is joyful. Diane, like myself, is a joyful person. She’s so cute in that she gets excited over the little things in life (and the big things too!) We can be so silly together and at the same time serious and deep. She’s the most fun girlfriend to be around — she’s one in a million!

3. She likes my other friends. Anyone I introduce Diane too, she absolutely adores. I’ve had some friends be jealous of each other, but not Diane. She’s a little love bug and it’s so cool to know I can mix her with anyone and the result will be nothing but a good time.

4. She picked a great husband. This is a very important quality. It shows she has great judgement. Her husband Mike is a great guy and I feel equally comfortable around him as I do around her. Mike gets along great with my husband and we can all enjoy going out together.

5. We’re genuinely excited about each others lives. Diane is happily retired. I am happily self-employed. Diane is the one person I can share my life with who isn’t competitive with me and really happy for me when I succeed. It’s so comfortable having a person that you don’t have to downplay your happiness around. Where other people may be jealous, Diane is the one who is REALLY happy for you! As I am for her! Calling Diane and hearing the peace and calm in her voice makes me giddy like a little girl. I love hearing about her days gardening and the pickles she makes. That is just SO COOL! I’ve known Diane for a long time. She does a lot for others, so no one deserves peace and happiness like she does. My heart actually pumps a little harder when I’m around her — because I love her so much!

6. BEST OF ALL. It’s rare Diane and I have a fight, but when we do we talk it out like human beings and then it’s DONE. There is no tension, no little “digs” (like girls are so famous for giving), no avoiding … we just clear the air and move on. This is why we’ve been friends non-stop since 1994 — because we are HONEST with each other.

7. We both love God. Like myself, Diane is strong in her faith. We can speak freely about the wonders of what God does in our lives.

8. MUSIC. Diane and I can always talk music. I’ve seen more live music with Diane than any other girlfriend. From D-Generation in the 1990s to outdoor oldies shows, we’ve seen it all — together. From just us in the 1990s to sharing moments with our hubbies — we have some helluva soundtrack to accompany our friendship. Out of all our legendary music moments, one of my favorites was a night we were out having a good time and “Bohemian Rhapsody” came on the radio. This was around the time of “Wayne’s World” and we just went with it, singing along at the top of our lungs. You just can’t plan magical moments like that!

9. We’re just FUN GIRLS! Diane and I have done everything you can imagine, from dancing with transvestites at Don Hills to getting lost in NYC while the gas tank was on “E.” And no matter what kind of “trouble” we got into, we always laughed about it.

10. Diane is a cat person. I’ll never forget, when I was still single, I had to leave my grandmother’s old rent control apartment. It was so hard finding a new apartment that allowed pets. I finally found a place that allowed “one.” I had two cats. Diane was willing to take care of one for me. But thanks to my genius Mom, she said, “Just sneak the two in, Billy always hides anyway, no one will know.” She was right, no one was the wiser and I was able to keep both beautiful cats. (Billy died two years ago at the age of 19 and Derick is still alive, now also 19). I will never forget Diane’s kindness in wanting to help during a very trying time in my life. And then, when I moved from that apartment into my husband’s home, Diane was the person who had an extra cat carrier for me, so my babies had a safe 25 minute trip.

Diane, I love you more than you’ll ever know!

You are one of God’s greatest blessings in my life!

maryanne-and-dianeWe’re having a ball!

When People Really Like Each Other, They Stay in Touch

Published November 23, 2014 by Maryanne

maryanne-0812Call a friend, keep in touch!

I feel like I’m a fantastic friend because people never have to second-guess how I feel about them. I always tell my friends I love them. I make dates to see people. I call them. I email them. I let them know when I have dreams about them. In other words, I make my friends feel loved. And if I say something stupid (it happens to the best of us, dumb things just roll off our tongues) I do everything in my power to apologize to someone so they don’t feel bad.

When it comes to loved ones, I’m not of the mindset, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” but rather “out of sight, out of mind.” Why? Because if someone says they are “too busy” for you, I don’t believe them. No one is THAT busy to not pick up the phone or type an email. Even if you type with one finger, it doesn’t take that long to send an email that says, “I miss you.”

So if someone is “too busy” for me, I’m not interested in them either. It’s like the single girl who is waiting for a guy to call her. If he was really interested, he would.

If you significant other went on a business trip for several months, would it be acceptable to not hear from him/her during that time away? Of course not! So why should be expect anything less from our friends? A true friendship should not be taken for granted.

There are exceptions of course. My husband and I have friends we only see maybe once or twice a year but when we do, they make us feel like royalty and there is never a doubt in our minds that these friends love us dearly. And of course, we love them too. We know that when we see these friends it’s always a good time. We can drop in on them unexpectedly. They can call us and leave funny, lengthy messages. It’s just a given … a friendship you can depend on.

In order to get to that point though, there has to be history. A history of shared good times and bad times that builds up to a solid ground. If you have an on-again-off-again friendship since high school or are just coming into a new friendship, time together is pertinent, otherwise you stay in “acquaintance limbo” and you’re always second guessing the friendship: Did I say something wrong? Am I not fun to be around?

Now I’m not talking about being on the phone three hours a night like you’re a teenager or spending every free moment together. I’m just saying that making a lunch date every other month or so … or picking up the phone once in awhile just to let someone know you’re alive and still thinking of them.

And of course that will come naturally — not forced — if you’re really connecting with someone. There’s beautiful magic in a great connection where you feel safe. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when you can be yourself in front of someone without being judged. When you can get excited over each others happiness, laugh, exchange ideas, share, etc. When you leave someone feeling like you can’t wait to see them again! That’s what makes the difference between a friend and an acquaintance 🙂

So why choose “acquaintance” when “friend” feels so much better? 🙂