All posts tagged friendship

Looking Back on Teenage Years

Published September 24, 2020 by Maryanne

Yesterday while I was having lunch with a dear friend, she shared with me letters I wrote to her as a teenager in high school.

The letters were mostly about me making fun of the bullies who harassed me. I handled it in a clever, witty way. I made up names for the bullies and created scenarios that could have been used in a John Hughes movie in the 1980s.

Sometimes it seems like we’re going through such a hard time, but we look back and it turns out we were happier and more intelligent than we gave ourselves credit. I look at this picture and see myself as a mom reading something her teenage daughter wrote. I laughed so hard at my younger self. Some of the words that came out of my mouth were, “I was so bad!” and “Wow, I was witty!”

I wish I could share, but the stories were mainly inside jokes that no one would get. I couldn’t even remember half the people I was making fun of.

The really cool thing that Joan pointed out was, “My children don’t have this. They text each other, but they don’t write letters. Look how you used up most of the page to write and draw.”

That is so true. In my words on paper, I’ve captured a portion of time that we’ll never get back. And because the letters were written somewhat in anger towards the bullies, I wrote to my friend, “Destroy this” (how dramatic!)

But she didn’t. She cherished the letters. And I’m glad she did!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at:

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You

Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: Love Cats

Visit Maryanne’s You Tube Channel here: Be YOUnique

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:

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? 🙂



Good Friends Are a Beautiful Blessing!

Published August 23, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5880Darlene, Me and Linda

I’m still celebrating my birthday and it was super cool to have a celebration lunch today with two of my favorite friends, Darlene and Linda at Huntley Taverne ( where they serve organic, sustainable foods. I had a delicious egg dish with vegetables and for dessert blueberries and peaces with local honey and two cups of coffee (in which I added farm, unsalted butter to get some extra healthy fat).

As you can see from the website the place is beautiful. Plus we had a great waitress! And, the music was fantastic. Mostly 1970s: Eagles, Stevie Nicks, The Beatles, Jim Croce … The three of us were just so relaxed we didn’t want to leave.

I always count my blessings with good friends because they are so hard to come by. These wonderful ladies have been in my life several years and I can always count on a great time when we get together.

I’m happy and feel very loved!

When People Don’t Get Over It

Published August 18, 2014 by Maryanne

Give Forgiveness

I suck at many things in life, but one of the things I do take pride in is that I’m a good friend. I guess it’s how I was raised. My grandmother always had our home and pool open to everyone. She had a dynamic personality and was loved by many. I miss my Grandmother terribly and alongside with my husband, she’s one of the greatest people who ever lived on this planet.

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s not that my grandmother and I didn’t fight. We’re Italian. We fought. And some of those fights were horrific, but I’ll spare you the gory details.

The thing is, my Grandmother and I were always forgiving. Sometimes we’d be talking to each other and she’d interrupt the conversation and say, “Hey, aren’t we supposed to be mad at each other?” Then we’d both laugh and that was how we made up.

If only life with others was that simple.

There are people that are mad at me and I don’t know what I ever did to them. But something must be eating them up about me and it’s sad because like I said, I’m a great friend. Here’s why: There’s not a jealous bone in my body. I love when my friends become successful. I’m very supportive and full of sincere (not ass-kissing) comments. I have a great sense of humor. I love to get together with people. When in a group, I make a point of including everyone in the conversation. I reach out — not just email, but on the telephone. And I’m honest.

Yeah, honesty is a trait many lack. Honesty is very important to me. If you can’t be honest with family and friends, who can you be honest with? If I’m doing something you don’t like — please, point it out to me, in a caring friendly way so I can fix it.

The worst thing a person can do, in my opinion, is hold hatred in. I recently learned that a “friend” was holding in over 30 years of hatred toward me.

But let me back up a bit … a few years ago another friend shared a story that he got into a fight with one of his friends who told him something like he was always a crappy friend and he never liked him. It made no sense that someone would say something like that to someone else. How can you say that to someone you spent time with and hung around with? Because what does that scenario say about my friend’s “friend”? It means that “friend” was a PHONY! Ew, phony is totally in the creepy, ugly category!

Now, the cool thing is, my friend told the person something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way about me. I always had good times with you.” And that’s exactly how I felt about this “friend” of mine. A friend of over 30 years who I just learned was holding in massive hatred in towards me. I was always having a good time during the friendship and I pitied him that he felt such severe animosity toward me. This friend was holding in so much hatred he finally felt it was his duty to rip me apart in a nasty email pointing out what he assumed to be my flaws and things I did wrong when I was a TEENAGER! And we are now both middle-aged!

Then he sends a second nasty email to tell me how much his ex-girlfriend (who he also bad-mouthed several times) hated me — as if that justifies his hatred. It was truly laughable especially since I wasn’t crazy about his ex-girlfriend either, so at least that part of it was semi-fair. But him hating me, after doing so much together over the years: parties, concerts, dinners, family stuff … since we were practically babies. So I was confused. Why would this person be friends with me for 30 years if he hated me so much? Shame on him, right? And all in an email. This loser didn’t even have the balls to call me.

In my confusion, I shared the story with a few people and one person brought up something genius: “He never forgave you.” Okay, makes sense. He never forgave me for things I did when I was a teenager. Now that explains why this “friend” was always less than perfect (yet I was accepting of his many flaws). First off, I was always the one reaching out and sharing, calling, etc. But I chalked it up to the dude made little money and was a job hopper, so he couldn’t afford to make a phone call. I was actually shocked the one time he did reach out. As a former alcoholic, this person wanted to apologize for never going to my grandmother’s funeral. I said it was not a problem. I had many people there who loved me to support me. I understand funerals are not for everyone. So I forgave him, though there was nothing to forgive in that instance. What DID bother me was when I sent him something cool and he failed to acknowledge it. All I did was send an email saying it “didn’t feel too good.” This is when “friend” decided to rip me a new asshole.

My husband said if someone flips out like that, over nothing, they are not wrapped too tight — borderline crazy. He said not to answer his emails anymore, that I might say something to really push this person over the edge. And just days after what happened to Robin Williams, you can’t be too careful. “Stay away from people like that,” he warned, so I wouldn’t get hurt again.

In the past, I’ve forgiven all kinds of kooky people, only to get hurt a second time. And now, as I grow older, I realize it’s very hard to forgive people who don’t forgive you. And by “hard,” I don’t mean hard to forgive them, I mean hard to have an honest friendship. When people SNAP during anger, it shows a lot of things: instability, dishonesty, being unable to communicate and most likely jealousy. An unstable, unhappy person just waits for that moment to POUNCE on another person, especially if that person is happy and successful. I never have these types of incidences with people who are in a good place in life.

A healthy person understands that friends fight. And it’s okay. That is sometimes how you build a stronger friendship. One of the cutest things a friend once said to me was, “That’s how we can love each other, telling each other what we like and don’t like.”

Though I have quite a few friends that I’ve never had a fight with. That’s okay too, as sometimes you get into a groove of how to handle someone and that’s a beautiful thing if you can do it.

The thing is you have to weed out people who don’t get over it. They are trouble. If a person can’t give the gift of forgiveness, best you forget about them. You deserve much better 🙂


How Do You Want to Be Remembered When You Die?

Published June 18, 2014 by Maryanne


I only use the term “ass kisser” when it comes to business and people are fake to get ahead. Something I don’t do and never did.

When it comes to being nice to people you don’t particularly like, it’s not necessarily being phoney or ass kissing, it’s “faking it till you make it” — in trying to make the world a better place to live and trying to get uptight people to lighten up and trying to see some good with hopes that they can latch on to what you’re doing, see that you’re not the enemy and be nicer to you. Nothing wrong with being happy, as I love to live my life in a euphoric dreamlike state as much as possible surrounded by nothing but the BEST people, in love, work and play.

Though some people are so nasty/jealous, no matter how nice you are to them, things will never get better and the best you can do in that situation is just avoid them as much as possible.

Last night, though, I was thinking of something else. Usually when people are nasty/jealous/mean, they don’t live very long. Because negativity contributes to bad health.

So when these bullies die and you outlive them … hate to say it, but let’s be real … you’ll be like, “Well, I’m glad she’s dead because now she won’t be able to be mean to me anymore.”

If this sounds like you — think about it. Is that they way you want to be remembered? As someone people are glad is dead?! Not me. When I die, I want people to MOURN!  And I know they will because I’m not the person throwing digs and being mean and making people feel left out and ignored. I’m the person who will cheer you on, be your friend, support your career and buy your books, music, art!

I can wake up each morning, look in the mirror and say, “I love me, let’s get this day rockin!” And that, my friend, is true success in life! ❤