friendships

All posts tagged friendships

Decadent Therapy!

Published October 15, 2017 by Maryanne

Cake PhotoThat couch! It’s a beautiful thing!

(Me at Cake, NYC in the 1990s, the decade of Prozac Nation)

It always cracks me up when someone tries to win an argument by suggesting that the person they are arguing with needs therapy. Therapy-shaming is ignorant. Therapy is something everyone can benefit from, and only a narcissist would think they don’t need therapy.

Every successful, truly happy person I’ve ever met has been clearly vocal about their therapist. This leads me to believe that people who ain’t too proud to admit they could use a little help are the ones that learn to move mountains in life.

“Asking for help is always a sign of strength” – Michelle Obama.

“It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to talk to someone who doesn’t judge you.” -Katy Perry.

Since the 1960s, therapy has been in vogue. For part of the ’60s I wasn’t even born, but I became aware of the power of therapy in the 1990s. I was in my early 30s — and we were in the musical age of grunge. Back then, it seemed like everyone was depressed. Books like “Prozac Nation” were top sellers. Kurt Cobain killed himself and it was documented that some fans followed suit and killed themselves too. People started to become aware that depression and bipolar and stress were real things — for real people. And all the cool people started going to therapy.

Jumping on the band wagon, I tested the waters with a few therapists back then. The problem is, like anything else good in life, it takes some time to find a good one. But the effort is well worth it. Over the years I found a couple good ones — and from time to time, their wisdom still seeps into my brain and it’s very helpful.

Earlier this week one of my favorite friends took me to a Katy Perry concert. I wasn’t familiar with her music; then during the show, I fell in love with it. Every song was amazing — and empowering. And her stage show was epic.

I Googled Katy Perry and was incredibly impressed by all she did. She wrote all her songs; songs that had hooks, songs that were clever and fun, and told me Katy Perry could be an old soul. It made perfect sense to learn that such a super high achiever goes (or went) to therapy.

And here I am relating, because I’m at a time in my life where my career took an incredible turn for the better, which goes hand in hand with stress. Then when it comes time to “down time” you have to spend it more wisely, being more choosy about the people you want to connect with.

Once things started getting super good, career-wise, I took the advice of a few friends and started letting go of things that no longer served me. Life was always precious to me, but now even more so. Each waking moment has to count. I needed to manage my personal life like I manage my career.

So, by the advice of a psychic, I cleaned out my Facebook page, getting rid of people I’m not relating to and probably would never see again in my life. (And in their favor, they probably wouldn’t care if they never saw me again; so if they want to be snarky about it, they can post those unoriginal memes that say, “The trash took itself out.”).

I also let go of writing for two freelance publications I felt were holding me back; whether it was the stress of not liking a particular editor, or always chasing after checks that were notoriously late. It was just something that was no longer necessary to my being. TW = time wasting.

It’s a huge relief knowing that I’ll never get an email from either publication again. And I take even more comfort knowing that there are people I really can’t stand and I’ll never have to see them in my Facebook feed again!

If only every problem everyone had could disappear with a “delete” button or just saying “I quit.” But, no, that’s not going to happen.

I look so good on paper. I have the most amazing, adoring husband; the most creative, loving girlfriends; and I get to make a living as an editor, writer, and public speaker. How cool is that?

The bottom line is — I’m human. I get nervous. I get scared. I have bursts of unhappiness. I terribly miss loved ones who passed and are waiting on the other side. I worry about things that may never happen. I am too sensitive for this world.

So what do I do about it? Call a therapist. Unfortunately the one that helped me the most 10 years ago has long retired.

I found another I really like. She wasn’t in my benefits network and offered to help me find others that were. When she sent an email with names and numbers, after researching them, I wasn’t feeling it. I shook my head. I wrote back to her, “But I want YOU!”

It made no difference to me that I’d be paying out of pocket. From my short phone call with this woman, she deserves my top dollar! And, I’m worth it. My first appointment is in two weeks.

I can’t wait to get on that couch, put my cute feet up, and have some girl talk with an intelligent age-appropriate woman who wowed me over the telephone in a short consult session.

God bless that good ‘ole glamorous indulgence called therapy. If it’s good enough for Katy Perry, it’s good enough for me! ❤

I feel better already!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a three-time author. Her second book, the fictitious “Love Cats” deals with the issues of selfish people. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513)  

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Friends Fight Nice

Published March 12, 2017 by Maryanne

Friends 2

Fighting sucks.

It gets your riled up, sad, and maybe even depressed. But it’s inevitable that even the best of friends may argue from time to time. And why wouldn’t they? It’s impossible that people will agree on everything. Or that we’re perfect and will always say the right thing at the right time. Sometimes things come out wrong. Sometimes we simply misunderstand. Sometimes we let things go. Sometimes we can’t.

Whatever the situation, we can’t help it, we will argue.

The thing is, true friends will fight nice.

There’s a big difference between fighting nice and fighting nasty. Fighting nasty is name-calling, being irrational, or possibly looking for an excuse to end the friendship. That is NOT cool. And that’s the kind of “friend” you are better off without.

A real classy gal knows how to fight “nice.” This means, stay focused on the issue at hand. Don’t ever insult your friend. Don’t question, “What’s wrong with you?” (Ew, that is such a gross thing to say to someone!) Don’t question your friends mental stability just because he or she disagrees with you. (That’s even more gross!) And don’t forget, to belittle is to BE LITTLE. Only jerks name call. Whenever someone pulls that crap with me, I write that person off … forever. If someone does it to you once, they will do it to you again. Arguing and fighting will happen, but it doesn’t have to stoop to a schoolyard bully level. Instead, do it with style!

I am so blessed to have quite a few wonderful friends that can handle shit in an honest, intelligent manner. At the time, it doesn’t feel good, but we get through it. I LOVE that my friends stand up for themselves and can disagree with me; and vice versa, as they allow me speak my mind too; because a good friendship is based on honesty.

Some of my friends and I will actually tell each other we love each other WHILE WE ARE ARGUING! How cool is that?! It’s like, “I love you, and we can work this out! I WANT to work it out!” And we always do work it out!

All of these smart, gorgeous, creative ladies that I’ve bonded with over the years; those I met in high school, those I met at concerts, those I met through my husband, those I met via my career, I love, love, love, love them so much!

When a friendship is worth GOLD, a real friend doesn’t run away or end it. They stay strong with you; as you do with them. They know deep in their hearts that putting each other down is not the way to go; as that’s stupid and the friendship will be ruined for life.

To always be kind, even when you are mad, is a great blessing. Talking things out like adults is the way to go.

I LOVE all my friends and get excited just thinking about them! Thank you for knowing how to be a true friend; through thick and thin! And for loving me as I love you … forever

True Friends Don’t Have to Tell Each Other Everything

Published January 11, 2017 by Maryanne

sam_1238

The other day a beloved friend asked me a question I didn’t feel comfortable answering. But instead of saying so, I gave the best answer I could while on the spot. After much thought, I shared in an email how I felt, that it was a very personal question.

My friend was hurt and felt that she should be able to speak freely. While I was sympathetic towards her feelings, I needed to be protective of my own as well. I felt it was time in our friendship to set up guidelines about what is and isn’t appropriate to speak about. And I was entitled to that.

Certain things are personal and sacred, and should only be discussed with lifetime partners. If friends really love and support each other, they should also love and support each other’s comfort zones. In other words — know your audience.

Some friends may be very comfortable talking about money, estates, assets, gossip, politics, and/or their sexual exploits. Others may prefer talking about health, hobbies, music, animals/pets, philosophy, spirituality, work, and art. Put me in the category of the latter. While others may feel differently, the topics I favor are so much more fun, intellectual, and enlightening!

It may seem like I’m a “tell all” kinda gal because I’m a writer and am always expressing myself in front of my readership. As another friend once said, that I “put it all out there.” But she is wrong. I don’t. The more I tell, the more I keep secret. Lives are so grand and complicated that you can probably write 10,000 honest words about yourself per day without really revealing a damn thing. The brain goes a mile a minute. No one really knows what goes on inside another’s mind. Like a recent t-shirt I saw that said something like, “I may look like I’m listening to you, but in my head I’m listening to The Monkees.” Same thing goes with thoughts. I may be discussing the latest health craze, but in my head I’m thinking of my beautiful cat who died almost a year ago. So, get over it; you never truly know another person.

In my research for this particular piece, I found so many articles supporting true friends telling each other everything. And not one article about friends being entitled to some privacy. So I think it’s time to start a new trend. A trend that says friendships shouldn’t be considered any “less” if someone wants to keep a secret or not talk about certain things. A trend that says true friends should be comfortable to set boundaries without getting offended. A trend that says honesty is the ability to know each other well enough to “not go there.” Or at least make the effort to try.

How about it, eh?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback versions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513

Friends

Published November 20, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1613

With my friend Joan (left). 

“The greatest gift in life is friendship, and I have received it.” — Hubert H. Humphrey 

In New Jersey, when the weather is getting colder and the days shorter, there’s nothing like having a night out with great friends and our hubbies to warm the spirit.

It’s always nice to see our friends Joan and Peter, have a bite, some drinks, laughs and great conversation.

Make a play date with a friend today!

sam_1612

From left, Peter & Joan, Me & Dennis ❤ 

And on the 8th Day God Created Friendships!

Published August 15, 2016 by Maryanne

 

SAM_0898Joan, Me, Darlene 

Friends are such a blessing and I never take any of mine for granted.

August is my birthday month and this lunch date was the kick-off of many celebrations to come — including two other lunch dates with friends, celebrations with my husband, and celebrations with my husband’s family.

Over the weekend it was an honor to spend time with two of my closest friends Joan and Darlene. It was extra special because it was the first time they got to meet each other!

I met Darlene shortly after I started dating my husband, as she’s the long-term girlfriend of my husband’s cousin Tommy. Darlene and I hit it off immediately. Like two peas in a pod, we’re both into music, health, and animals. She’s like a sister to me. ❤

I’ve known Joan since high school. We can’t remember exactly how we met, but it seems like we’ve always been in each others lives. She made my teenage years incredible. We went to so many concerts and dance clubs together. One of my greatest “Joan” memories is dancing with her to “Hang On To Yourself” by David Bowie at the now defunct Aldo’s Hideaway, in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. That is our song. ❤

I love both of my ladies very much! ❤

This weekend Joan surprised me with a beautiful poem she wrote about our friendship. She gave me the A-OK to type it up into this blog.

ENJOY!

Dear Maryanne,

A friendship’s memories are like the waves of the ocean coming in and washing over you.

The thoughts of innocent times, dancing and listening to music from so long ago seem like a dream.

Yearning to spend every moment with each other was the most important thing.

Not knowing what life had in store allowed us to be free, excited and limitless.

If I could go back in time and be that 17-year-old girl again, I would want it to be with you.

Happy Blessed Birthday my Friend

Love, Joan

 

 

 

 

To My Single Male Friends, I’m REALLY Not Interested in Your Conquests

Published December 28, 2015 by Maryanne

neanderthal

As a happily married woman, I hate to shun single people, but when it comes to guy friends, I have to be honest, I prefer the company of happily married ones (or happily committed ones).

For one, happily married/committed men are more interesting. They are inspiring because they always talk lovingly about their wives. You can joke around with them about anything and know they’ll never hit on you. You’ll talk about a variety of topics such as music, films, animals, food, politics, etc. and never get bored. Plus, they’ll love to hear about your husband too! I kid you not, happily married/committed men are rarely threatened by other males. They’ll always be like, “Tell your husband I said ‘Hi!'”

While my single female friends are a lot of fun to be around, my single male friends … well, I’m really starting to dread my lunch dates with them. You sit down and it’s only a matter of seconds before they start whipping out the phone and showing photos of their latest “hope to conquests” they found on Facebook or Match Dot Com.

Yawn.

Hey guys, why does me saying, “Oh, she’s pretty!” (because I have nothing else to go on) validate you? How about waiting until you are in a REAL relationship (a healthy one that lasts more than a month) and THEN tell me that her beautiful looks match her beautiful soul? Then we can all double date and have good conversations; not cringe-worthy ones that stroke your ego and take up 90 percent of the lunch date (without me getting in one sentence edgewise about how much I absolutely adore my incredible husband!)

It is only fair that I can talk about my great husband too, right? But my happiness doesn’t seem of interest to you. You just want a sounding board for your potential conquests, which makes me feel bad because that tells me our friendship isn’t important as it once was, otherwise you’d be a bit more enthusiastic to hear about my life and what I’ve been up too. Plus, deep down I know that once you do fall in love with someone, if she’s a jealous type and/or doesn’t approve of me, we just might not be friends anymore.

But what’s worse of all is that those cool, intelligent, interesting, funny male friends I’ve known since my teens, 20s and 30s, have turned into in-a-hurry-to-have-a-relationship tail chasers once they hit their 40s and 50s. What a shame, because this isn’t the type of single guy I’d introduce to a single girl friend. So, on second thought, let’s cancel our lunch date.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513

Don’t Ever Friend a “Fan”

Published October 22, 2015 by Maryanne

Selena's MurderFan murdered superstar Selena

A year ago when I published my first book “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” (available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/162903908X) it was suggested by an author friend that I start a Facebook page. Over the years I’ve had so many problems on Facebook, I didn’t like the idea. However, I started it up once again because it did help sell a lot of books. Then once I started doing book signings, “strangers” started coming to my events and “friending” me on Facebook. I had a very hard time using the word “fans.” It sounded so … so … so old and weird, like I was Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard” and the “little people” were peons buying my product.

Weirded out by “fan” I started calling those who brought my book, my “beloved readers.” It sounded more endearing than “fans.” But deep down, I wanted my readers to really be friends. They were buying my books and I felt I owed them my life. Dumb move. Making friends with fans is the biggest mistake any author, artist, actor, or musician can ever do. Fans are not friends.

Take the extreme case of Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, singer, songwriter, fashion designer who was murdered by a crazed fan. Her family told Selena she was too trusting. And her murderer confessed she killed Selena because she was jealous.

I too, was told all my life that I was too trusting. I’m friendly and personable and make friends very easily. Only to get stabbed in the back over and over again. I’m honest. I’m sweet. And I’m vulnerable. Twice in this past week I was told I was “too nice.”

I said to my husband, “I need to harden up.”

He said, “No, being sweet is what makes you special. You just have to remember, these people are not your friends.”

I’ve learned (the hard way) there’s a place for fans — in the audience. Do not exchange phone numbers. Do not friend them on Facebook. Do not let them take you out to dinner. Do not meet them for lunch. If they give you a gift, kindly accept it.

Learn how to be a respected author because you paid your dues in getting there. There is no shame in calling someone a “fan.” You earned the right to say that. You don’t always have to be so humble. Humble means people will take advantage.

As much as we’d like to believe everyone is equal, we are not.

Let’s be real. We’re not in the same league as Oscar winners and rock stars. And on that same note, our fans are not in our league either. Even if we’re just doing book signings in libraries in front of a small audience and getting royalty checks every few months, it’s a helluva lot more than most people are doing and that will provoke jealousy (the root of all evil).

People can be very nice to your face and stab you in the back. They might be excited and honored to be your friend at first. They may introduce you as their “author friend.” They may put great reviews of your product on Amazon. They may come to your events and tell you how beautiful you are. This doesn’t make them a “friend.” It’s like the old saying, “Easy come, easy go.” When people put you up on a pedestal, they’ll be the first to knock you down when they find out you’re human.

Or as the ego always dictates, they’ll knock you down when they find out you disagree with them politically, or spiritually, or even if you eat meat and they don’t.

We live in a crazy ego-driven world; people are control freaks and users. People only love you when it’s working to their advantage. Everyone loved the All American Ricky Nelson until he grew his hair long. That is what his song “Garden Party” is about — not pleasing others. Others don’t want you to have an  opinion of your own. If it doesn’t match theirs, you’ll have hell to pay.

I won’t get into the ugly side of being an author because some fans are so vain they’ll probably think this blog is about them. So let’s just say nasty people are good at it because that’s where their heart is — in a nasty place. If only that energy was directed into doing something creative, they’d be the ones signing autographs too. But they’re not … so the smoke starts coming out of the noses and the eyes turn green with envy.

Though I take my chances in writing this to: #1 bring awareness, as you’ll never know who you are helping (hence my “Why Are Women Catty?” blog I wrote several years ago and is still getting a ton of “hits”); and #2, blow steam. I believe a good vent, even if it’s cryptic, is very healthy. This is why I am 52-years-old and have a beautiful head of natural shiny chestnut brown hair — not dyed! (And this is where people say, “Get the fuck out of here!” and can’t believe it. But, yeah, I don’t lie. I’m honest to a fault!)

But back to keeping fans in their place … This is why my husband advises: “Stick with your peers.”

Those peers are my true friends who I can fight and disagree with, but who will never, ever really hurt me. Those peers are also the super cool acquaintances I’ve made in the creative world — the deejays who will have me on their radio shows or simply give me a shout out; my fellow authors who will surprise me with an email; the celebrities I’ve interviewed who on rare occasions drop me a line — even years after I’ve interviewed them; the librarians who book my programs; and anyone I work with in the art/music/publishing media world. That’s why I love my career so much, it’s about being with your friends and doing a little bit of work — an easy, breezy, enviable life.

So, to any new authors reading, I say, appreciate who you are and be real about it. Don’t humble yourself so much like I did that you put yourself in a vulnerable spot, set up for abuse. (Note: This is why famous celebrities on Facebook and Twitter DO NOT interact with their fans).

Have a little pride in yourself and realize that it’s OKAY to have fans and enjoy the fact that you do. Just keep them at bay. This way when you inadvertently piss them off, the worst thing they can do to you is write you a bad review. And at worst, bad reviews are pretty funny. At best, they are bad-ass because it means people are reading — and that’s just what a writer wants!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta’s second book “Love Cats” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle formats (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513). Her former fans loved it!