friendships

All posts tagged friendships

True Friends Don’t Have to Tell Each Other Everything

Published January 11, 2017 by Maryanne

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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

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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!

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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!

I Won’t Be Treated as an Option

Published August 16, 2015 by Maryanne

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Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I’d never NOT show up for an event I said I was going to without calling and letting the host know I wouldn’t be there. You just don’t do that to people, it is just not cool.

You just don’t put another human-being in a position where she is worrying and wondering where you are or what happened to you. I find that behavior inconsiderate. And in the olden days, this was called standing someone up. Had I been single and if this was a guy who did it to me, I’d be very hurt and chalk it up to “maybe he’s just not that into you.”

Well, maybe my friend was “just not that into me.”

Good-bye ex-friend. I thought I liked you.