Dear Sadie, there’s a person I know who I’ve considered my best friend for a long time, because there’s no one I consider more interesting to talk to or more fun to be around. However, they did something truly immature that they knew would hurt the friendship, and it’s rocked my concept of what friendship actually is. Should I keep this person around? On the one hand I don’t want to be unreasonable, while on the other I don’t want to be a doormat. —Lonely, 2017
Your definition of “best friend” is a critical part of this question. This person is “interesting to talk to” and “fun to be around” but these are qualities found in lots of places—talking to a baby is interesting, because they’re so bad at talking, and a colorful, flashing light is fun to be around, but do you want a colorful, flashing baby to be your best friend? What I’m saying is, “interesting” and “fun” are two great things, but they’re not quite enough. You need flour and water to make a cake but you also need butter and milk and sugar and eggs and a bunch of other shit, you know? So being “fun” and “interesting” is not quite the whole package.
Instead of a fun friend, which is great, how about a fun friend who also likes listening to you? Or an interesting friend who cares about your feelings and doesn’t do immature shit? Being a doormat is not the same as ignoring your own feelings, and expecting your friend to take your feelings into consideration is not unreasonable.
I would say that you need to play the field a little bit. Hang out with some new people, strengthen existing bonds, and maybe move past the idea of a best friend at all. My mom thinks best friends are really cool in elementary school but then get pretty limiting, and my mom is the wisest person I know. Why have one best friend? You can have lots of bonds that are strong and meaningful without putting a label on them. Don’t kick your friend to the curb, but do switch your focus and your mindset to be less them-centric. You can have lots of best friends. I don’t have a “best food” or a “best outfit” because variety is great and makes life more fulfilling! Why would I only eat quinoa when I can have quinoa for lunch and pizza for dinner and a bunch of hummus and apples and jalepeno chips in between meals? Ditto for overalls and cargo pants and turtleneck sweaters. Having many close friends is a great way to live—plus, if one of them does something stupid, you won’t feel as betrayed and confused. This best friend can become one of your many best friends, but it sounds like this one person isn’t meeting your needs.
Sadie, how in the world do you go from talking to kissing? —Confused about Kissing, 2019
Lean forward! HAHAHA just kidding. This is a seriously tough question, but you’re a seriously tough bitch so I know you can make it happen.
There’s the usual reading of the signs—does this person spend a lot of time with you pretty much doing nothing? Do they sit on your bed when you hang out? Do they text you to see what you’re up to tonight? Of course, these aren’t enough to figure out if they want to kiss—like all intimate experiences, consent is the most important part. That’s why you need to just screw your courage to the sticking point and ask. I like to be funny and weird when I ask, like, “If you were wondering when the perfect moment to kiss me would be, it’s right now.” This is a line I pulled in high school but it holds up. You can stick to the sweet and earnest: “Can I kiss you? I’d really love to kiss you.” You can specify the next time you hang out, and say that what you’re doing is a date and you like to hang out but you want to hang out not-as-friends. Sometimes when I’m feeling especially pent up I’ll just narrate: “I want to kiss you but if we keep walking there’s a lady on her porch up there and I’m worried she’ll see us kiss so how about we just kiss back here so nobody sees?”
Asking may seem impossibly difficult, but trust me, kissing someone who doesn’t want to be kissed is deeply problematic for a lot of reasons. It violates their consent and their body and makes it pretty damn impossible for you to kiss them again at a later date.
So go for it! Ask! If you get rejected, at least you tried. You’ll be more prepared the next time you ask. If you don’t get rejected, you can send me an email of thanks and maybe an Edible Arrangement.
Sadie, should I go on a diet? My doctor always tells me I’m slightly overweight, but I don’t really hate the way I look and feel pretty healthy. I also love chocolate!!! —Dying at the Thought of a Diet, 2018
Dear Dying Dieter,
First, a question: do you *feel* healthy or are you *actually* healthy? If your doctor is telling you to lose weight, that’s worth considering. If your doctor is just commenting that you’re on the heavier side of normal, I wouldn’t read too much into it, but if you’re overweight to the point of being unhealthy you could make some changes.
If you’re healthy and unconcerned about how you look, then I’m not sure why you wrote me. It sounds like you’re looking for some tough love because the name of my column is “Sadisms” and that is not the name of a squishy-granola-coddling place. I’m a bitch with great advice, and my advice is that you need to make some changes. Nothing drastic, but if you’re worried enough about dieting to send me a question, it’s on your mind.
I would try exercising a few times per week and cutting out problem foods. Whenever I’m feeling too heavy, I cut out processed foods like bagels or white bread or pasta. Always have some almonds or a Kind bar on you so you never get too hungry. Eat more vegetables than anything else on the plate and try cutting down on meat. Freeman has wifi so you can watch Netflix while you work out—it’s a totally winning situation.
This is really obvious stuff, but sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else. It’s important to be confident and healthy, so eating better and feeling better are two great things to do.