I have always had a hard time making friends within my own gender. I see myself as a fairly feminine person, but, for some reason, I just feel more at ease and free to be myself around masculine people. I always thought that this was the key to forging bonds with other humans, feeling comfortable enough to let down your guard and be yourself, your horrible, horrible self, so you can see why I am more able to make man friends than girl friends – but it goes deeper than that. In my years long, twelve dollar, comprehensive study, I have discovered that the secret to the initial stage of making a female friend is to not be yourself, at least until you’ve tricked her into thinking you are a little bit normal. The following is a (mostly satirical) guide to getting along with your fellow females.
- If you want to bring a dessert to a social gathering, you had better claim it early. If another woman in the group calls dibs on delectables, you bringing a second dessert will be seen as publicly calling her out.
- Compliment her on her outfit every time you see her for the first few months of your relationship, then scale back to only at parties and other more formal occasions (unless you do actually enjoy her outfit, of course).
- When complimented on your outfit, say something like, “oh, this old thing?”
*Tip: saying this exact phrase will get you silence and weird looks.
- Always notice and compliment a change in hair colour/style.
- Tell her that her children and/or her children’s names are cute (even if they are not). When placed in a difficult position, I like to choose which ever compliment is less of a lie.
- Listen to her boring, rambling, nonsensical-at-times stories. She may even call you at inconvenient times to tell you these stories. Pay attention, there will be a test.
- Be cordial and convivial to her spouse, but do not be overly friendly. Your friend will need someone to complain to about their chosen mate, and if you are close to them as well, that someone will not be you.
- Go shopping with her if you are invited, even if you find shopping to be dull. Maybe she will reciprocate and come over to watch you play video games.
- Have her over for tea, but plan to show her some sort of inadequacy, like dishes in the sink or mud in the mudroom, so she does not think you vain and immodest.
*Tip: you must always ask her to excuse the mess.
- If your friend believes that she makes the best chocolate chip cookies, do not make your prize-winning chocolate chip cookies for a gathering you have called dessert dibs for. This would certainly be seen as a challenge to her position as alpha female of the cookie sphere.
- Try your best to participate in gossip. Failing to do so would cause you to alienate yourself from the group. Try to sneak in gossip that sounds juicy but is, in actuality, quite non-offensive, like “I heard Jane is doing the best with the opportunities she’s been given”.
- Unless your friend is really, morally, worse-than-Hitler wrong about something, do not call her on it. Your job as a girl friend is to give her confidence and council while preserving her ego.
- If she calls herself fat, for the love of all things holy, do not agree with her and then proceed to give her fitness tips! As you may be able to tell, I have screwed this one up in the past. The correct response is to say something that will reassure her and improve her self-esteem.
- Ask her for advice on a simple matter in her realm of expertise, like cooking, parenting, cleaning, decorating, etc, even if you are more knowledgeable than her in said area of expertise.
- Ask her questions about herself and her hobbies, even if you don’t care. Women love to talk about themselves.
- Watch her terrible movies and television shows with her. Maybe someday you can teach her what good movies and shows are.
- Read a popular book that she enjoys (not Twilight, never Twilight) to give you more things to talk about (women love to talk). Then maybe you can get her to read something from your weird Victorian science-fiction collection as some sort of cultural exchange program.
- Be good at the things you are good at, just don’t brag about it.
And there you have it. Follow these simple tips, and soon you won’t be alone when you do all of those girly things you like to do. Maybe you will find you enjoy one of the hobbies of your new friend and maybe she will find she enjoys one of yours. Then you can do them together, and really have fun. Once you get over that first awkward hump, (does calling it a ‘hump’ make it more awkward?) you can be free to show her the more curious aspects of your unique personality because, in all honesty, in the end, a true friend will love you for all your little quirks and flaws, not because you remembered the names and birthdates of her children.