Two Thumbs Down

Things have been heavy ’round these parts lately, so here’s something to lighten the mood–from Margo, of course!

Dear Margo: I am a high-school senior. There’s a girl named “May” who I thoroughly dislike, but she persists in trying to be my best friend. We became friends in freshman year because we were both hyper and our bus ride was long. She was, and is, cheerful, kind and friendly. However, over the past three years, I have realized that we have nothing in common anymore, if we ever did, and I am very tired of having things that are important to me shot down as stupid or boring. Sometimes I talk about things I find interesting, like current events or books — never with her, but in groups of which she is a part. If it has even a vague whiff of intellectual activity (except “Pride and Prejudice”), May shoots me down in the most contemptuous tone I have ever heard, saying, “That’s boring. Let’s talk about (pick one: her love life or movies, though, to give her some credit, more often movies).” I don’t know what to say to someone who thinks that “The Time Traveler’s Wife” was a brilliant movie. — Please Go Away, from Virginia

Dear Please: This sounds like one for my pal Roger Ebert, but the underlying problem is actually not about movies. The basis for your friendship — that you were both hyper and it was a long bus ride — does not sound like a rock-solid foundation for closeness. This girl may be cheerful, but she sounds neither kind nor friendly. If you have nothing in common anymore, just keep some distance between you and know that you have moved on. — Margo, developmentally

It doesn’t sound like these girls have much in common–but if they liked and respected each other, that wouldn’t matter so much–friendships and marriages have thrived between people with totally opposite interests, skills, beliefs, IQs, and political affiliations. Not that these girls need to be friends–like Margo says, it’s fine to just move on if you don’t enjoy each other’s company.

What seems to draw them together, though, is that neither of them sounds very confident or secure in just being who she is–the one needs to show off how smart she is, and how contemptuous she is of…..romantic dramas? The other focuses on her love life (and Eric Bana’s). They’re growing, learning, carving out space for themselves–and can’t seem to help stabbing at each other with their chisels in the process. With any luck, they’ll both grow out of it and into themselves.

Unlike Margo, who feels compelled to drop the name of her “pal” Roger Ebert, seemingly out of the blue. Why, Margo? Why?


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