Welcome to Friendzone, Jezebel's column devoted to dealing with the valuable people in your life. Got an issue and looking for guidance? Email email@example.com.
My friend has two personalities. When she's sober, she's very conservative and judgmental about sex. When she's drunk, she flirts with (and sometimes sleeps with) strangers. She gets wasted every single week and never remembers it the next day. One night recently, she got away from me at a club. I finally found her in the restroom. A girl I didn't know was with her. She told me she found my friend being carried, unconscious, out of the place by a man claiming to be her boyfriend. Thank God this stranger intervened. Something legitimately frightening happens every single time we go out. She makes herself sick and our friends have to clean up after her. It's gotten so bad that we don't want to invite her out to places with alcohol any longer. We all take turns babysitting her. What should I do?
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You and your pals are not adult babysitters. Nor are you cops, psychiatrists, social workers, or "Under Siege 2"-era Steven Seagal. We can feel sorry for this girl, who clearly has some kind of problem with alcohol. When you repeatedly drink yourself into a stupor and negatively impact the lives of your loved ones and then just keep drinking and hurting people, yes, you have an alcohol problem. And she's not responsible for that attempted kidnapping (which was a crime, and that dude should be locked away somewhere). But she is responsible for her drinking.
Stop enabling her behavior. Out of love, you and your friends have created an environment in which her antics are permissible. Sit her down one-on-one and have a frank chat with her (NOT an intervention – those should only happen under the supervision of a shrink). Start with, "Carlotta, I love you." Then bring up every single instance in which her drinking has personally inconvenienced you (or frightened you). Be calm and clear that you want her to be healthy and safe. Talk to her like the grown woman she is, not the wild creature she becomes when she drinks. And if she refuses to change her behavior and/or get help, well, I think you all ought to stop inviting her to hang out. Her problem is her problem; it isn't yours. Her sobriety is not your responsibility.
My best friend hates babies and pregnancy. She goes out of her way to comment on how "gross" pregnant women are, even doing so in public while pointing at a pregnant woman and expressing such a level of disgust that you would think the lady was some sort of deformed alien being. I took a pregnancy test 2 days ago and guess what, I'm pregnant! I'm very excited, but also terrified of the reaction of my baby-hating BFF. So, Friendzone, how should disgustingly pregnant me broach the subject with my baby-hating BFF?
Hold the phone: your friend hates human reproduction? I am deeply confused. Does she not realize that she and all the people she holds dear were once in fact babies themselves? She sounds like an asshole, but hey, she's your BFF and I'm just your friendly local advice columnist.
Because I cannot wrap my mind around the concept of someone actually, truly hating babies and pregnant women, I am going to assume what your friend actually hates is the American Baby Industrial Complex (ABIC). The ABIC is all-encompassing and sucks some people in with its cult-like messages, which can all be summed up with this gem: "HAVE A BABY OR DIE WORTHLESS AND ALONE, LOSER LADY." Maybe your friend hates the societal pressure to have a kiddo. I can certainly empathize with her on that point. The ABIC makes me want to go all "Under Siege"-era Steven Seagal on people.
You should give it to her straight: "Look, Christine, I'm knocked up. You're not allowed to shit on my happy cake, because I need you. I need you to help me fight against the cult of mommy-hood that says I must only define myself as a mother from here on out. I need you to keep treating me like the interesting, complex, and funky gal I am. My kid is also going to need a cool, independent auntie who talks to him or her like a freaking adult. You up for it?"
If she needs some time to process it before coming around, that's one thing. But if she really can't handle it, she's selfish and weak. Kind of like this one dude I know who told my friend that he found her special needs child "depressing" and didn't want to hang out when the kid was around. Had I been in Georgia to witness this conversation, I would have set everything on fire. DO NOT COMMIT ARSON, but do feel free to get angry if your friend doesn't eventually find a way to accept the changes in your life.
This summer I've been trying to improve myself as a man in mind, body, and spirit. I have recently borrowed some of my female friends' feminist books by such authors as Andrea Dworkin. Is opening a door and pulling out a seat for a woman benevolent sexism, or is it just being polite? Is chivalry really even a thing, or is it just an accepted form of sexism?
I think it's nice when people hold doors open for each other. I do it for people regardless of what's between their legs. So you might want to consider holding doors open for dudes and ladies and also puppies and kitties and also monkeys and goats. As for pulling out chairs, that is just a dumb time-wasting custom that provides no convenience to anyone. I mean, who do you think you are, the Vicomtede Chagny or something? Personally, I think we feminists (yourself include, mister) have got bigger battles to fight (hi, North Carolina).
Also, little known straight male feminism fact: every time you eat pussy, Bella Abzug gets a high five from Jesus in Jewish Feminist Heaven, a place where future-era Steven Seagal may or may not one day dwell.
Additional update: You may remember last week's post in which a lady worried that her interests (hiking and craft beer) were "too white." She wanted to make black friends. Lady, we have found the yang to your yin. Friendzone would like to give a shout out to Ben of BrewMechanics, a craft brewing geek who happens to be a hiking fan (and also he is a Jezebel reader and also he is black.) Ben tells Friendzone, "I had all black friends growing up and often wondered, 'Do white kids enjoy XYZ?'" He adds, "Perspective is illuminating."