Minions vs. Friends

Dear Readers, you have my apologies for the silence this past week. Sometime around last Tuesday, I hit that wall called the mental block and it wasn’t letting anything in, or out! It took a few days of some good girlfriends time, some good workouts, some nature time and a wee-bit of trashy tv. I just needed some time for my mind-funk to pass.  Of all that I did this past week to clear the mental blockage, time with my girlfriends hit it home the best. And that time (and, well, the trashy tv too) got me thinking… what does a good friend, a true friend, look like?

Growing up a military brat and moving every couple of years forced me to become somewhat adept at making friends.

I learned that you never say yes to the first guy at a new school who asks you out (reputations are transferable) and always treat everyone as you would want to be treated (you do catch more flies with honey than vinegar).

But none of that really adds up to equal good, lasting friendships. I’m not talking about the friends that you chit-chat with when you pass each other in the grocery store. I’m talking about the friendships that make you certain you knew this person in a previous life.

Goat friends

Hmm… maybe we were pigs in our last life?

In all my un-worldly travels, I’ve met a lot of gals who I thought wanted to be friends with me, but really, they just wanted minions. They want a “friend” to listen to all their woes, be at their side through adventure, be their shoulder to cry on and laugh at all their jokes. Um, isn’t that what a real friend does? Well, the catch is, when that effort is one-sided, she doesn’t want a friend, she wants a minion. Real friendships require reciprocity. Real friends will be your shoulder to cry on, but you also have to be their shoulder to cry on too. You gotta give a little, take a little, don’t make me start singing the story of love


When trying to understand your relationships, you may have to ask yourself, of all the people in my life, who is looking for a minion and who is looking for a friend? It can be hard to tell. Minion-seekers will invite you out to do things. They’ll talk to you often. They’ll probably ask you for favors. So how do you know if you’re a minion or a friend?

How to tell if you’re a friend or a minion…

Are you a Minion or a Friend?

Are you a Minion or a Friend?

1. When you chat, do they ask detailed questions about your life now? If they ask you a couple of general questions and then switch the topic to their problems for the entire conversation, you might be a minion. Real friends will know details about what’s been going on in your life and they’ll remember to ask you for updates, even years later.

2. Do you hang out alone or are there always other people around? If they are always surrounded by an entourage and you’re just a face in the passing crowd, you might be a minion. If they are always surrounded by an entourage but you get dibs after Queen Friend, you might be a minion.  Real friends will seek time out with you, even if it’s just a few minutes, to connect with just you.

3. If you ask them for a small favor, how do they respond?  If you ask something reasonable and get a no with a lame-o excuse, (“Um, I have to wash my dogs hair at 2pm on Thursday), you might be a minion. Any form of yes (even if a payment is required, such as a day pass to a nekked spa), you know you got a keeper.

So if you find yourself a minion, and you’re ok with a one-sided relationship. Congrats. I think you should contact Bravo because they’ve got a spot on a show for you!

If you find yourself a minion and you want real friends with real cares and real fun, then be brave young Rex and cut that Minion-seeker out of your life! Real friends do take time and energy, but when it’s reciprocated, it’s worth it.

If you find yourself with real friends, congratulations for real because you have a solid network of people who love you.

If YOU are the minion-seeker, quite frankly, I don’t expect you to see yourself as one. I just hope your minions take a bite of your power and RAWR with some real friends soon.

If YOU are a real friend, thank you. You save lives by caring.

Here’s to eating the minions and RAWR-ING with real friends!


Where’s the life button for De-friend?

A Reader:
I need advice, how do you de-friend someone in life without hurting their feelings? Me and my neighbor became close when she moved in. Our kids would play together all the time etc., we have been friends for over 2 years BUT she tends to ask for favors a lot mostly taking her places, she complains about her husband A LOT. He is an ass but I am tired of hearing it if she isn’t gonna change the situation, and honestly after getting to really know her I don’t like the person she is won’t go into detail there.


This is always such a hard situation, especially as women when many of us tend to carry this idea that we are obligated to care take even when it is burning us out. I think firstly you will have to decide what level of involvement you want her to have in your life. Do you want her totally out? Do you want your children to still play together and have minor contact with her that way?

Whatever you decide, you will have to be ready to draw some boundaries with her. Since your children are friends and you guys are neighbors, it seems like a gentle approach may be the best so as not to cause unnecessary tension. Maybe slowly reducing the amount of contact with her is a way to start. That said, I think you will need to be ready to answer questions when she asks if you are avoiding her.


This is quite a pickle to be in because it will require a thoughtful response to properly extricate yourself from this situation. Most typical responses would either be a direct approach to stop the relationship all-together or a passive-aggressive approach to let it quietly die out. I’m usually a fan of being direct because there’s no games and no pussy-footing around, but you will have to tread lightly so as not to create more trouble and hurt feelings. Which route you pick will depend on your and her personalities. There’s also the option to try to change the dynamic of the relationship (all relationships are essentially contracts- an agreement between two parties for some sort of trade and benefit). However, I get the feeling from your question that modifying your relationship with her isn’t a goal- ending it is.

To passively and slowly stop the relationship, don’t reach out to her anymore. If she contacts you for a “small favor”, kindly tell her that you won’t be able to help. You don’t even need to give a reason, just say no. (It works for drugs, it can work for annoying neighbors.) If she pushes you for a reason or to help at another time, just kindly tell her that you’re really busy and won’t be able to help. After she calls for requests and is denied a few times, she’ll likely stop calling. You can still be polite and conversational if you run into her in the neighborhood, but just emphasize how busy you are. And maybe buy some good window shades.

Since she is your neighbor and not a stranger you’ll never see again- be careful if you choose the direct method to end the relationship. This will give you the cleanest break but must be handled with tact or feelings will get hurt. This should consist of sitting down with her- in-person to explain that you’re not really going to be available to help her much in the future. Be honest with her that hanging out with her is hard for you because she is clearly unhappy and yet unwilling to make changes and that is difficult for you to observe. Let her know (only if you’re willing!) that in the future if she’s made changes and needs help, that you would be there to support her, but that until she’s willing to make the hard choices, you have to make the hard choice to remove her from your life. Be clear that you’re not judging her, but rather that seeing her in pain or constantly upset and negative is too much of a burden for you to bear. Definitely also encourage her to get help from qualified professionals (a counselor or therapist) if she is willing to make changes in her life as she’ll benefit from the support of a professional.

Negative Nancys are hard people to get rid of. They’re really good at asking for help and being selfish and terrible at being present and aware of others and reciprocal. It’s good that you’ve recognized her pattern of behavior now as you’ll have the best shot at eliminating her negativity from your life by being vigilant and sticking to your decision.

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Puzzle Pieces

A year ago today a Friend of mine took his own Life.  I wrote this a few days after he died & just wanted to share it with you.  ❤

“I’ve been thinking about Friends & Family a lot the last couple days after learning about the death of a good Friend of mine from my Childhood.

The people in our lives are like Puzzle Pieces.  Most of the people we encounter are like the Middle Pieces & help connect our Lives together.  May it be a Friend or just an Acquaintance or a Family Member you speak to occasionally.   There are some people though that are more like the Edge Pieces.  They are more important in the shaping of our lives.  People who we have confided in & shared our Lives with.  People who we love.  Even fewer still are the People I think of as Corner Pieces.  People who truly shaped us & really did help us become who we ARE.  Most of these people are our Parents & Siblings.  Some of these few Corner Pieces are Friends.  The People that were a major influence in what we became & who we turned into.  People that if it weren’t for them & something they did, we would not be able to say “I am Me.”

I can honestly say that Dustan Wilson was one of my Corner Pieces.  There is so much of who I am today that stems from the Friendship I had with him in Middle & High School.  I’m lucky to have had him as a Corner Piece as he helped me grasp the idea of being ME & not conforming to what “They” think I should be.  He helped me become an Individual.  Thank you Dustan.  You were an amazing Friend.  ♥

Most of you are my Middle Pieces, several are my Edge Pieces & a handful of you are my Corner Pieces.  Regardless of what Piece of my Puzzle of Life you are, without You, I am not Me.


What RAWR means to me, Marie

What RAWR means to me…

I started “RAWR”ing in the summer of 2011, while pregnant.

I watched my waistline expand, felt my hormones surging and encountered an appetite that would shame a truck driver. As my growing bean began suctioning off my brain cells, I found my vocabulary shrinking. My word choice began to revert to cave-man sounds. When I was hungry, I found myself unable to form complete sentences. Unable to utter words with any coherence. My hunger whittled my brain down to a simple “rawr” to communicate my immediate need for food. But it didn’t end there.


The rawr turned from a nice request for good food, soon -into a RAWR- the demand for good food, now! Not long after that, my brave partner, Raul, coined the name, “Preggosaurus Rex” to describe my dinosaur-like behavior and demand for a snack. So began my rawr, it almost ended there.

I was only pregnant for the summer. My son, George Alfred, did not survive the fall. He passed in mid-September and was born still on the last day of summer, half way to his due date. Overcome with grief, sadness and heartbreak, my rawrs retreated into little lamb bleats, barely vocalized. I slipped into the darkness of a gray, rainy, Seattle fall and winter, expecting the rawr to be washed away with the rain.

Through the darkest of days, I had a light that kept shining on me. I couldn’t escape it, as hard as I tried. The light of love from my friends, family, and fur-babies could not be escaped. They loved me no matter what. And their love kept my rawr alive. It was dormant, buried under tears and behind the walls of my heart, but it was alive. Love was like the little nightlight, burning dimly but just bright enough that you can find your way through the darkness.

I remember it clearly. The first real Brunch since our world came crashing down. The first mimosa and croque madame. The first time I could actually forget. The moment when the clouds parted and the sun shone on my heart, for just a second, came out of nowhere. The RAWR that escaped surprised me and my grief with it’s power. I still had it! I started to find joy in life again. Pushing myself to be better, feel better, live better. In one of these joyful moments, it occurred to me that when I feel the most RAWR is when my heart is the most full of love. (Even if my moment of rawr seems out of frustration or anger, there is an underlying current of love and joy required.) RAWR is love. Love for life. One has to be excited to “RAWR”!

releasing my inner rawr
hammer style

To support my journey of healing, and at the previous urging of friends, I decided to start All Things RAWR because I need a place to collect those moments, things and flashes of RAWR around me. I’ve asked some of my dear friends, those willing to walk beside me until my clouds lifted, to join me in documenting the RAWR around us.

May the RAWR be with you.

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