Wednesday, October 14, 2009


My dear friend Kerry just sent me the following mid-friendship evaluation:

Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible:
1. What have been the strengths of Kerry and Jesslyn's friendship so far?
2. What have been the weaknesses of this friendship so far?
3. What part of the friendship has been most interesting/least interesting/most helpful/least helpful?
4. Do you have any further comments or suggestions?

Now, that's classy.

Kerry gets glowing friend reviews because she thinks up delicate, friendly little compliments like this.

I love to evaluate things because that's the kind of girl I am. I like when I go into a restaurant or crematory and there's a little box that says "TELL US HOW WE'RE DOING!" I also really like it when I'm driving on the interstate and there's a tractor trailer truck with a diamond-shaped sticker on the rear door that says "HOW'S MY DRIVING? 1-800-555-5555" It's times like this that I turn to Bryan and say "Now, that's a good trucker. I'm totally not calling that trucker in." Or "That crematory is totally not partially incinerating my Grampa's corpse and then hauling the rest of it out into the woods to rot."

I believe in the necessity and the wisdom in a good evaluation. I believe that if someone truly believes "Jesslyn has hit rock bottom and has begun to dig," that we need to talk, because there must be some kind of misunderstanding.

I bring all this up because about seven months ago, I got an email from a long-time friend. This email was waiting in my in box when I got home from the hospital, having just birthed Odessa. This friend lived about and hour and a half away from me at the time, and had kindly picked up her quill/keyboard to say:

Dear Jesslyn,
Because of X, Y and Z, we can no longer be friends. Good luck with your new baby! I know you'll be great!
Love, Your Ex-Friend

So, I'm going to give you a hint: "Y" was that I forgot her birthday, which certainly is a glaring offense, but not so glaring as "X" and "Z," which were slightly more unfortunate. However, in my defense, they were sins of omission rather than sins of commission. It was my bad--it's true. But the problem is that, had there been an evaluation process, I wouldn't currently be beginning stories like this:
"One time this thing happened to a friend of mine.... Well, and ex-friend, actually. Anyway, it happened to someone I know...." Nothing flattens a story like "Guess what happened to an ex-friend of mine." People think you're some kind of monster and don't listen to your riveting tale.

Anyway, my point is that if all of us sent each other evaluations from time to time, we would know exactly what we needed to do to make each other happy. Feel free to send Kerry's evaluation form to your loved ones. She said it was okay.

1 comment:

  1. jesslyn i would just like you to know that i hope we are never ex-friends, but i also don't think that it's possible for either of us to get so strange that that would happen. but if i'm wrong about that ... feel free to send me an evaluation saying as much. ;)