Youre Fat, Youre Ugly, and You Dress Weird, One Act Play (ShortnSmall One Act Plays)

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Brunner, now Her sense of joy came from owning a Gucci bag. She decided it was time to let her friend go. So Ms. After the friend made a few spurned overtures — and after some awkward conversations about why Ms. Brunner was always too busy to get together — the friend got the hint. Years later, however, the breakup still feels unresolved.

Brunner said. Is there a right way to tell a friend it is time to go? With a click of a mouse, you can remove someone from your friends roster and never again see an annoying status update or another vacation photo from a person you want out of your life. Not so in the real world. Even though research shows that it is natural, and perhaps inevitable, for people to prune the weeds from their social groups as they move through adulthood, those who actually attempt to defriend in real life find that it often plays out like a divorce in miniature — a tangle of awkward exchanges, made-up excuses, hurt feelings and lingering ill will.

Even the most omnivorous collectors of friends acknowledge that sometimes it is necessary to cross out some names from their little black book. But even for him, some must fall by the wayside. Psychologists consider it an inevitable life stage, a point where people achieve enough maturity and self-awareness to know who they are and what they want out of their remaining years, and have a degree of clarity about which friends deserve full attention and which are a drain.

It is time, in other words, to shed people they collected in their youth, when they were still trying on friends for size. The winnowing process even has a clinical name: socioemotional selectivity theory, a term coined by Laura L. Carstensen, a psychology professor who is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity in California. Carstensen said. This is not, however, an issue that arises only as the temples start to gray.

People approaching 30 — many of them dealing with life changes like marriage and a first child — often tend to feel overwhelmed with responsibility, so they lose patience with less meaningful friends, said Dr. The process does not always have to be painful. Cardi said. It completely cleared the air, and neither of us left with bad feelings. But when the impulse is not mutual, it helps to undertake it with careful consideration.

The passive approach can work, sort of.

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Marni Zarr, 46, a substitute teacher in Mesa, Ariz. Zarr gave less of herself in conversations, stopped talking about her feelings, became vaguer about future aspirations. While the passive approach worked, ultimately slowly, the friend started to behave less like an intimate and more like a casual acquaintance , Ms. Zarr felt guilty about sentencing her ex-friend to a painful round of self-doubt.

View all New York Times newsletters. Is Marni upset with me? Zarr recalled. Anyone can be busy.

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Horchow, who at 83 has been carefully adding and dropping friends since Franklin Roosevelt was president, prefers the gentlemanly approach. Indeed, honesty may not be the best policy, Dr. The passive approach works with friendships in which the bonds are tenuous, said Jeff Newelt, a social media consultant in Manhattan.

In his line of work, he considers it his job to make friends, but a couple of years ago, decided he needed to prune the overgrowth.


Newelt, 40, recalled. I did not hate them. I liked them.

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So I dropped them. Not harshly, because I like them; I did not want to hurt feelings. I just said I had other plans when they asked me to hang out, each time, time and time again, repeatedly, and they got the point. There was no conversation, no gnashing and wailing. But not all friends or ex-friends will go easily. By the time she was in her mids, Carolyn Miller, an office manager in Norwalk, Conn. The friend called her and begged her to reconsider.

Miller stood her ground.

A few weeks later, when Ms. When Ms. There was nothing for it but to try and run them down, so I singled out a fat buck and away we went down the shore of the lake, up the valley of rolling stones; he doubled into Brawling River and took to the water, but I swam after him; the river is only half a mile broad there, but it runs strong. He went spinning down the rapids, down I went in pursuit; he clambered ashore, I clambered ashore; away we tore helter-skelter up the hill and down again.

I lost him in the marshes, got on his track again near Bread Fruit Wood, and brought him down with an arrow in Firefly Grove. Enter Mrs. And I tell them, there are no small parts, only small actors. Bob could do that, and he could keep an eye on the shepherds too. Oh, another thing about the angel choir. So tell them…. Better yet, get two if you can… then if one turns out to be fussy, you can always switch them. May I ask a question? Was I judged on the piece of sculpture itself? If so, is it not true that time alone can judge a work of art? Or was I judged on my talent?

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If so, is it fair that I be judged on a part of my life over which I have no control? If I was judged on my effort, then I was judged unfairly, for I tried as hard as I could! Was I judged on what I had learned about this project?

100 More Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

If so, then were not you, my teacher, also being judged on your ability to transmit your knowledge to me? Perhaps I was being judged on the quality of coathanger itself out of which my creation was made…now is this not also unfair? Am I to be judged by the quality of coat hangers that are used by the drycleaning establishment that returns our garments? Is that not the responsibility of my parents? I intend to be a queen. Nobody should be kept from being a queen if she wants to be one.

I will be head queen. One third shoots them for game. You would have voted for an elephant if it had told you it could fix the economy. Which, by the way, is still not fixed. A giant goose egg.

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Elaine Robinson, daughter of Mrs. Someone said that. I think Robert Frost said that. I was in this diner with my roommate Diane?

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