The Onion Takes on Friendship

The Onion posted a funny story on Wednesday, “reporting” on a night out between five friends. The headline says it all: “Female Friends Spend Raucous Night Validating The Living Shit Out of Each Other.”

Here’s the opener:

AKRON, OH—According to witnesses, a tight-knit group of five female friends spent a wild night on the town Saturday, overindulging in emotionally supportive behavior and generally validating the living shit out of each other.

Confirming the women get together at least once a month for an all-out, anything-goes session of nonjudgmental reassurances, 28-year-old Sarah Dotson said the evening quickly turned into “a total rager,” with the friends sharing excessive amounts of admiration, empathy, and encouragement for one another.

“The entire night we just went balls out with the confidence-boosting,” Dotson said of the gathering, adding that by 10 p.m. she had already partaken in seven or eight mutual expressions of positive regard. “It was completely insane. We bolstered the shit out of Kelly’s self-esteem, and by the time the check came, we had her shouting that her boss was a huge asshole for not recognizing all her hard work and giving her that promotion.”

This is what we call “funny because it’s true.” A girls’ night out often turns into a validation-fest, especially when someone is going through a rough time at work, in a relationship or with family. But there’s nothing wrong with that. As long as  we aren’t validating someone doing something totally harmful, then that’s what friends are for, right? To give us the good ol’ self-esteem boost.

I most enjoyed reading this, though, because it’s funny to see what one of these evenings looks like from an outsider’s perspective. Ever been at dinner and overheard the group of ladies at the table next to you? It really does sound like something out of this article.

‘By closing time, we were all getting pretty sloppy with our affirmations, validating anything and everything we could find,’ said Byers, adding that her neck was stiff from a night spent constantly nodding in agreement.

In the past, when I’ve overheard a raucous group of girls at a restaurant shouting validation across the table, I’ve actually found myself wondering how they aren’t exhausted. But, of course, when I’m in it, I totally participate.

And I’m quite sure that this article describes exactly what my husband sees when he comes home to a group of girls dishing over wine in our living room.

Check out the story (and thanks to Janet for sharing it). Is there some truth to it? And isn’t that, after all, one of the things we love about friendship?

MWF Seeking BFF is nominated for an Reader’s Choice Award! Best Nonfiction Book About Friendship. I’m so excited. Please vote for MWF Seeking BFF!


Filed under The Search

5 responses to “The Onion Takes on Friendship

  1. Janet

    Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. We all need a “rager” from time to time! 🙂 Happy Friday.

  2. Laurie

    This is great. Makes me want to support the shit out of my book club this weekend. 🙂

  3. That is too funny! My boyfriend showed me that article last night and of course I thought of you! Glad to see that it found its way to you. So funny and SO TRUE!!

  4. Amen who wants a friend that’s not going to validate us. That’s what mothers are for!

    🙂 Just kidding.
    I’m half way through your book Bertsche!! I’m waiting to see when “You Gotta Have Gimmick” gets mentioned 🙂

  5. Margaret

    Heh. When my son was about 4 months old, I went out for dinner with six other moms of 4-month-olds for a moms’ night out (our very first time away from our babies). We were raucous, we shared confidences about our new-mom experiences, we laughed away a lot of stress, and the next day on someone had written a review of the restaurant complaining about the “gaggle” of women at the next table talking loudly about babies and ruining the diner’s romantic evening with her boyfriend. At a loud restaurant known for its strong mojitos. We felt no remorse :-).

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