With The Masses
Pay attention to others.
There are some people who have one creed, one belief that defines their approach to everything, like the NRA, PETA, soccer fans, and music critics. You have met these people – they collect poodle figurines, have life lists of birds, have customized license plates like WNDSRF and knew what they wanted to be when they were five years old. Envy these people, in so far as you would envy anyone, which is not that far, but don’t sit them next to me at dinner parties.
True geniuses (artistic or otherwise) make other people miserable without thinking, remorse or apology.
Wannabe geniuses will make other people miserable without thinking, remorse or apology and without creating anything to compensate for their cruelty.
Figure out the difference between ‘real’ and ‘wannabe.’
With The Family
By about the age of 35 you need to get over your childhood, no matter how horrible, and make peace (or break connections) with siblings, parents, etc. From then on, keep digs, cuts, snide remarks, reminders to a minimum. Move on.
The Utter Necessity of Having Older Female Relatives
You need a grandmother. One at least, although three is preferable. It shouldn’t be too hard to pick some up, so don’t worry if you aren’t equipped right at the moment. Nothing gives a diva balance like having to hand write a letter with a G-rated version of her life every three weeks.
Divas believe “a man who dies rich…dies disgraced” (Andrew Carnegie) and expect the death of beloved family members will leave them emotionally disconsolate and economically in the same situation.
Your dearest auntie was once a passenger in a pick-up truck that flipped over at 70 miles an hour. Although she (who always wears her seat-belt) was not hurt, the truck was totaled, so she called a friend who lived 1 1/2 hours away to come pick her up.
“Can you please come get me?” she asked. “I am at this restaurant at this highway exit.”
“Okay,” said the friend, “I’ll be there in about an hour and 45 minutes.”
That is friendship.
Why? Because he agreed to drive 2 hours to get her? No, because he did not ask why she had to be picked up. He trusted that your auntie would not make such a request unless she was in need; and if she was in such need and didn’t say what it was, he didn’t need the details – he needed to come help her as soon as possible.
Divas take friendship very, very seriously and only dispense the grace of their presence on those who deserve it.
Divas also realize that friends comes in all flavors. There are those who never call to make plans, but will agree to whatever you propose – from tractor pulling to Mongolian yak herding. There are friends who never write or e-mail but when a diva show up in their town, they clears their schedule to show the diva around. Divas never expect people to show affection in the same way she does, but a diva never stays in a relationship in which she does all the work.
Exception – Friends will occasionally go on the ‘injured reserve list’- they are sick, have a new baby, going through a divorce, etc. – then the diva must devote far more time and energy to helping them (in the way they request, or the way, knowledge gained from past experiences, they will appreciate.)
After eighth grade, no diva would try to bribe someone or allow herself to be bribed into a friendship. She makes and tries to keep friends with people she likes, admires and who bring out the best in her, not those who might be able to assist her in some way.
When someone a diva likes turns a cold shoulder or worse (begins back-biting or gossiping), she feels sorry for that troll.
When a troll ‘steals’ a friend, a boyfriend or a job, a diva feels relief: “Well I am glad to know now rather than later that this person, guy, employer has the moral fiber of wet cardboard.”
Trolls say, “You can’t date my ex-boyfriend, I still like him.” Divas say, “Darling, I want you to be happy but I am terribly afraid I am not quite over him. I know you two have started to date so, even though I adore you, I hope you will understand if I am a little distant for a short period of time.” That ‘short period’ might be a month, might be 40 years.
When an ex-boyfriend send a diva an invitation to his wedding, she knows this is a thoughtful gesture because she has never done anything to warrant vindictive behavior. And if she wants to go, she goes (not wearing white, red or black); if she doesn’t want to go, she doesn’t go.
There must be an established monetary give-and-take, “Here, let me get this coffee,” “Take these quarters for the meter,” “I’ll just put it on my card.” Only trolls do obsessive bill-splitting (“your beer was twice as expensive as my ice tea”). Friends never re-pay each other for sums less than five dollars, unless they are under 12 years old or in grad school.
When a diva has a cherished friend who is quite, quite (bags and bags of loot) wealthy, they do not discuss money. If friend insists on taking diva to nice restaurant, diva will insist on paying for the valet parking. Friend takes diva to Broadway musical; diva pays for after-show drinks. A diva is not under any obligation to stay equal with a ‘GNP of small country’ fortune, but a diva never expects gifts and never accepts one without making a gesture towards symmetry.
When a diva has an adored friend who makes/ has at her disposal 2-3 times her income, she insists on paying everything equally, politely declining visiting restaurants or undertaking activities she can’t afford without mentioning money.
When a diva has a beloved friend who makes/ has at her disposal around the same amount of money, they can chat about money but a diva would never make disparaging remarks about how a friend chooses to spend her cash.
When a diva has a darling friend who makes/ has at her disposal much less that her, the diva will never mention money and never do anything to show-up the disparity in income. If she is inclined, diva might buy a gorgeous cashmere sweater and hand it to friend saying, “My great aunt just sent it to me, so I don’t have the receipt to return it. I don’t like the color but I think it would look smashing on you.”
When a diva has a precious friend who makes/ has at her disposal several million less than her, they do not discuss money. Diva will occasionally make a round-about effort to help friend. “Darling, I simply can’t get through Hasdrubal’s graduation without you, please let me send you a plane ticket so you can come stay in our villa.” “Darling, it has been the worst fall and I am simply a bear. Antiochus has said he will file for divorce if we don’t spend a week apart so he has booked you and I into a 6-star hotel in Madagascar for New Years. Our private plane will pick you on December 28th, please, please agree to come and help save my marriage.” “Darling, am longing to see Sondheim’s new play and everyone here in Palm Springs refuses to go. Heathens! If I send my limo, will you please let me treat you to lunch and a show? I’d be so grateful.” Of course, a true friend would never angle for such invitations.
True story. Diva 1 called Diva 2 to complain she was going through rough financial time: oranges, bread, eggs and cheese for the next two weeks. (You will note this is only allowed when they have similar amounts of money at their disposal). General commiseration. And although Diva 1 did not expect (much less hint, perish the thought!) that Diva 2 ought to do something about the situation, Diva 2 promptly sent Diva 1 a ham. A ham, I tell you! 10 pounds of ham. Six months later Diva 2 became ill and requested Diva 1’s (whose financial picture had picked up) presence. Diva 1 flew out to visit. Without a doubt, (doubt causes bunions) the cost of the ham is equal to the cost of the airplane ticket. Trolls think the plane ticket cost more than the ham; divas know they are equal. The perfect gift given in grace is worth more than diamonds. And you know how much divas like diamonds.
A diva loves every present she receives, loudly and repeatedly until the person who gave it (and all their clan) are out of sight and hearing-range.
Few things are more annoying than to give a gift that you know recipient will hate and have the recipient be gracious. Divas who have quit smoking relish getting ashtrays from their ex-boyfriend’s girlfriends. “HOW THOUGHTFUL,” they squeal. “HOW KIND! I LOVE IT!”
Hideous presents make the best stories – one diva dined out for months on stories about the evil gifts from her evil mother-in-law (box clearly marked ‘a dozen grapefruit’ which had 8 pieces of fruit and 4 empty spaces, cardigan with food stains on the front and used Kleenex in the pockets, ‘I Love my Labrador’ coffee mug when diva was allergic to dogs).
The more important the event – the greater the chance people will use it to fight battles years, if not decades, old.
The closer you are to the person celebrating, the less fun you will have at the celebration.
Written instructions about what gifts should be given is gross, disgusting, repulsive and will cause early hair loss. This is scientifically proven.
Only 5% of all arguments about a wedding have anything at all to do with the object/ issue/ decision you are supposedly fighting over.
No one is more selective in choosing what to quote than a bride-to-be with a wedding etiquette book. In fact troll brides-to-be will often buy several until they find one which supports their point of view and then shove it in everyone’s face. Such women invariably trip and sprain their ankle while walking down the aisle.
Divas don’t wait around to have some else plan their celebrations (birthdays, promotions, etc). Divas decide what they want and then organize it. It goes without saying that if they drop the ball and someone else puts together the party, they do not whine or fuss or pretend to see any defects in the festivities until they are alone with a close friend who is not related to or friends with the person who organized the disastrous fete.
Don’t invite people to your home unless you can feed and (metaphorically) water them without their having to bring anything.
Always put clean sheets on all the beds, and change the sheets before you sleep on them.
No liquor for the under-aged.
No drunk drivers.