Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

RIP, My Friend

I have only a small number of people who knew me when I was young, met me during very formative years, and remain close and active in my life still today. I treasure these friendships, as they bridge the gap between one era of my life and the next, and because the number of people who knew you when you were young is finite. This week, I lost one of those very special friends, and the suddenness of this loss and the tragic way in which it occurred has been almost impossible to even process.

I met Jared in college, when I was 19. He was a popular guy who threw a lot of parties and always seemed to be holding court everywhere he went, making people laugh with his crazy stories, dirty jokes, and relentless teasing. I was flattered when, one day, he asked me if I’d like to see a Sunday matinee play with him that he had an extra ticket for; I didn’t know him well and he certainly had his choice of friends he could invite to join him. I wasn’t sure whether it was a date or not though until then end when he asked me if I’d be interested in going out with him again some time. I told him I really liked him and was interested in being his friend and hoped he was interested in being my friend, too. This is not a line most guys traditionally take very gracefully, but Jared was not most guys. He smiled and said, “I AM interested in being your friend!” And he meant it, and we became the best of friends for many, many years.

To be in Jared’s orbit, whether for an evening or for decades, was something else, and I feel safe saying that everyone who ever met him knew they’d never met anyone like him before and would likely never again. He was a real life Dean Moriarty — larger than life, always up for anything and everything, and devoted almost as much to adventure as he was to his family, his friends, and his passion for acting. To have Jared as a close friend was a gift. He always showed up (in fact, that’s him in the picture of this post, in back of me and Drew); he never forgot a birthday (and didn’t need Facebook to remind him); he would get up at the crack of dawn to drive me to the airport; he was one of the funniest people I’ve ever known, and he always sent postcards from his many travels (that’s my collection from him in the picture above).

He had a physical presence that could be intimidating at times — an upper body like a Spanish bull and a big, booming foghorn voice. But underneath, he had the soul of a teddybear, one of the kindest hearts, and a surprising fragility that all helped give him the impressive emotional range he employed as a busy working actor.

He was on his way to shoot a commercial a few hours from home when he lost control of his car on a patch of ice. He hung on for two weeks, and we thought he was going to make it. He was off the ventilator, out of the coma, eating and talking. But it was not meant to be, and when the hospital staff failed to stop the bleeding of a previously undetected ulcer Tuesday morning, he died on his way to the OR for emergency surgery.

He’s off on another adventure now, I tell myself — causing a ruckus for sure, and finding all the best places to go and things to do before the rest of us get there. Send a postcard if you can, Jared. I’m going to miss you so much.

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CIRCLE ICON DW 0127145

This week in the forums we’re discussing:

Guy friend confessed his feelings hours after my breakup

Cryptic Man Uncoded

“My Boyfriend Broke My Heart”

So confused. Did he actually like me? Should I move on?

Am I over-reacting?

My boyfriend is too harsh on my daughter

Anyone going on awesome dates?

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

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Happy Friday, everyone! How was your week, how was your Valentine’s Day? Drew and I celebrate enough other occasions in the year that I always ask him not to do anything for me for V-day and he complies. (And not to belabor the point or brag — ok maybe brag a little — but he’s an awesome husband all year long. He brings me flowers a lot and always puts a glass of water on my nightstand at bedtime and lies to me about how I look better now than when we first met; I don’t need him to get me overpriced chocolate on February 14th. …But I will take half-priced chocolates on the 15th!) We do get small gifts for the kids and help them give valentines to their classmates. And for Joanie’s preschool brunch yesterday I made mini egg muffins that stuck to the pan, so then I cooked up some bacon instead, and 36 hours later I am still cleaning dried egg off the muffin tins, so that’s fun.

I did get great news re. my friend who was in the terrible car accident and has been in a coma and on life support since last Tuesday. Yesterday they brought him out of the coma long enough to ask some questions. He knew his name and his birthday and his brother’s name. And when the nurse asked who the president is, he said, “that bastard.” So looks like his brain may be ok! They’ve now removed the ventilator and the next step will be to remove the feeding tube when he’s able to swallow. We’re all starting to feel much more optimistic! (And if you’re in the mood to help out a stranger, here’s his gofundme; he has medical insurance, but that never covers 100% of everything, and missing months of work while he recovers will also be a big financial hit.)

Tomorrow we’re flying out to visit my parents for the week. (I’m not going to drive to see my friend in the ICU, but I hope to make a separate trip once he’s moved to a rehab center maybe in a few weeks.) Flight’s at 9 am and I still have to do like three loads of laundry and start packing for all of us. So, bye for now – have a great weekend!

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Friday Links


Heidi Younger for The New York Times

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

When Weddings Ruin Friendships

Towson University police warn of a woman on the loose, looking for a date for her son.

When Your Shared Netflix Account Outlasts The Relationship

I Had a Late-Term Abortion. Trump and Pro-Lifers Have No Right to Call Me a Murderer. (What it’s like to have the most devastating event of your life become a misrepresented political talking point.)

The Real Mommy War Is Against the State. Stop blaming yourselves. Blame the total lack of social supports.

Interesting:

Many women want monogamy. It’s a cozy arrangement, and one our culture endorses, to put it mildly. But wanting monogamy isn’t the same as feeling desire in a long-term monogamous partnership. The psychiatrist and sexual-health practitioner Elisabeth Gordon told me that in her clinical experience, as in the data, women disproportionately present with lower sexual desire than their male partners of a year or more, and in the longer term as well. “The complaint has historically been attributed to a lower baseline libido for women, but that explanation conveniently ignores that women regularly start relationships equally as excited for sex.” Women in long-term, committed heterosexual partnerships might think they’ve “gone off” sex—but it’s more that they’ve gone off the same sex with the same person over and over.

— The Bored Sex

Americans Lost $143 Million In Online Relationship Scams Last Year

The Cities With the Most Singles

How Lorena Bobbitt Reclaimed Her Place In History: The inside story of how she went from punchline to the subject of a serious Amazon documentary.

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to [email protected] and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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My boyfriend, “Julio,” and I have been together for a year and a half. I don’t mean to sound selfish or ungrateful when I say this, but I feel like Julio doesn’t love me as much as his exes. On Christmas he spent $30 on underwear and gave me a gift card. Sure, I was thankful, but it wasn’t thoughtful at all, especially considering I went all out for him on Christmas and on his birthday before that. We even discussed how important these holidays meant to both of us. Then my birthday came around, and he got me nothing! We even split the bill for dinner and I paid the majority of it. Now it’s Valentine’s Day and he got me nothing.

I recently found out he’s done so many things for his exes, and he fights with me when I ask him about it. He’s told me he’s bought them roses and done other special things/spent thousands on them (he knows how much I value meaningful gestures/it’s not about the money). But with me he just says things like “Valentines Day is stupid” and then we do nothing or he says, “It’s just a birthday.” I don’t understand why he gets so mad at me when I ask about his exes. Also, he only just stopped creeping his ex on social media maybe a month ago. I don’t want to be with someone who can’t make me feel special once in a while; he keeps saying he’ll make the next occasion special, but I don’t see any promises and my trust is wavering. I feel like he’ll never love me like his ex. What do I do?? — Nothing For Valentine’s Day

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