Angela Epstein says her friends make her frumpy. Really?!
‘Now don't get me wrong. I love these girls to pieces,’ chirped Angela Epstein in the Daily Mail (May 12th) having just claimed that ‘my three frumpy friends who make me feel, and look, every year of my near half-century’.
She rightly stated she has broken a taboo, and the reaction in the Staying Sassy office was a very loud ‘too right lady!’
The attack was cruel – one castigated for confidently going grey, one for buying dresses she finds comfortable and the third for wanting to sleep and, shock horror, wearing flatties. Yet just one look at their photo reveals three beautiful, sassy ladies who seem to know what they want.
So what are our thoughts?
Well, first Ms Epstein needs a lesson in basic psychology. Human beings make judgements on the basis of context and relativity. If her friends look older than her, she will be seen as younger. So maybe she doesn’t need to take years of her age on Facebook, as claimed by an understandably miffed friend. Our photo above is not Ms Epstein by the way!
But more than indignation, we felt a deep sense of sorrow for Ms Epstein. Friends are your rock, your place of safety, the ones you run to when life needs to be more fun or when fate gives you a kick. Who is there when you are desperate to share a laugh; when your kids are mean; when your partner is an a**e; when you want to go out to play; when you face the pain of losing a parent; when you want to chat; when you are exhausted looking after a mother with dementia; when you just want to watch rubbish TV with a bottle of wine and when you need to be told you are wrong and still be liked and loved? Friends.
Do you worry about the colour of a friend’s hair when she gives you a hug? Do those flatties fizzle away kind words? Do comfy dresses really make her less fun?
With recent research indicating that loneliness is linked to heart disease (See our article: Is loneliness breaking your heart?) and the BBC reporting it as a growing social issue, isn’t it time to cherish our friends?
So we have some thoughts for Ms Epstein and those people who joined in the spite:
1. Look beyond the dress and see the soul – that’s why you first called her ‘friend’.
2. Be kind. It doesn’t hurt you and, more important, doesn’t hurt them.
3. Be glad you have three friends(if you still do). That is more than many.
4. Be more confident. You will never look younger or more sassy by pointing out flaws in others
5. Follow the words of Thumper. If you are around 50 you will remember the film Bambi and the advice of the little rabbit – ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’
6. Don’t abuse. The time will come when you need them more than they need you.
7. Above all – be a friend. It will stay in fashion longer than your clothes and outlast the facials.
One of the people who commented on Ms Epstein’s article said she had shot herself in the foot. Let’s hope, for her sake, she has not shot her friendships in the heart.