how do I help my friend

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Background info:

This girl moved into my neighborhood and we became bffs. But then she moved to a different state–this was 4 years ago.

Fast Forward 4 years:

I start messaging her on Facebook and I find out that she has a lot of issues–like her parents are getting divorced, she is being bullied, her friends are leaving her, and she has an eating disorder.
I really want to help her but I have no clue how! Please help!
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A Confused Friend
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Dear Sarah,
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Miss Fortune Cookie says: The best year round temperature is a warm heart and a cool head.
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I see your problem. Your friend is having a rough time, but how can you help her from a distance? You can listen to her. Be a sympathetic ear. Remind her of the things you like about her. Remind her that she’s a worthy person.
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Still, an eating disorder can be life threatening. I recommend that you involve an adult–a parent, a counselor at school, or another person that you trust.
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She is lucky to have such a loyal and caring friend.
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Miss Fortune Cookie
fortune cat

Don’t be a bully, you jerk

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

This noob in photography won’t leave me alone. He keeps asking me dumb stuff like how to view his pictures. I keep telling him to ask the teacher, but he ignores me. How do I get rid of him?

Annoyed

WHAT MISS FORTUNE COOKIE REALLY WANTED TO WRITE, BUT DIDN’T:

Dear Annoying,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Someone is speaking well of you. Because they don’t really know you.

The hallmark of noob-behavior? Calling someone else a noob.

In other words, it takes one to know one. I’m rubber, you’re glue. Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.

Miss Fortune Cookie

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ENLIGHTENED ANSWER

Dear Annoyed,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Open your heart. You can always close it again later.

Be nice. Everyone is a noob sometime in their life.

Besides, maybe this noob knows how to view his pictures, but is looking for friendship or romance. Anything is possible.

Miss Fortune Cookie

fortune cat

The winner!!!

Congratulations to Mary Catherine Miller for winning the Be an Advice Columnist for a Day contest. She’s a doctoral student at Ohio State University working in Literature for Children and Young Adults. Check out her excellent blog, Travels with Mary.

And read her pithy and fun advice below:

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I’m not short, but my girlfriend is taller than me. My friends laugh about it. They call me stumpy and pat me on the head. I don’t want to go to school anymore. Should I just break up with her already?

Taller Than Average

Dear Taller than Average,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Long legs let the heron see more than the duck.

Don’t your friends know that the average height of a model is 5’11″? Tell them there’s no way you’re going to set them up with her friends if they keep patting you on the head.

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Mean girls

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I recently transferred to a new middle school and found myself welcomed into the popular clique of girls. At first I felt lucky to be included but now I’m finding that many of the girls are cruel and two faced. I don’t want to be a loner but hanging around with these girls makes me uncomfortable. What do I do?

Miserable in Middle School

Dear Miserable

Miss Fortune Cookie says: If you don’t change direction, you can end up where you’re headed.

I know that sounds inane, but it’s true! If you stay with these girls that make you uncomfortable now, you might become just a little bit cruel and two faced to fit in with them. You should feel comfortable around your friends. They should fit you just as well as your favorite sweatshirt. That’s the whole point.

Now go and find some real friends.

Miss Fortune Cookie
angry girl avatar

Love triangle

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie!

I’ve created a bit of a mess for myself. My best friend is a guy. I’m not. And I’m starting to wonder if best friends is enough. But then, being an idiot, I practically shoved him into the arms of his current girlfriend — a controlling wench if there ever was one. She’s not happy that he and I friends; she does everything she can to keep us apart. And he’s not happy either, but he doesn’t want to break up with her because he thinks that I think they should be together. Is that messed up or what!

My Own Worst Enemy

Dear Worst Enemy,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Once you mount a tiger, it is difficult to get off.

That’s some crazy tiger you’re riding! Don’t despair, though. Even tigers sleep once in a while. I have lied to her friends in the past, and sympathize with your situation. Unfortunately, I have bad news. The only way to get off the tiger is to come clean with your friend-that-could-become-more-than-a-friend.

Patient method: Let him know that you regret setting him up with his current girlfriend WITHOUT putting her down. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait a long time. If they break up, tell him your true feelings.

Brave method: Let him know your true feelings now. Do NOT mention how you feel about his current girlfriend. Warning: he may reject you. (Sorry!)

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Letter courtesy of Alamosa Books

Overly dependent friend

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

I have this talented friend who doesn’t believe in herself. She is smoking hot on cello, but won’t stay in orchestra unless I do. I would rather sign up for drama next year.

If the situation were reversed, she would stay in orchestra for me. We are going to be friends forever, so I don’t want to mess that up.

Co-dependent

Dear Co-dependent,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Just sign up for orchestra with her, and then drop out after the first two weeks. Bad joke

Miss Fortune Cookie says: Cloning is the sincerest form of flattery. Second bad joke.

Miss Fortune Cookie says: True friendship is as rare as twin lotuses on a single stalk.

Still, you should never martyr yourself for anyone. Honesty is the only foundation for a long-lasting friendship. An open conversation will make your friendship stronger.

Miss Fortune Cookie
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She hangs back

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My friend and I don’t agree on something. She likes this boy, but won’t talk to him. They, btw, are meant for each other.

I’ve come up with a hundred and one ways to get her to talk to him, but she won’t listen. She says that if it’s meant to be, *he* will approach *her*.

Eros
 

Dear Eros,

Tell your friend that Miss Fortune Cookie says: A man stands for a long time with his mouth open before a roast duck flies in.

It’s true that if they’re meant for each other, they’ll find each other … eventually. But she might be wrinkly by then. Give fate a hand. Invite them both to a party, maybe?

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Pressure-cooker school ruined his future

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

Lowell ruined my life. I was happy when I got in. Now that it’s senior year, I’m disillusioned. Every UC I applied to rejected me. I’m going to City College next year. If I’d stuck with my local high school, I would’ve been at the top of my class. My best friend avoided Lowell. Now he’s going to UC San Diego, and I’m smarter than him.

Middle school nerds take heed. Don’t come to Lowell!!!!!

Matt

Dear Matt,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: The water that floats sinks your boat will also sink float it.

If you give it some thought, don’t you have good memories from Lowell along with the bad? Maybe you learned some cool things, made true friends, or did an amazing project. Maybe one teacher really inspired you.

Since Lowell prepared you well, you’ll ace your classes, and transfer to the university of your choice. It’s not about what you know, but what you do with it.

Sorry for being annoyingly optimistic! ☺

Miss Fortune Cookie
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Friend is a mooch

Dear Miss Fortune Cookie,

My friend likes to go out for lunch all the time. I don’t have much money, so I order cheaply. My friend always eats way more than I do, and then she wants to split the bill. When I try to pay for my share, she says, “I hate people who make a fuss over a few dollars.” What should I do?

Mad

Dear Mad,

Miss Fortune Cookie says: The richer your friends, the more they will cost you.

Then again, John Lennon said money can’t buy you love.

Maybe they mean the same thing.

Here’s a little practical advice. Whenever you go out with your friend, tell her you’re not hungry. Don’t order anything, and see what happens.

Miss Fortune Cookie