Dear E. Jean: Can you clarify the Girl Code? I’ve been finding myself in some questionable situations over the past couple of years that somehow or other always come down to potential violations of the Girl Code. I may be out of it—I’m 28; you’d think I’d have a clue—but what are the rules among girlfriends? What lines shouldn’t be crossed? —Totally Frustrated
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Miss Totally, My Truffle: A crone of 28 should be too experienced to follow anything called the “Girl Code.” Here’s the BLC—Basic Lady Code: Never hate a woman you’ve never met, never date a friend’s ex, never reveal another female’s secret, never leave an inebriated friend alone at a bar, never invite a friend’s enemy to a party, never dine alone with a friend’s boyfriend (unless it’s his last meal and he’s being shot at dawn).
So much for the elemental stuff; as for those famous “lines” that “shouldn’t be crossed” by girlfriends, here’s the AWC—Advanced Woman Code:
• Never stay silent when a friend is falling for an asshole.
• Never favorite a best friend’s bon mot. Always retweet it.
• Never trust a girlfriend who dates a married man.
• Never refuse to write a recommendation for the offspring of a friend (no matter how big an idiot the kid is).
• Never steal your friend’s thunder at a dinner party—when she’s on, give her room! Pound the table! Bang your glass with a spoon! Laugh the loudest at her story!
• Never give your friend’s business four stars on Yelp. Always give five.
• Never agree when a friend says she’s flabby, baggy, saggy, lumpy, floppy, veiny, squishy, scrawny, etc., etc. Tell her to shut up. Tell her life is too short. Tell her to eat, drink, and be merry. And finally…
• Never treat other women disrespectfully: It gives men ideas.
This letter is from the E. Jean archive.