When defending a stranger cost me friendships

About a decade ago, I was in my early twenties and working at Best Buy. Most of the employees were male, and I was struggling to make friends in this new west coast environment after moving to California from Maryland. People were closed off. Cliques were already formed, and newcomers were largely unwelcome into established social circles.

But I was determined, so I tried harder. I’d had a lot of friends in high school, and wasn’t about to give up on having a social life while I was young and primed for having fun. It was actually encouraging that there…

Say what you really mean.

It occurred to me today that when someone says, “I can’t read your mind,” it’s really more of a cop out and a way to shift the blame, rather than an expression of surprise at someone’s expectations. Because in truth, if you know someone well, you should be able to “read their mind” in a sense. And we really only ever use this phrase with people we know well.

The reason I had this realization is actually kind of funny. I was eating some leftover hash browns while my dog stared up at me from knee-level. As usual, I giggled…

A girl’s best friend

Today I came across a story warning of the “excruciating” pain women may experience after having an intrauterine device (IUD) inserted. This form of birth control is not for every woman, of course. And although I don’t doubt the truth of some women’s horror stories with IUDs, I do think it’s worth examining the other side.

I, for one, have had an excellent experience using this form of birth control, and I do recommend it. In fact, I’ve sung its praises to many friends and acquaintances over the years. …

Vague terms lead to all kinds of assumptions

For the summer, I’m living in a small town in the northeast to write. Since arriving in June, I’ve met lots of locals and had to answer the question, “What do you do?” at least a dozen times. So far I’ve stuck to saying, “I’m a writer,” for the sake of simplicity.

It’s been interesting to see how people react to this. In general, it has led to folks revealing what their idea of a writer is, rather than asking for clarification from me. Two people seem to have assumed that I’m some sort of journalist. One told me, “This…

Do unto others, be nice, whatever — just be a good friend

Being creative isn’t easy. Let’s start by throwing that out there.

Though I wouldn’t say the creator instinct is rare, exactly, I would say that the majority of my friends are not creative types. If I had to guess, I’d say the creatives make up about 20 percent, maybe a little more, of my friends.

Most are consumers, and I think that’s true in the general population as well. In fact, I don’t doubt that I have a higher percentage of creator and creative friends than most people, in part because I am one myself, and we seem to be…

When creativity is constant but discipline eludes you

As a writer, I find it hard to relate when others in the field complain about experiencing writer’s block. It’s just not something I get hit with, personally. In fact, the number of ideas I have can be downright overwhelming. Sitting in front of a screen or a notepad, there’s never a shortage of things for me to write about. There’s never a point where I don’t know how to move forward with my stories. They have a natural beginning, development, and end.

The problem is making myself sit in front of the screen to type. I’m not one of…

The truth will set you free and punish liars

Since the statute of limitations has long since expired, I’m now able to publicly tell the story of how I got revenge on a cheating ex nearly 10 years ago. This particular ex was likely a sociopath, though at the time I was only 22 years old and hadn’t learned what that meant yet. He convincingly played the part of the faithful boyfriend. We dated for six months, and in that time I’m not even sure how many women he cheated on me with, but it seemed to have been several.

This story takes place during 2011 and 2012, while…

Cassie M. Thompson

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