Welcome back! If you missed last week’s issue, find it here.
I want this newsletter to be about you, the ladies of DC, so send me your Capitol Hill celeb sightings and bad date stories by replying to this email. And don’t forget to subscribe to Girl’s Guide with the button below!
What They Don’t Tell You
Do you know what girls are really good at? Comparing. We’re good at comparing how we look to the other women around us, comparing ourselves with what we see on social media, and especially comparing how we stack up in our relationships.
And while we’ve all heard the saying “comparison is the thief of joy,” I believe there’s a corollary to that rule: comparison kills friendships.
Do you know how I know? A fortune cookie told me.
I don’t know about you, but I always get the weirdest and least helpful fortune cookies whenever I order Chinese takeout. But several months ago, I got a brief yet profound fortune that said, “Vary your friendships.” I promise I’m not normally this impressionable, but that really made me think while I ate my sweet and sour chicken.
If all of our friendships were exactly the same that would be … a little bit boring, don’t you think? Can you imagine if all your best friends were just clones of each other? Or if you had the exact same relationship with a close friend that everyone else had? It just wouldn’t be right. But these kinds of insecurities can affect female friendships if we don’t remember that having different friends who are meaningful to us in different ways helps us grow as people.
You don’t have to be the person who knows the most about your friend, or texts her the most, or is the one she always takes advice from. You just need to show up and treat your friend how you would want to be treated. And sometimes that means calling out her flaws, or refraining from being protective (a euphemism we girls use for “possessive”).
But enough serious stuff. After all, I am advising you to vary your friendships (Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe from “Friends” are a TV show, not real life), so here is a small sampling of the different friends you may have:
The Meme Friend
We all have a meme friend — the one who sends you Instagram posts that make you chuckle in public and then look around self-consciously. Sometimes you send her a cute animal video for good measure. You haven’t actually had a real conversation with real words in months, and you two are okay with that. It’s all about memes and good vibes, people.
The Planner Friend
Type A, bossy, the mom friend — there are a lot of different ways you can describe the planner friend. She can be a little “my way or the highway” sometimes, but if something needs to get done, there’s no one who can do it better. Whether it’s a Bachelorette watch party or a bachelorette party in Vegas, the planner friend is the one you go to for a 10-step plan to accomplish the task ahead.
The Boy Talk Friend
You love this friend because she has never accused you of being boy-crazy or rolled her eyes when you say you have a new crush — and somehow, she can one-up every dating story you have. She may not have the wisest advice, but she’ll always lend a listening ear when a new guy piques your interest and you have to analyze every post on his Instagram dating back to 2018.
The Errand Friend
Going grocery shopping or running errands alone can be blah. Somehow you and your errand friend always need to go to Trader Joe’s at the same time — or maybe you just like having a weekly catch-up. An errand friend is normally someone you’re already pretty comfortable with, or you get there quickly after she finds out your weird favorite foods.
I highly recommend reading this essay by Leah Libresco Sargeant on the beauty of “boring” errand friendships.
The Work Bestie
She’s close to your age, works a few cubicles over, and, most importantly, dislikes the same coworkers as you. She’s your work bestie! In DC, where everything revolves around what you “do,” your work friends can make or break your experience. Even if you’re only coworkers for a season, work friends can last a lifetime — just ask my bridesmaid Audrey!
The Childhood Friend
You can’t remember exactly when you met. Were you 8? Or 10? But this girl has been in your life longer than any other friend, and she has some pretty embarrassing stories she can tell about you. Although you went your separate ways after high school, when you see each other now, it’s like no time has passed. Cherish this friend and be sure to celebrate all of life’s milestones when you get together!
The Mentor Friend
This friend is a few years ahead of you in life and somehow always seems to have the best advice! You try not to let on that you feel like a younger sibling tagging along whenever you hang out. It’s important to have women in your life who have been where you been and can point out your blindspots. As the years go on, the gap in life experience between you two will narrow, and you’ll be on more equal footing.
The Broken Telephone Friend
This last kind of friend is actually one to be careful of. We all love to spill tea from time to time, but when you’re telling your friend about things others say about her constantly — you might be hurting the situation instead of helping. And if you’re on the receiving end of that info, it might be tough to say “stop,” but it’s definitely worth it to preserve your mental state and your friendship. I listened to a great podcast with Megyn Kelly and Amy Chua that touched on this — click here to listen (it’s about 35 minutes in).
Click here to read my previous newsletter about the importance of the company you keep!
Interview with Ximena Barreto
Every week I introduce you to a woman who knows the ins and outs of DC! I think you’ll really enjoy my interview with Ximena Barreto, who serendipitously hit on this week’s theme of friendship. Find her on Twitter and Instagram — and be sure to follow her pup Jefferson on Instagram too for “pawsitive vibes only!”
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I live in Rosslyn, Virginia, as a mother of a 10-year-old daughter. Schools are very important for me. Not only that, there are so many restaurants and hidden gems around, like Teddy Roosevelt Island, also the convenience of having a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, and Safeway, and being so close to Virginia wineries.
What does life look like for you?
My life looks like a sitcom! However, I have never been so fulfilled like I am now. I have an amazing and talented daughter and two great pups!
I landed my dream job on the Hill working as an external affairs director for my personal hero, Sen. Rand Paul. He has given me a lot of freedom to pursue different policy objectives, help craft oped pieces, and represent him to various professional groups. I really love it, and I thank God every morning for the opportunity!
I stay quite busy, so on my free time I choose to explore DC with my daughter and friends.
What are your favorite places to grab a bite in DC?
Too many places to choose from!!! I'm a huge foodie, but here is a list in no specific order: Salt and Barley Mac in Rosslyn, Ambar in Clarendon, Rhodeside Grill (their brunch is to die for), Barcelona on 14th Street, Le Diplomate, The Hamilton, Takoda, Old Ebbitt Grill, and Jane Jane.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned during your time in DC?
Keep a very small tight circle of friends. As sad as it sounds, DC is full of self-serving people, and I had to learn that one the hard way when my mother died unexpectedly and I was going through a lot of changes. Really get to know the people who you interact with. DC attracts all kinds of people, the altruistic and the self-serving. It is ridiculously easy to find yourself being taken advantage of here, but there are also genuinely amazing people who will value you for who you are, instead of for what you can do for them. Don't get jaded by the self-promoters, find and grow with the people who want to invest in you!
What’s your beauty routine like?
As a 37-year-old woman, I have to keep up with the youngins on the Hill, LOL. My favorite products are: Nivea Q10 day and night creams. I have used this since I was a child, actually my mother used the same creams. Don't leave the house without applying sunblock!!! Get a good hyaluronic acid serum and LED therapy light, set it up on red light and you will thank me. My skin looks better now than when I was in my early twenties. As far as makeup goes: I love Kat Von D foundation (works great in winter and summer), Stila black eyeliner and Laura Mercier lipsticks, especially the Rouge Muse, Rose VIF and Coral VIF shades.
How would you describe your style?
I love dresses year round! I would describe my style as if Charlotte York had a baby with Carrie Bradshaw. Lots of leather, lace and solid block colors, also stilettos. My style icons are: Priyanka Chopra, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jackie Kennedy, and Victoria Beckham.
Masks Be Gone (Next Week!)
The Washingtonian reports: “Mayor Muriel Bowser announced this morning that the city will lift the current indoor mask mandate on Monday, November 22.” Woohoo!
But there are still exceptions. “Everyone still has to wear masks on public transportation; inside schools, childcare facilities, and libraries; at places where large groups of people live; and in city government buildings where there’s direct interaction between employees and the public,” according to The Washingtonian.
Taylor Swift’s Exes Are Literally Shaking
I don’t know about you, but I feel like all people can talk about right now is Taylor Swift. She’s on Saturday Night Live, she’s dragging ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal — is there anything this lady can’t do? Now, John Mayer is apparently afraid he’ll be on the receiving end of the Swifties’ wrath next if she chooses to focus on her song “Dear John” — read Us Weekly’s exclusive here.
Here are some more links to what I’m reading and writing:
How Streaming Brought About A ‘90s Sitcom Renaissance: I wrote about my favorite ‘90s sitcoms and why they’re relevant for a new generation for Evie Magazine!
What To Do When You Feel Like Crying At Work: Sometimes keeping your composure at work is a struggle. This article has some great tips for dealing with tough situations.
Congrats & More
Congratulations to ANSLEY BOLEN and SETH MACKINNEY, who got engaged at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday!
Spotted at the Independent Women’s Forum gala: MARY MARGARET OLOHAN, MADELINE FRY SCHULTZ, KAYLEE MCGHEE WHITE, GABBY HOFFMAN, BRIANNA HOWARD, MADELINE PELTZER, LACEY CHRIST, BRIGID MARY MCDONNELL, and too many more awesome ladies to name!
HOUSING AVAILABLE FOR CHRISTIAN FEMALE: We have a shared room available in our row house. Room is spacious and features tons of natural light including skylights, a walk-in closet with lots of storage, and a bed frame and mattress. It’s $780 a month and comes with three awesome friends, all Christians, all conservatives, and all fans of the Great British Baking Show! The house has three bedrooms, one full and one half bath, one of the best kitchens you will find in D.C. with all the cooking equipment you could want, and a cozy sun room for curling up with a good book. The house is located near 15th and A St. SE and is a short walk to the metro (three stops to Capitol South station), Lincoln Park, the shiny new Safeway, and a bike share. The lease starts Dec. 1 and will be for a year, but we are flexible on having an earlier move in date. There will also be a security deposit. There is ample street parking, a deck and fire pit in the back yard, and the front door is teal! The three women who live there are all young professionals in their 20s and work on or near the Hill. If you are interested, please reach out to email@example.com.
Got feedback or an announcement to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before You Go…
I’m doing a Girl’s Guide Gift Guide next week! If you have a favorite local business, or gift ideas for both ladies and gentlemen, let me know at email@example.com!