Dear Kitty Winn,
I’m always on the outside looking in. I try to get people to like me, by making sure to say friendly hellos several times a day and buying them gifts. If I see a friend online, I always chat them up and involve them in my life. But even though I give and give, I am not always invited places. Sometimes I think people even leave the room when I appear. It’s enough to make me want to stay home and get really fat. What should I do to get people to like the real me?
-Insecure in Iowa
Dear Hamhock in Hell,
Social acceptability requires a thing called finesse. The Unabomber understood the power of the unwanted gift, so why can’t you? Making and maintaining friendships involves finding people with similar interests unfolding them slowly over time. Some people will begin to share your concerns and others will probably find you a bore and tell you to sod off. The trick is to distinguish the two, and cultivate the former. Unbelievable as it may sound, there truly is someone for just about everyone. Even ugly people!
Being a popular party guest, on the other hand, requires a knack for mixing drinks and a wit sharp enough to slice a wedge of lime. Enjoy your Ding Dongs.