Dear X,
We have been dancing around the f-word a lot lately, and the time has come to offer you my contract of friendship. This has been drawn up after in-depth consideration of both personal experiences and broader trends in modern culture over the span of a few years, and I believe strongly it is to our mutual benefit.

Please read carefully, and if you agree, sign and return, and we can officially consider ourselves friends.

As your friend, I will:
-Invite you to an Iranian-style home-cooked dinner at least once a month, with no expectation of reciprocity;
-Accompany you on shopping trips no longer of two hours of duration;
-Go to restaurants and/or bars and/or cafes with you with no greater frequency than once a fortnight;
-Listen to your romantic troubles for no longer than two hours at a time, unless there is a dire emergency, in which case the time may be lengthened on a discretionary basis;
-Conduct various favours for you. This could include, but not is limited to:
· storing an extra suitcase or so in my storage while you are away, for no longer than two months;

· babysitting for no longer than two hours subject to my availability;

· editing your writing, subject to my interest in your subject and length of your work;

As my friend, I expect you to:
-Initiate get-togethers and hang-outs at least with same frequency that I do, with a standard deviance of 20%;
-Understand that my children take priority over you. If I say I cannot do something “because of something with the kids” back off immediately. A true friend does not probe the veracity of such claims.
-Not to offer unsolicited advice on my private life. As I never solicit advice, never offer it.
-If you ask for advice, and I offer it, not to start debating with me the merit of my advice.
-Not to quarrel with servers at restaurants when we hang out together, and do not expect me to celebrate the accounts of when you “stood up for yourself” by browbeating some poor underpaid motherfucker.
-Not to become too attached and “interested” in my children, and make them attached to you, then suddenly or gradually lose interest in them. I WILL kill you, metaphorically, for that.
-Contrary to popular myths on motherhood, I do not expect you to actually want to spend time with my kids, and will only allow you to do so once you have been vetted. However, if you offer to babysit, I may take you up on that.

I trust that with such clear parameters and guidelines in place, our friendship will run a beautiful smooth path for as long as we run in similar circles. Please do not hesitate to ask for clarification on any of the points above.

Best regards,


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