08/02/2010 09:17 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Schadenfreude Club: Your Friendship Survival Guide

Friendship is tough. After the Ten Commandments, there are no official rules. Which is why you may need this list.

  1. Every year make two new friends who are at least 10 years younger.

  • But also befriend oldsters. Wisdom, ya know?
  • Stifle the micromanagement. Sometimes a friend likes to pick her own entree or china pattern.
  • If X and Y don't get along, refrain from relentless invocation of X's glory to Y.
  • Always have one friend who is a reliable dork. Over time, common sense trumps fashion sense.
  • Nevertheless, you still need a friend who will explain what jeggings are and tell you, yes, they make your butt look big.
  • Plus one dynamo-friend, to inspire you to get off said butt.
  • Repeat this trope: when you call or see a friend (and by call or see I mean call or see, not give an electronic shout-out) you will not talk only about yourself. By yourself I mean your Goldendoodle, significant others and "Mad Men" cameo.
  • You get three weeks to gloat about your kid getting into Harvard. One day to wear crimson.
  • You get three months to ruminate out loud about your breakup or firing. After that, write a memoir.
  • If your friend publishes a book, buy it. And read it. In my case that means please preorder a copy of "With Friends like These" or look for it in your local bookstore starting August 10.
  • Publishers Weekly: "achingly real"...."wit and wisdom." (More reviews on I promise it will make you think about friendship in every tense: present, future, past perfect and past imperfect.

  • As my son's nursery school teacher said, "learning to share is a lifelong task." Please add your friendship wisdom in Comments. Thanks.