Dear Claire,

I am a teenage girl living in Augusta, Maine. I like hanging out with my friends, watching movies and playing with my dog. I like school, and my favorite subject is history. A week ago, my best friend and I were hanging out at her house, and she started smoking a cigarette. I want to tell my mom and I want my friend to stop smoking, but I don’t want to get her in trouble. What should I do?

Thank you,

Bothered Best Friend


My sweet Best Friend,

Thank you (or gracias, as the Spanish say) for writing me with your concerns. And thank you again for the detailed narrative on your scholastic preferences and the rundown on your extra-curricular activities, though I absolutely, positively did not ask for either nor express any amount of curiosity regarding them in any way. At all.

I think the problem here is less with how you’re feeling and more about letting your friend just #liveherlife. Goodness gracious, Bothered B, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that teens have it pretty hard these days! With the Facebook, and the Instagram, and the Taylor Swift, and the gluten sensitivities, and the sexy vampires, and the sexy zombies, and the sexy post-Apocalyptic government revolutionaries, it’s hard for adolescents to “chill out” – your BFF included! Hmmm, if only there was a substance that was instantly relaxing, easy to use, and made you look super cool while you used it. Oh wait! Hold the phone! Time out! There is one! It’s called a cigarette, it gets the job done, and if it’s good enough for an upright camel wearing sunglasses, then it’s certainly good enough for someone who got a C+ on her Moby Dick book report last week (call me ‘unimpressed’). My young Friend, please save yourself the stress of internalizing your bestie’s bad-assery, you already have so much on your plate with the movies and the dog and whatnot. In fact, perhaps you yourself should buckle down, light up, and mellow out! Who knows, it will definitely make you more popular and attractive!

I feel confident about this advice, BBF!

Cordially, Claire

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