Today we are going to dive into a quote I read in a book recently:

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

The Quote:

He groans. “God save me from self-obsessed, high maintenance bitches.”

“I don’t much like her,” I say, but please don’t call her a bitch.” I lean on the counter, not looking at him.”

“Why not?”

“Gendered insults are lazy.” I pause. “High maintenance is also gendered. obviously.”

Jackie Fraser

I completely agree that gendered insults are lazy. They are also judgmental and wrong at least half the time. And this goes to statements made against any sex…


Is high maintenance a gendered statement?

When we use the term, what are we going for? What do we mean when we say high maintenance? Do we mean a Harry Met Sally thing? Are we talking about sandwiches with things on the side? Or is there something more?

But is being high maintenance really a thing that can be applied to women more often than men? I mean, my husband is WAY MORE high maintenance than I am…than my daughter is… I know just as many high main men as I do women…

Is this author just trying to jump on the women great/men suck bandstand? Is the author trying to be clever? Is the author trying to be pro women? Is the author so embarrassed that they are writing chick lit? Is the author trying to elevate their status to literary fiction? The whole book is lightweight trying desperately to be heavyweight…A regular maintenance reader can see that this book is full of itself…

Is high maintenance a gendered term? I don’t think so. Is it stupid to continually attribute things to men or women? Yes- I think that’s wrong.

But the real question here is simple: Am I wrong? Is the term high maintenance a gendered term?



You had to know that when I wrote about Harry and Sally, this topic would come up…

Can men and women be friends?

In my younger days, I had a decent amount of male friends.  At one point, my Husband was just a guy I played tennis with.  But these were my single days. As time went on, and relationships were gotten into, my friendships with men withered away.  At this moment I have many male acquaintances- men that my Husband is friends with, the Husbands of my friends, people I converse with in the lobby of my building….but these are not people I do things alone with, or have anything other than pleasant, short term conversation with.

Male friends.  Well, there’s SF. He’s a friend from college.  I’m friends with him.  But he lives in San Francisco.  We communicate entirely by email. And we have been in the “friend zone” since we were 18- never once did we ever consider dating or anything else.  As to the other male friends, the few that I hang out with- well, to be fair, they’re all gay.

Have I made a conscious decision to not have male friends? Not really.  My time is valuable.  I really don’t have time to socialize much, so I have a little knot of people that I see.  These people are ones that I have commonality with, that I trust, and that I can talk to.  At this point in my life, the people I am closest to happen to be women.

Does all this personal experience mean that men and women can’t be friends?

I’ll start with “No”, because I’ve obviously been friends with men before.  But does being in a relationship kind of make you rethink friendships?

Let’s think about my Husband for a second.  He belongs to a ski club and has a lot of female friends. I don’t have a problem with him having female friends, but I know a lot of wives don’t feel the same way.  These wives make sure they are at every ski club meeting (happy hour) and even though they hate to ski, they show up at the ski events.  Am I to conclude that most women do not want their partners to be in friendships with women?

Guess what? It’s write my blog Thursday. (it’s funny- I really don’t plan “discuss” topics, but more than not- they end up being on Thursdays)


  1. Can men and women be friends?
  2. Can you only have friendships of the opposite sex when you are not involved in a relationship?
  3. Do people have the right to not want their partner to be in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex?