It’s Time to Schedule Your Annual Friendship Checkup


This is an automated reminder that it is time to schedule your annual friendship checkup with ZOE PEARL. Our records indicate that it’s been twelve months since your previous appointment, and, no, drunkenly running into each other at a mutual friend’s birthday party and chatting for five minutes does not count.

While we do offer tele-services via call, text, and exchanging Instagram memes, we stress that a face-to-face appointment at the new tapas place I’ve been wanting to try is the best method for performing a thorough assessment.

Prior to your appointment, we ask that you fill out the following form:

What is your relationship status?

[ ] Single
[ ] Married
[ ] Going through a hellish breakup that will dominate the conversation for the entirety of our meal

Are you sexually active?

[ ] If yes, ooh, dish, girl!
[ ] If no, wow, things with Tyler have got that bad? You know, Will and I went through a dry patch, and what really helped us was reconnecting on an emotional level before exploring the physical—that, and hearing about how bleak dating apps are from our single friends.

Are you or could you be pregnant?

[ ] Yes. Aww, congrats! Aren’t babies life’s little miracles?
[ ] No. Thank God. I can’t lose another friend to those sticky little time sucks.

Relevant family history:

[ ] Parent(s) is/are good!
[ ] Sibling(s) is/are good!
[ ] You have some spicy family drama about some cousin that will save us from a lull in the conversation while we eat bacon-wrapped dates.

What is your current employment status?

[ ] Employed and bored with my silly little job.
[ ] Unemployed and broke and bored and need a silly little job.

Are you experiencing any stress, depression, anxiety, eco-anxiety, election-year anxiety, existential despair, Sunday scaries, overwhelming fear of death, choice paralysis, malaise, uncertainty, or dread?

[ ] Oof, me, too.

So, uh, watch any good TV shows lately?

[ ] Have we really run out of things to talk about so quickly that we’ve resorted to listing TV shows at each other in a desperate bid for connection? I remember back in college when we used to spend hours at that little greasy-spoon diner, chatting endlessly about everything from life, love, and literature to the ways we were going to change the world. Now here we are, all these years laters, two strangers transformed by time and tethered together by the flimsy string of history, struggling to find those distant points of familiarity.
[ ] That new “Star Wars” spinoff was pretty good!

What are you looking for out of this session? Please check all that apply:

[ ] Vent about career/relationships/money/leak in ceiling that no-good landlord refuses to fix.
[ ] Talk exclusively about self without asking me any questions.
[ ] Juicy gossip sesh about a mutual acquaintance who is being investigated by the F.B.I. for fraud—can you believe it?!
[ ] Rope me into an M.L.M. scheme.
[ ] You just really needed to get out of your house.

Is there any other relevant information you would like to share?

[ ] No.
[ ] Really, no.
[ ] It’s nothing, really!
[ ] Well, I wasn’t going to say anything since it’s so early, but we’re having a baby! Oops, must have failed to check that earlier box.

Would you like to go ahead and schedule your next visit?

[ ] It’s been too long, we should really do this again soon! (Sincere.)
[ ] It’s been too long, we should really do this again soon! (Insincere.)
[ ] Let’s just stick to swapping memes, like adults. ♦

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