Ira's good friend Mary Ahearn died this week. She was thirty years older than him...so, decidedly more grown-up than he.
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Host Ira Glass plays tape of two women who ended up as frenemies.They kept trying to be friends, but couldn't help themselves from fighting. Ira then speaks with psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad who has run scientific studies to answer the question: Why don't we simply end these troubling kinds of friendships? Holt-Lunstad's research also shows that these relationships are much more common than you might think.
Ira talks to a woman about a childhood friend of hers who mysteriously shows up after decades, for reasons that are only revealed as their correspondence unfolds.
Host Ira Glass talks to Rich Farrell, writer and former addict, about the code of silence he learned as a kid, and the times he took the fall for his friends' misdeeds.
Ira talks to historian Ted Widmer about two of the first pen pals in the New World. John Winthrop and Roger Williams were both Puritans in Massachusetts in the 1630s.
We hear kids recorded at Chicago's Navy Pier and at a public swimming pool, talking about their mean friends. Host Ira Glass interviews Lillie Allison, 15, about the pretty, popular girls who were her best friends—until they cast her out.
Host Ira Glass talks with Paul Feig, who as a sixth-grader, at the urging of his father, actually read the Dale Carnegie classic How to Win Friends and Influence People. What he found was that afterwards, he had a bleaker understanding of human nature—and even fewer friends than when he started.
We hear the story of a disastrous birthday party and how it's hard not to see these kinds of moments as symbolic of something bad.
In this act, we hear from the rowdier, drunker late-night patrons of the Golden Apple. A guy walks in with two young women, hoping to go home with one of them.
A story about the Broadway show Rent, the thrill of sitting close to the stage...and the evil it can lead to.
In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life.
When Adam and Jamie were kids, Jamie would always ask for Adam's advice, but he didn't want to hear what Adam would say himself. Instead, he wanted Adam to pretend to be an Israeli commando he once knew, named Yakov.
Scott Richer and Julie Riggs of Louisville, Kentucky, were supposed to have their first kiss at the corner where South Fourth Street meets the alley behind the West End Baptist Church. But it went wrong.
When Larry leaves his old life behind and joins a monastery, Ethan struggles to understand his best friend's decision.
David Himmel is a college sophomore and a former camper who became a counselor. He says all the best experiences of his life have been at camp or with camp people.
Host Ira Glass talk with Claire, who obsessed over a Chilean friend — and then started to tell people she was Chilean herself.
Ira with "The Hens," a group of nine middle-aged women who've known each other since girlhood. They play recordings of their recent three-day road trip from Chicago to a casino in a cotton field in Mississippi.
Host Ira Glass talks about the drama of trying to be "just friends" with an ex-girlfriend. The meaning of the title will be clear if you hear the piece.
Ira continues his story.
Ira speaks with Professor Glenn Loury. Loury failed to stand up for a light-skinned friend at a black unity rally in the sixties.
Writer Quincy Troupe talks about how, as a boy, he idolized Miles Davis, and how, as a man, he actually became one of Davis's closest friends. And how his picture of the man changed.
Bob and Dave were close childhood friends — until their relationship began to lead their peers to believe that it might be more than a friendship. The accusations led to Dave turning on Bob.
Ira reaches current-day Dave, who is a born-again Christian living with his parents. According to Dave, Bob was at fault for the breakdown in their relationship, because Bob had decided to become friends with someone else.