Very unofficial yet amazing friendship advice from the women of 'Baroness von Sketch Show'
Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen sound off on hotly debated dilemmas
If there's one thing that every episode of Baroness von Sketch Show can make us do without fail, it's point to the screen and admit, "oh no, I do that." For the past two seasons, the show's creators, writers and stars, Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen, have taken those tiny, relatable facets of women's lives that so rarely get reflected on television and put them out there for all to see — skewering and celebrating them all at once. Finally, the solemn pact made between besties to tweeze each other's chin hairs in an emergency situation is getting its moment in the sun, and we couldn't be happier.
Knowing how hard the Baronesses nail those oh-so-familiar moments, particularly when it comes to the intricacies of female relationships, when we sat down with them ahead of their season three premiere, we simply had to ask them for guidance on a few friendship conundrums we just can't seem to solve. So move over Dear Abby, and behold, a (very) unofficial advice column with the women of Baroness von Sketch.
You spilled a friend's secret to another friend and that friend told her. This is your bad, how do you make it right?
Meredith MacNeill (MM): You own up, you say you're sorry. You're like, "I did this. You told me something in private, I went and told somebody else. You should be mad and upset, that wasn't great what I did." And you own up right away.
Aurora Browne (AB): Don't try to defend or justify [why] you did it, because when you're apologizing to somebody... the more you try to explain why you did it, the worse you're just making yourself sound.
MM: It's a quicker way out, too. Just to take that first blast of shame… and then you're okay.
Carolyn Taylor (CT): With our friends for a long time, we had this thing called The Vault. Because sometimes you're talking and one person thinks, 'this is between us,' and another thinks you're just sharing a piece of information. So in order to prevent that, we'd say, "Is this in The Vault?" I always loved that… because you might be hearing what I'm saying not thinking it's that big of a deal, and you share it with someone else. So by saying it's in The Vault, you're saying "Don't cross that."
MM: I feel like I want that t-shirt. "It's in The Vault."
Jennifer Whalen (JW): This is all good advice, but the gift of getting older is, I now can't remember who told me what. I don't say anything about anything, because I'm like, "Did you tell me that? Or did you tell me that? I'm just going to keep quiet until I figure out what's going on."
Your friend keeps posting sexy selfies with sad (and sometimes tone deaf) captions. People are starting to joke about it behind her back — how do you handle it?
MM: I'd just say, "Friend, that's not matchin' the photo!"
AB: Get your message straight. If you're going to post a sexy selfie, celebrate it, do it, go that way and say like, "I love my body today—"
MM: "—check out my congos."
AB: You gotta make it clear for people which story you're going for.
MM: Actually, you know what, scratch all of that. That's hilarious. I'd love to take a sexy selfie and be like, "Just got fired!" Scratch all of that advice. Mix and match as much as you want.
Your pal is on her phone constantly whenever you see her, yet always seems to respond to your messages four hours later with a "Sorry I just saw this!" text. How do you break the cycle?
AB: Stop texting her and stop calling her?
CT: Stop expecting her to be anything other than what she is. Don't take it personally, it has nothing to do with you, and who cares if it takes four hours?
AB: She's texting you when she's ready and you just gotta respect that.
CT: And I'd want the same thing afforded to me. Now, if all of a sudden she was saying, "Hey, why aren't you texting me back right away?" Then I'd be like, "Okay let's have a conversation."
JW: I'd just text her a picture of my ass every minute until she's forced—
MM: —That's quite good. I'm never responding to a text from Jen till I get an ass picture at least 25 times.
AB: This is why I never have the read receipts turned on on my phone. I don't want you to know when I read it, no!
Your closest friend just bought the coolest sneakers of the season. You also want them, but that one time you accidentally wore the same skirt as her to dinner, she wouldn't stop bringing it up as if she was cool with it, making it very clear that she was not. What do you do?
MM: Why are we worried about people's sneakers? I say wear what you want, when you want.
JW: Okay, okay but the only thing is, I did have a friend who did this to me. She would say, "Oh, where'd you get that?" And I'd tell her, and then she would wear it till the point that she was wearing the same perfume as me. It was a little Single White Female.
MM: I think that's a huge compliment. You're a trendsetter!
JW: Well, it was, until it started to be like, head to toe and then I was like, "Oh my God, I'm a little scared now." So it can go too far. I now don't care. I have something that each of you own that I like and I just make sure I don't wear it when you're wearing it.
AB: You did buy the — remember my flip flops? I was like, "Somebody else please buy these flip flops, they're so good!" And you wore them.
Every time you see your mom, she "casually" mentions how much she loves your hair long — a style you haven't worn in many years. Meanwhile, she's been rocking the same bob since the '90s. She just brought it up again, at a big family event, and of course all your aunts instantly echo her opinion. How do you handle it?
AB: I would send her messages saying, "I just shaved my head." And get a photo of somebody else's bare scalp and then prank her, I guess.
CT: I'd just be happy we're all having a laugh together, you know.
JW: I'd be shocked that my mom and her sisters agreed on anything.
You told your friend you'd go to an event with her, but it's now the day of and you really, really can't get off the couch. You'd cancel, but when she flaked on you not too long ago and you gave her a lot of sh*t for it. How do you get out of this one (without losing the moral high ground)?
CT: I don't give my friends sh*t for cancelling at all. If you can't make it, you don't want to go, no problem. In fact, I demonstrate love by saying, "You don't have to do this if you don't want to." That's my way of saying, "You're free," so I like to have the same freedom.
MM: I'm the same. I've practiced that because I can be a canceller. We work a lot, we're tired. No judgement, then no judgement when I say I can't do it.
AB: If you now regret giving her sh*t and she felt really bad about it, I'd say, "Listen, last time I gave you sh*t I was totally wrong to do that. You had the right to cancel whenever you wanted and now I'm invoking that right. Give me sh*t if you want, but now we've both cancelled freely with all love."
Your friend keeps inviting you to both versions of her baby's birthday party — the friend version and the family version. You went to both last year, but don't want to be beholden to this pattern from now on. What do you do?
CT: You say "I'm busy."
JW: Oh, I have no problem saying no to things like that. I would just say, "No, I'm sorry. I love you kid, you know what—"
AB: "—I can only make one. You invite me to the one you want me at more... and I'll be so happy to be there."
MM: If it's a party, I'm going to both. If there's cake and everything.
AB: Now, if the friend is doing it just for the present-grab and she's expecting you to bring a different present to each one then I'd be like, "let's re-evaluate things."
CT: Chances are I'm going to neither. And if I am going to one, it's after all the kids have gone to bed.
MM: Carolyn Taylor, everybody!
This interview has been edited and condensed.