Astronomy classes ruined my sense of romance

Friend:  I love this quote… “Good friends are like stars.  You don’t always see them, but you know that they are always there.”

me:  Actually, many of the stars we currently see are already burnt-out and dead, but we just don’t know it yet because their light is still traveling toward us.

Friend:  Fine.  We’ll change it.  “Good friends are like stars…

me:  …They’re very shiny but a lot of them might be dead.”

Friend:  And once again, you ruin the romance with logic.

me:  Well some might not be dead yet.  Although technically if they’re not already dead they’re most likely currently in flames.

Friend:  *sigh*

me:  How about this?:  “Most of your friends are dead, but the ones who aren’t dead are on fire.  It’s complicated to explain, but it’s nice to watch from a distance.  Much like friendship.”

Friend:  Yeah.  That’s almost exactly the same sentiment.

me:  It’s a gift.

167 thoughts on “Astronomy classes ruined my sense of romance

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Are you not supposed to point out how illogical her statement was? Seeing the faulty logic is a gift, and a curse.

  2. The minute I read “Well some might not be dead yet.” I pictured the Monty Python scene.

    I’m not dead yet. I feel fine. I think I’ll go for a walk. I feel happy. I feel happy.

  3. Some of the ones that are on fire have a chance of exploding in the near future. I don’t know how to relate that back to friends.

  4. Also, good friends are like stars in that they are made of material that was ejected during a star’s supernova. Then again, I guess that makes good friends like dying stars. And, technically speaking, enemies are made of the same stuff also so everyone is like dying stars!

  5. Yeah… kinda depressing. When gazing at stars, you’re looking at light from a star that could very well have burned out before we were even born.
    Ahhhhhh. Romance.

  6. Friends are like stars: From far away, they’re shiny as fuck. Sometimes they have whole planets revolving around them because they were spoiled as children. And if you stand close by, you would disinigrate and die before they let you get any closer.

  7. And, once again, that’s why I love you.

    SO excited to spend my Amazon gift card on your book!!!!! Can’t wait to read it!

  8. I think it’s fitting. Some of my friends seem to always be on fire… Perhaps the others ARE dead…

  9. Too funny. I have a tendancy to think in the literal sense of things too and people get so aggrivated with me.

    On a side note: I just purchased your book today for my kindle! Can’t wait to read it.

  10. Well, maybe friends AREN’T like stars. Very few of my friends are glittery from afar (except for St. Jeni the Compassionate), but none of them up close are seething masses of lethal radiation, crushing gravity, and vaporizing heat. Well, almost none of them.

  11. So, say someone sets a friend on fire, will this argument hold up in court? I’m asking for a friend. Who may or may not be currently on fire…

  12. Okay I totally read the title wrong, I thought it said ‘anatomy class’…. As opposed to astronomy class. Had to do a double take after I read the article and couldn’t figure out where the anatomy class came into play.

  13. Good friends are like stars. Gaseous and burning, and will most likely expand to kill you before they die.

  14. Good friends are like stars. They incinerate you if you get too close. But most of them are very far away.
    Story of my life.

  15. If good friends are like stars, connecting their bodies will make pictures. Which either means I’m a serial killer or that I’ve realized Facebook has the power to be both a social network AND a planetarium.

  16. Maybe friendship is more like crystal meth…can get you arrested and makes you lose your teeth? No? I’ve really got to work on metaphors…

  17. Love it. Reminds me of how I took astronomy in college thinking I’d learn about constellations and get to impress people at parties with that. It turned out to be a grueling physics class. One of the biggest disappointments in my life. And now when I look at the sky all I can think about is how the universe most often compared to a loaf of raisin bread. Brings all new meaning to life in general.

  18. This had me literally laughing out loud and I immediately had to read it to everyone in the vicinity! I love this so much. You make me laugh often, and you show me that there are others in this world like me, possibly even more crazy than I. 😉 Logic prevails, and is ultimately much more romantic than simile.

  19. No star that you can see in the night sky (as a star) is already burned out and dead. They are too close. Stars far enough away to burn out by the time their light reaches us are in distant galaxies you’d need a big telescope to see. Novas and supernovas close to us may “die” quicker but they’re extremely active as they do it. Conversely, there are lots of dead stars in the night sky – but you can’t see them. Thanks for your fun blog and happy holidays.

  20. Exactly. This is also how I feel about “If friends were flowers, I’d pick you.” When you pick a flower, it dies, so what you’re really saying is that you would like to remove me from my roots and let me slowly starve to death while being ogled. For some reason, people think me odd when I try to express this.

  21. I read the title as ‘anatomy’ and thought ‘oh thank god it wasn’t just me.’


  22. ”Most of your friends are dead, but the ones who aren’t dead are on fire. It’s complicated to explain, but it’s nice to watch from a distance. Much like friendship.”

    I need that on a tshirt, like, now.

  23. Sooooo, some friends are brighter than others and don’t go out? Sounds like a perfect description of my life post-motherhood, if you as me!!

  24. Reminds me of the quote, “Friendship is like peeing your pants; every one can see it, but only you can feel the warmth.” Romantic & accurate!

  25. @TheBloggess I let my mom read this and she said ‘oh bless her heart that’s so sweet, thinking about friends.’ Me: ‘about friends on fire mom?’ Mom: ‘some of them for sure’.

  26. I took astronomy in college with my then-boyfriend. He always called me a white dwarf because I was small and hot (if by small he meant very curvaceous and by hot he meant my fiery temper), and I called him a red giant because he was big and dumb. And that part is just true. Probably still. I think his biceps took too much blood away from his brain so he couldn’t think. And he made stupid suggestions like that I shouldn’t finish college because I should just teach sunday school and direct the choir anyway. Misogynistic asshole. Wait – what were we talking about again?

  27. You sound exactly like my son. In discussing his goals for the future I used the quote “Aim for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.” To which he replied “That doesn’t even make sense. The stars are much farther out than the moon…”

  28. Good friends are like stars. They’re there for you even when they’re dead. Also, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is one of my favorite books, largely because it functions as a (semi addictive) anti depressant. Write a couple sequels, and you’re in the running for a Nobel.

  29. I LOVED your book and LOVE your blog, but just based on this posting, I so want you to be my friend! 🙂

  30. I am married to your (male) twin: He feels compelled to point out inaccuracies and hyperbole in conversation too! I have always attributed it to his engineering background. 😉

  31. You mean that it’s not just a big black sheet with holes poked in it? I guess I should pay more attention to things!

  32. So really what this all means is that when I feel a burning sensation it may very well mean that I am experiencing friendship, no?

    Not at all related, but comes to mind right now, once, during a transvaginal ultrasound that was, shall we say, really fucking uncomfortable, I gasped and the tech said to me as my husband held my hand, “You know, if intercourse is ever uncomfortable, *you* control the force of penetration.”

    It has come to be a calming thing we say to each other. “Babe, keep in mind, you control the force of penetration.”

  33. It reminded me of the I explicable phrase “if friends were flowers I’d pick you.”

    Really now is this a card to a person who is unaware you are friends? Because a simple “I wanted a good friend and I picked you” it gets the point across perfectly without putting the strange flower reference in there..

  34. Also, I’m surprised nobody made an, “I feel friendship when I pee,” joke yet. Unless I missed it.

  35. that’s fantastic. I love it =)
    It’s a good thing to say to all friends during a group gathering – hard for them to tell which you like and dislike.

  36. That’s it I’m burned out now, but in Scottish tradition at new year to first foot, you should turn up with a lump of coal and a bottle of whisky. You can chuck one on the fire and see it erupt in warming flames and the other gives a warming glow inside, Friends ………………….

  37. Truly is a gift. I hate when folk do it to me yet oddly, I too have a habit of doing this. My Dad would call it “pissing on somebodys bonfire” 🙂

  38. I really think you need a new card that says…
    “Good friends are like stars, they’re very shiny but a lot of them might be dead, and the ones who aren’t dead are on fire. It’s complicated to explain but it’s nice to watch from a distance. Much like friendship.”

    Please please make this happen.

    P.S. I agree with people saying Carl Sagan would like this, so do it for Carl.

  39. How about…Good friends are like stars…even after they are burnt out and dead they are still with you.

  40. Well said. Stupid expression anyway. How about…

    “Friends are like stars. You know they’re there but you can never see them when you live in the city because of too much light pollution.”

  41. My friends are like stars because you can’t see them in the day because they are all hungover and sleeping and hiding from the light. They come out at night with twinkly outfits and they wink a lot and try to get laid.

    I should work for Hallmark.

    The RB

  42. That made total sense, especially the part about the stars already being dead but the light still shines. Unfortunately, that’s how many friendships are.

    Hope you’re doing better. Sending love.

  43. Good friends are like stars. Most of them are dwarves. ….You know, cause dwarves are good friends; they can crawl into tiny spaces and fight orcs and trolls with you.

  44. And this is what the next book will be about; well known sayings, looked at with fresh eyes! Possibly the fresh burning eyes of deceased ‘friends’.

  45. i was on fire. but only once. and it was because i was wearing an acrylic sweater and light a cigarette. POOF. arm up in flames. good times.

  46. I love you. I once had a cat catch fire. She draped her tail over a candle. Fortunately she’s a medium haired cat and I put it out quickly, so she never felt a thing, but she gave me an annoyed look for all the dancing around and screaming I did. :p

  47. As I’ve aged my hearing has become “challenged” which has worked out great because what I think I hear is often more interesting than what has actually been said. Now it seems to hold true for what I read. I read the post “Astronomy class ruined my sense of romance” and thought it was originally “Anatomy class ruined my sense of romance” which could be true also.

  48. Sounds just like a conversation that my friends and I would have… but it would start something like, “Aw man, I heard this ridiculously sweet quote that was so inaccurate. Let’s come up with a better one. One that sucks less. Here’s a napkin.”

  49. My favorite friendship quote is:

    “Friendship is like peeing on yourself: everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings.”
    ? Robert Bloch

    Nothing to do with flaming balls of gas floating in space, but it’s still funny.

  50. So, maybe stars should be your enemies? Then you could look at them and think, “I really hated her. I’m glad she is a star instead of something really awesome like a Tardis.”

  51. Most of the stars we can *see* are not dead, since they are close to us and the light gets to us in thousands of years, which is tiny compared to the billions of years that a star can live.

  52. I rewcmmend reading afet4r a half boittl;e of pink miscakto, yoiu cant concebterare on reading and you are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 <3 u so much jenny!!

  53. It’s a tree falling in the forest thing. They’re not dead until/unless we perceive them as dead. Don’t say “you’re dead to me” unless you’re dead serious.

  54. It reminds me of a while back when I said “I like my men like I like my coffee, strong and rich” then my sister and I came up with various endings to “I like my men like I like my coffee…”

    “…in a cup”
    “…made with a lot of non-dairy creamer”
    “…ground up and in my freezer”
    “…on ice”

    Needless to say, it got weird quickly. 🙂

  55. I was going to make some politically incorrect jokes about white dwarves and red giants, but I’ll just say Happy new Year instead!

  56. I LOVE this post!! My dad is an astrophysicist and I always got scientific answers to “kid” questions (note to parents if your child is between 2-4, she does not want the real answer to “why is the sky blue?”)
    May I offer “Fake friends are like stars; balls of gas who appear close but are actually very distant.”

  57. Reminds me of one of my husband’s favorite sayings: “Friends are like potatoes. If you eat them, they die.”

  58. I think many of the people we currently see, much like the stars, are already burnt-out and dead, but we just don’t know it yet and it makes me want to hug each and every one of them on the chance they have just a little light left in them.

  59. Is that a bit Schroedinger? you don’t know if the star-friends are alive or burnt-dead at any given moment?
    It may not be romantic, but it is more accurate….

  60. My grandma used to say “Friends are like stars, they shine a light for you when you’re in the dark.” Grandma was exceptionally kind. I like the dead and on fire thing better. Seems more real to me.

  61. I think I love you.

    It is true, that most of the stars we see aren’t there anymore. But does light or sound travel faster? Will we hear a sonic boom when the star finally blows?

    I need to do a blog series: Things that aren’t there anymore. Then I can really depress the shit out of people and make them WISH that December 21st wasn’t actually Mayan April Fool’s Day.

    This is going to be fun. Thanks for the inspiration, Jenny!

  62. How about this: Friends are like potatoes. If you eat them, they die.
    I found that somewhere on the internet, can’t remember where, but I thought it would be fitting!


  63. This is being featured over of the I fucking love science page but they didn’t cite you. Lots of readers pointed out their mistake so maybe this will be worked out by the time you wake up. So, never mind.

  64. I read this last week, and then this week saw that I Fucking Love Science posted it on their FB page . In the comments, someone directs it back to you, but I didn’t see that the original post had any reference. . .

  65. Or as I said to myself upon seeing that stupid plaque today… “They never seem to go out, but when they do it causes an explosion.”

  66. I read this just now to my husband, because we’re amused by a similar brand of nonsense. I thought you’d like to know that whenever I read him stuff from the Blogess, I preface that with “you know, the “totally radished her” lady,” and that’s how he knows you.

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