Issue 11 - Hacks that Make Jules Jealous

A weekly dose of fun and friendship to your inbox

In this week’s newsletter:

🔗 Three Friendship Hacks
Getting in before Julian Assange does

👕 Do Touch the Merchandise (II)
Is your wardrobe looking a little stale?

🔗 Staying Mates is Easy As 1, 2, 3

Getting older means lots of things. Body hair. Pubic hair. Facial hair. Grey hair. Hair in drain. No hair. Ear hair. (For those interested, I’m currently somewhere between phase five and six.) But more than that, for me it has meant a decline in time spent with the people I most enjoy.

An alarming fact hammering this point home is that, generally speaking, once you move out of home, at say 21 (or nearer to 41 for millennials trying to survive Australia’s cost of living crisis), you’ve spent over 90% of the time you will get with your parents. From there it’s not much more than a couple of weekends a year. Dinner once a month. Whatever. Which really doesn’t add up to a lot.

For me, I expect the equation is similar with respect to my friends, now I’m long finished school, and have stopped playing sport - the two major occasions for organised mingling in my youth. It’s a sad proposition, but one that modern technology can, at least in part, overcome.

So here’s my top three tips to stay connected with your mates as you get older.

Hacks so good they make Jules jealoous

1) Send a short video to the group chat once a week.

It doesn’t have to be exhaustive. In fact, for everyone’s sake, don’t let it be - but a one to two minute long video, offering a little life update. ie. - What you’ve been up to. What you’ve got coming up. What’s been going well. What’s not. Whatever - will work wonders.

This week I sent one to my friends explaining that I saw Jerry Seinfeld perform on Sunday, and I’m still buried in boxes from moving house. My mate informed me he’s starting a new business. Another mentioned he’s battling Covid 19 (I know… that’s still a thing?!). And another told us how his partner is almost ready to pop with their first baby.

It’s like a short coffee date with your friends, where you can see them in the flesh (albeit digitally), read their body language, hear one of their bad jokes, and just stay involved in the day to day of each others lives.

It won’t always be riveting, but it will always be appreciated.

We do it every Wednesday and call it a Wednesday Waffle, which works for us, but know other groups do a Seedy Sunday, Monday Download, Spill the Tea Tuesday’s and so on. Just pick a day of the week and send yours off. It’ll soon become a habit.

And spit (see: talk) on that thing (see: to that friend)

2) Create an Annual Tradition

Fifteen years ago, 17 friends and I started putting $10 each a week into a joint account, with little to no plan for what that money might eventually be used for. Turns out, all these years later we still don’t really know.

We’ve “invested” some - think crypto (buy high, HODL, sell low). We’ve donated some to worthy causes close to us. We’ve taken holidays to expensive beach houses. Mostly though, we’ve had spirited debate about purchasing Melbourne Cup winning equine and fantasised about trips to Las Vegas. But the one thing we always do with some of that money is have a big Christmas party together, and it’s amazing.

Each year a “planning committee” of three is elected, and they’re in charge of the event. Their goal is simple, to put on the most extravagant bash, and ensure it’s bigger and better than what their predecessors produced.

It’s evolved from a barrel of beer in someones backyard, to a day boasting a riverboat cruise, fine dining meal, merchandise, a mystery bus ride, and open bar. The lavish affair isn’t what makes this day so enjoyable though. It sounds corny, but it’s the company.

The beauty of this occasion is that it has pre-dated any of our romantic relationships, or people having kids, and is an annual tradition that’s booked in every year, so everyone makes sure they’re there.

This traditional aspect is invaluable, and the secret ingredient for ensuring your friends stay connected. So give it a go. It doesn’t have to involve putting money in every week, but that has worked for us and keeps us all accountable to one another.

Cruising in good company is the best kinda business

3) Create a Club

I’ve never had any interest in football tipping, and NBA, EPL or NFL fantasy is my idea of hell, so when my friends asked me to join their competition some years ago, I declined. A year or two later, in a moment of weakness, I opted in and oh how I’d been missing out, in more ways than one. The competition is fierce. The communication is constant.

If you happen to do something outrageous, like go out for dinner with your partner, see a movie, or simply leave your phone in the car for an hour, you’re likely to return to 100 new messages giving a blow by blow account of any one of about half a dozen different ball games. It’s a great bedtime read.

Midweek, when the sport slows down, the chatter continues, covering a variety of topics ranging from the good old days, to more general rot. It’s the perfect excuse to engage with mates every week in winter, and keep abreast of what they’re up to.

At seasons end, we catch up in person for a “break up”. The bottom three tipsters are obliged to pay for the nights food and drinks, which is always done in good spirits. While a newer tradition, this is another of those annual events that ensures time in each others company.

This could just as easily work for a book club, album club or film club. Whatever the interest group, find one that works for your friends and give it a go.

For us, when the season comes to an end, the group chat continues on with the promise of more frequent get togethers. But people are busy, so it rarely ever eventuates. It just so happens, though, that the stars have aligned this week and we’re getting an arvo together. I can’t wait.

Get a tipping competition, book club, or arts and crafts group going with your mates and make sure you get together for an end of year break up!

Another kind of club


If you enjoyed this (or didn’t) send email feedback to [email protected] - I appreciate it all, good and less good.

👕 Fresh Merchandise, Friends

A few lovely people have supported me, and effectively said “thanks for introducing me to the Wednesday Waffle” by buying some merch. CHEERS.

If you would like to be a fashion icon good bloke / lass / non-binary bud, and look dapper too, please check out the range here. Hey, why not gift a top to someone you waffle with as well.

WOW. a random person wearing WW merch (in my house)

🎥 Credits Sequence Set to Music

You did it! You’re (almost) at the end.

Please continue to spread the Wednesday Waffle message to your friends and family. The best way to do that is by signing your besties up to receive this email, or by forwarding it on.

If you have feedback, please reach out to me at [email protected] - I love to hear peoples thoughts, so don’t be shy.

Until next Wednesday, keep waffling 🧇