This is CNN: Not your mom

By U-Wire

My CNN.com home page is always a sight to behold. Every morning, as I glaze over the headlines before moving on to more concerning things – Nordstrom.com, for example – I read headlines such as “Naked man eschews court dress code” or “Lap dances were real, Benjamins weren’t.” This is not to say that there is no legitimate news on the site, just that it is frequently peppered with articles about men who can’t keep it in their pants.

But recently, CNN.com started offering me advice. Now, I realize that CNN is not Mr. Miyagi, Oprah or an oracle of any kind, but the editors of the news site seem to think otherwise.

It started out with “12 simple home repairs” and “10 ways to get ahead.” I resisted the implication that my home was in shambles and the belief that I was somehow behind in life, but I’m sure all CNN wanted to do was to help.

But then CNN asked me, with a concerning voice and a comforting pat on the arm, if I had any frenemies.

For a second I was confused. Was that a fried food? Or an unpleasant skin disease that I might have contracted on an airplane? Dear God!

But then a picture of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, those twin paragons of decency and virtue, made everything clear.

A frenemy is a clever portmanteau derived from the words “friend” and “enemy.” It refers to a friend (usually a girl) with whom one has a love-hate relationship. Or in the case of Paris and Nicole, it is someone you hate but pretend to be friends with in order to promote your show.

Quibbles aside, CNN – in addition to wanting to show off its witty, new favorite word – wanted to know if I had a frenemy.

Oh, CNN, I could feel the sincerity in your heart as you asked about my emotional well-being. First you told me all about “frenemies,” of which I have already heard. With your examples pulled straight from the headlines of Us Weekly, you assured me that I was not alone. Heidi Montag and Lauren “L.C.” Conrad – from “The Hills,” “Laguna Beach,” “Laguna Hills” or whatever that show is called – went through the same thing.

And it wasn’t just them. Yes, CNN, you told me that girls fighting with each other, making up and then fighting again was a “phenomenon.” At this point, I wondered if you weren’t hyping this up a little. Yes, it seemed to me that a “frenemy” is really just a word for girls who are catty. If that’s a phenomenon, then so is the wheel.

But you pressed on, CNN, your dulcet tones recounting tales of regular women, women just like me, who had been stabbed in the back by venomous girlfriends, only to turn around and forgive them. And before I could stop you to say, “No, really! All my friends are nice. I don’t think I have frenemies,” you were consulting a relationship coach from Connecticut and telling me that I needed a support network.

Look, CNN, I know your intentions were good. You wanted me to re-evaluate my friendships and make sure I wasn’t being abused by my friends. But I think you overstepped your boundaries. You are not Cosmo, the only publication from which I accept advice on relationships. Nor are you my mother, the only person from whom I tolerate free advice and personal questions – which, frankly, I tend to rebuff.

You are a news network, CNN. You can tell me about Alberto Gonzales, the French Prime Minister or even about the potential outcome of a race between David Beckham and a Tyrannosaurus rex. But please, for the love of portmanteau words, don’t turn into my mother. The last thing I need is to wake up in the morning and see the headline, “Are you wearing your retainer enough?”