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TUSCALOOSA, AL—Longing for the day their bickering at last grew into something more, local woman Nadia Samuelson told reporters Tuesday that she was still holding onto hope that her toxic friendship with area man Michael Nussbaum could blossom into a toxic relationship. “Even though nothing’s happened yet, I know there’s still a chance he and I will one day go from being mutually destructive friends to romantic partners who will completely undermine each other’s well-being,” said Samuelson, adding that she was confident Nussbaum also felt, deep down, the same desire to take their twisted codependence to the next level. “Don’t get me wrong, I’ve really loved being this unhealthy platonic presence in his life, but at a certain point that’s not enough. You want the psychological damage you inflict to be special.” Samuelson went on to say that she could even see herself settling down with Nussbaum and starting a deeply dysfunctional family with kids she’d resent more than anything in the world.
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Although it is difficult to state precisely what these ritualised relationships were, most historians who have studied them are fairly certain that they deal with a species of "ritualised kinship" that is covered by the term "brotherhood." (This type of "brotherhood" is similar to the ritualised agreements struck between members of the Mafia or other "men of honour" in our own society.) That explains why the texts on adelphopoiesis in the prayerbooks are embedded within sections dealing with other kinship-forming rituals, such as marriage and adoption. Giovanni Tomassia in the 1880s and Paul Koschaker in the 1930s, whose works Boswell knows and cites, had already reached this conclusion. 
This version of How to Maintain a Friendship was reviewed by Trudi Griffin, LPC on October 27, 2017.
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