Financially Compatible

December 15, 2020 | New York, NY

A man in Duane Reade astutely pointed out, “This pack of condoms is $29.99. Every time we have sex this month, it’ll cost us one dollar.”

His girlfriend smiled, satisfied.


September 14, 2020 | New York, NY

It started when she read The Secret.

“Tell the universe what you want, and you’ll get it,” the book whispered, “It’s as easy as ordering from a catalogue.”

She’d never thought of life that way. Up until now, most of life had felt like throwing homemade slime at the wall to see what stuck. She’d gotten used to this process, color-coded its many variations in her mind, made peace with it.

But the book said things could be different. And so, the question came: What did she want?

She thought about it all day and that night over a cup of tea and the next morning while brushing her teeth, and it came to her: she wanted to be married. Getting married, it seemed, was the quickest way to getting happy. It came with all the Things: something to talk about with her married friends other than their synced-up menstrual cycles, a chance to be in the spotlight, and of course, new outfits.

Plus, she already had a boyfriend. How hard could it be?

“See the things you want as already Yours,”said The Secret. So she poured a glass of wine and summed up the courage to “accidentally” share her Pinterest page of engagement rings with Boyfriend.

“See the things you want as already Yours,”said The Secret. She poured a glass of wine and summed up the courage to “accidentally” share her Pinterest page of engagement rings with Boyfriend. For good measure, she browsed those links on his computer so the cookies would follow him with targeted ads all around the Internet.

Suddenly, every aspect of life had purpose. Walls were no longer barriers, but a space to put up pictures of potential wedding destinations. Words held new meaning. “Want to order Chinese for dinner?” Boyfriend asked one night. “Yes,” she said, “I do.”

A few weeks later, she threw out her clothes and began wearing white dresses every day. “What happened to your other clothes?” Boyfriend asked. “This is all I look good in,” she said.

She was manifesting her reality.

A few weeks later, she threw out her clothes and began wearing white dresses every day. She was manifesting her reality.

Life went on that way until one evening, she caught Boyfriend staring at her.

“I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been feeling like we’re meant to spend our lives together,” he said. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring. (The one featured three times on her “Dream Ringz” Pinterest board)

“I can’t believe this,” she said, “This is coming out of nowhere.”

Boyfriend got down on one knee.  

“What do you think?” he asked.

The word came up to her throat. Yes!

But she had just started reading The Art of War. “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night,” the book whispered.

“Let me get back to you,” she told him.

She was wise that way.

The Planner

July 20, 2020 | New York, NY

For the first time in months, she reached into her desk drawer and pulled out her gold 2020 planner. She cracked it open and breathed in. It smelled new, filled with possibility for the year ahead. The year that she was going to get bangs.

It was right there in her last entry: “March 12, 2020: Get bangs.”

She’d sensed deep down that bangs would change her life. Perhaps (along with hiding some persistent acne), a sheet of hair against her forehead would make her feel young again, glowing with innocence, untethered to a life of daily minutiae. The only thing between the present moment and the woman she was meant to become was a good fringe.

She was pretty sure.

She’d never believed in conspiracies, but it was kind of strange that in the same week her life was supposed to change, a global pandemic hit. It felt a little too specific that they closed down all the salons and hordes of online articles warned women, “Do NOT cut your own bangs at home.” That we’d entered a time of major civil unrest and possibly the worst economy since the Great Depression – a period for which, she thought wistfully, bangs would have looked great.

She sighed – then opened her computer, made a donation to a trending charity, took a screenshot, posted it on her page, and went on with her day.

Maybe she’d have to wait until 2021 to change her life.



October 21, 2019 | New York, NY

“You’re sophisticated,” he said, taking a bite of his salad.

She considered this. A lifetime of studying magazines, movies, and TV shows had taught her there are things it’s better to be a little of (shy, clumsy, cynical) and things it’s better to be a lot of (witty, ballsy, good-smelling).

‘Phisticated’ by itself was never enough.
You had to be a lot of it.

She’d been trying really, really hard and now, look at her – so phisticated. She swirled her wine, took a sip, tasted the tannins, and graciously accepted the compliment.