On a recent sleepless night around 3 a.m., I bought a bunch of mint-condition LIFE magazines from the spring on 1948 on Ebay. Reading about stuff that was going on in 1948 is good for my 2014-era anxieties, which are currently off the charts. When I consume a news magazine from 1948, I already know what’s going to happen in 1949 and 1950, and beyond; being a detached, omniscient observer feels weirdly reassuring. Also reassuring is the evidence that the world has always been a huge mess, and that maybe some things are improving (very, very slowly). Reading these old LIFE magazines feels so poignant because the writers and subjects within have no idea what lies ahead—they’re all struggling to make some sense of their time and place.
I quit a pretty well-paying job in marketing at the end of April, kind of on a whim. I had about a year’s worth of money saved up when I did that.
Because sometimes the universe is beautiful, near the end of 2014 I found a networking event that combined my love of too much alcohol and my love of pitching billion-dollar business ideas.
Yesterday, at the car dealership, the car salesman acted quickly.
What do you do? Where are you from? What are you interested in?
The creepiest part about getting robbed was how everything in my room was exactly as I had left it. I was at work when I found out what had happened, and it was hours before I could get home, so I had plenty of time to imagine the worst. In my head, the place was torn inside out, completely ransacked. Instead, just one thing was missing: my year-old MacBook Air.
Take it slow, because whatever numbers you and your fiance have come up with will be quickly obliterated.
In 2011, when I arrive at my parents’ house in Pittsburgh for the last time before they move across the country, I find wardrobe boxes in my old bedroom. In the kitchen, new appliances (toaster, faucet) have appeared, and the second floor bathrooms—tiny sinks; fifties tile—long ago merged into one spacious room, whose shower doesn’t take a year to heat up in winter. It’s as though the house knows my parents are leaving, and is shedding evidence of their presence plate by plate, wall-hanging by wall-hanging.
When you give money to a cause you know a person would hate, and you do it in their name.
In an essay that you’ve probably already read, this is where the writer segues into the costs of buying gifts, of the debt that accumulates at this time of year. In that essay, the writer details the fact that American retailers depend on the holiday season to turn enough of a profit for the year.
This is not that essay.