This is our 2nd most-read article of 2018.
Originally published February 6.
The cop asks if I know why he pulled me over.
“Because my taillight is out?”
“Yes ma’am, it’s not a huge deal, but it could be a potential safety issue. I’m happy to escort you to a busy and well-lit garage a few blocks up run entirely by female mechanics. I won’t give you a ticket if you can take care of it now.”
“That’s fair,” I say, my eyes lingering over his clearly visible badge and identification.
I get catcalled on the street by a construction worker. He says that he can see I’m smart because I have enormous books. He tells me he’s reading the latest Zadie Smith novel. I invite him to join my book club, and spend all night fantasizing about his insightful commentary around non-linear plot structure.
“Why don’t we invite your friend over?” he suggests, testing the waters. “There’s nothing I love more than watching two women in sweatpants engaging in hot political discourse. I love to watch… how you always let each other finish speaking without interrupting. I’ll also make nachos.”
A stranger at a bar introduces himself, and the conversation is flowing.
He leans in close and murmurs throatily, “Would you like to get out of here and go to my place?”
“Oh, I’m gay,” I reply.
He says, “That’s cool. I’ve enjoyed talking to you. I won’t try to convince you that you need to sleep with a man to know if you’re really gay, because only a huge jerk would do that. Anyway, did you think Dunkirk was confusing?”
“Congress is now 50-50 women,” my partner whispers, pouring me a delicious glass of calorie-free wine. “And ‘pro-life’ no longer refers to abortion, but to a consistent position based on helping all people reach their fullest potential. Would you like a foot massage? It’s not a fetish, I just know how hard you work.”
I hear a box truck backing up in my driveway. Tom Hardy steps out, wearing a tight T-shirt that says WILD FEMINIST. He politely asks my permission to step inside to fill up my whole refrigerator with free LaCroix and play with my rescue dog every Tuesday forever. I consent clearly and enthusiastically.
“Maybe it’s time for some roleplay," my husband murmurs, trying to get me in the mood.
“Okay.” I giggle.
“I’ll be a big Hollywood producer, and you’re a rising starlet.”
“Hot,” I say, nuzzling his neck. “Tell me more.”
“I see your spectacular… talent and I treat you with respect.” His hands are wandering. "I line up a female screenwriter, director, and cinematographer for your next film.”
I moan as he continues.
“Your box office receipts are soooo big that studio heads are finally convinced that women-driven films are bankable. Not only that, Greta Gerwig wins her tenth Oscar.”
“Yes!” I shout. “Cast me now!”
I meet a scientist on Tinder. They go on and on about their biggest professional achievement — the serum that made Ruth Bader Ginsburg immortal. It drives me wild. I don my naughtiest jabot and my sex gavel.
The doorbell rings. It’s the plumber.
“I’m here for that very, very big job you needed done,” he says. “Sorry I’m a few minutes late. I was liking all of Maxine Waters’s tweets and lost track of time. I was a very bad boy and I’m sorry.”
He toys with the zipper on his coverall.
“You’re clearly the man for the job,” I say. “Lay some pipe for me NOW.”
He lays my new copper pipes as we chat about the 2018 midterm elections.
He calls me into his office and closes the door… to promote me. He promotes me again and again. I am wild with ecstasy.
“Who’s your favorite comedian?” I ask the producer shyly after he compliments my set. Please don’t say Louis CK, please don’t say Louis CK, I think to myself but also fully say out loud.
“Aparna Nancherla,” he replies. “I can get you on a bill with her since I know her manager professionally. You could be a big star. But to be crystal clear, I’ll do that regardless of any personal relationship between us. I just like to see talented, hard-working women succeed in comedy.”
The pizza delivery car pulls up outside. It’s right on time and so, so hot. The delivery guy hands it over with an appropriate smile and says, “Enjoy, I hope you’re not sharing it with anyone if you don’t want, I believe everyone is in control of their own bodies and should never be shamed for what they decide to eat or not eat.” He makes no effort to come inside because that would be weird and alarming. I smile and give him a reasonable tip for his normal behavior as I shut the door.
Time for The Crown.
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An interview with the writers about making this piece.