Unfortunately, the first in what will probably be a long series of uncomfortably reflective lists

Things I Learned From Every Relationship I’ve Had Since College (aka "lessons in the charting of a self-esteem")

1998-1999: "The Creature" (tm Amy): I belong entirely in clothes from Banana Republic; I am sort of "cute" but in no way "pretty"; I cannot pull off a backless shirt; the EverQuest video game is more valuable than I am; I am "reactionary" (I think he meant "reactive," as opposed to "Grover Norquist-esque"); going back to graduate school will earn me "no respect, ever again"

1999-2001: "The Husband": Before marriage I can wear things as I see fit; after marriage I must cover my dirtypillows because the "belong" to my husband; everything I do is proof positive of a torrid affair, including the contents of my fiction-writing journal (4 a.m. interrogation when the family’s sole breadwinner has to be up in four hours to go work while the other one jerks off playing Internet poker the rest of the day is to be expected).

2002-2005: "The Nice One": I am pretty cool and reasonably attractive. Premature domesticity is probably a bad idea. Sweatshirts carry unexpected emotional weight. "The Office" is the greatest series ever shown on the television. Because I have bagged one guy who was in a movie once, I can now get any movie star/comedian I want.

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