1. While researching how to comport yourself during a Skype job interview, discover that a top piece of career advice for Skype interviews is: “Wear pants, not just the top half of your interview outfit.”

2. Think, “Jeez, what kind of nincompoop wouldn’t wear pants?”

3. Think, “Me.” Because until that moment, you’ve planned to wear your jacket and floppy-bow blouse up top, and — out of Skype window, out of mind — your 99-cent store reindeer-patterned tights below.

3.A. Because why wrinkle your good pants, when you’ve got reindeer tights? You need those good…

What can researching human responses to rejection tell us about ourselves?

Illustration by Kyle Griggs

One spring day on Long Island, I perused hundreds of photos of single, dateable men on a computer. One man had a thick, black mane — he was a stylist in Manhattan’s Koreatown — and was hugging a smiley pug. Did I like him? Awww: I clicked Very Likely Yes. One man was a banker: Definitely No: sorry, bankers. One was a thirty-something, chiseled-featured man with an orange plaid scarf casually knotted around his neck, whom I’ll call Matthew for his resemblance to a young McConaughey. Dang. Definitely Yes.

Ten minutes later, a response from Matthew flashed across the screen…

Over the past two years, I did some strenuous dating. Most of the people I went out with never got to learn my last name — or even my first name, since I went by a nickname on dating sites. Of the few who got second dates, some got to know what I worked on, a few clicked through everything on my website, and three bought my book, as a surprise for me.

“OMG,” said I. “You don’t have to buy my book till date four.” Because the numbers said that I probably wasn’t going to keep dating them, and…

Alison Kinney

AVIDLY READS OPERA (NYU Press Oct 2021) and HOOD (Bloomsbury 2016). Words @ Paris Review Daily, TNY, NYT, Lapham’s Quarterly, Longreads, The Guardian, VAN

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