A lot of us have new officemates: our partners. Here’s how a relationship can thrive despite the closeness.

Photo: WestEnd61/Getty Images

Now that my husband and I have been self-isolating and working together at home for more than two weeks, it’s time for a performance review.

Alex is a highly competent employee with problem-solving skills that make him a leader in the institution. He has a unique ability to work both holistically and with extreme attention to detail. Some skills Alex can work on are drinking tea less ostentatiously and lowering the volume of his constant, anguished sighs.

I already knew my husband was good at his job before coronavirus quarantine made us co-workers. I’d seen him answer emails and heard…

This Works for Me

Working together to win a game reveals a lot about a relationship

Credit: destructoid.com

“Do something!” I said, desperately.

“It’s done,” my husband replied.

This is our marriage in Overcooked 2: Carnival of Chaos. We found the video game at the end of a quest for a shared indoor activity. As a pair of neurotic overachievers, we spend many of our nonworking hours trying not to fret about our jobs.

My husband tends to worry about whether everyone is secretly disappointed with him, and I about whether I’ve relinquished too much control or put myself into circumstances that I can’t succeed in. …


In a new book, scholars unpack the idea of anti-fandom, from ‘Star Wars’ to Martha Stewart to Hillary Clinton

Credit: Jamie Powell/EyeEm/Getty

In case you didn’t notice, people seem pretty angry lately. There’s the vitriol you see printed on T-shirts and chanted at Trump rallies and the “Can you believe he said that?” tweets and “I know!” replies. There was the torrent of abuse poured on Leslie Jones and the cast of Ghostbusters when the female-led remake came out and the heated resentment aimed at the Star Wars team for featuring Kelly Marie Tran, an Asian-American actor, in The Last Jedi. There are the people meme-ing Tom Brady kissing his son on the lips and the people who are still burning effigies…

“I like to remain pessimistic about the future because that encourages me to do everything I need to to ensure an optimistic future.”

Illustration: Claire Merchlinsky

Honolulu, Hawaii

Medium: Have you lived in Hawaii your whole life?

Yankun Zhao: No, I have not, actually. I was originally born in China, and I moved to the islands in 2010. My stepdad is American, and my mom is from China, and around early elementary school, my stepfather realized that the education that they were teaching in China, specifically English, was not on par to what he experienced.

What struck you most when you moved here?

Well, I think first is the diversity. I actually landed in San Francisco first, because I was planning to visit my grandparents when I first came to America. When I got to the airport, there were just people of all…

“Even though you struggle, it’s about how you bounce back.”

Illustration: Rebecca Clarke

Morris Plains, New Jersey

Medium: You run track. Do you get nervous before meets?

Abigail Gringeri: I mean, yeah, who doesn’t?

How do you calm yourself down?

I kind of just remind myself that I’m always going to have another try. And to be honest, I enjoy the practices more than the meets. They don’t mean so much. You can just chill out with your friends and have a good time [at practice], where the meets are more competitive. But I try my best because that’s all you can do.

What’s your grade point average?

Right now, it’s 5.13. That’s a weighted GPA. We use a 6.0 scale, so if you get an A in an AP class, it’s worth 6.0…

“I’m not really sure what I want to do yet.”

Illustration: Rebecca Clarke

Portage, Michigan

Medium: What are your duties as the news editor at your school paper?

Lauren McColloey: We help come up with stories, and then make sure people are keeping up with them.

What do you look for in a good story?

I guess timeliness and what people will be most interested in reading about.

What keeps you up at night?

School. [laughs]

Like your classes or social things?


What’s your hardest class right now?


What are you doing in English?


Speeches are so scary.

I know.

Are you working on a speech right now that you’ll have to deliver?

Yeah, we do our first one on Wednesday.

What is yours about?

I read Jane Eyre, so I have to deliver an analytical speech about it.

Is there anything that you do to make yourself more comfortable when you talk in front of a group?

I always try to look right over their heads so I don’t have to look right at them.

Are you feeling generally optimistic or pessimistic?


Why is that?

Because — I don’t know. Even when we started doing this assignment, the person I’m sitting by is, like…

“The U.S. should be somewhere people can come to as a place of refuge and safety.”

Illustration: Rebecca Clarke

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Medium: How did you get involved with the youth group at your church?

Anna Blythe: I’ve been going to UPC [University Presbyterian Church] since I was, like, four years old. That’s where my dad grew up, and I kind of just grew up going to church.

What kind of activities do you do in the youth group?

Well, we meet every Sunday during the school year, and we have dinner together. And last year we started this thing called Small Groups. Once a month, we’d break into our small groups, where there would be cooking, or we made crafts. And there were other nights where we’d just talk to each other. It really varies a lot.

What kind of things do you talk about in the discussion groups?

One time that stuck…

“Our generation is actually hyperemotional.”

Illustration: Shannon Wright

New Orleans, Louisiana

Medium: You were only four years old when Hurricane Katrina happened, but were you at all aware of what was going on?

Annaje Rious: Yeah, I was, because we evacuated, and my parents were honest with me. They told me there was a really big storm coming and that we had to go. I was a little scared, but we had evacuated before for hurricanes, so I thought, it’s probably no big deal. I don’t think I realized how bad it was until we got to Tennessee, which is where like my grandmother lived. I was sitting in front of the TV, and they put the news on and showed New Orleans looking destroyed.

Was your home damaged?

No, it was right on…

Anna Peele

Anna has written for The Washington Post Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, GQ, and Esquire. She lives in New York. @bananapeele + annapeele.com

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