Your writing makes me mad at how good it is. I also love that I'm not the only one who rolls my eyes at Gatsby parties. I've said on many occasions, "It's not a Gatsby party unless someone ends up dead in the pool at the end. Otherwise, it's just a sparkling prohibition party."

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New York is a party which is why everyone wants to move here but also why we are all so miserable. I’m almost 10 years here now, trying to explain this to my 22 year old sister who wants to move here after college. You are never quite so lonely as after a bad party, stumbling home disappointed. You’re never quite so lonely as the day in New York that you discover it’s not a party. The money you are spending is real. The fights are real. Everything counts and this is real life. It’s not on pause. That it is a place where people have to live their life one day at a time like everyone else. She doesn’t believe me. Maybe one day she will.

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>People rightly make fun of it when anyone— a rich college student, a corporate event group, Governor’s Island—throws a “Great Gatsby themed party.”

Calls to mind the moment I spotted a copy of this novel on the coffee table of a high school friend, Gatsby rich from cofounding a day-trading firm, while visiting his Tribeca condo. I asked him what he'd thought of it.

"I never finished it," he said.

"You should," I replied.

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I haven’t watched succession or mad men but I LOVED this essay. It just kept getting better and then I loved the last line so much. Thank you for always putting feelings to words so beautifully Helena!

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Damn, once again you've absolutely hit it out of the park. Hope you stay safe over the Christmas period (although it doesn't feel particularly Christmas-y).

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Well, someone is like totally bummed out. And I say, sorry; back there in May it seemed obvious to me that everybody was getting way out over their skis with this 'hot vax summer' stuff (insert noises about cart before horse), so I ignored it, and now we're on the long deep down of the social media-accelerated manic-depressive roller coaster, and it's like, man, you guys gotta swim with the flow.

"for the person in your life who loves long weird essays about feelings (maybe that’s you, nothing says you can’t get yourself a gift)."

Except Substack, which literally sayeth to me that "you cannot get a gift for yourself". (WTF not, annoying tech bros? Get some therapy and quit being officious jerks! Sheesh.) I bumped it to 50$ anyway. Merry Holidays and Happy Christmas, and also, 2022 will actually be better, election campaign notwithstanding.

"Plagues and tornadoes and family estrangements are things that happen;"

I must confess: I like me a good thunderstorm with some nifty hail and a coupla minor tornadoes. Some window-rattling booms and a drenching rain is a perfect excuse to go outside dressed up like a total dork (cowboy hat, big yellow raincoat I snagged on a long-ago marlboro givaway, shorts and maybe no shoes) and stand around on rapidly-cooling concrete, ankle-deep in warming rain water and when a big BOOM unloads cut loose with some store brand Victor von Frankenstein laughter. (Dig the big blue marble doing it's thing - listen to the stiffs lose their mind.)

"Here, the season of parties shuts down with a whimper; December is just December, gray and tired."

Parties, here, sounds too much like goddamned to qualify as 'fun'. What you need is that thing where you don't care, fuck it, come over and we'll do something stupid and waste time. Seriously: people attack the holidays (or the parties) like work and then they're unhappy the holidays are like work. So maybe don't make it like work (or think of it like work) and then the problem goes away. Netflix and chill was a thing because it was easy and it worked, right? Right.


crucifixion's a doddle

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i spent a *lot* of my twenties and early 30s being Kendall Roy trying very hard to throw himself a party. at my old group house i hosted no fewer than four "Xth Annual 29th Birthday Party" events. in some ways i miss it, the anticipation and the feeling of being a connector, but i wouldn't know where to start now - who do i even know anymore?

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