Tag Archives: Molly Meng


Question: do you buy birthday presents for yourself? If so, how nice are they? Do you feel selfish, like when you bought that very expensive bag for yourself instead of feeding your 12 kids who lived in a shoe? Oh…hang on…different thread…

Last year, I bought a piece of artwork for my birthday from my friend Molly Meng and I love it.

It’s a good backstory – let’s digress. I saw an exhibit of Molly’s work in Candystore, and the one I wanted to buy for R was already sold. Sadness. Then I saw mine. So I bought that and kept it wrapped up until my birthday. Yay birthday!

But I couldn’t stop thinking about the sold one, so I got Molly’s name from the store owner and tracked her down and asked her if she’d make another one for me to give to R for his birthday. She said, “Yes,” (as they always do in lovely stories), I met Molly, she’s excellent and now we’re friends. Yay friends!

So here’s the thing: was buying the artwork the right choice because birthdays are awesome and we all deserve our day or am I happy about it because I got the artwork and a friend? Because that’s gonna be a tough mark to hit again. “Hello, yes. I would like to buy this handsome necklace. Also, do you have any interesting people in the back? If so, I would like to meet them. Could you wrap him/her up with the gift? No, I don’t need a bag.”

Little Dickens


My friend Molly teaches first grade and got a handmade Christmas card from one of her kids. She produced it the other night and I almost got a cramp I was laughing so hard.

There’s a Christmas tree at the bottom and several oddly shaped gifts floating around it. Across the top, the child tried to write the message, “Happy Holidays Molly,” but a couple of things went wrong.

First, he ran out of space for the first two words on the top line, so “holidays” breaks at the “s”, leaving


He also used a yellow crayon on yellow paper for his “h”s, so they’re pretty much invisible, reducing the message to


Try saying that out loud. Go on. Say it loudly. Pretend you’re Eliza Doolittle. Or a chimney sweep. “‘Appy ‘oliday, Smolly!” You definitely have a cockney accent. I can hear it from over here.

Now that it’s in my head, I can’t stop using it. The message is surprisingly universal: “Smolly”, being no one’s actual name, makes a good all purpose nickname, and it is Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day, and those are still ‘olidays, so you can get some mileage out of it for another day or two. Enjoy. ‘Appy Valentine’s, Smolly!

I read porn

Check out my pal Molly’s sophisticated taste: she reads The New Yorker and gets her New York fix. Go Molly!

I got The New Yorker for ages. It languished. I couldn’t read it fast enough and that made me feel guilty. Also, I only read bits of it. As a New Yorker and an intellectual of sorts, I feel ought to have enjoyed it as much as everyone else does. Maybe that’s because I’m 2/3 of the way through half a dozen heavyweight non-fiction books on psychology and society and I can only take so much. Also, it’s like NPR: I can only listen to that same tone for so many hours before I can’t anymore. Does that make me a bad New Yorker?

Instead, I read straight-out New York porn: New York Magazine, you are my secret honey. You even have a centerfold and I love you for that. Plus, you like sunsets and puppies and walks on the beach. No way! Me too! And yes, I read it for the articles, so get off my back.