living. Real estate agents love me, and my work stands on its own merits.
decades. I didn’t even know there was a more… lascivious definition of the
intervention. My last unemployment check was in the bank. I was desperate. Rent
was due. The ad said cash paid at the end of the day.
in making a certain kind of movie. Turns out a “fluffer” doesn’t arrange
decorative pillows on a couch.
helping other people to be hard.
movie set. Will Lotham – my high school crush. The owner of the house where
we’re filming. Illegally. In a vacation rental.
staging gig turned into a nightmare involving pictures of me with a naked star,
Will rescuing me from an arrest, and a humiliating lesson in my own naivete.
what’s easier than I ever imagined?
tonight. I have a date,” I blurt out, remembering David. The dating app. The
asshole who isn’t an asshole.
haven’t met him, so that judgment remains withheld.
Will asks, intrigued.
date. You know, that thing where you go out with someone who has no intention
of really getting to know you and you spend the entire time eating bread that
doesn’t taste as good as your date claims and trying to decide whether to
initiate rescue-text sequences with your mom.”
your idea of a date?”
actual experience of every date I’ve had since college.”
dating the wrong guys.” He holds my gaze for just a little too long. I look
keep fishing in the pond if I ever want to catch a different one.”
the way you talk to your dates, I am beginning to understand why they all turn
out so badly.”
accuse me of being a bad date. I’m a great date! I Google the guy in advance
and read his LinkedIn profile. I make sure I don’t wear super-tall heels in
case he lied about his height on his dating profile. I pretend to care about
all his hobbies and don’t reveal that I’m secretly tallying all the
micro-aggressions he’s sending my way during appetizers and wine. And if he
makes it to dessert, well–” I falter.
it to dessert, do you?” Will asks, eyebrows up. He drops them quickly, wincing.
not that I don’t. He doesn’t!”
It’s just that he always has a thing.”
emergency. Or a dog with a twisted bowel. Or a grandma in the ER.”
guys used the twisted-canine-intestine thing?”
sit down and sag against his teenage desk, elbows sliding forward, fingers deep
in my hair. “I looked it up. There’s an entire subreddit devoted to inventive
ways to get out of a bad date.”
here you are.” He leans against the edge of his desk. “Trying again.”
gleam. “Maybe you should start your dates with that line. ‘Hi. I’m Mallory
Monahan. I’m a masochist.’ You’d definitely make it to dessert.”
writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult
rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes.