MY FRIENDS and I play a game sometimes called “What’s Your Personal Hell?”
If there were a Hell . . . and you were unfortunate enough to end up there . . . and the punishments were designed to be the worst possible thing for each particular person . . . what would yours be? What’s the worst thing you could imagine suffering for all eternity?
For my friend Natalie, it would be a world without men.
Natalie likes meeting men almost as much as she likes crushing their dreams of settling down in a cute little house and making babies . . . dreams which she seems to inspire in every man she meets, though she has no intention of doing any such thing.
She’s stunning—over six feet in her perpetual three-inch heels, with green eyes, black hair, and a wardrobe of minis and micro-minis and even-smaller-than-micro-minis by obscure Italian designers. Plus, she’s what they call “independently wealthy” . . . meaning she doesn’t really have to have a job. She does a bit of modeling, but mostly devotes herself to seducing the city’s most eligible bachelors—and the city’s least eligible bachelors—and pretty much all the bachelors in between. I’d definitely hate her if she weren’t my best friend.
For my other best friend, Melissa, her personal Hell would be a messy apartment that never got clean.
Melissa was the valedictorian of our graduating class at Cornell, earned her MBA at Columbia, and now works as a management consultant. She puts in eighty hour weeks, and still manages to find time to keep the apartment we all share spotless (Natalie and I tend to throw our clothes on the floor and leave half-empty containers of Haagen-Dazs melting on the kitchen counters), train for the New York City Marathon—oh, and spend time with Brandon, whom she met in the MBA program. He’s now a V.P. at a successful software company, and he recently put a sparkling three carat diamond on her perfectly manicured finger.
Mel’s beautiful too—blonde and petite and impeccably put together, from her pencil skirts to her blazers to the string of pearls that never leaves her neck. Needless to say, when the three of us go out, I don’t get a lot of attention.
Me? My personal Hell would be spending eternity dating in New York.
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