Laurel Manderley, who like most of the magazine’s high level interns wore exquisitely chosen and coordinated professional attire, permitted herself a small diamond stud in one nostril that Atwater found slightly distracting in face to face exchanges, but she was extremely shrewd and pragmatic—she had actually been voted Most Rational by the Class of ’96 at Miss Porter’s School. She was also all but incapable of writing a simple declarative sentence and thus could not, by any dark stretch of the imagination, ever be any kind of rival for Atwater’s salaryman position at Style. […]

Many of Style’s upper echelon interns convened for a working lunch at Chambers Street’s Tutti Mangia restaurant twice a week, to discuss issues of concern and transact any editorial or other business that was pending, after which each returned to her respective mentor and relayed whatever was germane. It was an efficient practice that saved the magazine’s paid staffers a great deal of time and emotional energy. […]

A fellow WITW staff intern, who also roomed with Laurel Manderley and three other Wellesleyites in a basement sublet near the Williamsburg Bridge, related a vignette that her therapist had once shared with her about dating his wife, whom the therapist had originally met when both of them were going through horrible divorces, and of their going out to dinner on one of their early dates and coming back and sitting with glasses of wine on her sofa, and of she all of a sudden saying, ‘You have to leave,’ and he not understanding, not knowing whether she was kicking him out or whether he’d said something inappropriate or what, and she finally explaining, ‘I have to take a dump and I can’t do it with you here, it’s too stressful,’ using the actual word dump, and of so how the therapist had gone down and stood on the corner smoking a cigarette and looking up at her apartment, watching the light in the bathroom’s frosted window go on, and simultaneously, one, feeling like a bit of an idiot for standing out there waiting for her to finish so he could go back up, and, two, realizing that he loved and respected this woman for baring to him so nakedly the insecurity she had been feeling. He had told the intern that standing on that corner was the first time in quite a long time he had not felt deeply and painfully alone, he had realized. […]

A polished, shallow, earnest, productive, consummate corporate pro. Over the past three years, Skip Atwater had turned in some 70 separate pieces to Style, of which almost 50 saw print and a handful of others ran under rewriters’ names. A volunteer fire company in suburban Tulsa where you had to be a grandmother to join. When Baby Won’t Wait—Moms who never made it to the hospital tell their amazing stories. Drinking and boating: The other DUI. Just who really was Slim Whitman. This Grass Ain’t Blue—Kentucky’s other cash crop. He Delivers—81 year old obstetrician welcomes the grandchild of his own first patient. Former Condit intern speaks out. Today’s forest ranger: He doesn’t just sit in a tower. Holy Rollers—Inline skateathon saves church from default. Eczema: The silent epidemic. Rock ’n’ Roll High School—Which future pop stars made the grade? Nevada bikers rev up the fight against myasthenia gravis. Head of the Parade—From Macy’s to the Tournament of Roses, this float designer has done them all. The All Ads All The Time cable channel. Rock of Ages—These geologists celebrate the millennium in a whole new way. Sometimes he felt that if not for his schipperkes’ love he would simply blow away and dissipate like milkweed. The women who didn’t get picked for Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire: Where did they come from, to what do they return. Leapin’ Lizards—The Gulf Coast’s new alligator plague. One Lucky Bunch of Cats—A terminally ill Lotto winner’s astounding bequest. Those new home cottage cheese makers: Marvel or ripoff? Be(-Happy-)Atitudes—This Orange County pastor claims Christ was no sourpuss. Dramamine and NASA: The untold story. Secret documents reveal Wallis Simpson cheated on Edward VIII. A Whole Lotta Dough—Delaware teen sells $40,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies . . . and isn’t finished yet! For these former agoraphobics, home is not where the heart is. Contra: The thinking person’s square dance. […] Hopping Mad—This triple amputee isn’t taking health care costs lying down. The meth lab next door! Mrs. Gladys Hine, the voice behind over 1,500 automated phone menus. The Dish—This Washington D.C. caterer has seen it all. Computer solitaire: The last addiction? No Sweet Talkin’—Blue M&Ms have these consumers up in arms. Dallas commuter’s airbag nightmare. Menopause and herbs: Exciting new findings. Fat Chance—Lottery cheaters and the heavyweight squad that busts them. Seance secrets of online medium Duwayne Evans. Ice sculpture: How do they do that? […]

David Foster Wallace, The Suffering Channel, in Oblivion, 2004

Added to diary 27 June 2018