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Stick a pencil in my retina

Diana DavisI was looking through some old flash drives today and found this pitch letter I wrote to an editor of some magazine way back in February 2009. I figured I’d share it in honor of everybody who has ever wanted to poke out their eyes from living like a Hobbit in a small Manhattan apartment (or anywhere else in the world).

Dear Kim,

I adore my boyfriend but lately I want to stick a pencil in his retina. Not just because he leaves his size 12 shoes in our size-10 hallway but more because I have nowhere else to put them. We live in an almost 400-square foot apartment in mid-town Manhattan. I’ve pared my belongings down to a sock, a toothbrush and a fork. He chose his X-Box over his winter coat. Our bed lives in the wall. We keep our rollerblades in the kitchen cupboard — there was a pebble in my Frito Lay bag the other day. It was the same day I made him stand in the hallway for 20 minutes because his onion breath was giving me heartburn. We’re very close. Literally.

Ikea provides millions of solutions for fitting shoes and hair products into spaces where the only hope for privacy is sticking your head out the window — but can we find room for a healthy, loving relationship? Like so many young couples struggling to survive through these tough economic times and living in the City that Never Sleeps, you can’t help but worry if your relationship is getting just as squashed as your favorite Louis Vuitton. I’ve got an expert ready to sit with me and give her best advice on how to make relationships work in even the smallest spaces.

Like Sinatra once belted so optimistically, “if we can make it here, we can make it anywhere.” He must have lived in a loft. Alone.

Here are a couple of things you may be wondering after reading that:

1. My “boyfriend” is now my husband. (Can you believe we actually got married after that? Love really is dumb.)

2. I have no idea who I was referring to when I said I have an “expert ready to sit with me.” I’m sure I was planning on using that high-pitched voice I save for solicitors.

3. Who is Kim? No clue. But I know she never called. Maybe she was afraid I would stick my pencil in her retina.

4. Yes, we live in a bigger place now. But we also have a baby so I had to say goodbye to my sock, toothbrush and fork and hello to a whole bunch of baby crap I’m still not sure how to use.

5. Yes! We really did get married after that! I know. He can’t believe it either.

— Diana Davis

Diana Davis is a writer who started as a baker who didn’t bake, a dental assistant to the dental assistant and a shoe saleswoman who gagged around feet. Since then, she’s written all kinds of stuff for all kinds of companies in all kinds of offices. She’s even written newspaper ads for car dealers (some of her best work has probably lined your birdcage). If you woke up one day covered in baby poop with one shaved leg, knee-deep in your husband’s dirty drawers and thought, “Wow, that must have been one hell of a roofie,” then her blog, The Spew, just might be for you. She’s been featured on BonBon Break, BluntMOMS and HumorOutcasts. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and living in Jersey (stop judging).

Reflections of Erma