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Too many berets, not enough struggle. But enough pretty to numb out.

I recently bought a tub of corn nuts from the local IGA. Once in a while, I love corn nuts. They’re fried, but I pretend they’re healthy because…I don’t know why. These corn nuts had a particular nasty flavor. Maybe from palm oil? It makes everything taste like fake butter, like scratch ’n’ sniff popcorn would taste if it were scratch ’n’ lick. I was going to throw them out, but instead I decided to eat them because they were there, and soon polished them off.

That’s my Emily in Paris experience in a (corn) nutshell.

I despised the first…


How to salvage your goals and dreams from the dumpster fire that is this year.

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Even those of us who were physically healthy in 2020 have had a solid half-year of letting ourselves off the hook:

I’m not in a place to write my book/ do my art/ work out/ be productive, because pandemic. {cue soft, Stuart Smalley voice} And that’s ooookay.

Sure, we started off thinking we were going to do big things during lockdown — write songs, write a novel, learn Greek — but most of this year became an extended emotional sick day. A big ol’ doctor’s note not to do anything hard, because reality is hard enough.

(And hey, as someone…


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Right after 9/11, people all around me talked about leaving the city.

“It’s not safe here,” they said.

I thought, “Isn’t that the point?” Wasn’t it always?

Though stunned like everyone by the surreal, human tragedy and the shock of that space looking straight down 6th Avenue where the towers had stood, no way I was leaving.

I was a real New Yorker. Ride-or-die.

I’ve never lived anywhere but the city, and have never planned to. That’s why it’s so strange to find myself here: doing the “shelter in place” thing in a place where deliveries are dropped on the…


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Hey, happy parents!

I’m psyched for you. You’re pleased with your life choice to grow one or more humans.

Truly, I’m happy for anyone who’s happy, except for maybe Gwyneth Paltrow, which is another conversation.

And I get it — you want to share that happiness and let everyone know how great this thing called “parenting” is.

As a marketer, I’m all for spreading the word about things you love: that adorable restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn; the novel you couldn’t put down; the anti-aging face cream that’s transformed your collagen production and restored your neck to its baby-smooth glory. …


(Or, how to stop being jealous of everyone else’s.)

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Back in like, 1999, I kept getting calls from a collection agency for a mobile phone bill I’d already paid.

Yes, I’d paid it late — to a previous collection agency, which, because collection agencies are just knuckleheads earning dollars from home in their dirty undies, had neglected to do the proper paperwork and log my payment. Instead, they’d sold my imaginary debt to another group of knuckleheads.

One day, I made the mistake of picking up the phone.

I ended up talking to one such sad-sack, who kept trying to bargain with me so she could get at least a piece of the money I didn’t owe.

HER: “We’re willing to reduce the bill by 10% if you pay today.”

ME: “I paid two months ago.”

HER: “Our records show…


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Should I be ashamed?

Am I a freak?

A grinch, a soulless beast, a Kardashian-hearted money grubber?

I wonder that sometimes. Because here’s what I see:

People in the online business world (life coaches, business coaches, healers, private chefs, virtual assistants, copywriters, dog psychics) who cater to other people in the online business world (other life coaches, business coaches, healers, and so on)? Especially women? Who call themselves things ending in -preneur?

They all start their websites the same way.

HEY THERE, GORGEOUS!

You’re here because you’re a change maker. A leader. …

Laura Belgray

Copywriting expert, co-creator of The Copy Cure (copycure.com) Helping brands & businesses be less boring since maybe before you were born, at talkingshrimp.com

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