February 22, 2024

Last night, I was talking to my cat about starting a podcast, when it hit me—I have a treasure trove of half-baked sketches, noodlings, and musings. Therefore, this announcement: You’re on the mailing list for my Substack! You may be asking yourself: Remind me who you are? I’m that writer who, when you read that I’ve got a new book coming out, you think, I can’t believe she’s still at it. Wait, how did I get on this list? I don’t think I signed up for it. You didn’t. We were included in an e-mail blast shilling for a political cause whose recipients weren’t bbc’d, or our kids went to the same preschool. Can I get off this mailing list? Sure you can! But you’re going to have to work for it. There is an impossible-to-find Opt Out button, but, if you manage to locate it, you will still need to complete a brief survey concerning your motives before you successfully unsubscribe. Choices for why you would no longer like to receive this mailing include: I never asked to be e-mailed this newsletter. Just kidding, I don’t have three kids. Or do I? My Substack newsletter will be laced with that performative, sweaty-palmed comedic desperation that will jolt you awake at 4 A.M., wondering: Could this be me one day, or is this an elaborate Naomi Klein-esque experiment that will serve as the premise for a book? O.K., but are you doing this Substack because there’s a gap in the cultural conversation you’re looking to fill? You’re so funny, you should have your own Substack! Wait, you already do. When you’re added to a newsletter, the platform creates a Substack in your name. Congratulations, you now have five subscribers. Let’s say that I did decide to remain signed up, what am I in for? Twice a week, I’ll post unedited first drafts of essays with almost plausible premises, such as a semiotic deconstruction of memetics relating to “Only Murders in the Building”; whimsical listicles; and, everyone’s favorite, lots of diaristic navel-gazing. And how much is this going to cost me? FOUNDING-MEMBER LEVEL: You’ll pay five dollars a month, or receive a year’s worth of newsletters for the discounted price of fifty dollars. If you’re on the fence about wanting this content, let me offer you more of it. Founding Members will receive the newsletter twice a week and have the ability to comment, read chapters of the novel I’ve been working on for two decades, get info on upcoming appearances, and access secret family recipes, as well as the username and password to my Quest Diagnostics account, where you’ll have access to the results from my latest Pap smear even before I do. GATEKEEPER LEVEL: For a hundred dollars a month, I will give you the gift of receiving nothing from me. No columns, no links to other Substacks, no follow-up e-mails where the subject line reads “Whoops, that link was broken, here’s the right one!” Sure, every so often I’ll send a text inviting you to the self-produced one-woman-show version of my Substack, but that will cost you nothing. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll join at the highest possible level because, until you do, I’ll send you updates and invitations from a variety of e-mail addresses, so just press Upgrade to Paid already, it’ll save us both a lot of time and suffering. ♦