Starlee Kine— A selection of thoughts you probably had while staring at a stranger sitting across from you:

I make more money but she/he is better at only buying well-crafted items that are both practical and beautiful.

A selection of thoughts you probably had while staring at a stranger sitting across from you:

  • She/he is cuter.
  • I’m cuter but she/he dresses better.
  • I dress better but she/he has the kind of body that can get away with wearing worse clothes.
  • She/he has a more interesting job.
  • I have a more interesting job but she/he makes more money.
  • I make more money but she/he is better at only buying well-crafted items that are both practical and beautiful.
  • I’ve traveled to more countries but she/he has gone to ones that are harder to get to with more challenging language barriers.
  • I was more popular in high school.
  • I was less popular in high school but aged better.
  • I was less popular in high school and aged worse and every conviction I ever had about the world not being fair is right this moment being demonstrated in front of me.
  • I went to a worse school.
  • I went to a better school but she/he is more down to earth.
  • I have a plusher couch that guests like sleeping on but she/he has a more modern one that guests take photos of.
  • I have more friends who will listen to my problems but she/he has more friends without kids who will go with them to parties.
  • I call my parents more often but hers/his make her/him feel less lonely.
  • I’ve broken more hearts.
  • Her/his heart’s been broken less.
  • I’ve dated more people but she/he has had more friendships turn into relationships.
  • I’m so glad I’m not dating her/him.
  • I wish I was dating her/him.
  • My girlfriend/boyfriend is cuter.
  • My girlfriend/boyfriend is funnier.
  • My girlfriend/boyfriend is less funny, more ambitious, about the same amount of cute, and has a lower-maintenance family who take it less personally when space is needed during holiday visits.
  • Would she/he ever date me?
  • Was she/he watching me fix my sock just then?
  • If her/his boyfriend/girlfriend were to say, next week, “Think of one person, besides me, who you would want to be with forever,” will it be my face that flits, even for just a second, through her/his head?

Starlee Kine is a contributor to the public radio program This American Life.  She does stories about the world's slowest car chase, misunderstood ghosts and presidential library reenactments.  She also wrote a torch song with the help of Phil Collins and designed a heartbreak cutting board designed specifally to cut tear-inducing onions on for THE THING Quarterly, to which she is a contributor at large.   

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