I always thought it would be awesome to date a writer, and that’s not just because I am one.
It’s because it’s one of those jobs where the person you are dating can get perks from it.
Need a report written? Done.
Need a cover letter for a job? Sure— AP or ChicagoManual Style?
More importantly: DO YOU WANT PUBLICITY FOR YOUR PROJECT/BUSINESS/WHATEVER PUBLISHED IN THE PAPER?
But Henry, this guy who my friend Ashley dated, found a problem with that setup. Toolbags usually do.
Henry owned a new bar that opened in New Orleans and Ashley, my writer friend, met him at the grand opening.
She was there to write about the place, as part of an overall list of new things to do this summer.
Ashley was a freelance writer who the newspaper called to write about new openings and she was excited to get experience under her belt.
Ashley was pleasantly surprised to notice how hot Henry was and they exchanged numbers and it quickly got…uh…not entirely professional.
She told him about her work as a freelance writer—which he was seemingly impressed with—even though she was just starting out with smaller assignments.
She wrote a nice write-up on Henry’s new bar, which was a one paragraph description in an online blog about the 10 best new spots to try, but rather than be excited or beam that the girl he was dating was a published EFFING writer for a very prominent newspaper, he threw a fit.
Was it because she got his name wrong?
Was it because she said he served $1 hot dogs when he did not?
He was just an asshole.
“If your editor wants the REAL story on the bar, tell her to email me. Not that fluff you wrote about,” Henry texted after it went online.
The whole LIST was fluff—it was just a list of places to go, BuzzFeed style.
This wasn’t a novel on his “journey” for F*CKS sake.
But, way to be grateful, Henry.
Now, telling a writer that something he or she has written is anything less than perfect stings.
Having the guy you’ve been sleeping with for two months criticize your work even though it was FREE PUBLICITY is completely unacceptable.
“I’ll have my editor call you directly,” Ashley wrote back, furious.
Henry then waxed on about how Ashley is a NOBODY and she should have better dreams and goals than just writing “fluff.”
Seriously, rather than be encouraging or even being clever and suggesting new articles for her to write (about his bar), or even hiring her to write his own publicity pieces, he just started belittling her.
Ashley stopped texting him back of course—no sense for a writer to waste words on someone who is downright mean and ungrateful.
Also, ahem, HENRY, it takes a lot of nerve for someone to get an ego that big over a bar that has gotten many 1 and 2-star reviews on Yelp.
I guess writers do win sometimes.