I Love Going On Your Dates

A love letter from the past, on my birthday

Sara Benincasa


Today is my birthday, and yesterday I received a very lovely early birthday present -a kind rejection note from an editor on an essay I submitted in December of 2022. This may not sound like a gift, but if you’re a writer who submits to various publications, you know how rare it is to actually hear anything back. Editors are very busy!

When we writers do hear back, it’s often a form letter. But even a slightly personalized letter from an editor is so unusual. It really brings a smile to my face. And since that publication does not permit simultaneous submissions — which is to say, you are expected to only submit to this publication and wait to submit it elsewhere until you hear a yes or no — I had held off on publishing it anywhere else.

Reading this essay was like opening a time capsule. It is so haunting, so lonely, meditative, and sad. My own life has changed so much in the past ten months. I am full of gratitude for the way things have evolved, for the kindness I’ve experienced, for the things I’ve learned, for my sobriety, for all of you.

I am grateful to that editor for responding. They apologized for the delay in reply, but they were right on time!

I am so happy to be able to share this essay with you today. Thank you to my friends Holly and Neil Gaiman for taking me to Into the Woods so that I knew about how it works when you’re a little late to see baby’s first Sondheim. Thank you to my friend Tess Morris for introducing me to Miss Ada in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Thank you to the staff at Putnam’s Pub in Clinton Hill and to Balthazar in Soho. These are all lovely places to write alone.

New Yorkers are the fucking best.

Much love,


P.S. A Medium subscription through my link makes a GREAT birthday gift.

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Sara Benincasa

Author, REAL ARTISTS HAVE DAY JOBS & other books. Writer of scripts. Host of WELL, THIS ISN’T NORMAL podcast. Patreon.com/SaraBenincasa