Skip to content

Three Flash

by Meg Johnson

Ladies, Call Now

Welcome to the Yes-these-really-are-your-options Hotline.

Press 1 if you’d like a tattoo artist wearing a gold chain and swim trunks to make a move on you in a hot tub as he chews on a toothpick…

Press 2 if you’d like men who write scholarly articles to fight over you, but only after you teach them how to throw punches and supply them with pocket knives…

Press 3 if you’d like to go on a date with a thirty-something male who suggests you watch a Twilight movie together…

Press 4 if you’d like a hot guy to ask you to clean his fish tank…

Press 5 if you think Saddam Hussein is an endearing nickname for someone to give their penis…

Press 6 if you think OCD is sexy and/or like to watch a man cry whenever he accidentally spills something…

Press 7 to speak with a representative…

The Ellen Olenska Instruction Booklet for Single Women Age 30 & 30+ (2013 Edition)

1) Work with what you have. Makeup, fitness, and fashion should not be underestimated. Natural beauty is a plus. Even though you are destined to be alone, you still want to break as many hearts as possible.

2) Go out frequently enough to be seen, but not so much that people can predict when they will see you. (Look your best. See section 1.) Post your best photos on the internet. Create a sexy, yet professional online presence. Maintain a balanced image of mysteriousness and approachability.

3) Keep up with politics and the arts. Be able to discuss popular culture, but do not admit to watching any reality television. Remember you want to be sassy and classy, not trashy. Even if you do not play sports, feign interest. Look athletic. (See section 1.)

4) Take social disses in stride. People wouldn’t hate you if you weren’t so hot. (See section 1.)

5) Travel! The choices are all up to you. You can control your time and money. (This may cause resentment. See section 4.)

6) Take whatever action is needed to be an extremely witty person. If you are exceptionally beautiful (see section 1) and extremely bright, people will almost accept your independence. High desirability distracts from an unconventional life. Turn your backstory from shady to sexy!

7) Have a flexible schedule. You never know when you will have to relocate.

Monarch of the Forgotten Block

The neighborhood children didn’t know what to think of me.

Single/Childless/Grown-up/Working woman/Rents a house/Wears a bikini in the backyard/Oversized sunglasses/Cheerleader-esque ponytail/Seen reading

I do not (allegedly) kick cats like their neighbor Marge.

So they made me their queen.

Monologues were given about how my teeth were whiter than the teeth of their smoker mothers. Cartwheels and round-offs and flips were done in a circle around me. Tiny bodies attempted to breakdance. A seven-year-old in a pink bathrobe chased me, shouting out questions like a paparazzo.

They begged me never to move. Pleaded for me not to go inside, but stood in stunned excitement when I remembered all of their names as I said goodbye.

Meg Johnson is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Inappropriate Sleepover (The National Poetry Review Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Hobart, Midwestern Gothic, The Puritan, Slipstream Magazine, Word Riot, and others. Meg started dancing at a young age and worked professionally in the performing arts for many years. She currently lives in Akron, Ohio, and is the editor of Dressing Room Poetry Journal. Her website is: and she blogs at:

Lead image: “1952 – When A Girl Is A Teaser – Part 1” (via Flickr user clotho98)

Be First to Comment

Comments are closed.