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Illustration: Jen Troyer

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We all have things we want. We want the big, fat promotion and the new Subaru station wagon with a sunroof and one of those $2,000 Swedish storage containers strapped to the roof. We want a new upper lip and a more outgoing partner and an armchair for the living room that you don’t have throw an afghan over to hide the holes in the cushions. The problem is: Do you want the actual thing or do you want the person you think you’ll be once you get the thing... which is almost always somebody who most of us hope everybody will love? I am sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there are a couple of times in life when hope is dead wrong. Hoping people will love you for your armchair is one of them.
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