11. A big, fat, public promotion. This huge, star-studded event could happen at the office, where your coworker falls down and admit how talented and powerful you are. Or it could happen at the next PTA meeting. Or the next book-club meeting, where finally everybody will realize that you are the Best Reader Ever. All of which keeps your working zeal intact over time.
11. Valentines. Even from your best friend, who knows you adore stupid, cheesy, commercial valentines and don't have a thoughtful partner to give them to you.
P.S. it's acceptable to articulate this dream to the best friend and ensure you get a huge, tacky, lacey heart in the mail.
12. The easy, cheap, obvious solution that comes in a pill. The fact is, it may even exist! Such as B12 or iron. In the latter case, you might not realize that you desire this element so basic to female happiness. You'll just be tired—and gray. Proceed directly to the doctor.
13. That wonderful yet messed up love. The feeling is not dead and he's not dead. If you were with him, it would not be some initially screwed up union that ultimately worked out, all the way to rice and doves. It would be terrible and brutal and you would pay the price. Thus you long. Thus you resist. And—eventually—you go on to another richer, freer life.
14. That wonderful-yet-untried love. Even if you are in love with the most ideal person, you'll long for this. That's the thing about love, you always want it to be improved or different—love with a side of understanding, not just love with a side of attraction and loyalty; love with passion today, love with bad jokes tomorrow, love with a bunch of fresh, unexpected tulips the next. If you didn't feel this way, the emotion would get old—and think what would happen to the universe if we all got tired of love and decided to long for something else. Like hate or corn chips.
15. A day off that's not a vacation day (spent on a long, overpriced, crowded flight) or a personal day (spent waiting for the plumber) or a holiday (spent with Grandma Ruth, eating disturbingly rare turkey). Just the day off. With pay. No work.
16. Dandelion fluff. And the belief in the power of their wishes.
17. An eternally wise, all-knowing English teacher, who will make you sit up straight (again), read Hamlet (again), and think for yourself (again). All of which will be celebrated with a last-day-of-school Coca-Cola cake and a showing of Pride and Prejudice starring St. Lawrence Olivier.
18. Knee-highs that don't make your shins look fat.
19. Quiet after you get home.
20. The allowance for the inexcusable mistake.
21. You. Your endless and probably fundamental need to know yourself (also known as: Who the hell am I? What am I supposed to be doing with my life?) is one of the greatest desires on the planet. It keeps you from doing the really stupid demeaning stuff that happens when you wistfully want to be somebody else. It helps you understand your desire for meaning, despite its often-painful costs. It keeps you awake and lets you go to sleep. It is the desire of a lifetime. Long, long, long for it.
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