RS: I was very moved by the essay that you read at I Did My Best and especially loved the structure of it. How did you go about finding the right way to piece that together?
AO: That essay began as a list (as so many things in my life do, lol). It was a record of all the strange little habits I've developed now that I live alone — I moved the baking soda from my kitchen to my bathroom because it's more useful to me as dry shampoo than like, a baking aid — and then, again, as so many things do, turned out to not be about what I thought it was about. It was about a breakup and figuring out how to fill up a life by myself, and once big old knuckleheaded me realized that, it flowed pretty naturally. (Which doesn't mean I wasn't still writing it an hour before the reading, because I def was.)
I'm a big fan of the social media presence of your friendship with Aude White. How did that get started?
You do know that I gchatted this to her the second you sent it, right? And we cackled and preened like the low-rent witches we are.
I'm proud of my friendship with Aude the way I'm proud of sweaters I've knitted. We made this! I sometimes want to shout. We made a secret language we can both understand, we made late nights and early mornings, we made a life for ourselves. We used to have these fights where it would become clear — oh hey, a theme — that the thing we were fighting about was never actually The Thing We Were Fighting About, and over time we got better and better at cutting through to the meat of it. I'm sure we are a massive pain in the ass on Twitter (we bet that there is at least one person who has "'aude' + 'alanna'" muted) but there is just such giddiness and electricity when you find your person! All you want to do is play-act that twosomeness with them. Next thing you know we'll have a wedding hashtag and be even more insufferable. (We do have a newsletterwhere we write about what we are craving from time to time. It has I believe 20 subscribers, although I heard a rumor [from Aude] that someone may have unsubscribed today.)