We recently published Sarah Freligh’s gorgeous “A Brief Natural History of the Girls in the Office.”

Here, we ask her two questions about her story:

1) I don’t work in a place now where we pass around an envelope for donations, but I remember from earlier jobs watching that envelope go around. Do you think the Girls in the Office started this particular tradition when they came to the office, or was it already in place and they just continued it?

I imagine the Girls probably started their jobs at different times and carried on a tradition that was already in place, for as long as there were thing to celebrate. I’m happy to note that they drew the line at primary school graduations and gender reveal parties. 

2) There is something so melancholy here as the time passes — I love the details of the bowling pins and the pooled coins for beer! Do you think these Girls will be able to move on, despite all these setbacks? Or, more accurately, do you think they should have hope?

“Hope is the thing with feathers” and like most feathered creatures, hope is fragile and bird-boned. Pragmatism, meanwhile, is way more sturdy, able to withstand whatever storms it sails into. I think at some point the Girls become more pragmatic; I see it not so much as a settling for as it is a settling into the little delights that come along daily. For them it’s the cheap bear and the potato chips and the thrill of the occasional strike. It’s no small thing to enjoy the small things, and it helps to drive in the slow lane.