In the Berenst(E)in Bears Parallel Universe, Ryan and I Are Very Happy

White Woman Speaks:

Last week, I read something quite troubling on the internet.


According to many reputable sources, there is an alternate universe where the Berenstain Bears book series, which nobody gave a damn about until now, is actually spelled Berenstein Bears. Apparently, a bunch of 90s babies remember it to be with an E, but history, publishing companies, and most importantly, Wikipedia, all say the loving bear family spelled their last name with the A. It’s not likely that we all just assumed the ursine relatives spelled their names with the common human suffix of “stein”; this is obviously absurd. They are bears.


The only logical reasoning is that an alternate universe was sprouted sometime in the 1990s where Berenstain is spelled with an A, and we’re all living in that post-world. This, in turn, means that we all have E-universe selves out there, living the lives we would have lived, had anything made sense. For me, this was especially personal. It could mean I’d still be with the love of my life: Ryan from work.


As both a woman of science and a Libra, I decided to contact my astral advisor and investigate into my E-universe self, just to see what she was up to. The results were shocking.


In the E-universe, I am still dating Ryan.


We never got into that huge fight at Six Flags because he wanted to drop $80 on a FlashPass Card and I thought that was silly. Incidentally, we didn’t even GO to Six Flags that day because in the E-universe, New Jersey as we know it doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s just a sixty-acre mall with several Cheesecake Factories.


It instantly became clear to me that the E-universe is a utopia, one where Ryan and I still have sex after eating too much cheesecake.



I decided not to have my psychic check up on anything else during my time in the E-universe except to see what Ryan and I were up to. I really didn’t care about politics, the economy, or social justice issues that were hopefully resolved. I didn’t even ask her to clarify what exactly she meant by “alien bugs”. Instead, I devoted my time to seeing how Ryan and I stayed afloat in this universe despite his materialistic behavior, and my inability to be mature enough for an adult relationship. Turns out, we are high nearly all the time in the E-universe. Weed is legal here. The War on Drugs is over and Ryan and I are thriving in it.


Thanks to an extra hundo, my psychic helped me to astrally spend a day with my E self and E Ryan. We roamed around New York City, high and slightly buzzed, and shopped in little bookstores, just like we’d always meant to. The streets were immaculate and not crowded; in fact, there were fewer people than normal. I didn’t care to ask why. I also didn’t ask about all the cucumber-sized gold droppings near piles of empty clothes. It didn’t matter. Ryan and I were about to do something super cute, and that is make fun of the couple getting married on the steps of the Bryant Park Library. After a weird three-way kiss, I returned to my psychic’s living room, bothered by persistent scurrying sounds but otherwise unscathed.


The most important thing I took away from this escapade is that Ryan and I are together. In my universe, I had to choose between Ryan and his best friend, Daniel that night at the Tipsy Donkey. I picked Ryan (mostly because of his cologne). And I chose him again in the E-universe. That must mean something, right? Like, we’re destined to be together through parallel universes and timelines? If Universe E Ryan and I stayed together, why can’t that happen in Universe A?


I have to make this work. For myself, for Ryan, and for whatever’s currently eating everyone in Universe E.