Prunes and Prism

RULES FOR YOUNG LADIES: Some arch advice on snagging a husband. Exercising the mouth into a pretty shape through repetition of certain words seems to have been an indoor sport for young nineteenth-century girls; in Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens' overly bred girl repeats, "papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism." (

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Lavender Marriage

Dear Tim Gunn,

When I worked on my college literary magazine, one of the lady poets' submissions had a line that went something like this: "In another time and place, I would show your hand the way." And then I believe it went on to talk about moons and huntresses, but nevertheless I recall it every week during Project Runway when I fall in love with you all over again, and then fall upon your blog and podcast like a ravenous wolf in a pile of table leavings.

Your silver-fox elegance. Your compassionate critiques. Your steadfast humanity. The sensitive yet unflinching way you totally called Andrae on the carpet when he threw that weeping fit on the runway! (Though I'm going to have to respectfully disagree and say I don't think it was "contrived" -- it was such an ugly, humiliating snot-cry, and I just can't believe anyone would mortify himself so utterly on purpose. Anybody manipulative enough to use his burned-down boutique for pity points would know that a couple of silent, climb-ev'ry-mountain tears would be far more effective. Or maybe that's just what I'd do.)

Tim! I want to hear your take on everything! The Argentinian maquiladoras! Wheat Thins vs. Triscuits! The Decalogue! Il Divo! Big Pharma! Why Slobodan Milosevic is still on trial!

In another time and place, I would have your baby, which we would swaddle in a nursery tastefully appointed by Banana Republic. The two of us would look down at our baby, Elsa Klensch Gunn, and marvel at what we've made together, this little person with absolutely no athletic ability and a closetful of onesies cut on the bias (so flattering!). I'd lay my head on the lapel of your velvety bathrobe and get my lungs all full of you. I bet you smell so good.


Your Humble Narrator


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