Edith Zimmerman over at The Awl has compiled a list of letters sent by actual women to actual women’s magazine like Glamour, Marie Claire, Self, and InStyle. I am torn between literally ROTFL-ing my A off and shaking my head in dismay.
As a compromise for my evidently dual personalities, I figured I’d “write” back to some of these women (with the help of some real experts). Enjoy! Oh, and thank you, ZL readers, for your intelligent, witty, and thoughtful comments … perusing this has made me realize my good fortune!
I thought this story [“The Mistake That Nearly Cost Me Everything,” by Piper Kerman] was very interesting, and I can’t wait to read her book. It’s amazing to think that something we may have done 10 years in the past could affect our future.
Kellymusil, marieclaire.com (Marie Claire, June 2010)
Lou Marino said, “The best indicator of the future is what’s been done in the past.” A bunch of my social studies teachers said this as well. So did my mother.
It’s amazing to think that when you do something, something else happens. It’s like, “What the?” (Imagine me looking slowly all around, like “Huh?”) (Now imagine I’m holding my fingers over my eyes like binoculars, looking around like I’m on safari. Now I’m pulling out a gun and acting like I’m shooting, like I’m hunting.)
Lee T., Sioux City, IA
Permit me to share from Sir Isaac Newton: “To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Put down the binoculars. And the gun. Especially the gun.
I think of my goals as little pebbles, and my life as like the sack I carry the pebbles in. It’s like a leather pouch, actually, like the kind people used to have in medieval times. And the pebbles are actually jewels, and I would also have a gold crown that had little notches in it so that when I poured the jewels out and fit them into the notches on the crown, whoever I was with would be like, “Oh my god!” because they’d know I was a queen, because the same crown went missing years ago, and the legend was that whoever had the crown would be the queen.
Kelly M., Santa Barbara
At first I was thinking along the lines of Socrates, but then I decided that Han Solo was more up your alley: “I’m out of it for a little while and everybody gets delusions of grandeur.”
I related to “Would You Rather Be Fat & Happy? Or Thin & Sad?” [April, page 136]. … I know from experience that being obese makes me unhappy, not only because I don’t like the way I look but also because it could affect my physical health. Thank you for showing me I’m not alone.
Tierney W., Ottawa (Self, June 2010)
Cue Michael Jackson’s HIStory, Disk 2, Track 09.
[I would rather be] thin and sad. Or, if it’s an option, extra thin and suicidal. Or, if at all possible, a skeleton that killed itself. Ashes that crumbled off a skeleton that killed itself. A gust of wind blowing through the eye socket of a skeleton that killed itself. A fart seeping from the asshole of a corpse that shit itself to death. In case those are ones I can choose.
Edith Z., Brooklyn
Have you considered professional help? There are a lot of hotlines out there, and I think you need to call one now. No, now. Go. Do it. Like, I kind of want to give you my cell and talk you off the ledge, and I don’t know what I’m talking about half the time. Seriously, get some help.
I enjoyed the article about when a woman reaches her peak [“The Perfect Age,” April]. When I was 20, no one believed my age; most people said, “You’re not 20, you’re 16.” Now I’m 40, and most people say, “You look 20 years old.” Life is good.
Jana C, Longview, TX
I built a papier-mâché woman that has a crotch made out of a rubber flap. Sometimes I’ll put Vaseline on my face and slide through the flap like I just got born. One time I did it at work — I looked so young, my coworkers were stunned.
Lucy T., Raleigh, NC
The Dutch artist Wieki Somers would have a field day with you. And how is your job search going?
It’s so cool that Jessica Simpson doesn’t give a shit what other people think. I don’t either. I’m envisioning us, like, sitting on a porch when a guy walks by and goes, “Hey ladies,” or whatever, and Jessica’s just like, “Shut the fuck up,” and I’m like, “Literally go fuck yourself,” and he’d walk away, and we’d lapse into silence.
Lindsey T., Truro, MA
Jessica Simpson is a celebrity. In general, she’s going to say what she thinks people want to hear. Although she gave you a certain impression in this article, don’t forget that this is the girl who laughingly said, “Oh my gosh. I had to work out six days a week, two and a half hours a day. I was on a South Beach diet. I cut sugar out. Trust me, when someone tells you you have to be in a red bikini on a big screen, every single girl in my place would go to the gym,” and “I wanted to see myself up on the big screen.”
Here, I drew a picture of my breasts. Can you please tell me what is the best new bra for me?
Lydia P., Lexington, KY
You remember geography class when the fine print said, “Map not drawn to scale”? Um … yeah.