A Well-Read Woman 

An ode to well-read women. If you are one, this will make your heart swell a bit:

"It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by God, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

― Rosemarie Urquico

And here an endearing poem, recited by a man.

From: The Undealt Card

“Oh, I think you’re wrong. I think we all have some parcel of the past which is falling into disrepair or being sold off piece by piece. It’s just that for most of us, it isn’t an orchard; it’s the way we’ve thought about something, or someone”
Rules Of Civility, Amor Towles

Wandern

"October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen." 

On Wining and Dining
"The asparagus arrived with a touch of fanfare, presented tableside in a copper pan. The individual spears were arranged in perfect order - each identical in lenght, not two overlapping. On top had been delicately scattered a mixture of buttered bread crumbs and fontina cheese which had been broiled to a crunchy, bubbling brown. The captain served the asparagus with a silver fork and spoon. He then grated a touch of lemon peel over the plate. 
-Bon appétit. 
Indeed. 
If my father had made a million dollars, he wouldn’t have eaten at La Belle Epoque. To him, restaurants were the ultimate expression of ungodly waste. For of all the luxuries that your money could buy, a restaurant left you the least to show for it. A fur coat could at least be worn in winter to fend off the cold, and a silver spoon could be melted down and sold to a jeweler. But a porterhouse steak? You chopped it, chewed it, swallowed it, wiped your lips and dropped your napkin on your plate. That was that. And asparagus? My father would sooner have carried a twenty dollar bill to his grave than spent it on same glamorous weed coated in cheese. 
But for me, dinner at a fine restaurant was the ultimate luxury. It was the very height of civilization. For what was civilization but the intellect’s ascendency out of the doldrums of necessity (shelter, sustenance and survival) into the ether of the finely superfluous (poetry, handbags and haute cuisine)? So removed from daily life was the whole experience that when all was rotten to the core, a fine dinner could revive the spirits. If and when I had twenty dollars left to my name, I was going to invest it right here in an elegant hour that couldn’t be hocked.”
―Rules of Civility, Amor Towles. 

On Wining and Dining

"The asparagus arrived with a touch of fanfare, presented tableside in a copper pan. The individual spears were arranged in perfect order - each identical in lenght, not two overlapping. On top had been delicately scattered a mixture of buttered bread crumbs and fontina cheese which had been broiled to a crunchy, bubbling brown. The captain served the asparagus with a silver fork and spoon. He then grated a touch of lemon peel over the plate. 

-Bon appétit. 

Indeed. 

If my father had made a million dollars, he wouldn’t have eaten at La Belle Epoque. To him, restaurants were the ultimate expression of ungodly waste. For of all the luxuries that your money could buy, a restaurant left you the least to show for it. A fur coat could at least be worn in winter to fend off the cold, and a silver spoon could be melted down and sold to a jeweler. But a porterhouse steak? You chopped it, chewed it, swallowed it, wiped your lips and dropped your napkin on your plate. That was that. And asparagus? My father would sooner have carried a twenty dollar bill to his grave than spent it on same glamorous weed coated in cheese. 

But for me, dinner at a fine restaurant was the ultimate luxury. It was the very height of civilization. For what was civilization but the intellect’s ascendency out of the doldrums of necessity (shelter, sustenance and survival) into the ether of the finely superfluous (poetry, handbags and haute cuisine)? So removed from daily life was the whole experience that when all was rotten to the core, a fine dinner could revive the spirits. If and when I had twenty dollars left to my name, I was going to invest it right here in an elegant hour that couldn’t be hocked.”

Rules of Civility, Amor Towles. 

The Undealt Card

I remember the first time I succumbed to the sensation that the universe was dispensable minus one lady. It’s to do with knowing and being known

I remember how it stopped seeming odd that in Biblical Greek knowing was used for making love. Whosit knew so-and-so. Carnal knowledge, it’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other, not of the flesh but through the flesh. In extremis, the mask slipped from the face.  Every other version of oneself is on offer to the public, we share our vivacity, grief, sulks, anger, joy…We hand it out to anybody who happens to be standing around. To friends and family with a momentary sense of indecency, perhaps. To strangers without hesitation. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs, we insist that we give ourselves to each other.

What self? What’s left? What else is there that hasn’t been dealt out like a deck of cards? A sort of knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromised. 

Knowing, being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich.

You can be generous about what’s shared: she walks, she talks, she lends a sympathetic hear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on a table - she’s everybody’s. And it don’t mean a thing. Let them eat cake! Knowing is something else. It’s the undealt card.”

The Real Thing, Tom Stoppard, 1982

From: The Undealt Card 

Pictures: Mr. Humphrey oh, so charming Bogart and the beautiful Lauren Bacall. Elegant and captivating screen couple, picture-perfect portrait of what romance should look like. 

“Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road”

Zac Posen 

Sculptural silk gowns paired with luminous jewelry and red rose lips are juxtaposed to tailored elegance for winter-time classic femininity. A “can’t take my eyes off of you” holiday season dream. 

(Zac Posen Pre-Fall 2014)

New York, 1992

Christy Turlington shot by Patrick Demarchelier for the cover of British Vogue