Scheherezade Middlename Lastname, I will too scold you. Right here in public. Ms. Sherry, what on earth are you doing in a place so cold that your haircut matters to your comfort? Your hair is part of your thermal strategy? We are not birds who fluff up feathers to insulate ourselves. We are not badgers who grow a thicker pelt in winter. We are people, who only have skin. This skin is obviously Nature's way of telling us that we do not belong in very cold places. (The fact that we look better tan is summer's reinforcement of this message.)
Look. You can romanticize winter all you like. I know that you northern people have to do that to justify your lifestyle choices. But the objective truth is that cold is unpleasant! I know! I tried it once!
Independent of hat/scarf alignment, I think this haircut is going to be entertaining. I went to sleep last night thinking "ummm, I dunno, maybe Clara Bow?" and I woke up this morning as a BLACK FUCKING PANTHER! I forgot! Three inch long thick curly hair? Oh yeah. Full on half-sphere afro in the morning. There are many reasons that it is a shame I don't wake up next to someone every morning, but laughing at my hair has just jumped considerably up the list.
You are right that we haven't been good about incorporating readers' emails into the front page and even more right that it is a shame. They send us great stuff. The one I regret not-posting the most was this lovely piece on giving someone a watch, from back when we talked about watches.
I read your posts about watches and timekeeping. It reminded me of this short "story" by Julio Cortazar. It is called "Preámbulo a las Instrucciones para dar cuerda a un reloj" or Preamble to the instructions on how to wind a watch. I have found an english translation and I am sending you both below. I always found this paragraphs quite beautiful.
Piensa en esto: cuando te regalan un reloj te regalan un pequeño infierno florido, una cadena de rosas, un calabozo de aire. No te dan solamente el reloj, que los cumplas muy felices y esperamos que te dure porque es de buena marca, suizo con áncora de rubíes; no te regalan solamente ese menudo picapedrero que te atarás a la muñeca y pasearás contigo. Te regalan —no lo saben, lo terrible es que no lo saben—, te regalan un nuevo pedazo frágil y precario de ti mismo, algo que es tuyo pero no es tu cuerpo, que hay que atar a tu cuerpo con su correa como un bracito desesperado colgándose de tu muñeca. Te regalan la necesidad de darle cuerda todos los días, la obligación de darle cuerda para que siga siendo un reloj; te regalan la obsesión de atender a la hora exacta en las vitrinas de las joyerías, en el anuncio por la radio, en el servicio telefónico. Te regalan el miedo de perderlo, de que te lo roben, de que se te caiga al suelo y se rompa. Te regalan su marca, y la seguridad de que es una marca mejor que las otras, te regalan la tendencia de comparar tu reloj con los demás relojes. No te regalan un reloj, tú eres el regalado, a ti te ofrecen para el cumpleaños del reloj.
Think of this: when they present you with a watch, they are gifting you with a tiny flowering hell, a wreath of roses, a dungeon of air. They aren't simply wishing the watch on you, and many more, and we hope it will last you, it's a good grand, Swiss, seventeen rubies; they aren't just giving you this minute stonecutter which will bind you by the wrist and walk along with you. They are giving you - they don't know it, it's terrible that they don't know it - they are gifting you with a new fragile and precarious piece of yourself, something that's yours but not a part of your body, that you have to strap to your body like your belt, like a tiny, furious bit of something hanging onto your wrist. They gift you with the job of having to wind it every day, an obligation to wind it, so that it goes on being a watch, they gift you with the obsession of looking into jewelry-shop windows to check the exact time, check the radio announcer, check the telephone service. They give you the gift of fear, someone will steal it from you, it'll fall on the street and get broken. They give you the gift of your trademark and the assurance that it's a trademark better than others, they gift you with the impulse to compare your watch with other watches. They aren't giving you a watch, you are the gift, they are giving you yourself for the watch's birthday.
Thank you for that, her b. I loved it.
I still think it would be funny if we ran a joint advice column, answering questions separately and not comparing answers until we posted them. My prediction would be that you would tell people to express their beautiful souls and I would be all "What the fuck did you do that for?!?!" But we are not reliable correspondents, so I don't know that we should ask people to write us.
Finally - look hon! We can do this for another fifty years.