Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fran Lebowitz is attractive

I have a friend who resembles Fran Lebowitz. I've always thought this was an attractive quality because I've always considered Fran Lebowitz attractive. From the first time I saw Fran—in the late 1970s on the back cover of Metropolitan Life, which somehow, thank God, had made it into my childhood home in rural New Hampshire—I thought she was handsome. And from the moment I read the first paragraph of the first essay in the book, I knew I was not alone in the world:

"12:35 P.M. - The phone rings. I am not amused. This is not my favorite way to wake up. My favorite way to wake up is to have a certain French movie star whisper to me softly at two-thirty in the afternoon that if I want to get to Sweden in time to pick up my Nobel Prize for Literature I had better ring for breakfast. This occurs rather less often than one might wish."

So much is conveyed in that opening paragraph. First, we know she is a lesbian. Or at least, I, as an adolescent, knew it. The person whispering softly in her ear is a woman. There simply is no debating it. Second, we know there is room service, one of the great pleasures in life, about which I had not known when I was 12. I have since become acquainted. Third, there is an aversion to the telephone, which indicates rational thought. Fourth, there is a swaggering quality a bit like a Handsome Sailor if the Handsome Sailor had not been a dimwit.

So, there you have it. Intelligence, sapphism, and good looks. So if someone suggests you remind them of Fran Lebowitz, you should take it as a compliment.

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