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Category: hers

refused to love her

notes on fear, fight or flight maybe I turned against myself (hypothalamus stimulates action) maybe the selfishness and self-seeking have been a form of isolation (pituitary gland releases hormones) did I back down as soon as there was conflict? (adrenal glands release epinephrine so your heart contracts, beats more strongly, beats faster) was i operating as an island? (blood pressure rises) often have trouble identifying…

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women without

  “She went downstairs, staggering now very badly, and awakened Mary Jane. “Wuzzat? Who? Huh?” said Mary Jane, sitting bolt upright on the couch. “Mary Jane. Listen. Please,” Eloise said, sobbing. “You remember our freshman year, and I had that brown-and-yellow dress I bought in Boise, and Miriam Ball told me nobody wore those kind of dresses in New York, and I cried all night?”…

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bright world

–This week Columbia University is mailing out to parents of freshmen a 27-page booklet, The Background of Student Unrest, which tries to calm fears about protests and demonstrations. Student activism “is a challenge to understanding, not an occasion for panic or for pessimism or for sweeping denunciations,” says Columbia. “After all, there are plenty of reasons around us today for anyone to be restless and…

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noiseless soup spoon

  “Like the irate lady who appeared to Diane one night pulling a kiddy’s red express wagon trimmed with bells and filled with cats in fancy hats and dresses. Like the man in Brooklyn called the Mystic Barber who teleported himself to Mars and said he was dead and wore a copper band around his forehead with antennae on it to receive instructions from the…

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Basic Box Step

  Here’s a corporate bedtime story about a Montana forest fire in 1949. The crew chief, a firefighter named Wagner Dodge, leads fifteen “smokejumpers” into the fire. The story is excerpted from Leadership Presence, a handbook for shy executives.  “Dodge and his men parachuted into a place called Mann Gulch to get ahead of the fire. Suddenly the wind picked up, and the fire jumped…

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Mani Pedi

  “And that madness—talking to animals, trees, that part of themselves which suffocates and explodes, that transference—you find it in all women, including women of the middle class. It’s what I call their neurosis. Neurosis in women is so ancient, thousands of years old—all women are neurotic in my opinion—that people are used to their behavior. . . Of course women express this neurosis differently in…


the truth about me

“I’ve mentioned Sister’s beauty. There’s no denying that I was the ugly duckling, thanks to my fat and my pimples. Sister was the top Bankhead girl until I got into the theater. She liked to dance and swim and ride. She was an excellent student, I was an indifferent one. Sister was the party girl. I was the homebody. She liked to be up at…

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wash it clean

  “In giving the Furies their place, we may come to recognize that they are not such alien presences as we think in our moments of evading them. In fact, far from being alien, they are part of ourselves, like all gods and demons. The conspiracy to forget them, or to deny that they exist, thus turns out to be only one more contrivance in…

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the frock makes the man

“PROUD PRELATE: You know what you were before I made you what you are now. If you do not immediately comply with my request, I will unfrock you, by God. –Elizabeth” This is a letter Queen Elizabeth wrote in 1575 to a minion who disobeyed her. He was a Bishop, whatever that meant at the time. Elizabeth wanted to take one of his estates away…


edith wharton was a hottie



“The real purpose of the window-curtain is to regulate the amount of light admitted to the room, and a curtain so arranged that it cannot be drawn backward and forward at will is but a meaningless accessory. It was not until the beginning of this century that curtains were used without regard to their practical purpose. The window hangings of the middle ages and of the Renaissance were simply straight pieces of cloth or tapestry hung across the window without any attempt at drapery, and regarded not as part of the decoration of the room, but as a necessary protection against draughts. It is probably for this reason that in old prints and pictures representing the rooms of wealthy people, curtains are so seldom seen. The better the house, the less need there was for curtains.”

from The Decoration of Houses, by Edith Wharton (1897)



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