-For a change, a Parisian woman complains about how skinny women are in New York. And, alas, makes about as much sense as anyone could who begins a post by musing, "Have you ever had lunch with a New Yorker? Really, it’s not far from an episode of Sex and the City." To be fair, she means New Yorkers working in the fashion industry. Maybe she's right? Anyway, someone needs to tell her that portions are not huge in NY. Certainly not in fashion-y Manhattan spots she no doubt goes to, and that she's now blaming for weight gain that (prepare to shed a tear) has prevented her from fitting into her skinny jeans. Thing is, Europeans have been told for their entire lives that in America, the portions are immense, so when they come to Soho and get a plate with one local-sustainable arugula sprout curled up at the center, and that's it, they react by announcing that they've been forced to down a plate of chili fries by the Great American Conspiracy. Cold, hard evidence in the form of portions that would not sustain an especially inactive elderly socialite is nothing in the face of what Europeans just know.
But it's so much fun to blame weight gain on 'merica! Mireille Giuliano built a second career on that concept. Maybe it's the bagels! Or maybe a dumbed-down version of Michael Pollan - Mark Bittman will suffice?
So maybe this isn’t something I can speak abut as I don’t know anything about that, but one thing’s for sure, the laws are totally different about things like what growth hormones you can feed beef and chicken to make them grow faster. I don’t know how all this affects our weight, but I don’t see how it could help but get into the milk, eggs and meat. It’s crazy. I was talking with Emily, my Australian friend who just got here to NYC and she also gained 10 pounds just like that (It’s known as the little house warming gift in NYC – Hello! Welcome! Here’s 10 pounds!). Plus here, not only did were we getting fatter – the fat seemed softer. Yeurk.Yeah, totally! Doré must've put on a few not because metabolisms slow down as we age, but from all these weird chemicals in American food, specifically engineered to make otherwise flawless foreign women fat. Remember Edina Monsoon in "Fat," the AbFab episode in which she insists that her heft is "much more likely to be an allergy to something. A build-up of toxins or a hormone imbalance" than the result of her overeating and lack of exercise? I guess the fashion-person way is to find some absurd yet so-very-now reason for looking sub-optimal in a pair of tight jeans. Man, I wish Edina were real, and had a blog.
-Dorm life is all too fresh in my mind. The one I lived in most recently in Paris was no-frills to say the least. That the (shared) bathroom was ostensibly cleaned a few times a week didn't mean there wasn't that smeared on the walls, or that running water would come forth from the bathroom sink. The communal showers were not for those with an aversion to mold. The walls between the rooms were made out of tissue-paper or something, such that when my neighbor came by to complain that he could hear me talking at 5 in the evening on a Sunday, he kind of had a point. All told, this was maybe not the best situation to move into at 27, but it allowed me to get a lot of research done in Paris, and perhaps the stress of that living situation helped close friendships form among many of us.
The stress of proximity and a standard of living well below that which most have prior to and following their university experiences is, however, zilch compared with that of sharing a bedroom - as in, one room, one door - with a stranger, something rather different also, it should be noted, from what most post-college roommate situations look like. We hear alllll the time about the fancy and schmancy amenities offered to today's spoiled undergrad, yet as soon as this discussion arises, it's always all about how there simply isn't the room-aka-money to give every entering student a tiny cell of his own. This is no doubt more true of some schools than others (plenty of UChicago dorms I can think of could be subdivided for privacy), but the reason the two-per-room set-up persists is that we-as-a-society think it's at worst an acceptable way to save space, at best a fundamental part of the college experience. It shouldn't be - it's too much to ask kids to spend their first year of college being some unenlightened roommate's 24/7 "learning experience." This is not your first time hearing it here, but Flavia has a great post on the matter, so I'm sending you her way.
-I've been de-ombréd, in the form of a haircut. Apparently bleaching the ends of my hair twice, then putting a pink dye over that, then attempting various methods (dandruff shampoo, dish soap, more bleach) to get it out brought the ends to a state for which no conditioner was deep enough. The past few days, and even on my way to the salon, I saw all these girls (nah, not so many women) with ombré perfection, and did feel some regret. But I now look much more professional, which is important for editing down an article attempt at home in my pajamas.