Physiognomy Is Destiny

Goldberg and Orlean

Physiognomy Is Destiny

Goldberg and Orlean

Physiognomy Is Destiny
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Jan. 25 1999 3:25 PM

Goldberg and Orlean

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Dear Jeff Jefferson Goldberg (Jeff-Jeff to your friends, I hope),

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The New Yorker does not pay for haircuts, unfortunately, but the Condé Nast corporation does pay to have our neck- and back-hair waxed. At a mutually acceptable waxer, of course! By the way, I used to write a lot for Vogue, and early on I wrote a piece about my addiction to giving parties (I'm in recovery, thank you) and they decided to photograph me for the illustration. First, it was hinted (by my editor) that a little hair trim would suit me nicely, and of course Vogue would cover it at a hair maestro of their choosing. Then the maestro persuaded me to get a major cut--oh, I should mention here that it was a private session, after hours--and then suggested I put in a touch (!!) of color (!!!) and then proposed that he blow-dry my curly hair into a smooth, swingin' cap of silk. Which he did. At least they let me wear my own clothes, although I think that was just a fluke.

Are you related to a Michelle Goldberg? I grew up with such a person, who I remember most fondly because she once told me that "69" meant that the mommy and the daddy got into bed together with their clothes on and slept upside down. Yikes! Are we allowed to discuss such things here?

I read that story about the anchor woman, too. I personally think she's a lot better looking, even with bangs, than Al Roker. By the way, it now seems perfectly acceptable for male TV newstrons to be obese. The day there's an obese female on TV, I'll eat my cell phone. (More fiber!) To say that TV isn't fair is so pointless as to be almost solipsistic. I'm fascinated by people's looks and how looks shape personality. As I (or someone I'm sure) always says: Physiognomy is destiny. By the way, what do you look like? And what are you wearing right now?

Oops. Wrong Web site.

Portentously yours,

Susan Jefferson Orlean

Jeffrey Goldberg is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Slate. Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Orchid Thief, which was published this month.