Goldberg and Orlean

Failure to Flog Results in Untimely Breakup
June 1996 - June 2006.
Jan. 28 1999 4:22 PM

Goldberg and Orlean

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Daddy-o,

Advertisement

Thanks for the gentle brush-off (ha!). And for the record I'd do a breakfast table with any Tom, Dick, or Harry; I'm not waiting around for your sorry ass to call again.

Yikes! The New Hostility!

You know what's funny? Ever since the Monica incident broke, at least five (5!) of my gal friends have asked me (timidly, as is their wont, the poor dears) whether I have ever worn a thong and whether it was comfortable and where they could purchase one. I think this means that Monica has done for thongs what Clark Gable did for undershirts. Or was it fedoras? Anyway, Clark Gable did something for some piece of clothing and it really mattered, I think, and a lot of people either made or lost money. Anyway, I was shocked, shocked! that some of the people I call friends had never worn thongs and didn't know if they were comfortable, and (this really shocked me, since after all, one of the badges of living in New York is knowing where to purchase any single thing a person could possibly buy, and know where to get the best one, the cheapest one, when the sample sales are, what the exact day and month they became totally yesterday and an embarrassment to own... I feel I possess said knowledge about several things, including but not limited to sea monkeys--See also, Breakfast Table, Monday or maybe it was Tuesday when I gave you the dirt on the sea monkey market). Oh, back to my friends' undergarments--what really shocked me is that they didn't know where to buy them. So I said to my naive, unsoiled, thong-virgin friends: Next time your doorman appears to be reading one of Hegel's lesser masterpieces--which in fact is the dust cover of the Hegel book wrapped strategically around a Victoria's Secret catalogue--ask your doorman where to buy a thong. He could probably phone in an order for you right then and there.

Which is of course not a dis of my doormen as much as it is admiration for their cunning and deceit and also a desperate plea for them to stop stealing my Victoria's Secret catalogues because I need to order some more thongs.

You know, you were such a peach to flak my book (it's called The Orchid Thief, published by Random House and you can't order it from the Victoria's Secret catalogue) and then I blew it by not asking you whether I should flog something of yours in return. Is that why the relationship is falling apart? Because I can change! I can! And I want to change! I'm not trying to change just to hold on to you! I was planning to change anyway!

Do poor people get stuck living in earthquake zones or does it just seem that earthquakes seek out people who have very little anyway? Of course, that doesn't exactly explain Los Angeles, but still ... certain crummy things do happen more to people because they are in crummy circumstances--buses aren't maintained and then fall apart and then plunge over cliffs, and ferries are overloaded and sink, and disease runs riot--but why does it seem to also happen with natural disasters? Or is it that natural disasters happen in places that aren't good places to live anyway because the land isn't fertile or there isn't any mineral wealth or something and that's why the people living there are poor? Or is it just that most people in the world live in crummy circumstances (my hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and similarly privileged places excluded), so that whenever and wherever a natural disaster occurs it's going to be occurring to poor people?

I don't miss you--yet.

Still yours, like it or not,

S

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.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Nov. 21 2014 1:38 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? See if you can keep pace with the copy desk, Slate’s most comprehensive reading team.