02 September 2010

Someone I Used to Know

I am reading a novel by someone I used to know.  Not very well; Diana was a grad student when I was an undergrad: I admired her from afar.  She was tall, blond, slim, and (to me) grownup and glamorous.  Her boyfriend--just as tall, slim, and handsome--was he a grad student in a different department?--added to the glamor.

She was the first person I ever saw wear black stirrup pants.  I remember asking her where she got them, and her bemusement at my admiration. Black stirrup pants became my uniform (under a white dress shirt) for at least a handful of years. (My husband periodically evinces nostalgia for them: "You used to always wear stirrup pants. What happened?") I remember mean-spirited voices criticizing her work as beautiful, but too opaque, difficult.  She is probably the person I most wanted to be when I was 19 or 20.

I never did become her, though. Never that slim, nor that alluring, and nobody ever accused me of opacity (quite the opposite).

But I became her reader, and happily find her work engaging, actually wholly delightful.

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