I’m just back from a week’s vacation, and while my original plan for today was to catch you up on some of the wonderful places I’ve been and people I’ve encountered, a couple of things happened that changed that plan. First, Helen Gurley Brown died.
Helen Gurley Brown has always been such a character of conflict for me. One the one hand, she championed female sexuality and women in the workplace. On the other hand: “I would like to put in a good word on diarrhea. The pounds melt away.” She wrote this at age 71. And to me, that seems like a sad thing for a 71-year-old woman to say.
And then today, Phyllis Diller died. Like HGB, Phyllis Diller wore wigs and fake eyelashes, used a theatrically heavy hand to apply makeup, and was a very vocal fan of plastic surgery. But unlike with HGB, I never felt sorry for Phyllis Diller. She had a braying, ridiculous, self-loathing persona onstage, but I always knew that she wasn’t serious about it. The above sad quote would have been a great one-liner coming out of Phyllis’ mouth.
Rest in peace, ladies. I hope you two are hanging out right now discussing hairpieces over ice cream and cocktails. Don’t worry, Helen; nobody gets fat in Heaven.
ETIQUETTE: (from The Cosmo Girl’s Guide To The New Etiquette, 1971) “Men say they hate false eyelashes… that means your false eyelashes shouldn’t look false. Avoid a gummy glue line or exaggerated spikes. Apply liner carefully to bridge any gap between the real lash and the fake.”
SUPERSTITION: It is a good omen for you to have downward-curling lashes on your right eye if you are a man. If you are a woman, this is not a very good omen. Don’t trim your eyelashes while the moon is in its waning period, or they will never grow back. If you lose an eyelash, put it on the back of your hand, make a wish and throw it over your shoulder. Alternately, you may put the eyelash on the tip of your nose, wish and then blow it off. If it doesn’t blow off, your wish will not come true.