Monday, February 23, 2009

Soul searching

Drew has accused us of trivializing serious subjects, and yet she has been grateful for our ability to cut through the razzle-dazzle and focus on timeless values. Uncertainty sometimes seems our only certainty.

But what has become clear is that we are living through much more than a bump in the road. We are navigating without a map, plucking our eyebrows without a mirror. We don’t know if we are headed for a deep abyss out of which we will need to claw our way hand over fist or if we are headed for a deep dark woods where branches will whip us in the face and thorns tear at our clothes and in the distance we hear the terrifying sound, like a woman’s scream and then we realize that it’s something worse—a bobcat—and it’s coming closer. It is starving. We are its prey. We have no choice but to run as fast as we can, tearing off garments to leave in our wake, to slow the beast. We throw off clothes until we are running naked, freezing and sweating. Will we reach shelter in time? Will we get arrested for indecent exposure? What if it really is a screaming woman and not a bobcat?

Discovering as much as we can about the nature of our situation is critical; it lies at the heart of what we do. Doing so will mean taking some difficult steps. At a time of new constraint, it will involve discipline and sacrifice. It will entail hard choices about what matters most.

This challenge can seem particularly daunting after a period of extended growth and expansive opportunities. But we live in the moment that history has presented to us, and I am confident we will rise to this occasion even though we have never done this before.

It is our collective obligation to face the situation with the right balance of short-term focus and long-term ambition, for ourselves and for dear Dr. Faust, whose disposition will be shaped by our choices.

Wherever we work or eat, whatever the demands of our present moment, we share enduring ideals. We are committed to attracting the most able and creative community of fans in the world, and pursuing new knowledge and ideas with all the imagination and rigor we can summon. We are committed to opening our doors to products of the highest caliber as long as we can obtain them for a reasonable mark-up. We are committed, as part of a nation and a world vexed with complex problems, to seeking new understandings and solutions informed by serious consumption of Champagne. And we are committed to upholding the values of free inquiry and expression, of excellence and innovation across the domains of fashion, food, and gardening that shape our fan club.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Leading the way at Fashion Week

Secretary Geithner wants to stress-test the banks. Meanwhile, I'm stress-testing my Spanx. Have you any idea what happens to a Southern lady who becomes ice-bound and does not watch what she eats? I should get Geithner to ring-fence my pantry.

Drew is also being stress-tested, but Fashion Week has provided much-needed diversion, as well as validating her fashion sense. It turns out our game-changing Dr. Faust is a leader in the area of fashion as well as in so many other areas!

As suits suits suits pranced down the runway all the faces in the tent turned toward Drew. Or would have. Had she been at Fashion Week. Which she could have been. But probably wasn’t. But obviously the beautiful people and the fashion designers are all Drew Gilpin Faust fans!

So brilliant she is! She can update her wardrobe merely by belting her jackets! Perfect for these times of austerity. I'm sure she has lots of belts. If not I can lend her mine. None of mine fit anymore. Did I mention she is brilliant? I can't wait to see this look on her.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Not About Allston

Miss Grimke: Too bad you don't qualify for the early retirement package.

DGF: I am not interested in throwing in the towel yet, at any rate.

Miss Grimke: Some people say there has been a lot of wasteful spending at the World's Richest University and you need to cut back on the perks, like Champagne. I'm appalled.

DGF: Any large institution is going to have areas where money could have been spent more wisely or should not have been spent at all. We are taking a close look at everything.

Miss Grimke: But cut back on Champagne? That would be a huge huge loss.

DGF: How's it going, your work with Trader Joe's on the sparkling Chuque?

Miss Grimke: Slowly, slowly, somewhat like the construction in Allston.

DGF: Please don't start with the Allston bit again. It ceases to amuse me.

Miss Grimke: I hear the Allston rats are starting to wear little red hoodies that say "Harvard University."

DGF: Again with the not listening to me.

Miss Grimke: How about this: Dr. Faust goes pantless to draw attention to the need to cut back on expenses.

DGF: Now I remember. This is a fashion blog. I'm always pantless under my robe.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Another literary dish-fest

Miss Grimke: Is anyone allowed to say anything negative about John Updike? Is he a national treasure, like Barbaro or Brady?

DGF: He was perhaps the Harvard of white male writers.

Miss Grimke: He was the purveyor of the philosophy of self-realization through the practice of adultery.

DGF: He was very gifted in his use of the language, but when he tried to write from the female point of view the only characters he could imagine himself into were witches. And when he imagined female power he imagined it would be used to fight over men.

Miss Grimke: He wrote the male equivalent of high-brow chicklit.

DGF: I would not pursue that metaphor in an armored Hummvee.