stephanie_lessing_new

the language of airplanes

“I can’t stand sitting next to two people in a row. I have an uncanny sense of smell,” I explained to the Jet Blue phone reservationist. “There’s got to be an aisle seat somewhere on that plane.”

“I only have two windows left. How about a more leg room seat?”

“That won’t help. I can smell other people’s saliva even when their mouths are closed. Just knowing they have saliva bothers me. And I become very suspicious on planes. I report people constantly. I’m a nuisance. It’s in everyone’s best interest if I only have to sit next to one person at a time. Please find me an aisle seat. I’m begging you.”

“You’ll only be sitting next to one person if you keep your window seat.”

“It’s not the same. The window seat is a trap. There’s nothing but scalps everywhere. The aisle seat is like having my own apartment. I can face out and breathe in the fresh aisle air. I can see the flight attendants opening cans of soda and slamming cabinets shut in the kitchen. It’s like a live show.”

“I’m sorry,” she lied.
***

As soon as I got to my seat, I put on my headphones and opened my book, “The Language of Flowers.” I purposely brought it on the flight hoping an orphan who hits her bus driver over the head with her backpack would be enough of a distraction in case the person sitting next to me did something horrible like cough or scratch her leg.

As my soon-to-be seat mate approached our row, I could see he was a man dressed as an old woman. He was carrying a stiff pocketbook, obviously not real, and he had on a black, wool kerchief that completely obscured his face. It was one of the worst disguises I’ve ever seen. He didn’t even bother to shave his mustache. When the flight attendant asked him if he needed help with his bag, he shook his head and wagged his finger to pretend he didn’t speak English. But then I saw that he had on this dainty little gold bracelet watch. It was too good of a prop to be a fake. The man was a woman.

I relaxed a little, but as soon as the old woman plopped herself down next to me she sighed as loudly as a person could possibly sigh without shouting. She was the type that would have me doing favors for her the entire time, and I’m just the sucker who would do them. All I wanted was some private time to read my book and learn everything about the language of flowers.

I turned the page and quietly mouthed the words aloud so she would know I was concentrating on my translations:

Rhododendron: Beware
Mistletoe: I surmount all obstacles
Snapdragon: Presumption
White poplar: Time

I smashed myself against the window as best I could to avoid any kind of physical contact, but she spread herself out so far, her upper arm was immediately touching mine. Married couples don’t sit that close, but she was obviously from a country where it’s perfectly normal to rub up against a stranger.

I casually stood up to brush some imaginary crumbs off my lap hoping she’d politely take the hint and adjust herself accordingly, but she wouldn’t budge. From a standing position I was able to see why she had to lean on me. It was her floor length puffer coat. It was too bulbous to be contained. The top half of her body mushroomed so far over the other side of her seat she had to tilt toward me to avoid completely falling over to the other side.

I sat back down and tried to read, but something started to smell like salami. I wasn’t sure if was her body or if she had a sandwich somewhere on her person. The temperature on the plane had risen considerably and I pictured her slowly decomposing until just her coat was left.I don’t know how air works, but her coat was either filling up with carbon dioxide or she was slowly sinking into it causing it to balloon out even more in my direction. I wedged my sweatshirt between her arm and my body, a subtle indicator that she had wandered way past any kind of ethical human boundary and that we were now enemies.

She showed no signs of being insulted. She remained completely inert. She couldn’t even change her TV channel. She was stuck there watching Family Guy, and I began to suspect the whole thing was an act.
Her handbag was partially opened on her lap so I did a quick eyeball search for explosives. There was nothing as far as I could see, but people don’t just leave bombs out where you can see them. They tuck them in.

When the flight attendant delivered our snacks I looked up pleadingly, hoping she might take pity on me and ask the woman to remove her coat, seeing as how it was occupying such an unfair portion of my seat, but then I remembered that flight attendants don’t have feelings.

I focused on my book and found myself folding my seat mate into the story. What if she had just been adopted as an elderly woman and was being transported to her new family? Maybe she’d been hired to replace an aunt or a grandmother who had recently died. I pictured her growing old in her orphanage, somewhere in Romania, having to avoid cruel childish pranks like the time a bunch of other orphans set her bed on fire, until just a few days ago when she got the phone call, at age 79, that someone finally wanted her.

I started to take pity on her in the same way I feel sorry for bank robbers on TV as they’re being taken to prison. I always want to hug them for having such bad luck.

“She may even be blind for all you know,” I thought to myself, and just then, almost as if she knew I’d forgiven her, she turned to me and handed me her bag of chips.

At first I thought she was just flat out giving them to me, but then she looked up at me with her sad caterpillar eyebrows and graying little mustache whiskers and mimed that she was unable to open the bag by herself. She smiled hopefully, knowing, despite everything, I would be there for her if she asked. It was the Language of Airplanes.

Potato Chips: Forgiveness

I wasn’t really all that busy anyway. My mind had already wandered off my book like eighty times, and I felt it was the least I could do for having shunned her for accidentally touching me, and then accusing her of being a man and then a terrorist.

I opened the bag and handed it to her. I watched her place one broken chip on her tongue, and just let it rest there like a Listerine tab.

“You’re gonna need to chew that,” I said, patting her sleeve.

As the plane hit the ground she squeezed my arm, and I put my hand on hers.
I looked down at her feet and saw that she was wearing rubber boots. The pilot had just announced that it was 81 degrees in Florida.

She pointed to the knot under her kerchief to indicate that I should untie it. Then we both stood up, and I helped her off with her coat.

the disposable toothbrush head

Today’s idea is the disposable toothbrush head, and it’s all yours.

Go make it happen!

I will be your first customer. I’ll buy one for each of my two children, one for my husband, one for my sister, one for each of my sister’s two children, one for my mom and one for myself.

That’s seven sales.

I even have the domain name picked out. You don’t have to use it, but I checked, and it’s not taken:
www.your.toothbrush.is.so.disgusting.I.can’t.love.you.com

Hold on. I just have to check one other thing.

God dammit.

Somebody beat us to it. The disposable toothbrush head is almost completely sold out on Amazon. I knew it was a good idea. Although they went with the name Eco-dent, which is ridiculous.

I can’t believe I’m living through this again.
This same thing happened to me with: the eyeglass chain, the mommy doll, and the lint brush mop. In fifth grade I invented the drone (at the time I called it the flying robot slave) but I wasn’t sure how to put together the wiring and everything so someone stole my whole concept on that one as well.

Don’t worry, though. I’ve got plenty more.

ideas

If you’re looking for something to invent, something to write, or lyrics for a new song, you’ve come to the right place. I have an idea every hour or so. They have piled up over the years. It’s now time for me to start giving them away. They’re free, so just take one and make it happen. I would do them all myself but I’m busy.

Today’s idea is:
The iphone

I just got word that this one is taken. Therefore, I will post a second idea today.

Today’s second idea is:The towel pillow
The towel pillow is a pillow that has been slip-covered with towels. Admittedly the iphone was a better idea.

“The First Bad Man” by Miranda July

I had just finished reading “The First Bad Man” by Miranda July when my husband walked through the door.

The first thing he asked me is why I’d cut my hair like Geraldine Ferraro. Then he wanted to know why I was carrying a baby and why I had a black eye.

I couldn’t possibly explain to him what had gone on in the hours that he’d left me at home, alone, with that book.  How July’s profound and peculiar brand of loneliness felt like she’d stuck her hand into my stomach and waved it around in there in case I’d forgotten my own. Or how her pathetically hopeful, ethereal imagination forced me back to my 18 month old self, a time when I knew myself so well I walked around in a constant state of embarrassment for having shit my diaper for the 850th time.

She not only forced me to go there she slapped me across the face the whole way there and back, with some ill-mannered, gargantuan girl’s foul smelling flip flop.  I had to cut my hair off, what else could I do? The perm was an afterthought.

As the day went on she forced me to look at a vagina really close up. The vagina had a baby in it. A screaming baby with a talking soul, whose name escapes me, but it sounds like something you might find at Ikea- something like Kubelko Bondy.

And there were snails everywhere. And brown shoes.

How could I explain the revolting but thankfully hurried sex she made me have with a very old man and something pink that I can’t remember? Oh right, his penis.   What explanation could I possibly come up with to explain why the whole house reeked of a sweaty sleeping bag doused in suntan lotion?

“She did this to me,” I said, on my knees.  “This is what she did to me, while you were at work. And the thing is she did it so well. She’s a writer. So much a writer . . .

‘That for a moment I wasn’t sure what I was.’”

If I Only Had A Job

Sometimes I like to fantasize that I accidentally got a job.

I rush around the morning of my first day in my 80’s power suit and heels, holding a cup of coffee in one hand and my briefcase in the other. I check my watch, kiss my husband goodbye, and rush off.  To Google.

When I get to my desk, I look out at the Empire State Building, the Chrysler building, parts of New Jersey, the Hudson River and then I hug myself for having such a big window.

Later I arrange some important papers on my desk and type a letter to Hillary Clinton about what not to wear and changing weather patterns.

I typically have lunch at a place called Claud’s, which I made up, followed by drinks on the rooftop of the Peninsula with some of my colleagues, secretaries and bodyguards. Sometimes I have to step away to take an important call from the President of the Ford Motor Corp.

Back at my office, I slip off my shoes and put on my sneakers. I jog on my treadmill while watching the stock reports on TV. Then I imagine myself having stocks.

Before long someone walks into my office while I’m dictating a letter or polishing my trophies and demands to know who I am and what I’m doing there.

At first I’m taken aback, but then I yell, “You’re fired!” and demand a raise. I storm out of the office to sit in my private ladies lounge on the third floor. I splash some cold water on my face in front of the mirror, and look myself straight in the eye.

“You go right back out there and show them what you’re made of!” I say, and take the rest of the day off.

Life According to A Sleepy’s Mattress Professional

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Helloooo

Me: Hi, is this Sleepy’s?

Sleepy’s: It is indeed.

Me: I’d like to purchase a bed frame.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Yeah, we got ‘em in stock. You can have one for like seventy five dollars I think.

Me: Okay, great.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Actually.. hold on….yeah like 75. I just had to check something.

Me: Okay, I’ll stop by today.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Awesome

TWO HOURS LATER

I arrive at Sleepy’s. It’s 12 degrees outside and there’s a piece of paper taped to the glass front door, sideways, that says, “Back in ten minutes” with a cell phone number. I tilt my head and call the number.

Me: Hello? Hi, I’m in front of the Sleepy’s store. There’s a note that says, “back in ten,” but I’m wondering when you left the note.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Oh yeah. I left that note cause I went out for breakfast. I’ll be back in like ten minutes.

Me: Oh, I must have just missed you then.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: That’s okay. No problem.

Me: Wait? What?

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

A guy in a really dirty suit and thick glasses comes strolling over holding a gigantic Dunkin’ Donuts bag. I smile even though I think he shouldn’t have left the store to get a million doughnuts. The back of his suit has white glue all over it. My guess is his jacket lining was drooping a little in the back, and so he chose glue to remedy the situation.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Hey how’s it going? Thanks for waiting for me. Beautiful day, isn’t it?

Me: It’s pretty cold out, even with the 12 degrees.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: And the sun is shining!

As we stand outside the door in the bitter cold, I quietly watch him search all of his pockets, over and over again, for the door key to the Sleepy’s store he was hired to manage. I smile encouragingly. I’ve smoked enough pot in my life to know what can happen to keys. I touch my nose to see if it’s still there. The keys don’t appear to be in any of his pockets so he searches the doughnut bag. I try to sway from side to side a little to keep my blood moving.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Wow. I might have left them somewhere.

Me: You definitely did. You should check your car and all of your pockets again. And, in the meantime, I’ll do an errand or two, and come back a little later. One of my toes is so numb it’s numbing the toe next to it. I’d hate to lose any of them.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: You came all the way down here though. It won’t be much longer.

Me: I’m really cold. I don’t mind coming back.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: You’re right I should check my car. But don’t leave, okay? The reason I left the store unattended is that I waited for you all morning. I thought you meant that you were coming over right away when you called. I sat here starving to death. I waited as long as I could, and then I was just like, man I gotta eat something. Oh wow I didn’t realize I taped that sign on sideways. That’s messed up.

And then he finds his key in his right hand pocket and holds it up.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: So I’m gonna give you a discount for waiting, okay?

Me: No, seriously? Should you do that?

He points to the Sleepy’s Logo on his desk mug.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Of course I should. That’s me. The Sleepy’s Mattress Professional!

He laughs. So then I laugh.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: My brother is the number one salesman of 7,000 employees.

Me: That’s impressive. What number are you?

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Ha Ha Right. Yeah, well I only work here occasionally. I fill in for my brother if he really needs me.

I wonder if anyone besides him and his brother know that.

Me: What do you do on the other days?

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: I’m a musician.

Me: A h h h. What do you play?

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Everything, man.

Me: Seriously? Every single instrument? You play every instrument?

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Pretty much, yeah.

Me: Wow.

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: And I sing, produce, write, and I have a line of clothing coming out, too, which should be cool.

I realize my whole approach to living is off. Why shouldn’t a salesman be able to get a quick cup of coffee and a tasty doughnut during business hours to clear his head a little? Sleepy’s isn’t jail. It’s just a store for crying out loud.

Me: What’s your name? I’ll look you up!

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Be True.

Me: I’m sorry, what?

Sleepy’s Mattress Professional: Be True. That’s my name.

Me: Oh, it’s like a stage name.

Be true: No, that’s my name.

Me: So your first name is Be? And your last name is True? Just the letter B or B-e, or B-e-e, or B-e-a like Aunt Bea?

Be true: No, my first name is Be True. A very important person gave it to me and it stuck. It’s my name now, because that’s what I’m all about. I’m True in every way.

Now I’m fiddling with my phone trying to tape the conversation in case he doesn’t actually work at Sleepy’s, but of course my battery is always dead whenever I meet someone named Be True. I decide to trust him, but test his True-ness.

Me: Did you know they spray these mattresses with fire retardant, Be?

Be true: Yeah, they do. Except the Gemma beds. Come over here and take a look.

He walks me over to the Gemma Bed and reads the little tag, which says how safe and clean and chemical free it is.

Be true: I know everything about mattresses. That’s how I knew about the Gemma bed. I’m a mattress geek. And do you want to know why?

Me: I sort of do, yes.

Be true: Because everyone sleeps. Think about that.

We walk back to the computer which Be true tells me is from 1996 because the owner of Sleepys, who also owns Rockaway Bedding, 1-800 mattress (and a few other names I can’t remember) doesn’t want to spend the money for an upgraded computer.

Be True: It’s all about money, man. This whole business.

Me: As so often is the case, with businesses.

Be True: Yeah. So I’m gonna charge you 59.

Me: 59? Really? Are you sure?

Be True: Yes.

Be True starts pressing numbers into the rickety old computer. His fingers are slipping off of every key, I imagine he’s typing a series of cartoon curses $%^&&#$#%

A receipt comes out of an old-fashioned, boxy printer and he hands it to me. I check for spelling errors. There are none.

Me: Wow.

Be true goes to the back and comes back carrying the bed frame on his shoulder. He starts walking toward the front door with it, and nods for me to follow him.

Be true: I’ll carry it out for you.

When we get to my car, he slides the frame in, which fits in the car perfectly, and then asks me if I want to put the back seat down.

Me: Not really. The frame fit right in.

Be true: Yeah, it does actually. I see that. It’s perfect. It’s a perfect fit. Awesome.

Me: Okay, well, nice meeting you. Bye.

Be True: Hey listen. . .

Me: Yeah?

Be True: Enjoy this day. That’s what it’s all about.

Old Photo

Recently my sister-in-law emailed me a photo of me sitting next to my husband at a family gathering in her living room, about thirty years ago. What immediately struck me was that I had curly hair that day. At no time in my life do I ever remember having such hair. At first I thought after years of blow drying and flattening it, I convinced myself, and my hair, that I’m someone else. But, no, something had definitely gone awry.

I stared at the photo a little longer, trying to get a handle on what was beginning to look more and more like I was wearing a shower cap, when I suddenly remembered when that photo was taken. I was new to the family and no one was talking to me. It wasn’t their fault. They’re wonderful people. It’s just that not having anyone to talk to, even for a minute or two, has been a reoccurring fear of mine for most of my life and that photo documented one of the worst experiences of my life. As I recall my head was soaking wet from nerves.

Not only was nobody talking to me, but when I looked more closely at the photo I remembered that my husband, sensing how badly things were going, fell asleep. In the photo, I’m leaning forward looking at him like, Please don’t die. You’re my only friend here. From that point on I sat as stiff as a board unable to function.

I remember compensating for my fear by talking incessantly. I covered my parent’s divorce, my childhood eating disorder and the time I fell off my bike. I told them about our dog, Heidi, a miniature schnauzer, I described how I’d like to decorate my apartment, and gave everyone my mom’s chicken recipe. I was mostly talking to myself, but I persevered. At one point my husband picked his head up and I thought oh thank God, but then he proceeded to get up and walk into the other room so he could nap in peace.

On the way home he apologized every thirty seconds.

“I don’t know why I got so tired all of a sudden. I never meant to fall asleep. How’d it go?”

“Really well. Thanks for asking.”

“Great, so what happened to your hair? It looks shorter.”

“Humidity, I guess.”

I flipped my visor mirror down and admired my full-blown Afro from every angle before running a brush through my hair.

“I lied, by the way. It didn’t go well. I talked the entire time you were sleeping. Literally no breaks at all.”

“Yeah, I heard, but don’t worry. It’ll all be forgotten. It’s not like anybody got it on film.”

Your first day of Kindergarten can ruin you

Your first day of Kindergarten can ruin you. I’m a writer because of mine. So you can imagine how badly I did that day.

My first mistake was I wore a party dress with a wide band of smocking across the chest and puffy sleeves. I knew it was all wrong as soon as I stepped inside the classroom, but there was nothing I could do. My only other wardrobe option was the extra set of clothes we were required to bring in a brown paper bag in case of an emergency, which meant in case we peed in our pants, and I knew I’d be needing those.

The only kid who was dressed worse than me was the boy in black patent leather dress shoes who asked every single blonde girl in the class if she would accept his hand in marriage. Also, I was fat.

My dress was so inappropriate I kept my coat on for the entire day. Please know that when you wear your coat indoors it looks like there’s something wrong with you. I went a step further and had my mom stay in the class with me. She had to sit in one of those little chairs looking like a giant and all the kids were staring at her. At snack time I literally spilled grape juice on my dress. Meaning I picked it up and deliberately spilled the juice on my dress in an attempt to ruin it so I could show that I knew better than to have worn it and perhaps leave early.

Had I known then what I know now my whole life would have been different. I can’t stress this enough. If you’re about to enter kindergarten, I urge you to read on.

The most important thing for you to know upfront is that almost everyone in your class will grow up to be a liar. This is not your fault, but you still have to find a way to play with them. Playing is really your only job. You can outsmart the little con artists if you don’t get emotionally involved. Think of them as toys.

*Also, do not show them your vagina (see below).

If you’re not the number one toy, that gives you plenty of time to focus on your block building, costume designing or fake food baking skills. Just hang back, be creative, and think long term: You don’t want to be the kid who peaked in Kindergarten.

If you’re playing with something and someone walks over and takes it, play with something else. Most of those toys are covered in E-coli anyway. Kids shit all over themselves regularly.

As a matter of fact, there’s an excellent chance you, too, will shit in your pants. If that happens don’t announce it. Just walk out the door and don’t look back.

If your teacher randomly breaks out in a sweat and accuses you of stealing her glasses, it’s not a reflection on you. It’s because her body is no longer producing estrogen. Tell her she looks like Jennifer Anniston. All women over forty secretly think they look like her. She will believe and reward you.

If a kid really doesn’t want to play with you he’s either afraid of you or grossed out. Check in and around your nose.

If you’re a girl and you want to play with another girl because she’s beautiful and wearing a sparkly pink headband, but she’s deeply involved with another girl who’s pretending a doll is their baby, while a third girl is quietly fashioning a starter home for her (with her own tool set that she brought from home) and the girl with the headband whom she’s planning to steal from the girl with the baby, statistically, one of you is a lesbian.

As far as pot smoking, it’s pretty much always a good idea to wait until you get to middle school. Now is just too soon.

If you call your teacher mommy by accident, I can’t help you. That’s how bad that is. You should kill yourself.

If your teacher shows favorites and you’re not it, remember this: There are women out there who prefer liars. These women make bad choices all throughout their lives. Still not your problem.

At one point you will dream that you went to Kindergarten naked. In my dream, I’m always riding a tricycle around the classroom with my whole ass showing. This dream will haunt you for life. It means you are deeply insecure and afraid of being known. The only way to stop having this dream is to become a writer and tell everyone what happened to you in Kindergarten.

*Suffice to say I responded to an invitation to meet with three little boys behind a tractor, all of whom promised to show me their penises if I showed them my vagina. Long story short I went first and they were liars.

My First Huffington Post Blog

The day I got my first Huffington Post blog published (about how I pee in my pants all the time now that I’m old) I peed in my pants. And then I called my kids and my husband, and emailed everyone I know. And then I quickly got in touch with the guy who does my website to make a few changes. “We better check all the links to Amazon. My book sales could easily go through the roof with the huff post exposure.”

After the blog went up, I spent the whole day sending and answering emails from fans. Fans like my kids, my college roommate, the lady who gave me my first set of highlights, who still has my email for some reason, my next door neighbor, the secretary from my kids’ middle school, my mom, my sister, and the woman who waxes my moustache.

“Wow!” I thought, wiping a tear from my eye.  “What a great day for my career!” I guess this is how it all starts. First the huffpost, then the emails, then I’ll probably want to set up an account exclusively for book sales royalties.  As of now it’s got just the $3.74, but that number is certainly about to change.

So I made some more calls, took a shower, checked my website a few times and decided to check my post.  Just to see if it had gone viral.

164 Likes.

I hit the button again to see if 164 was short for 164 million.

It’s not.

I decided that it’s better to build an audience slowly. You don’t want to overexpose yourself and then burn out.  The idea is to stay under the radar until you build a solid fan base to protect you from the haters.

I checked the post again.

166.

I remember my first book signing at Womrath’s in Tenafly, New Jersey. I parked a few streets down to leave spaces for my fans.  I was wondering if some of my old teachers might show. I imagined pointing them out in the crowd and telling them to give themselves a hand for knowing me.

I pictured my kids setting up a little lemonade stand for parched fans while they waited on line for a signed copy of, “She’s Got Issues.” And then I blotted my lipstick a little so I wouldn’t look too done.

When I arrived at the bookstore for the signing, the owner, Bob, had set up a bunch of chairs. I’d say about twenty chairs.  I was surprised to see that only three of them were occupied.

“Where is everybody?” I whispered to Bob.

“Oh, this is it. This is a typical turnout. Authors aren’t rock stars.”

“Right, right. So, who are those three people in the audience?” I asked.

“Oh, that’s my wife, Meryl, and her sister, Arlene. They both read and loved your book. That other woman is from the chair rental company. She has to stay until you’re done.”

The reading ended up being one of my best.  A few more people trickled in and they asked some amazing questions. We all started sharing our experiences about how women treat each other in the workplace. By the end we felt like a little family. That’s how it always is with readings. The people who come truly want to be there. They want to connect with one another through books and writers get to feel like they did something useful that day as opposed to what they usually do, which is sit in a room talking to themselves and writing it down.

If you touch even one person a day it’s a miraculous feeling, so miraculous in fact that I could go on and on about it all day. But I have to go check my likes.

The Edited Woman

Dear Vogue:

I am fat livid.  What you did to Lena Dunham is a miracle disgrace.  You took the purest face and body on the planet, and you turned it into a sexed up, skinny, dirty, artistic masterpiece sham. Do you have any idea what this does to me the American female psyche?  Lena was our last friend in the at least I try harder than her category hope. She gave us permission to be slobs human.  I imagine her saying, “Look, I am a genius with artist parents who taught me how to freely express myself from a very young age, so in the only way that really matters I am actually nothing like you a human being like you. Compared to the average model, when you’re naked you look bad like me, whether you like it or not. And guess what. When you have sex, this is what it looks like. Not that.  This.”

For those of us who are fat not anorexic, supermodels, Lena was our punching bag superstar. She turned being normal into something cool and fashionable. She turned our fat naturally beautiful bodies, into something wearing a onesie with a humongous tattoo acceptable– something with integrity, heart and soul.

I beg of you, Vogue, can you please call me stop tearing down our healthy female role models and turning them into some archaic, backlit, caricature of the feminine form, a coked-out raunchy, sex goddess toy.

If Vogue ever called me to say they wanted to do a makeover on me, the likes of which they did on Lena Dunham, I would give my soul to Satan tell them to leave me the keys to the apartment of anyone on the masthead who needs their floors cleaned the hell alone. I have better things to do with my time then sit around and wait for a bunch of fashion and beauty experts to primp and dress me in magnificent clothes and turn me into the person I actually I imagined I looked like this whole time their sock puppet.

In closing, Vogue, let me just say that I love the original Lena Dunham. I think she’s as beautiful as she is brilliant and her body is lovable in the way a body should be lovable, in that it’s actually lovable. In fact, I love her so much I want to call her parents and thank them for making her. I also want to call Vogue and tell them that even though they didn’t choose me edited her, I applaud their decision to go with Lena in the first place. She is, after all, the new American woman. She is the voice of her generation and the new feminine ideal. If you see this, Lena, just know you were already perfect before they retouched you, and thank you for fulfilling every girl’s dream of being on the cover of Vogue loved for who she really is.