I had a boyfriend once named Jim, a serious rock climber, who literally couldn’t look at a building, house, or wall without trying to map out how he might scale it. I found this kind of amusing, but for Jim it was a full-on obsession; he couldn’t have turned it off if he tried. I thought of him this weekend because I finally (finally!) started Instagramming, and now feel similarly fixated: it is with some effort that I now fight the impulse to evaluate every person, place, or thing I come into contact with over the course of a day as potential feed for the feed. I’ve posted a number of pictures from the weekend, among them, this shot of the shed in our Sag Harbor backyard. Follow me at @kimfrancenyc and I’ll follow you right back.
This question comes via Andrea, who called the other morning to ask if it was OK for her to buy the Maria Cornejo spiral skirt she’d admired on me the other day when we hung out. I told her that of course it was—there is no one I have style-glommed more over the years than her. I’ve also never thought imitation was such a big deal—at Lucky we all copied each other endlessly,* but everyone had her own style, so nothing ever looked exactly the same on any two people. Still, I do believe it is polite to ask. How about you? Compliment or nuisance?
*In fact, in the art department there was a very amusing cork board of Polaroids depicting particularly egregious cases of Office Twinsies.
My laptop, by a mile.
*All humans and animals are safe
I was a moody little shit even then.
I mostly can’t bear perfume (although I tried this recently and it was divine) so typically I just wear the combination of lemongrass and geranium essential oils that my friend (and former masseuse from when I was fancy) Stephanie makes for me. The scent is so uplifting and happiness-making, and if I find myself sinking over the course of the day, I just spray more on and then I’m better—maybe not all better, but definitely, demonstrably better.
Now it’s your turn, people: I want your perfume stories, and have a feeling you’ve got some good ones. How many of you have stuck with the same scent for decades? Who was a Charlie girl and who went Jontue? How far have you gone to locate a discontinued perfume? So many questions!
This is my mom and my stepdad Howard, who died Thursday night—at home, peacefully, and after politely waiting for my mother to return from buying brownies around the corner. He had pancreatic cancer, which typically doesn’t end pretty, and true to form, took him in just under a year. But he fought with grace and dignity, rarely missing his daily walk, and dressing for chemo in his jacket and tie and pocket square. With my mother, Howard was one half of perhaps the most charming couple on earth. And he was definitely (with the exception of my mom) my biggest fan. My father died many, many years ago, and after he did, I closed that door. Howard opened it up again, and sent the most brilliant bright light shining through. I miss him already.
I’ll be stepping away from the laptop for a few days to sit shiva and honor his memory. Expect me back here around Thursday.
Feel free to go as trivial or consequential as you please. I’m choosing coffee, because it’s the only thing even nominally like a vice I’ve got left, and because it is quite literally what gets me out of bed every morning. You?
Skittles, British gossip rags, and Scandal. For starters. And you?
I just finished Gary Shteyngart’s Little Failure, which is probably the funniest memoir I’ve ever read, but also one of the tenderest and most soulful. Shteyngart’s been telling immigrant stories for years in his novels, but this time he’s recounting his own, and to say it’s the stuff of fiction is to understate things rather meaningfully.
OK, your turn. What’s on your bedside table?
A rude salesperson or a pushy one?