Friday, August 13, 2004

Julia Child 1912-2004

"Life is the proper binge." - - Julia Child

Julia Child died today at the age of nearly 92. I loved watching her shows; loved her calm and her warmth and her funniness and her ridiculous voice [Eleanor Roosevelt meets Margaret Dumont.] Jeanne at Body & Soul has a beautiful remembrance involving her mom and inspiration from Julia Child.

From watching Julia, a lot of us got the courage to fuck up, because Julia could, and often did fuck up, especially on camera, and she just breezed through it, whatever the fuck-up was, and went on to the next thing with nary a twinge or stumble of embarrassment or shame. I just adored her.

Julia Child was always one of the examples my mother pointed out to me of a successful, well-known, and very tall woman. When I was 13 and had already reached my full adult height of 5'11", I often felt like I towered over all the other kids my age. There was a good reason for that: for a couple years there I actually did tower over every other kid my age. As you might imagine, this could be quite the depression-inducer for an adolescent. When Mom saw me slumping and moping because I obviously felt like Hideous Giant Girl, she would say these things: [always in this order, too:]

  • 'You know, Eleanor Roosevelt was six feet tall."
  • "Jackie Kennedy wears size ten shoes."
  • "Paula Prentiss is about 5'11" too, just like you."
  • "And Julia Child is 6-2!"
I know I was sarcastic and terrible to you way back then, but I did appreciate what you were trying to do, Mom. Thanks. I love you. And I love you too Miss Julia, you wonderful non-petite chou. Au revoir.

This post also appears over here.


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