eighty: letters for Natalie + Julie

I picked two letter requests at random today. Jessica wrote me the sweetest note, raving about her friend Natalie, a lovely twenty-something exploring France and finding her way in life. And the other letter goes out to Julie, a loving mother who is rebuilding her life. Carmen, the requestor, wrote to me with such compassion and pride for her mother. I am honored to send a little encouragement via post to these fierce women.

March 22, 2011



Please tell me you are taking full advantage of the macaroons, croissants, and delicious fromage just down the Rue! Golly, I’m envious. Jessica tells me you are busy conquering the world, one adventure at a time.

I too worked in magazines—I was an editor for nearly four years. I have to imagine life in France is much less volatile than the ever-changing publishing industry. How’s your French coming along? I’m sure you’re getting great practice. And let’s be serious, even if you are royally screwing up the tenses, I’m sure you sound just lovely!

I think it is just wonderful that you are taking this time to discover what you are all about. You will never have this opportunity again, and self-discovery should happen at all costs, whenever possible. I wish you lots of luck on your journey, in Paris no less (did I mention how completely envious I am?)! May you return to the US in a few months, totally rejuvenated and with a suitcase full of fabulous flea market finds and a belly full of yum!

All the best,


Sugar Paper




Your lovely daughter Carmen has told me all about you. I understand there is brand spanking new in your life these days. I am so excited for you! This may stem from my complete adoration of dogs (hi, new puppy Brandi). A new job is always a great way to refocus and start again. And your soon-to-be renovated kitchen sounds pretty amazing too. I love to cook, and in my experience, a batch of homemade brownies cures all blues.

I know we are strangers, but I want to applaud your brave choices and your commitment to your own happiness. We all must take ownership of our lives, however difficult that can be at times. I’m certain good things are in store for you. So Julie, turn up the Britney and dance!



Greer Chicago + Muji Pen

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