After My Dad Died, I Started Sending Him Emails. Months Later, Someone Wrote Back

As expected, I only found about 10 emails between us in as many years of Gmail use. The revelation was not in anything I read but in the mere typing of his name—an icy wave of relief splashing me in the face. How good it felt to write his name for no reason, in a place that only I could see, and not on some piece of paperwork related to his death or in response to some well-wisher’s post on Facebook. It was like charging a magical sigil. I’d never been one of those writers who attached fetishistic significance to the physical act of writing (or to books themselves, or paper). But I finally understood how those writers felt. Writing to my father, I realized, was a charmed act. It didn’t summon him, but it raised the friendly shadow of him in the room; that was something.

I began writing him emails. I didn’t send them at first. Typing his email address into the “recipient” bar was enough to conjure up his listening presence. For months I transcribed the hostile anguish in my head into emails to my father, which I would then seal off with the addition of his email address and save in my drafts folder. It was the high school diary, unfiltered. He would never find out how it ended now; it felt good to “tell” him.

The first time I pressed “send,” it was by accident, and I was horrified. I was worried not that someone would receive and read the email, but that the recipient address would bounce back a message that the account had been deactivated.

I stared at my inbox for a minute, waiting for the inevitable. It never happened. The email address was still active.

So I continued the ritual, except now I sent those long-winded emails out. I wrote to my father anytime I needed him. In my letters, I tried to talk myself around to whatever he would have said to me, hoping I could reverse-engineer the advice he might have given me. Then I pressed “send,” which never stopped being thrilling—I’d sidestepped the finality of death and found a plane where my father could thrive unchallenged. I put disclaimers at the beginning of every email: Hey, if you can somehow read this, please ignore it; hey, I don’t think anyone’s checking this email, but if you are then please just delete without reading; I’m lonely, I’m grieving, I miss my father, nothing to see here. But nobody ever responded.

One day, a year and a half later, someone did respond—not from my father’s email address, thank God, or I likely would have passed out at my desk. Still, it was frightening to see another email address from the same Workplace suite, with the same subject line. I don’t know what I was frightened of, exactly. Only that the stakes felt terribly high. I’d forgotten the cardinal rule of doing anything online, even sending emails to a dead person’s inbox—everything that happens online can be witnessed by an audience.

The response I received is the reason you’re reading this, because I posted it on Twitter and it went viral. “I’m sure you remember me,” my father’s former coworker wrote. “I want you to know that I never read these emails because I can tell they are very personal. But I do see them coming in and I can see that you must still miss your dad terribly.” There was more; I’m self-conscious about typing it all out, because of how generous it was for this person to not only share memories of my father with me, but to interpret them, color them with our shared understanding of what my father and I had been together. Like, for example: “Watching the two of you together wisecracking…it was like watching a Mel Brooks movie.”

Right after he died, all I ever wanted to do was talk about how great my dad was. People never quite related to that urge properly, leaving me feeling frustrated and thwarted at every turn. I was so dialed into my grief that it was unimaginable to me how people could talk to me about anything else. I wanted other people to tell me funny stories that made my father sound as cool and charming as I’d always believed him to be, without my having to ask for it. That was the thing that my dad’s old coworker did for me. I shot the signals of my mourning into space for months, fully expecting them to die unreceived. And when I least expected it, someone sent signals back that said, “You are not the last living witness to the relationship you had with your father.”

Audrey Hepburn Style: These Audrey Hepburn Style Moments Are Simply Timeless

There’s a reason fashion brands with a classic bent love to reference Audrey Hepburn: True style is more than wearing a couple of ballgowns to a few red carpet events—and Audrey Hepburn had style in spades. Onscreen, Hepburn floated in custom-made dresses by Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy. Offscreen, Hepburn made wearing pedal pushers and simple, unadorned tops into an art. So many Audrey Hepburn style moments made history, she was inducted to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

Casual fans know Audrey Hepburn style as the black dress she wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But Hepburn’s style was so much more than the costume for one of her iconic roles, however—and Audrey Hepburn style moments are still influencing how we dress today. Just revisit the next several outfits from Audrey Hepburn’s illustrious career for proof.

The Black Sheath

Black sheath dresses figured prominently in the Audrey Hepburn style lexicon. Like this one, they included a handful of chic details including a sleeveless silhouette, a belted waist, and a midi hem. We see echoes this Audrey Hepburn look in the bateau necklines and mid-calf length dresses worn by modern style icons like the royal family today.

Audrey Hepburn style starts and ends with a black dress.

George Karger

The Bold Pattern

Fashion authorities recognized that Audrey Hepburn style was special in her time. The spiral-decked dress she wears in the photo below came courtesy of an Amsterdam fashion show she modeled in. As far as Audrey Hepburn’s outfits went, bold patterns like the one on her runway look weren’t the norm—but the curved collar and A-line waist could be spotted in outfits throughout her career. Then there’s her accessories: Elbow-length gloves were the Hepburn must-have for a touch of elegance.

A fashion icon walks in a fashion show.

Keystone

The Floral Dress

Oscars fashion hasn’t always been swan skirts and tuxedo-ballgown hybrids. In 1954, Audrey Hepburn attended the 26th Academy Awards in a much more understated look: a tea-length floral dress with another bateau neckline. Hepburn accepted the Oscar for Best Actress in Roman Holiday that night. Maybe it’s just us, but her belted dress wouldn’t have looked out of place in the movie.

An Audrey Hepburn style moment for the ages at the Academy Awards.

NBC

The Sailor Shorts

With all the love Hepburn’s Givenchy dresses receive, you could assume the actress wore them exclusively. But high-waist sailor shorts played a starring role in Hepburn’s offscreen wardrobe. It’s not clear when a photographer captured this glimpse at one of Hepburn’s downtime outfits, but the combination of her crisp shorts, plaid blouse, and raffia slides are easy summer dressing inspiration. Tuck a breezy long-sleeve top into pleated shorts, and you’ve nailed the look.

Even when she dressed casually, Hepburn always looked polished.

Bettmann

The Travel Dress

Today, celebrity travel style usually involves leggings, hoodies, and sneakers. In Audrey Hepburn’s day, the tarmac was a runway—and demanded more formal attire. She touched down in London on this occasion in a long-sleeve travel dress, worn with—what else?—gloves and pumps. The woman’s style was nothing if not consistent.

You wouldn’t catch Audrey Hepburn in a laid-back look to travel.

PA Images

The Twisted Top

Suiting tops and ankle-grazing skirts were always Audrey Hepburn style staples. But for this photoshoot, Hepburn chose an unexpected statement piece. Her black skirt and ballet flats draw our eyes straight to her long-sleeve wrap top. It’s a playful choice in an otherwise buttoned-up outfit, and an outfit that’d look at home on the streets of New York Fashion Week.

Audrey Hepburn style in one word: timeless.

Bettmann

Meghan Markle Makes First Appearance Since Announcing She’s Stepping Down as a Senior Royal

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s decision to “step back” as senior royals shocked the world over the last few days. But amid the whirlwind, the Duchess of Sussex made some time for an engagement. On Tuesday, January 14, she paid a visit to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. The organization shared that Markle had tea with members and discussed several issues affecting the community.

The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, which provides a safe space for women while creating social programs, advocacy, and support, shared the news with a photo of Markle smiling next to several women. “Look who we had tea with today! The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community,” the center wrote on Facebook.

Both Markle and Prince Harry have had a lot going on since issuing a statement that explained they hope to transition into new roles in the royal family and establish financial independence. On Monday, January 13, Prince Harry made his way back to London for a meeting convened with the Queen, in which they reportedly discussed details of what the new set-up might look like. That day, the Queen broke her silence on the situation. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” she said. “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”

She added that Markle and Prince Harry will split their time between Canada and the U.K., and it seems that engagements like visiting the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre are all part of what the couple has envisioned in their new arrangement. They’ve said they want to keep working on the charities and public issues they’ve been championing, so Markle surely has more events like this in her future.

Inside the Superhero Sisterhood of ‘Birds of Prey’

This freedom from the male gaze allowed for more creativity to actually do the work. Winstead, 35, says, “You’re not scrutinized with, ‘How can she look hotter?’ Which is an experience I’ve definitely had in the past.” Adds Perez: “It’s not like, ‘Let’s just put her in that because her ass is great,’ which I know we’ve all experienced.”

Smollett-Bell credits the general lack of objectification to having Yan and producer Sue Kroll at the helm with Robbie. “I realized, prior to this, how many projects I’ve been on where I’m the only woman on set and how alone I’ve felt,” she says.


By the women’s accounts, this is what I imagine true parity on a film set looks like: a safe environment where everyone can show up and do their best work, one in which female stars get the recognition they deserve, no questions asked. Perez says that hit home for her when she saw the movie’s official poster for the first time. She was surprised it was just the four women front and center. “In a lot of films, the male always gets the first billing no matter how big or small their part is,” she says. “Being in this business for so long, you still think the men are going to show up, you know? It felt very, very empowering.”

At this point in the conversation, I ask what each woman has learned from the others—and they all turn to Perez. “Why did you look at me?” she asks. “Because you’re just wise,” Smollett-Bell replies. “We all have girl crushes on you, in case you can’t tell.”

They take a moment to reminisce about the wrap party—a night when everyone danced so much that Perez had to put ice packs on her knees after. Then, a beat. Perez decides to share instead what she appreciated about the other women. First, she turns to Robbie. “I appreciated how Margot can be in charge but not make you feel less-than,” she says. “Sometimes when actors are also producers, they feel that they have to wear that hat too strongly. That wasn’t the case, so I appreciated how she kept her emotions in control all the time. Her professionalism is outstanding.”

And Winstead, Perez tells me, is the kindest person she’s ever met. (“I’m going to cry!” Winstead replies.)

As for Smollett-Bell: “With Jurnee, what I appreciated was that she’s strong. She’s so, so strong,” Perez says, directing her words to her costar. “You stand up for yourself in a very, very specific way. But inside, you’re so soft.”

The women all echo Perez’s comments, but Robbie has one final appreciation to share. “Rosie, who’s a legend in this industry already, can still show up like it’s brand-new, like she’s never said these words before. It always feels fresh and present. It’s so thrilling to work opposite someone who makes you forget you’re on a set. The set kind of melts away for a second. That only happens if people are present, and if they really show up for that scene with everything they have. Everyone here did that. I loved it. I loved it.”

Anna Moeslein is a senior editor at Glamour.

Videos by Danielle Levitt; Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Hair, Giannandrea at Forward Artists, makeup, Adam Breuchaud at The Wall Group; Rosie Perez: Hair, Johnny Lavoy at Maximize Beauty, makeup, Carissa Ferreri at The Wall Group; Margot Robbie: Hair, Bryce Scarlett at The Wall Group, makeup, Pati Dubroff at Forward Artists; Jurnee Smollett-Bell: Hair, Nikki Nelms at Impaq Beauty, makeup, Vincent Oquendo at The Wall Group

Inside Birds of Prey’s Superhero Sisterhood

This freedom from the male gaze allowed for more creativity to actually do the work. Winstead, 35, says, “You’re not scrutinized with, ‘How can she look hotter?’ Which is an experience I’ve definitely had in the past.” Adds Perez: “It’s not like, ‘Let’s just put her in that because her ass is great,’ which I know we’ve all experienced.”

Smollett-Bell credits the general lack of objectification to having Yan and producer Sue Kroll at the helm with Robbie. “I realized, prior to this, how many projects I’ve been on where I’m the only woman on set and how alone I’ve felt,” she says.


By the women’s accounts, this is what I imagine true parity on a film set looks like: a safe environment where everyone can show up and do their best work, one in which female stars get the recognition they deserve, no questions asked. Perez says that hit home for her when she saw the movie’s official poster for the first time. She was surprised it was just the four women front and center. “In a lot of films, the male always gets the first billing no matter how big or small their part is,” she says. “Being in this business for so long, you still think the men are going to show up, you know? It felt very, very empowering.”

At this point in the conversation, I ask what each woman has learned from each other—and they all turn to Perez. “Why did you look at me?” she asks. “Because you’re just wise,” Smollett-Bell replies. “We all have girl crushes on you, in case you can’t tell.”

They take a moment to reminisce about the wrap party—a night when everyone danced so much that Perez had to put ice packs on her knees after. Then, a beat. Perez decides to share instead what she appreciated about the other women. First, she turns to Robbie. “I appreciated how Margot can be in charge but not make you feel less than,” she says. “Sometimes when actors are also producers, they feel that they have to wear that hat too strongly. That wasn’t the case, so I appreciated how she kept her emotions in control all the time. Her professionalism is outstanding.”

And Winstead, Perez tells me, is the kindest person she’s ever met. (“I’m going to cry!” Winstead replies.)

As for Smollett-Bell: “With Jurnee, what I appreciated was that she’s strong. She’s so, so strong,” Perez says, directing her words to her costar. “You stand up for yourself in a very, very specific way. But inside, you’re so soft.”

The women all echo Perez’s comments, but Robbie has one final appreciation to share. “Rosie, who’s a legend in this industry already, can still show up like it’s brand-new, like she’s never said these words before. It always feels fresh and present. It’s so thrilling to work opposite someone who makes you forget you’re on a set. The set kind of melts away for a second. That only happens if people are present, and if they really show up for that scene with everything they have. Everyone here did that. I loved it. I loved it.”

Anna Moeslein is a senior editor at Glamour.

Videos by Danielle Levitt; Mary Elizabeth: Hair: Giannandrea at Forward Artists, Makeup: Adam Breuchaud at The Wall Group; Rosie Perez: Hair: Johnny Lavoy at Maximize Beauty, Makeup: Joey Maalouf at The Only Agency; Margot Robbie: Hair: Bryce Scarlett at The Wall Group, Makeup: Pati Dubroff at Forward Artists; Jurnee Smollett-Bell: Hair: Nikki Nelms at Impaq Beauty, Makeup: Vincent Oquendo at The Wall Group

This Is Us Season 4, Episode 10 Recap: All Your Questions From the Midseason Premiere, Answered

Glamour: How prepared are you for the onslaught of fans worried for Randall?

Isaac Aptaker: I don’t know. [Laughs] We’re never quite prepared, but we sort of knew what we were getting when we had our beloved family man face to face with an intruder holding a knife in his kitchen, so yeah, I think we’re as prepared as we can be!

Did you ever think about having this episode be the fall finale? Because talk about a cliffhanger.

IA: No, I think that would be a little too long to wait [to find out what happens] to someone in mortal danger. We never want to be cruel, so I think a week is the perfect amount of time.

How soon into the next episode will we find out what happens with Randall and this man in his house?

IA: It’s not going to be a waiting game. This is our most to-be-continued direct pick-up that we’ve ever done, so we’re going to jump back in next week right where we left off and find out what happens to Randall. And we’re launching into a trilogy of episodes [starting next week], which we haven’t done since season two, where the next three episodes will be about a different sibling, following them over the same week in time. So Randall is first up, and we’ll see right away what happens to him and that intruder.

Sterling K. Brown said we will examine more of Randall’s struggle to maintain his mental health, but obviously a situation like this—no matter what the outcome is—won’t help. What more can you say?

IA: I think that intruder is coming into his house at a time where Randall’s plate and brain are so fully loaded, on top of having the crazy job and what’s going on in his immediate family, he now has Rebecca and her well-being and he takes that so seriously. That L.A. trip is so important to him. He’s returning home from Los Angeles after having gotten this really confusing and ambiguous, but not positive, news about his mom. And then this is just the last thing he needs on his plate, this very physical menace.

Switching gears, let’s talk about Kate and Toby. Will we meet Cara, otherwise known as Lady Krptonite?

IA: Maybe! I don’t want to give anything away, but I know that’s something people are eager to find out who is this woman.

Is she still a threat? It seems like Toby has done his best to distance himself from her, but obviously she sounds very into him.

IA: Yeah, I’d like to think we should believe Toby. He’s a trustworthy guy and he really loves Kate. That said, there’s always that lingering doubt and a little bit of trust issues that something like that brings up—when you find out that your partner is talking about you behind your back to a group of people, including this woman, who is eager to rush to his aid.

NBC/Ron Batzdorff

Sia Just Gave a Master Class in Asking Men For Casual Sex

So! You want to have sex but don’t want to ruin a friendship? Well, you’re in luck: Australian music mogul Sia has written a script to help you get what you want. Tailor it to your needs, memorize it, and before you know it, all your chandeliers will be turned into sex swings.

For the longest time, TV and movies have shown us that sex is something men get when they beg, and something that women endure in the hopes of locking down commitment. But in reality, all kinds of people want to have sex with all kinds of people. Nobody is trying to wife you up, Todd.

For many women, locking down high-quality sex in a world that expects you to doth-protest-too-much is tricky. But consider this: Say you’re an international songwriter and performer with a penchant for wigs, and you have taken a pledge to be single for the rest of your life. You just adopted a son, but you would still like to have sex with your close friend and business partner, Diplo.

That is the position Sia found herself in recently, according to a story she shared in a profile of Diplo from GQ.

Sia

Getty Images

“Much of our relationship is just being spent trying not to have sex so that we wouldn’t ruin our business relationship, because he’s super-duper hot,” the hit singer-songwriter told GQ. “This year I wrote him a text, and I said, ‘Hey, listen, you’re, like, one of five people that I’m sexually attracted to, and now that I’ve decided to be single for the rest of my life and I just adopted a son, I don’t have time for a relationship.… If you’re interested in some no-strings sex, then hit me up.’ ”

Brava. There you have it: A perfect sexual proposition for a horny and litigious world. Let’s break it down:

Sia is in a tricky situation because she and Diplo work together. She made sure their hookup could be truly consensual by clarifying she wouldn’t allow it to affect their working relationship (“no-strings”) and by leaving the ball in his court (“hit me up”).

She succeeded in writing something that’s extremely direct, but not explicit. Elsewhere in the piece, Sia described Diplo as “one of the most insecure boys I’ve ever met.” Her text is a risk—but if she hadn’t written it, she would’ve risked never getting what she wanted.

Getty Images

Overall, it’s a well-crafted message: She started with a compliment and then got right to the point, laying out clear parameters of what their relationship could be. She was honest with him about her boundaries. She wasn’t pushy. She put it in writing, so that he didn’t have to respond on the spot. She was vulnerable. Hey, you heard she was a wild one (but come on, if she took you home, it’d be a home run).

There’s a lot of talk about the evils of “hookup culture”—the shallowness, the coldness, the end of romance, blah blah blah. But here’s an example of hookup culture done right: a business-text to a man in a cowboy hat, politely asking for sex and to be largely left alone.

Jenny Singer is a staff writer for Glamour. Follow her on Twitter @JeanValjenny.

A Tissue Turtleneck Shirt Is the Affordable Essential Your Closet Needs

It’s not every day we’re blessed with celebrity outfit inspo that’s stylish but also easy to copy. Cue the turtleneck shirt—the unsung wardrobe essential that everyone from the Jenners and the Hadids to Chrissy Teigen and Priyanka Chopra has doubled down on this winter.

The classic, affordable style has outlived tons of trends—it dates back to the Middle Ages—and lives on in everything from Audrey Hepburn-inspired Pinterest boards to Andy Warhol tribute costumes. Sure, the chunky, wooly turtleneck is a look unto itself, but for everyday wear, brands have modernized the silhouette into so-called ’tissue turtlenecks’, turning the staple into an elegant, skin-skimming top that can be as fashion-forward as it is functional.

Whether tucked into black skinny jeans, paired with leather trousers, or styled under a dress, celebrities are proving the tissue turtleneck is a breathable, comfortable basic that belongs in everyone’s wardrobe. From Katie Holmes’s easy spring styling hack to Gigi Hadid’s modern take on suit separates, consider this a masterclass in layering a turtleneck shirt. Load up on this affordable basic, and you’ll never have to worry about “not having anything to wear” again.

Not-so-boring Black Turtleneck

Raymond Hall

Emily Ratajowski (unsurprisingly) managed to make dog walking look fashionable in an updated Canadian Tuxedo. She kept her outfit understated yet cool by pairing a black turtleneck with a shearling-lined denim jacket and straight-leg jeans tucked into slouchy leather boots.

VIKO

Jennifer Lopez on Why That Green Versace Dress Is So Important

Fans are annoyed that Jennifer Lopez was snubbed during this year’s Oscar nominations, but Academy recognition or not, she still has some award-winning pop-culture moments that outshine any golden statue. Case in point: the green Versace dress, which made fashion history when Lopez first wore it in 2000 and then again on the runway 20 years later. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, J.Lo spilled on what it feels like to wear this now-iconic garment.

“The first time I wore it, I actually didn’t have another dress,” Lopez said. “Usually I have choices. It was a last-minute thing that caused a sensation that was unexpected.”

Getty Images

Things were pretty different when she wore an updated version for a Versace show last year. “The second time was very planned-out,” she said. “It started at the Met ball; Donatella [Versace] said, ‘You know, this year is the 20th anniversary of the jungle dress,’ and I said, ‘No, I didn’t.’ And she goes, ‘I think I’m going to do a whole show about it. Would you come?’ And I said, ‘Of course. Just call me.’ You know, it’s all timing—schedules and stuff. And then she wound up calling and said, ‘I want you to walk at the end, and I want you to come out in the dress.’ ‘The same dress?’ ‘The same dress. We’ll make a new one for you.'”

Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez had just turned 50 when she put it on again, something that made the moment even more special. “The second time I wore it and walked out there, it was such an empowering thing,” she said. “Twenty years had gone by, and I think for women, knowing you can put on a dress 20 years later—it resonated. It was like, ‘Yes, you know, life is not over at 20!'”

Hear, hear! Fingers crossed she wears another version of this dress during awards season. Or maybe even her Super Bowl halftime performance. How epic would that be?

The Little Women Stars Just Said What We’re All Thinking About Greta Gerwig’s Oscar Snub

When the 2020 Oscar nominations were announced on Monday, it was clear the Academy had egregiously snubbed the work of women, including Greta Gerwig’s directorial efforts in Little Women and Jennifer Lopez’s acting in Hustlers. Plenty of people went off on Twitter, but the actual stars of Little Women decided to add their voices to the conversation, with Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh opening up about how Gerwig’s undertaking as a director should have been recognized.

Ronan (Jo March in the film) and Pugh (Amy March), were both nominated for their acting in the movie. Little Women also got nods for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design Achievements, and Original Score. However, despite how well-received Gerwig’s adaptation was, she was conspicuously missing from a nomination list of all-male directors, a category that has historically left out women. Pugh had strong feelings about what Gerwig getting iced out means, telling Deadline it’s “a big blow, especially because she created a film that is so her and so unique and it’s just come out of her, and it’s been a story she’s wanted to do for so long.”

©Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

She continued, “I think everybody’s angry and quite rightly so. I can’t believe it’s happened again, but I don’t really know how to solve it. I don’t know what the answer is, other than we’re talking about it.”

Ronan, who also starred in Gerwig’s Lady Bird, also told Deadline, “I’m really happy that the Academy recognized [Gerwig] for Adapted Screenplay and Picture, and I feel like if you’ve been nominated for Best Picture, you have essentially been nominated for Best Director,” she said. “But to me, Greta, since she started, has made two perfect films, and I hope when she makes her next perfect movie, she gets recognized for everything, because I think she’s one of the most important filmmakers of our time.”

We hope so too.