Re: [RC] [ER2] My Life as a Ralph Lauren Model - Cora
Loved this Lee....aren't we all there already?....Cora
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Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2002 7:20 AM
Subject: [ER2] My Life as a Ralph Lauren Model
> MY LIFE AS A RALPH LAUREN MODEL [Unable to display image]
> So. I was in the mall the other day, and was noticing a display of Ralph
> Lauren clothing that was accented by some well-placed English saddles,
> mallets, and even a few photogenic straw bales (you have never seen such
> glowingly clean straw in your entire life). There were some posters on the
> walls between the racks that showed impeccably dressed ladies and
> lounging in a palatial and equally spotless stable, or leading a perfectly
> groomed mount through the tall grass. There were mock hunt coats, mock
> breeches, and even mock boots. Depicting and selling the life and times of
> the horsey set isn't exactly new territory for Ralph Lauren, but the
> sentiment here is clear: "Ah the life and times of the horsey set. Country
> life, palatial estates, glowing, well-groomed mounts-glamour,
> Excuse me one second.[Unable to display image]
> Phew! OK, I feel better now. While I will admit that there is a certain
> amount of money involved in horses, what most people fail to realize is
> we nutty horse people spend whatever we have, on the horses, and that
> life is far more dirt, sweat, bug, and hard labor intensive than is ever
> in the Ralph Lauren catalog. Take the Ralph Lauren catalog, drag it
> the mud, and leave it out the elements for a few days, and then you'll
> closer idea to what most horse people's lifestyle is truly like.
> Rather than the spotless country frocks, and (horrors) white pants of
> world, most horse folk are usually found in "barn clothes". This is the
> euphemism that we use for "clothes most people would be embarrassed to
> away to the Good Will." In the summertime, barn clothes are usually some
> of cut-off shorts, usually stained, usually with holes, and usually of a
> style and color that could kindly be referred to as "out." The t-shirt or
> tank top usually has a matching set of stains and rips, and often carries
> logo from some long forgotten competition or adventure.
> In the wintertime, we often look like stained abominable snowman. You know
> those days when non-horse folk sit inside their houses, watching the snow
> fall and wind howl, and say, "t'aint fit for man nor beast." Well, those
> the days we still have to go out and feed and muck and look after our
> If you really are a fashionista of the barn set, your preferred winter
> doubtless includes some item manufactured by the Carhart company (I have
> overalls), which keep you warm and dry in the worst weather, but are as
> attractive and fashionable as industrial tarp. On days when the Carharts
> too heavy, jeans (with long underwear visible under the rips),
> ski hat, gloves-basically think "suburban hobo" and you have the look we
> going for.
> And as far as the glamorous activities of country life, well, they are too
> numerous to mention.
> There's nothing more glamorous than spending a day knee deep in the manure
> pile (because it needs to be shifted), sweating it out for several hours
> horseback in the blazing sun (because that left lead canter needs to be
> better), and then having your arms lengthened because the yearling had his
> first good look at the neighbors dog while you were walking him down to
> Or there is the mowing and weed eating which tends to stain your shins an
> especially attractive tint of green that makes it look like you've
> an alien horde. Or how about the "healthy glow" you get from dragging the
> ring-the resultant dust gives you a nice "tan" without the use of messy
> creams or lotions!
> At the end of a given Saturday, rather than martinis with the beautiful
> people down at the hunt club, I usually only have the strength to ring up
> pizza and watch Trading Spaces (trying to get ideas of ways to make my
> neglected house look better without actually putting any money into it).
> But what about showing? That must be glamorous right? All the hunt coats
> polished boots and braided manes. Indeed, what could be more glamorous
> that? Well, after getting up at 4:00am, bathing the horse (which of course
> transfers all the dirt and loose hair on to you), cleaning all the tack
> equipment (which gets you covered in polish, soap, and Brasso), braiding,
> loading horse and all equipment in to the trailer, driving several hours
> the middle of nowhere, unloading, wiping off, tacking up, and getting on,
> well, by 9:00am you look like something the cat ate, threw up, and then
> dragged in. Funny, of all the equestrian archetypes I've seen in old
> boy's catalogs, I don't remember the Girl With Black Shoe Polish on Her
> Dirt On Her Legs, A Stain of Unknown Origin on Her T-Shirt, and Hair
> Out In Several Directions By Sweat and Helmet Head. If they did feature
> doyenne in a photo shoot, instead of the usual sultry expression, her face
> might register mild nausea from having just swallowed a braiding band. Or
> possibly a bug.
> Without question, the most glamorous week of my life took place early in
> 1995. I was living with a roommate on a farm of 15 horses in small town,
> dirt road, in what is pretty much the middle of nowhere Virginia. For
> of you who didn't live on the eastern seaboard in 1996, you may have
> forgotten we had a significant blizzard here. Our house, barn, road,
> driveway, everything was covered with feet, and feet, and feet of snow. We
> had drifts that were 8-10 feet high, and we were trapped on our farm for 9
> days before the National Guard was able to get the blowers in to free us.
> Now, we were hardly the only ones trapped by the storm, yet when everyone
> else was lounging by the fire, or playing in the snow, my roommate and I
> slogging through hip-deep snow back and forth from the barn several times
> day, to bring hay, chip ice off the water buckets, and hand walk the
> up and down the aisle to help keep their guts moving as the drifts had
> trapped them in the barn.!
> We were cold and wet for 9 days. But our horses all came through the
> experience healthy and happy, and to us that was all that mattered.
> So Ralph, I'm waiting for the call-my horses and I are ready for your next
> snapshot of country life.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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