Letters From The J. Crew Dude, Part 2

When we first started dating, my wife met this guy in a bar (the extended story is in Part 1). She didn’t believe he was a model, then later spotted him in the J. Crew catalog. I was inspired to create a story line that this guy was infatuated with my wife, and insanely jealous of me. I wrote a series of imaginary letters to my wife (with cutouts of the actual J. Crew Dude). This is Part 2.



Dear Lady OF My Dreams,

I know you lead a busy life. How do I know this? Because there is no other explanation for your lack of reply. But I suspect you are also shy and likely intimidated by myself.  That is completely understandable. You see me sporting cutting edge casual clothing in the J. Crew catalog and you think…that lifestyle, that fashion bravado, that kind of media profile is probably unattainable for me (and it is, but you can kinda have it via myself!) I’m busy too. So I get it. My god, between the shoot for the Fall catalog, the Winter shoot, the Spring shoot, and then, the one which escapes my mind… I mean, my life is constant insanity. Inner tubing at Steamboat Springs, clambakes on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s like touring with Ozzy freaking Osbourne, while wearing wool herringbone trousers and garment-dyed cotton poplin shirts (and as a theoretical aside, what a nightmare to keep this ensemble stain free if Ozzy and his road crew were vomitting Wild Turkey around me. Jeez!)

Are you still with that guy with the poufy hair? Have you trained him to take regular showers yet? Just curious. Talk about flaky, writers are the drawstring cargo pants of human beings. Wow, talk about a mistake on your part…

Perhaps you require some academic bona fides (like that scribbler probably has).  I can report I have either applied to or attended many leading academic institutions, and my studies, were they to have been fully completed, and perhaps they have, would involve several notable degrees. Maybe you have branded me with a hot curling iron of judgment: the empty headed model stereotype is my cross to bear. Ending this perception is the next step of the civil rights movement, and I am ready to march over bridges and carry placards and whatnot.

Let me tell you, you need Einstein level social smarts to negotiate my world or Mandy in the toboggan jeans will cut you off at the knees and kick you in the crotch as soon as the lens cap comes off. Do not think a clambake shoot is for dummies. The stakes are high because it’s a real clambake going down, with all of its social treachery! Real clams, real canoodling, real inappropriate boasting, real excessive drinking, real backstabbing, and real feigned interest in other people’s boring stories. All under the ruthless eye of a camera. You cannot phone in clambake bonhomie. A rascally snowshoe romp can’t be fabricated. Don’t even try faking the marshmallow snuggling. And don’t think J. Crew hasn’t flunked out legions of faker models who were not up to the task!

It also takes genius level dedication to stay humble amidst the hoopla and media circus which is my life. When you are constantly being photographed by very smart and powerful people, it can so easily go to your head.

So… I’m sure I will hear from you real soon. I’m waiting. There is only so long I can wait between takes.

–J. Crew Dude


(months later)

Dear Lady of My Dreams,

Obviously, you have an acute shortage of paper, envelopes and stamps in your area. Phone lines must be dead also. That’s just fine with me. I heard it through the grapevine you’re engaged to that guy. Is there also a shortage of guys in your area?

The only reason I am writing now is that I thought you might want to know about Lorrine. Gosh I’m nervous, but here it goes…I’m engaged too! Nothing at all to do with your engagement. Pure coincidence. Lorrine and I were doing the Fall J. Crew shoot on Cape Cod and a little something besides photos developed. We were barefoot, sliding down a dune. I was sporting a summer check cotton shirt and relaxed fit aqua chinos. She was wearing a lightweight rib tee and jersey knit pants and we came racing down the dune and our shirt tails took air perfectly. When you achieve photographic perfection on a first take, it can mean only one thing: pure love.

Lorrine and I are so often in this position, our foreheads gently touching, that we are developing zits. Is that love or what? It’s like our love physically manifests as a tractor beam and rivets our heads together into a powerful seam, as though they’ve been super glued together. Then we share our thoughts directly, without talking, which is something not even David Copperfield can do. Are you jealous?

She’s got lots of great qualities you don’t have. Is your complexion going green? I can’t get enough of her scent. It drives me nuts. Whoops… actually that’s me I’m smelling. And it’s a turn on. This whole woman-in-the-foreground thing can be taken too far. I’m feeling a bit backgroundy here, like Mount Rushmore. With some spectacles I could pass for Teddy Roosevelt.

OK, Sebastian the photographer, Mr. Second Banana no like. I’m basically a supportive chair in this one. I’m like a haunted pirate cave back here. And apparently I’ve been shrunken by cannibals. Do I even get paid for this one? But whatever, the point is I’m really really just insanely in love with Lorrine.

And the super keen thing is she likes collecting insects too! She grills up the best dang sausage in the whole world. My life is basically perfect. Every night Lorrine and I watch the Blooper video show on TBS and laugh our faces off.

Oh dammit to hell, my tears betray me. Enough of this farce! Lorrine is engaged to a realtor and won’t return my calls. In fact, she owes me $500. Damn her lies about repayment! This was a pathetic attempt at getting your attention and provoking jealousy. For god sakes rethink being engaged to a man who has an entire drawer devoted to old concert t-shirts. It’s not hygenic! And frankly, writers are anti-social. Know why you will never find them canoodling at clambakes? They are incapable of such things. Sad, but true. They would rather be alone and write about imaginary people at clambakes — troubled, unhappy people who are not photogenic. Ugly people with ugly problems who would stab each other with knives rather than snuggle.

I swear upon my positive Q score I will get you.

–J Crew Dude


(the story continues in Letters From the J. Crew Dude, Part 3 — The Conclusion)


By robbskidmore

Robb Skidmore writes upmarket literary fiction. He is the author of “The Pursuit of Cool”, a critically acclaimed coming-of-age novel about love, music, and the 80s, and the novella “The Surfer.” His short stories have appeared in many publications.

7 replies on “Letters From The J. Crew Dude, Part 2”

Hey Robb since when do you write comedy? I think this is a very funny story and extremely well written. The J Crew Dude is a classic. Is there a part III? Keep me laughing.

Rob-I enjoyed this short fantasy into the “other man”. It had lots of humor, and I liked the poking fun at the whole marketing and advertising ploys that color so much of our world. I hope you do one on the “other woman”.

Part 3 is on the way.

The marketing and advertising is indeed inescapable. The “other woman” is an interesting idea.

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