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“亲爱的记者,能不能别在节目里穿沙滩服?”

更新时间:2017-10-26 12:18:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

‘Dear Helene: Could You Not Wear Beachwear on Sunday A.M. Talk Shows?’
“亲爱的记者,能不能别在节目里穿沙滩服?”

The envelope was innocuous enough, addressed to me at the “NY Times” in New York, though some soul in the mail department had obviously opened it, marked it “personal” and forwarded it to our Washington office.

这个信封看上去足够安全无害,它被寄到纽约的《纽约时报》,是写给我的,邮件部的某些人显然已经拆开看过,将其标记为“私人信件”,并且转发到我们的华盛顿办公室。

It was May 3 — five months ago. I was strangely happy to receive the letter, since most hate mail comes via email and Twitter, and handwritten (or hand-typed) letters — at least the ones that aren’t from people in correctional facilities — usually say nice things.

我收到信是在5月3日,也就是五个月之前。能收到这封信,我还莫名地有点开心。因为大多数仇恨邮件都是通过电子邮件和Twitter发送的,会寄来手写或打字信件的人(至少是那些惩教机构之外的人)通常都会说点让人开心的话。

Wrong. “Dear Helene: You have the worst wardrobe of all the newscasters, male or female, on all of the networks and cable channels. Could you PLEASE get some help and start wearing jackets to cover up your fat arms? Could you not wear beach wear on Sunday a.m. talk shows? What are you thinking? Get a consultant to help you, please!!”

我想错了。“亲爱的海伦妮:不论男女、不论是有线台还是无线台,在所有新闻播报员里,你的衣着打扮是最糟糕的。我求你了,能找人帮帮你吗?能不能穿上外套,遮一下你的大肥胳膊?能不能别在星期日上午的节目里穿沙滩服?你到底是怎么想的?找个顾问来帮你吧,求你了!!”

It was signed: “A viewer who is driven insane by your attire.”

署名是:“一个被你的衣着逼疯的观众。”

What the heck? Okay, so I am not Tyra Banks, but I have always considered myself a fashionista by the low standards of the print journalism profession. That was one of the reasons I went the newspaper route instead of TV. I had taken a TV course in college and realized quickly that the time I was spending working to modulate my voice, put on lipstick and pour myself into shift dresses was time away from actual reporting. I quickly scurried back to print, where I — alongside my kinky locks, dangly earrings and cargo pants paired with Prada-outlet-purchased heels — was not only accepted but viewed as fashionable.

有没有搞错?的确,我不是蒂拉·班克斯(Tyra Banks),但我一直认为,以纸媒行业的低标准来衡量,我是非常时髦的人。这也是我进报社而非电视台工作的原因之一。我在大学里修过电视方面的课程,但很快就意识到,当我忙着调整声音、涂口红、把自己塞进套裙的时候,也是远离真正的报道的时候。我赶忙回到纸媒领域,在这里,我——还有我的纠结卷发、吊坠耳环,以及工装裤搭配购自普拉达(Prada)工厂店的高跟鞋——不仅被接纳,还被视为时尚。

Except now, as more print newspaper reporters are showing up on TV talking about stories, new avenues of criticism are opening up. It’s not just emails complaining that I spelled “sergeant” wrong or called a Marine “soldier.” (I cover the Pentagon so there’s a lot of that in my bloopers file.)

不过不是现在。随着更多纸媒记者在电视上亮相谈论新闻故事,批评的通道正在开启。人们不只发电子邮件抱怨我拼错了“sergeant”(中士)这个词,或者把一名Marine(海军陆战队员)称为“soldier”(陆军士兵)。(我报道的是国防部的新闻,因此出了很多这样的洋相。)

These days, my mail includes telephone messages wondering why I wore a white blouse to talk about Chuck Hagel getting fired as defense secretary on “Morning Joe,” emails wondering whether I’m wearing the same necklace as the late Gwen Ifill on “Meet the Press” and Facebook messages from family friends purporting to be proud I’m on TV while also offering up commentary that I shouldn’t wear my favorite black leather jacket when talking about Iran’s nuclear program.

近来我收到的讯息包括:疑惑于我在《早安,乔》(Morning Joe)中谈论国防部长查克·哈格尔(Chuck Hagel)遭解职时,为何穿一件白色衬衫的电话短信;疑惑于我在《会见媒体》(Meet the Press)中戴的项链,与已故的格温·艾菲尔(Gwen Ifill)戴过的是不是同一条的电子邮件;还有亲友通过Facebook发来消息,一边声称因为我上了电视而感到自豪,一边评价说,谈论伊朗核计划的时候,我不该穿自己最爱的黑色皮夹克。

But the beachwear and fat arms hand-typed letter stood out. I googled the return address and found a satellite street image of an ugly red pickup truck parked in a nondescript yard, which told me, well, nothing actually.

但关于沙滩装和肥胳膊的打字信件脱颖而出。我在谷歌搜索引擎中输入回邮地址,搜到了一张街景卫星图:一辆丑陋的红色皮卡停在一个不起眼的院子里——我从中其实没有得到任何线索。

I love my beachwear — these cute completely insubstantial crocheted cover-ups that come to the elbows. I have eight of them in different colors, all purchased on Folegandros, this island in Greece that I go to every summer, for $15 each. The whole reason I buy them is to cover up my fat arms on TV. Apparently I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.

我喜欢我的沙滩装,喜欢这些可爱的一直遮到肘部的轻薄钩编遮盖物。我有八件不同颜色的沙滩装,全都是在我每年夏天都要造访的希腊佛雷甘多斯岛(Folegandros)买的,每件15美元。我买下它们只有一个理由:上电视的时候用以遮住我的肥胳膊。显然,无论遮或不遮,我都要挨批。

How had Mr. or Mrs. Red Pickup Truck deduced that? After parading the letter around the office in a futile search for reassurance from my guffawing colleagues — do men get such missives? — I took to social media where my Facebook friends were bound to do a better job of buoying me up.

红皮卡先生或太太是怎么推测的呢?我让办公室里的人传阅了这封信,徒劳地想要从哄堂大笑的同事那里寻求安慰——男士会收到这样的信吗?——随后转向了社交媒体,我的Facebook好友肯定更善于鼓励我。

Over the past months, looking for people (other than myself for eating too many bowls of Jollof rice) to blame for the letter, I’ve settled on the city of Washington D.C., where I live and work.

过去几个月里,我一直试图把这封信归咎于什么人(除去吃了太多碗杂菜饭的我自己),最后决定把矛头指向华盛顿特区,也就是我生活和工作的地方。

The city is too conservative for my haphazard style. Go to Capitol Hill and it’s a sea of Ann Taylor low-heeled pumps and Talbot’s suits.

这座城市太过保守,无法包容我的随意风格。去国会山转一圈儿,满眼都是安·泰勒(Ann Taylor)低跟浅口鞋和塔尔博特(Talbot)西装。

In recent years, Washington has played host to two First Ladies — Michelle Obama and now Melania Trump — who have pushed the envelope of what women wear here. But remember the stir when Mrs. Obama bared her arms in her first official photo as First Lady? Or the recent social media storm when Mrs. Trump wore stilettos to a hurricane?

近年来,华盛顿先后迎来过两位第一夫人——米歇尔·奥巴马(Michelle Obama),还有现在的梅拉尼娅·特朗普(Melania Trump)——她们挑战了这里的女士穿着方面的极限。不过,还记得米歇尔·奥巴马在其作为第一夫人拍的第一张官方照片中裸露双臂所引发的喧嚣吗?还记得梅拉尼娅·特朗普不久前脚踩高跟鞋前往飓风灾区勘灾所引发的社交媒体风暴吗?

Clearly, I’ve decided, Washington can’t handle too much fashion forwardness. A couple of years ago, I tried on a pair of gorgeous deep red laced-up ankle boots in Paris, and the guy at the cash register stopped me as I was handing him my credit card.

我认定,华盛顿显然无法应对太过大胆的时尚。几年前,我在巴黎试穿了一双华丽的深红色系带短靴,收银机后边的那个人在我递上信用卡的时候阻止了我。

“You live in Washington? You will wear these there?” he said, causing me to pause.

“你住在华盛顿?你要在那儿穿这双靴子?”他说。这话令我犹豫不定。

I sighed. “Okay, give me the black pair.” I feel bitter about it every time I put on those black boots.

我叹了一口气。“好吧,给我黑色的那双。”每次穿上那双黑靴子,我都感觉到一种怨恨。

A few years ago, a friend who is a CNN correspondent gave me a pair of sedate post earrings for Christmas. I had just told her about some blog post that had me in high dudgeon, in which evil bloggers had critiqued the earrings I wore one night on the PBS show “Washington Week.” “There were three tiers to those earrings,” they snarked. “Exactly who costumed Helene? And if this passes for professional dress at The Times these days, color us shocked.”

几年前的圣诞节,在CNN做记者的一个朋友送给我一对肃穆的耳环。那之前我刚跟她提过一些让我大为光火的博客帖子,邪恶的博客作者在帖子里批评了我有天晚上参加PBS的节目《华盛顿周》(Washington Week)时戴的耳环。“那对耳环有三层,”他们说。“到底是谁把海伦妮(Helene)打扮成这样的?如果时报的人近来把这视为职业装扮,真够让我们吃惊的。”

My friend and I laughed about it, although I was secretly mad, and she sent me a pair of earrings that didn’t dangle to wear next time I went on TV. I promised her I would wear them.

我和朋友拿这事取笑了一番,不过我私下里颇为抓狂,随后她送给我一对没有长长的坠子的耳环,让我下一次上电视时戴。我向她保证我会戴。

But of course I didn’t.

但我当然没戴。

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