restricted access 98.6

From: Sexes

Northwestern University Press colophon
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17 98.6 “I can’t go through with this,” she said as she straightened the hem of her dress. “Of course, you can,” he answered with a thumbs-up smile. “Easy for you to say because you do this all the time . . . how’s my hair?” “Hair’s fine.” “And my dress?” “Perfect.” “You’re just saying that.” Nothing he said had helped, and it had been that way for weeks. “I never should have worn this dress.” “Forget the dress—it’s you they voted for, and you they’ve come to hear.” “Where will you be?” “Backstage, but I can still applaud.” “I can’t remember my speech.” “If you forget, just improvise and say what’s in your heart.” She turned to kiss him, then changed her mind. “Is it good or bad luck to kiss before a speech?” 18 “Who cares?” he said. “If it’s bad, we’d better not.” They eased into the wings just as the chairman introduced her. “I’m suffocating in this dress.” “Everyone’s the same Fahrenheit inside, so just relax.” She walked on stage to loud applause, while he stood back and listened as she spoke without a note or flaw. Exiting to more applause, including his, she stopped to receive a standing ovation . . . Later he told her, “I knew you could do it.” “Why not?” she said and let him kiss her, “I told you I could do it from the very beginning, so why should you be surprised?” ...


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