I published this post on Vasari21 almost five years ago, and it still seems to me appropriate to the season. Not a romance, precisely, and in no way rotten, but a love letter to a woman friend who meant much to me decades ago. For part of my junior year in college I lived off campus with one of my best friends, Kate, a woman thirteen years older than myself, and in many ways a kind of big sister to me (since I had none). Kate was a late bloomer, a graduate student in the English department, whose big passions were for Shakespeare and John Donne. She was an oddity, both in the department and at Princeton, for being older than the other students and a far different kind of acolyte than was the norm in the staid male-dominated ranks of aspiring English professors. A generously endowed woman with a megawatt smile and a bawdy sense of humor, Kate often drew stares and occasionally comparisons with Sophia Loren, a resemblance that usually annoyed her. Serious students of Shakespeare were not supposed to look like Italian movie stars.