Wednesday, May 5, 2010


On Sunday I pulled out my credit card to pay for a gift for Jorden. He's going on to the high school of his choice in New York City. And that's an accomplishment. The chap who "rang up" my sale, looked at me and said: "I have always regretted the demise of Victoria. It always made my day when it arrived." I was so pleasantly surprised that he would recognize my name and remember Victoria in such a nice way.


Having just received my incredibly beautiful note cards from Maria Thomas at Pendragon, I was taken aback by a recent article questioning why anyone writes thank you notes, anyhow. First, I have no objection to an email--and I send them myself all the time. But a handwritten note is still very appreciated. For those who do it, there's a certain satisfaction and a connection with one's own personal choices. Picking out the paper, selecting the card, taking pen in hand. For many of us it has its satisfactions. So sending the note is not only obligatory it's an act of enjoyment. I suppose they may go the way of bustles and buggies. But it's a personal choice, and why in the world does it have to get examined?


In the Style section of Sunday's New York Times, there is a front page story about the concern that professionals in child development are worrying about all the technical social networking that kids do now. Having just written a book like My First Best Friend, I rose from my seat and started communicating with several of the experts quoted in the article. I wanted to add my voice and my "study" of friendship. It was so obvious to me that all the stories in my book are examples of why forming buddies in early life is so important. Granted, my book is exclusively about women. But as I read the examples given in the the article, it seemed they were describing how girls connect and develop friendship. Men, after all, are always telling us how they envy the way we make and keep friends. Of course, many men have close friends--some from youth. I adored Bill Bryson's "The Life and Times of The Thunderbolt Kid." Our son read out large portions on a road trip a couple of years ago. Bill is from Des Moines, so we consider him of our our "Iowa clan."

Jeffery Palmer at the University of Alabama got right back to me--and I sent him off a book. I've always thought that this book, while a wonderful gift for friends, is also a study about a relationship that hasn't got attention in the "study" area. I hope Jeffery will be able to use it in his research and classes.


Dearest Isabel Keating, a lovely actress I got acquainted with when she played the role of Judy Garland in "The Boy from Oz" on Broadway a few seasons ago, sent me a much appreciated note. She's just received Leslie Caron's book, Thank Heaven. I'd sent it off for Christmas, but Isabel's schedule has been so hectic it was just unwrapped. During Isabel's Broadway run, I had dropped her a note about her performance and sent her Leslie's remembrances of Judy Garland, who was always kind to Leslie Caron in her early days in Hollywood. I thought it might help inform Isabel's performance. I never expected a friendship to begin. Now, my dream is to get the two together someday. They'd have the best time. Both are petite and full of life.


Responding about the Victoria book about French chic. I inquired and found out that the listing is in error as the book was never produced. A shame, because French chic is a yummy topic. But there are lots of places to indulge oneself on this subject and maybe some of you can help Valery find one.


Off on an afternoon walk with Janet and her dogs to the beautiful Halsey Pond. Enjoy your day doing something you love. Write a note, be chic, remember a friend, and put Spring in your step. nl


  1. Thanks, Nancy. I will try to do all your suggestions. Regarding the chap who rang up your sale, did you tell him Victoria is back in print? I was very thrilled to see that! It's one of my all-time favorite magazines. Regarding thank you notes, like you, I definitely write them. Take care. Sincerely, Susan

  2. Thank you for continuing to speak out in favor of personal connections, especially written ones.

    Pendragon produces lovely personal works of art. I like to collect vintage stationary to use.

    Emails cannot be saved to cherish through a lifetime.

  3. Nancy, I loved the other day when you wrote "I am still in the game". Today Christiane Northrup, MD wrote that she remade herself at age 50 and that her over 80 mother still drives thousands of miles outside her state to go hiking in the woods. She contrasted this to 50 year old women who cease driving to the next town over.

    It's not about driving of course - it's about not giving up - it's about staying relevant. And I think it's a choice. And it doesn't mean we can't keep an eye on the past either or stop sending those handwritten notes.



  4. Thank you notes are always appreciated and even necessary for the writer to write.

    Interestingly enough I have seen where for many of my friends social networking has helped reconnect them with close friends in a way that is easier than the telephone or letters. I know I enjoy commenting and seeing videos and photos of my dear friend's children and even my nieces and nephews. I might even dare to say that it has helped rekindle friendships especially that I have had a long time.

  5. The four short suggestions in your last sentence have become my intentions for today. I'm off to lead 45 minutes of singing for folks in a nursing home today...I go with Spring in my step (and will try to be chic as I go). I WILL write a note, and I know to whom. I'll count that as remembering a friend, too!

    P.S. I STILL love Victoria!

  6. Thanks so much Nancy for checking on the Victoria French decorating book by Janet Allon. - I really thought that seemed odd- that the book is listed everywhere- {major bookstores, even Amazon}- and yet was never released. So now I know, it was never even written.-Odd, that all these places have it listed and even give a summary of the book.?-The Victoria book that Janet already wrote about France, I just love-,{The Heart of France}.

    I love Interior Design books , and of course all of the books by Victoria.I have plenty of French Design books, Interior design/decor of all styles and Antiques are my passion. {Victorian and French style is my personal favorites though.}

    Love the way you separated your topic posts here-that is very "chic" ha, a good thing.--xo-Valery

  7. Loved reading these "jottings" and particularly the one about social networking. As a mom of three teenagers, the youngest a daughter, this is a subject that hits home, literally. I see her need for connecting, there's no doubt, but I am not sure that the internet is the best or safest place for that. We are monitoring it and learning as we go, but it is an ever-changing boundary for us to deal with. I am glad that the prof from my alma mater at least had the sense to get right back to you about your researched expertise in the area. From the article, it seems he is very serious about evaluating the real effects of this new social networking phenomenon on traditional friendships and on children. That, in my opinion, is a good thing.

    As for hand-written notes, I hope technology never totally renders them obsolete.