Welcome to the past. Where men used to handle their issues with swords, and women rocked white gloves. Birthday parties could be celebrated lavishly at midnight, and one’s penmanship meant something. Sigh…I love this book. It’s like pulling back the curtain on a world I’d love to have been able to be a part of (until I had to deal with my period or getting dental work done). In short, it is a candid reference book of things, people, and concepts that the author, Lesley M. M. Blume, feels should be brought back to popular culture. I couldn’t agree more. Here are just a few entries from the book:
The Barbizon Hotel for Women in New York City. Opened in 1927, it served as a safe haven/charm school/dormitory for young women (and many a young Hollywood starlet) traveling to The Big Apple alone. Ooh la la…For a fascinating look at the history of the Barbizon Hotel, see this Vanity Fair article.
Dunce Caps. Let’s face it. If you don’t know why we need to bring these back, you need one yourself. The End.
Nécessaires. Back in the day (and in this case, I mean the into the late 18th century) when travel was often unpredictable, many wealthy folk carried with them cases containing things like silver cutlery, gold scissors, and toilette accessories. If you do a Google search for “necessaires” today, you will find this has evolved into to the lowly cosmetic bag. Not quite the same at all. Oh, how I wish to whip one of these out at Applebee’s after being supplied with a poorly washed fork. “Don’t worry,” I’d say in my best Joan Crawford voice, “I’ve brought my own.” Then POW! Voila…
The Palmer Method of Penmanship. Handwriting used to mean something. The care and execution of a beautifully written note or letter spoke volumes about one’s demeanor and upbringing. A beautiful cursive form was like sex on paper. No more. It’s all text fonts in weird acronym lingoes and emoticons. Not to mention the outright (yet ridiculously convenient) travesty that is the e-vite. Now, am I a total hypocrite? Well, yes! LOL – I haven’t sent a paper product via US Mail since the 90’s, and I was a little late the party as it was! BUT! I still think we need to stop the chicken scratch and busy typing and go back to the simple, carefully choreographed bliss that was proper cursive penmanship. Because I truly believe that a capital ‘Q’ should look like a giant fancy ‘2’.
Tangee Lipstick. Still in production after seventy years, this is that inexpensive orange lipstick that goes on clear and changes color until it becomes the perfect shade for you. I don’t know – sounds like cosmetic magic gold to me, and the reviews on the Vermont Country Store website where it is still sold seem pretty solid. Done and done. I don’t see how any lipstick manufacturers could even compete with this…
What would you bring back?