Capitalist Tulle

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‘Bad pun, but a pretty good story if you like stories about slips.’

I must have underwear on the brain. Last week I wrote about tights and how these days I have to sit down on the bed to put them on instead of balancing gracefully on one leg like a ballerina (or stork). Now, this week it’s slips. Let’s hope I get diverted from this path before next week rolls around.

I also got in trouble for posting an underwear pic. Well, here we go again. Just be grateful this is not a current shot of me in a slip

To be honest, it wasn’t that long ago that I thought “tulle” was pronounced “tull”. But then, I also once asked who the heck was this “Al Kyda” guy everybody was talking about. (See “Paging Arry O’Nassis” for embarrassing details.)

But “tulle” is “tool.” And, for you whippersnappers out there, “Capitalist Tool” is what Malcolm Forbes called his private jet. (No, I never rode on that jet, but The Dude and I did stay in one of his houses — his Palais Mendoub, in Morocco, on our honeymoon. And yes, there is a story here too: “Malcolm and the Duchess.” Enjoy!)

Honeymooning at the Palais Mendoub. Nope, that’s not The Dude back there; that’s a Morrocan minion

But back to tulle. I was talking to a good friend on the phone the other day (Hi there, T!), which is pretty amazing since I hardly ever do that — talk on the phone, that is. (When I was a kid, we only had one phone and we had to use it sparingly, since our dad got business calls on it. When I was a teen and liked talking on the phone, my mom would actually go straight to the phone when she got home from, say, Bridge Club, to see if it felt warm. If it did, she knew I’d been using it and I’d be in trouble.)

That’s me, at the age I would have been hogging the phone every chance I got. Fashion note: I made those plaid shorts

Anyway, Phone Friend T mentioned that her older sister had this amazing tulle slip (please don’t ask why or how this topic came up; I honestly don’t know) and I went, “Oh! I had one of those!”

Of course, I didn’t know from “tulle.” I called it my “stand-out slip.” My mom probably got it for me from Sears or Montgomery Ward. (Pretty much everything we wore that she didn’t make herself came from the Sears or “Monkey Ward” catalog.)

I’m sporting a tulle slip under that Easter dress. I’m sandwiched between Oldest Younger Brother Scott and Middle Younger Brother Roger, each sporting a Mom-made sport coat and shorts. That’s Sandy sporting a tulle-like tail

My stand-out slip had bells on it, so it jingled when I walked. It was horribly scratchy, but I absolutely adored it. T went on to say that her sister kept hers all stiff and standy-outy by rinsing it in sugar water. I said I couldn’t imagine my mom letting me do that even if I  knew to ask her — which I suppose is why my slip got gradually less standy-outy.

Me, with my two very favorite things: my Cat Who Never Really Had A Name — and my slightly-less standy-outy stand-out slip

As I mentioned, my Mom made almost all of my clothes. At least she did until I was a teenager. Then I did. I wasn’t half bad at it. I made bell-bottoms, I made a polka-dot prom dress, I made a crushed-velvet homecoming gown. But I hated sewing. I swore that when I grew up I wouldn’t make one stitch of clothing, and I haven’t. Though I have been known to take up a hem or two.

I made that suit. And oh how I wish I still had it! That short guy is (I think) the Lt. Governor of Illinois. We’re at the dedication of Carlyle Lake (again, I think) Oh, I wish I still had that beaded bag too

I could go on and on, but duty — and downsizing — calls. Next week I promise to come up with a story that’s not about underwear. Besides, I’ve already (ahem) covered bras: “I Seen Smallah.

Me, with Gramma and Grampa Peterson after my Lutheran-Church Confirmation. Both dress and the bra under it are from Montgomery Ward

New York City. February 2020

Malcolm and the Duchess

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‘What passes for Royalty on either side of The Pond’

I’m staring at my le Creuset, thinking of the Duchess of Devonshire. Wondering if I can squeeze out another batch of her boeuf bourguignon before the weather agrees that it’s Spring.

The Duchess was the last of several Mitford Sisters, two of whom were famous writers, and two of whom were famous Nazis. (One, Unity, shot herself when Hitler dumped her for Eva Braun.)

While her sisters were writing books and dabbling in fascism, Deborah was saving Chatsworth, her husband’s estate. Bless her, she was able to get people to pay good money to check out her Elvis Presley memorabilia and flocks of fine poultry.

Malcolm Forbes wasn’t a Duchess (or even a Duke), but he shared her fondness for celebrities and eggs, particularly Faberge. Malcolm was powerful, knew a lot of famous people, and had lots of houses–certainly more than Debo (as she was known to friends and fam, but not to me or Malcolm.)

Me, posing for the bus-riding paparazzi at one of Malcolm’s houses. See how I got there in a sec

Malcolm was a patient of The Dude’s Dad (who was a urologist). Very Important People (mostly Very Important Men) came to see him. Some of them (like Malcolm) became quite attached to The Dude’s Dad, who, in addition to being a great doctor, was also a very charming man. Continue reading