Have you been able to follow the directions I gave your mother and find your way here, dear? If so, welcome home. Here is the one place where all the girls (even we, whom you might consider "old ladies," like to be called girls) look like, dress like, and act like the film stars you adore. We adore them too! And we all think you so clever to watch the films you watch and love the things you love.
Darling, order yourself an Ovaltine, take a stool, and join in. We're glad you found us.
Unfortunately, I have no personal acquaintances in Ladyton, nor any Ladytonian models in my archives, but today I have two Gotham brunettes, unequivocally Kadorian, both classic studies in black. Now, a Brunette should never neglect to have at least a couple of basic black outfits in her wardrobe for those occasions when imperiousness must run at flood tide, whether she is bidding for Ming vases at an estate auction or negotiating the lease on a Park Avenue penthouse for an anonymous client.
Here we see a High Brunette in a black satin suit with blunted Mandarin collar, matching black satin gloves, wearing a truncated black cornucopia hat with a burst of black ostrich tips on the side. Such an ensemble establishes one's rightful place in trice and rarely fails to evoke unquestioning deference in others.
Yet perhaps even more authoritative is this basic black crepe dress with new bulky shoulders and deep armholes, worn with a straight, tiered black postilion hat, a thick side-spray of soft black lace brushing the ear. Can't you just hear this brunette informing the realtor, "I'm afraid two thousand a month is as high as I can possibly go on a 53rd. Street location. Here is my card, should you change your mind. I do hope I have not wasted your time..." NORMA
But the centre of fashion is, of course Ladyton. And despite what has been suggested about me here, I am not under the illusion that Ladyton is a part of Trent. Ladyton is Ladyton, the Imperial City, independent of all nations. Every schoolgirl, as I was so unnecessarily reminded, knows that.
Yes, I am a Trentispette. Our country seat is in the depths of Trent, and very charming it is too, though as a younger brunette daughter I shall not inherit it, and I cannot say I am at all sorry. Trentish I may be, but Ladyton is my life, my blood, my soul. I could never live anywhere else.
So here, just to prove the point about Ladyton belonging to no nation, is one of the subtlest and most delightful hats of the season, a tricorne, firmly brunette, but lent a delicate softness by the black and white "bird" at the side. Now you will notice that this hat is a perfect blend of Trentish and Novarian influences such as could only take place in Ladyton. It is worn here by the striking Novarian model Sinta lia Ranyarani. Cant you just feel that High Amazonian blood mingling with hare devastating Art-Neo chic?
And here, modelled by the breathtaking blonde Sulannie Sarachild (did you see her in Daughters of the Moon at the Ladyton Globe? Three brunettes fainted at the first night), is a beautiful starched linen wide-brimmed hat embroidered in eyelets which let the light through so charmingly. It is a perfect blend, to my mind of the influences of the three provinces that border the Imperial City - Trent, Novaria and Vintesse.
Yet with all those influences and whether we see a breathtaking blonde or the most imperious of brunettes, could any of them be anything but Ladytonian?
With fond greetings to all, but especially to the blondes,
Concerning practicing a totally unselfish kindness each day, you are correct. Since moving to a smaller city than the Pit of NYC I've found it a quite normal thing to do and gives me great pleasure. It seems that much of contemporary "society" has no time for such things. A sad situation that must be fought and brought to an end if a real society is to exist.
As to my equating the concept of feminine with weakness, I stand corrected. You are so right about feminine strength, especially regarding motherhood. I was raised in a large Catholic family and know of my mother to be a very strong (and smart) woman. What pains me though is that I've always played this down and instead looked upon her as being weak for choosing to not continue with her college education in order to devote the time to the family. Admittedly, I've much rethinking to do about things and I'm deservedly experiencing much guilt over this. Perhaps it's just a mid-life crisis but the graceless life of a career woman (and a thoroughly indoctrinated Pit-feminist one at that) just does not seem correct any more. Focusing on success in this male and Pit-feminist world has caused me to completely forget some of the most basic things. The propaganda over the past thirty or so odd years between "traditional" patriarchal and feminist thinking has gotten frightfully confusing. Will this tug of war never end? Thankfully I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. This forum and its rebuttals to that propaganda are a newly discovered treasure. I hope that many other women can also find this beacon of light in the dark world outside.
Your comments regarding the saints also struck a chord. A recent program on saints reminded me St. Theresa of Lisieux and St. Catherine of Siena. Women I admired as a child and who gave me much strength and courage.
It's becoming apparent that I still have much growing up to do. Yes, when one looks good, one radiates with confidence. Why have I never carried the feeling that a new hairstyle gives me to the rest of my appearance? Well for one thing it's like what Laura Helen expressed in the New Femininity Forum about dresses being "dangerous". There is the dichotomy that one must dress very plainly to taken seriously but if you are a bit too feminine or sensuous you will not be respected for your intelligence. It is a tightrope, and not a pleasant one. How did we ever get into this bind?
On a more positive subject though, I think I'm going to shave all the time again. I've been wearing slacks for close to 15 years now, excepting the "interview" suit, and suddenly I have this feeling that's very different.
When I am again gainfully employed, a lingerie shopping spree is definitely a thought! My mind seems to be drifting towards the beauty of these things and you can add shoes, shoes, and more shoes to that too! (but certainly not flats like I've been wearing for eons!) I can't ever remember feeling like this. It's as if something has been unlocked and it sometimes is quite terrifying. How will my friends and family react to any changes in my personality? It's been so long since I've actually dressed up and felt good. I will take your suggestion and try the garter belt and hose. I have always hated pantyhose. There is a part of me that has always been quite Arcadian (with a love of the corseted look), but in my heart have always loved the flapper era. My latest 'do' is a bob and I love it! I so adore hats too but have stayed away from them because of "image". Many years ago my mother had given me a pillbox hat (with veil) and a matching muff (that has an inner zippered change purse) that she wore in her very stylish late teens. I still have it but have yet the energy to search for where it is packed. Unfortunately they are no longer in style. But I'm getting ahead of myself and don't know if I've the courage to continue with this self discovery and abandon the pit-feminist and "butchy" facade. Maybe this new year will bring "me" out.
Much love to all Pettes in the New Year, and a special hug to Miss Alice Lucy Trent for her thoughtful and encouraging words to me.
(confused and quite dizzy brunette)
I've been teaching a baby Aristasian about the Empire through Elektraspace and I thought the rest of you pettes might like to listen in. So here it is! But, darlings, don't whisper about wondering who the little pupil might be. That'll just be our secret!
The idea behind being Aristasian (or one of them) is that we are cleansing our homes and our minds of the forces of darkness. We are, step by step, re-learning innocence and elegance, femininity and discipline. We are nourishing our hearts with whole images from a whole world, and allowing the health of our psyches to increase by the day. For your home, the more bongo-things you can replace with real things, the more your home will glow with health and harmony, as a proper home should.
The images your eyes land upon either contribute to your health or to your poisoning. I believe there are very few neutral images. You are right about the Kinnie Windie machine and the television being needed for a home cinema. Of course we will use the things we have available to us (the ordinator, for example) that are technological inventions made after the Eclipse. But the way these things look is quite offensive to us - not because such technics are inherently offensive, but because the language of design employed by Pit-manufacturers is necessarily poisoned. so we try to hide them when not in use. The girls at the Embassy throw a lovely velvet cloth over their cinema, to hide it from their sight during the day. I have mine hidden away in a wooden cabinet with doors.
And now that I have mentioned television sets, I must speak of television itself. Of course, for a new girl, fresh from the Pit, bongo-television seems to be a mixed bag, some awful and unwatchable and some decent and educational. Not until you have been in Aristasia longer, not until you learn more and experience greater health, will you understand deeply the truth of what I will say in the next sentence. Every single second of watching bongo-television is poisonous to your psyche. Watching the one-eyed monster, even those programs that seem to most to be decent, ruins all of the natural innocence and tenderness we each are born with.
But it's more than that, for television is the strongest arm of the Octopus, the Number One method the Pit uses to keep its collaborators collaborating. When I go for a walk in the evenings in my fairly-racinated (by Pit standards) little midwestern town, I can see the bongo-box glowing inside the living rooms of every house I pass. And I know that few of those people inside are watching good and whole images from the good and whole world, but are watching unspeakable things that continue to poison their already poisoned minds. Then, when I go for a walk in the day time, I pass by faces that are blank, mindless, unthinking, and quite miserable. I see the anguish and the blankness as if these things were written down for me to read. I do read them, on the faces of the controled subjects of the Pit, whom I can't avoid when I must venture down there. And then I think, "I am walking through a science fiction story come to life."
The Pit is a gruesome bit of science fiction come to life. If you could climb into a time machine and return to the historical fifties or earlier and describe the Pit to the people you found there, they would agree that it sounds like an awful place to live. Because, as you already know, it is.
I feel so thankful for the Founding Girls, who saw the Pit for what it was around the time of the Eclipse. Do you see, in a flash, how dreadfully important that is? That there were a few who saw through everything and who seceded from the beginning, who were never controled and twisted away from their very essential natures by a benighted age?
Love to all,
BARBARA E. BLAND (Miss)
Nativity ends on the Twelfth Day, which in Telluria is known as the Epiphany - the shewing-forth of the infant Jesus to the Magi, while in ancient Greece this very same day was known as the Epopeia - the shewing- forth of the infant Persephone by Her mother Demeter. In Aristasia it is also the shewing-forth of the Daughter.
Well, that isn't here yet, so Nativity still is, but remember (in case no one else reminds you) that you must have all your decorations down by midnight on Twelfth Night.
In the East, and in some more traditional Western households, Twelfth Night or Duodecima, is a time of quite hilarious celebrations and one of the biggest parties of the year. It is also a time of "inversion", when the lowest maidservant in the house becomes mistress for the day, and the mistress is the lowest of all. Usually this is done light-heartedly (but still quite in earnest. The slavey will never be disobeyed). There is a magical reason for such "inversions" that is very important, but perhaps it would take us too far afield to discuss that right now.
Talking of those decorations, again in some very traditional households the rule is a shade different. Artificial decorations must come down by midnight, but holly, ivy and other greenery may remain in place until the Feast of Lights (Tellurian Candlemas) on February the second.
In our family we have little presents on every one of the Twelve Days, and I should like to show you darlings what I was lucky enough to receive today. A wonderful card game from Eastern Quirinelle showing aspects of road safety as well as lots of wonderful places one might visit in one's motor-car. If only our real motor car could take us to those delightful places in real England. Did you know there was a beautiful country once, where that ruined island full of shuffling, deracinated troglodytes now stands off the shores of a ruined Europe full of more shuffling, deracinated troglodytes? It is all so beautiful and pure that I thought I must shew you one of the cards (I should like to shew them all, but I really can't). The game is very complicated and interesting, but quite hard to understand. There is also "a simpler scoring system for younger children". Perhaps that would do for blondies too!
Oh, and in case you are wondering about the "G", it stands for "Good". Some of te road-drill cards shew good road behaviour and some shew bad (they have a "B"). This girl is being good - just like us!
With Nativity love to all,
I have been so busy today though. I decided to tackle the chore of converting one's home into a Hestia today. It is my main New Years resolution. I've been going through all the closets and bookshelves, giving my home a thorough cleansing. I've also been in close communications with my loving teacher, for without her instruction and advice I would be so lost.
One of the other New Years resolutions I have made is to practice each day at least one act of totally unselfish kindness towards the others around me. This can be something as simple as letting the person behind me in line at the grocer jump in front of me, especially if they have only a few things and I have a full basket. And while acts such as these aren't major, I feel they are a start to restoring decency to the world at large.
I read with great interest all that Karen had to say about being feminine in the Pit. One statement that really captured my attention was "to be "feminine" was to be weak and to have to care about our appearance (clothing makeup and such) a male construct to be scorned. Karen, I like you am fresh from the Pit, only just recently rising above it. But never have I considered being feminine as being "weak" for, only the feminine element can "create" new life. And, no "weak" being could endure 9 months of gestation, the process of giving birth, followed by a minimum of 6 months with no sleep, during which time they must get up every few hours to nurse and nurture their young. And even then, the work of raising one's creation doesn't ever really end. Also, attributes such as creating, nurturing, understanding, and so forth have always been considered to be of a "feminine" nature. And throughout history, saints and such have been honored for their ability to nurture their people. Therefore, it stands to reason that in no respect is being feminine to be considered being "weak".
Another thing I found so interesting about your message Karen, is that you have always felt that worrying about your appearance was not worth the bother. Believe me, it is, and it's not really a male concept, at least not in my humble opinion. When you look good, you feel good. You radiate self-confidence and others notice this. For a brief period of time after finishing high school, I followed the trend of just throwing on some clothes and not doing anything to enhance my natural appearance, such as make-up and (even though I'm ashamed to admit it now) not wearing correct undergarments. No one really took me seriously, for I was sending the message that "She doesn't take herself seriously, therefore why should we?"
As I am still learning, I may be wrong in my statements, but this is how I feel. Of course, feelings can be wrong, because they are based on emotions, not reason. But I will say that nothing brings me more peace and serenity than to light a few candles as I fill the tub up with warm water and fragrant bath salts, and then to just soak for an hour. After soaking, I love to really dress up, from the inside out. I have such fun putting on makeup and styling my hair that I can spend a couple of hours doing just this. In fact, I've even had to set a kitchen timer in my bathroom, to remind me to pay attention to time! True, these are all extremely feminine acts, but then aren't we female? Why should we try to be something different than what we are? Another little quick thing I'd like to add, is once you try wearing a pair of hose and a garter, well you'll want to burn all of the dreaded p-hose you have previously worn! I've yet to get a pair of New Lady fully fashioned stockings, but even the difference between wearing the department store hose to the p-hose is amazing. I can't even capture in words the difference, for it's something you just have to experience.
I too have read many of the writings of the pit-feminists, and I can't subscribe to their belief systems. While it's true that I have to compete in the business world with males, I don't have to be as one to do that. In fact, I get the impression from these writers that they are wanting women to erradicate any and all "feminine" principles within themselves. This to me has always seemed to smack of hypocrisy, for how can one call oneselve a feminist if they are wanting to do away the very essence that makes us what we are? Well, that's my thoughts on the subject. Karen, I wish you much success in finding peace and serenity in the coming year. I too understand how difficult it is to reconcile within themselves the different images one is given from the outside world.
I am looking forward to the release of the new book the Embassy is putting out! I like many others have so many questions, and the subject matter is too much to be tackled in the cocktail lounge! I was thinking that perhaps dear Norma should publish a book on fashion for all us girls, and dear Mehitabelle should publish a book on running a Hestia! We are so lucky to have such intelligent and wise pettes visiting the cocktail lounge! I for one and happy that I found this place.
Again, wishing everyone a wonderful year in 1952,
Some one has described Aristasia as "one long conversation". Well, Aphrodite is rather like that. If you want to catch up on the conversation so far, the Archive is the place to do it.