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The Cocktail Bar

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Music Playing: The Quirinelles singing A House With Love In it

Dateline: Tuesday, May 15th, 1952
Clever Emily Rose! You're right of course; little black silk jackets for my hose grips will do the trick.

Garters

Brave Emily Rose! Have you made underwear before? It is the most difficult thing to sew, in my experience. It is certainly possible; I have made some wonderful underwear for special clothes, and for pregnant ladies, and other special circumstances. But I have to be in a very clear, strong mood to undertake it, because it is not easy.

Do you have a garter belt pattern? If you do, would you mind sharing the name and number? If not, I guess you'll be using an old garter belt as a pattern. But the thing is, if the fabric you use has a different stretchiness from the fabric in the original pattern, the finished product won't fit at all (once I made a brassiere from a stretchy light cotton knit, using a pattern designed for a stiff cotton, and you could have fit two of me into it!)

As far as fabric goes, you might try looking in the "stretch" section of the fabric store, for heavy cotton with a bit of spandex woven in (oh dear, I am sorry for using these Pit-words, but I just don't know how else to describe this stuff. (Don't sniff at me like that; "stuff" is a perfectly respectable Arcadian word for fabric.)

If that is too heavy for your taste (bearing in mind that you don't like corsets; I would imagine you don't like anything that feels sort of like a corset either) there is also a kind of strong stretchy transparent mesh - I don't know what it's called - which is just for making underwear (and the more revealing kinds of Pit-theatrical costumes; the ones that make you wonder how they stay up!). You might be able to find it at a real dressmakers' supply shop, but you'd probably have to ask for it. At the store I frequent, they have it tucked behiond the counter with the interfacings - when they have it!.

You can buy the necessary matching panels of hooks and eyes at a dressmakers' supply store, too. (One has to be careful at a dressmakers' supply store though; they have hat forms and all kinds of feathers and sequins and, well just every sort of mad splashy thing a girl could possibly wear, and some weak souls among us (ahem) might never come out again. Me, I get hypnotized by the buttons. I have been known to stand for hours, transfixed by all the beautiful buttons, like little jewels, and I have made garments for the express purpose of showing off a row of particularly gorgeous buttons. Oh dear, see how carried away I get just thinking about it!

But the hardest part about making underwear, I think, is finishing the garment in such a way that it is neat and tidy inside and out, but doesn't have any uncomfortable (or worse) protruding lumps or corners. A sort of modified French seam seems to do the trick, with special care and trimming at the corners. And of course one can use those pretty stretch laces for the edges.

You know, Emily Rose, I have a yard or so of black stretch material in my sewing room. It's very unusual, very heavy. I was thinking of using it for the top half of a strapless gown, because it has the body to hold itself up (although I'll use boning, of course) but I could probably spare enough for a garter belt if you can't find something you like. Let us know how it goes!

ELIZABETH RUTH


Dateline: Wednesday, May 14th, 1952

In Quest of Normality

Elizabeth Ruth, thank you so much for the tip about "hose grips"! I had been tempted to purchase a whole garter-belt and cut the "grips" off so I could attach them to something else, which would be better fitting; but it seemed a great extravagance.

As for trying to blacken the rubber, I doubt that would be possible, and fear any sort of black dye would soon rub off, doubtless onto ones good petticoat. I would suggest making a sheath of black silk with sort of apron-tabs at the appropriate places, to enclose each "grip".

Now that I know where to get the "grips", the next question becomes, how can I sew myself a really comfortable garter-belt to attach them to? I find the plain cottons insufficiently stretchy, elastic too binding, and , unorthodox as I fear I am, do not wear corsets.

And by the way, I must just share an amusing tale. Inquiring in Bongoland for a nice old-fashioned garter belt, I was referred to a store called "Victoria's Secret." Which certainly sounded promising.

But when I got there, in the very front door was a paste-board statue, full size, of -- Elvira, I suppose. It was quite a culture shock. Hints of the Hellfire Club belong in the back of an establishement, not the front!

And the clerks, in their Bongoian Vampire makeup, but with their true girlish sweetness and consideration showing through in spite of it--! And so niave! I'm sure they had no idea of traditional meaning of any of these things.

Well, the whole thing sent me into such a stupor, I felt as one sometimes does when the Ordinator takes one to an unexpected dimension. But in this case, a very peculiar and repellant one.

So I heard myself stammering: "I want a plain white cotton garter-belt! To keep my stockings up!"

They kindly showed me where the few white cottons were: hidden discreetly in the back of the store, for adults only....

Oh, yes, please, thank you, Barpette, a hot rum toddy, I shiver still when I think of that experience....

EMILY ROSE


Losses

Terrie, your graceful acceptance of my regrettable faux pas is so kind and reflective of the wonderful company that I find here. Espirenza, darling, I'm sorry to discover your similar loss and my heart goes out to you also. My own mother passed nearly a decade ago, and I still miss her, but the passage of time does ease the pain.

Candida, thank you for your kind words. I felt so embarassed there for a moment, but I wanted Espirenza to see exactly what I mean. Thank you for being so accepting. I will try a little harder to control myself in the future!

MICHELLE


A Very Happy Pette

Oh pettes I must share with you all my delightful discovery.Upon entering my apartment tonight what do you think caught my eye?At the ordinator was a beautiful little 3-4"dollie! I just stood there for a moment, taking in all her charm.Long,blazing red hair and such a sparkle to those green eyes.Such sweet red lips and creamy complexion.I summoned my courage to look a little closer at this precious angel.I leaned over,hands on my knees,and what gorgeous apparel this delicate vision embellishes! The most adorable emerald,velveteen,baby doll buttoned frock,set off by glittery greenish, stockings and patent red low heeled pumps.Her delicate emerald laced spring gloves clutched a small red handbag. When I reached out to touch this magical display, she vanished.Then I heard quite a commotion in my closet.I nervously stood up,walked to the bedroom and apprehensively opened the door. All my flannel blouses, and blue bifurcated garments had somehow fallen off the hangers and landed on the floor.Oooooh I breathed a real sigh of relief.

So I went to the ordinator,turned it on and heard Welcome You have mail.It was a letter from Quirinelle informing me my Dollie has arrived.Gosh I am so happy.I was told if I were very quiet I may see her out the corner of my eye.I think I know already what my new dollie looks like.I think she is going to be a bit of a scamp.I'd best be off to finish her dollhouse I've been working on the last few weeks.I pray my Angelina[dollies name] has patience with one as me.Pettes, we still need our dollies,we'll never outgrow the innocence a precious dollie gives us.

bless you all,

a very happy pette in Culveria

ESPIRENZA


Dateline: Tuesday, May 13th, 1952

Stocking Discovery

I have recently made an important discovery about stockings, that I pass on for whatever help it may be. Recently I was browsing in the Notions section of a large and well-stocked fabric store (and for all you non-sewers, notions are zippers and snaps and elastic and things like that, not just funny ideas that blondes get). And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a row of little packages of the business ends of a garter! The package was labelled "Hose Grips (4)". So I bought a package, and a little smooth elastic, and when I got home I sewed the elastic into little loops in the appropriate places on my favourite, but previously ungartered, underwear, and now I have another gartered garment. I'm going to go back and get a few more packages, and experiment with six garters! Now if only I could find black hose grips. I am, I confess, partial to black underwear and black hose. I wonder if those little rubber gripping things would take a dye? Hmm, more research is clearly necessary.

Darlings, won't someone sing us one of those wistful Kadorie songs? Does anyone know all the words to "Just the Way You Look Tonight?" For some reason the melody has been haunting me all day, and it's driving me crazy that I can't remember the words...

ELIZABETH RUTH


A Thanksgiving

Dear Terrie, I join in the toast to your mother, and I am sorry to hear of your loss. I give thanks for mothers who knew how to be mothers, rather than being isolated, self-interested individuals who cannot reflect the archetype of Mother, and who are only interested in their own welfare and fads and fashions. I give thanks for mothers who knew best, who didn't care what pressure their children attempted to bring to bear upon them, but who stuck to their principles of child-rearing. I give thanks for mothers who knew right from wrong and instilled that same moral sense into their children. I give thanks for mothers who made children call older adults 'auntie'. I give thanks for mothers who tried their hardest to do their best by their children, who put their children first. I give thanks for Real mothers. A glass of Champagne for all the girls here today, please, bar-pette, to drink this toast. Ladies; Real mothers!

CANDIDA


A Toast to Mothers

Oh Terri, I too misread your loss.I thought it was your grandmother also.That is bad enough ,but your own mommy,I really can feel what you are going through. My mommy passed away in February and that is part of why I look to Aristasia.She like your own mom was raised on the farm and the values she tried to impress on me seemed to had no meaning when she was alive.My mom was very stern about the womans role in society.She hated the sixty's and all it was about.She was true blue family and never missed Sunday mass.I'm so sorry your mommy had to suffer so with diabetes.So I join in your toast but to two elegant ladies who have truly lived in Aristasia and to those of us who endeavor to regain the esteem of true womanhood.

love

ESPIRENZA


Dateline: Monday, May 12th, 1952

Memories

Thank-you Michelle, and Elizabeth Ruth. Yes she was a lovely lady, with relatives originally from Switzerland, Germany, and Sweden, and parents who came to Idaho with a group of the early pioneers. She grew up on a farm, and later on when she married, they moved to the country and I too grew up rural, coming to love the country, and small town life as much as she. Due to job needs, etc., I now live in a larger area, and there are things about the country that are easy to miss- gorgeous sunsets, sitting outside on quiet nights gazing at the hills, or stars from the big patio our family had, bikerides down the road past newly planted fields... ah well, enough reminiscing but the peace, and quiet, the friendliness of people, difference in values, etc. was so Aristasian- not at all like the pit!

Mother had been ill for a long time, and the death was expected, but of course, never is. She was a victim of one of the harsher strains of Diabetes, "Diabetes Brittle Nervousia-" when life in the pit gets a little hard to bear, the bloodsugar of a Brittle Diabetes Nervousia Patient will go higher, and needs lots more control. If the patient is a little high-strung anyway,or prone to excessive worrying, or anything like that at all, the monitoring of the disease, and the person's psychological wellbeing become extremely important. She had good doctors, and was a very strong person, but the battle grew worse, and worse for her over time with the pit's many maladies contributing, even with a move from her country home in a small town to another area for the sake of better doctors, care, etc. In that respect it was a blessing that she isn't in pain any longer. By the way Michelle, that was my mother, not grandmother, but that's ok. At times she was mistaken for my grandmother when we would be together due to her being a little elderly, but she would always laugh, as did I when I came across the misnomer!

Oh my goodness look at the clock! It's soon time to venture home and put Sirach the ordinator, and myself to bed for the evening. With that in mind, goodnight from us both, and until next time, bye for now and have a good week all!

TERRIE


How sweet!

Oh, girls! Oh, look at this. Yes, it's a new spring fur cape and a wonderfully jaunty hat and gloves in mid-brown to match. Isn't it lovely, and wonderful, and utterly me? Well, you know that Marlene said that I wasn't to go into any more hat or glove shops because I spent all of the money that she was trying to save towards the new car, and I haven't been in a single one. Of course not girls, I wouldn't just disobey Marlene on anything practical like that, I think that would be wrong. But I was a little cast down over something over the weekend and tonight she came in carrying two boxes and wearing a very loving look, and I opened the boxes and exclaimed in delight, because these very items were in them. And she said, "Darling, I couldn't bear to see you looking sad. Will these cheer you up a little?" And I said, "But darling,I thought that you were saving for a new car!" And she said,"Darling, your happiness is more important to me than anything else in the world, and I wouldn't have you change your sunny, smiling nature for seven new Bugattis. I don't want to change you, darling. Go in all the hat shops you like, sweetheart." >Sniff. Isn't that touching? Oh girls, I wept like a tiny one when she said that. And now I want to save up madly and buy her that car she had set her dear little heart on. Have any of you girls got any advice on saving?

JULIET


Dateline: Sunday, May 11th, 1952

A Little Appreciation

Michelle! That was absolutey delightfully,naughty of you to reveal your lacey secret to the entire bar! I certainly appreciate the lovely length you went to make your point.I've honestly never worn such glamorous hosiery. I wil put a pair of thigh- high stockings on my shopping list.

Happy Mothers Day to all.

ESPIRENZA


A Little More Appreciation

Dear Michelle, what a charming display! I am utterly captivated, by your words--and your stockings!

Violette, I thought that poem was wonderful. How well it expresses the grace of order; thank you for finding it and showing it to us.

CANDIDA


Dateline: Saturday, May 10th, 1952

Poetic Thoughts

Good morning, good morning, ah, sunshine through the door and what a nice scent of soapsuds! Might I have some milk tea with cloves, perhaps?

That was an interesting story about Hannah the Maid, if I have the name right. She does seem to have been a servant of the Golden Order. And it reminds me of a poem Mary Margarete gave me a copy of, except she says it should have several pages and she can only find the first one at the moment. So here at any rate is the first installment, so to speak.

She says it is by Anna Hempstead Branch, and the title is "The Monk in the Kitchen." Of course, I'm not sure just what a 'monk' was supposed to be, it sounds like a nun to me!

I.
Order is a lovely thing;
On disarray it lays its wing,
Teaching simplicity how to sing.
It has a meek and lowly grace,
Quiet as a nun's face.
Lo--I will have thee in this place!
Tranquil well of deep delight,
All things that shine through thee appear
As stones through water, sweetly clear.
Thou clarity,
That with angelic charity
Revealest beauty where thou art,
Spread thyself like a clean pool,
Then all the things that in thee are,
Shall seem more spiritual and fair,
Reflection from serener air--
Sunken shapes of many a star
In the high heavens set afar.

Hope to be seeing Mary Margarete again soon, and I'll try to get the rest, or at least one more page. How lovely that tea smells!

VIOLETTE


A Show of Charm

Terrie, I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm happy to hear about your ordinator, and sorry to hear about your granny. You make her sound like such a wonderful person. I hope to hear more fron you.

Espirenza, darling...what do you mean "how does a girl get used to that" when you referred to elastic stay-up stockings (I just love to think of them as thigh-highs, myself!). Darling, if you get a pair with a very pretty lace top, and then look at yourself in the mirror, why...the question answers itself! Don't you agree, Margy? Wait, let me show you just how pretty they can be. I happen to be wearing a pair right now and...Oh, dear...I hope that I don't offend anyone...but...let me pull up my dress just a little bit...there! See how lovely they look, very lovely lace, self supported so suddenly against the creamy color of my thigh...Oh, my...I'm blushing again.

Does anyone else have any ideas? Stockings are the heart of a girl's presence of herself. Espirenza (I LOVE your name!), you just have to find some way to love them!

MICHELLE


A Toast

Terrie, I am sorry to hear of your loss, and I join you in your toast.

ELIZABETH RUTH


Another Slave-Girl Speaks

Miss Michelle says that the Princess's slave-girl "makes being a slave seem a most attractive and exciting proposition".

Oh, but it is.

Of course, not every girl is a slave-girl. Most are not. But for those of us that are, there is really nothing else in the world that can make us happy.

There are different sorts of slave. The ones in the East of Aristasia are a little different from those in Aristasia-in-Telluria. And neither kind of Aristasian slave-girl is the same as those found in, say, Classical Rome or in the Confederate States of America. Both those latter kinds are chattel slavery. A slave is her mistress's property, to be bought and sold.

Now an Aristasian slave-girl is her mistress's property, but she cannot be sold - just as great landed estates were entailed - meaning that the owner could do anything she wanted with them, except sell them. This really stems from a concept of property different from the modern capitalist one. Property is held in trust from Dia, and certain kinds of property carry deep personal responsibilities and are not merely disposable.

The bond between a slave-girl and her Mistress is one of the most intimate bonds possible. This was written about A slave-girl and her Mistress: "A seal had been placed upon them and their souls were flowing into one another, soon to set into a bond that could only be torn asunder with the most excruciating anguish." Yet if the breaking of such a bond is anguish, its keeping combines exhilaration, bliss and the most absolute feeling of security.

I am a slave-girl that, by a most unhappy fate, has lost her Mistress. The only trace of my bond is this ring you see about my ankle. So, dear ones, you may say I am not a slave-girl after all, since I am owned by no one. But it is not true. I am a stray slave-girl, an ownerless slave-girl, but a slave-girl just as much as I was in the full intensity and happiness of my bond. For a slave-girl cannot change her nature.

But I am fortunate enough to have a mistress - not a great Mistress who owns me, but a little mistress who is kind enough to look after a stray slave-girl, to protect her and love her and discipline her, all of which things a slave-girl greatly needs. I shall not tell you her name, for a slave-girl does not mention her Mistress by name, but simply calls her "Mistress", just as no child calls her Mother by name, but always calls her Mother, or Mummie or Mama . And it is for the same reason in each case. The child sees not a private individual called Jane or Susan, but the Archetypal Mother, as refracted through the particular soul whom Dia has chosen to manifest this Archetype to her, thus making her Unique Mother - "the best Mummie in the world". It is very wicked for a mother to show herself to a child as a mere "independent individual", to encourage her to call her by name, to wear undignified clothes, or to do other things which destroy the nourishing and necessary Archetype in the tender young psyche. But I am sure you all know that.

For the slave-girl, likewise, her Mistress is not simply a private individual with a name, but the Archetypal Mistress refracted through the particular individual chosen by Dia to be herMistress. So my little mistress I always call "little mistress", and I trust she would whip me if I ever ventured to call her by name.

But you will see her soon, for she has arranged to meet me shortly at this very place. She is young but she is terribly brunette and authoritative, and - oh, she is quite wonderful. She must learn more and become more experienced before she can be a true mistress - for not just any one is allowed to be a mistress in Aristasia. It is a terribly important and responsible thing, and of course, one must get rid of every last trace of the Pit in oneself before one is a mistress. But when she is a mistress I think she will be a most glorious mistress, and I hope she will be mine.

Is that her? Oh, no. I am sure she will be here soon, and I hope you will all love her as much as I do.

LUCILLINE


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