Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Return of an Old Friend?

I live in a shoebox in NYC. I look out the window and see other apartment buildings. One of the cats forgets which end belongs in the kitty litter box. My decorating style is haphazard chic. The downstairs neighbor bounces off the walls and screams at his whatever-induced visions.

I lounge around in faded yoga pants and unfortunate color-choice tee shirts. Though I'm a believer in Flylady, there's clutter both hidden and in full sight and some days it's tough to set the timer for even thirty seconds. I drink too much coffee out of an ugly mug. I read trashy mysteries. On the radio all day is 1010 WINS and on my ipod I listen to ABBA and John Philip Sousa.

There's been a pair of fingerless gloves for DH on the needles for three years. I tend to knit scarves and misshapen stockinette socks.

That's my reality.

But, then I have the parallel universe reality.

I live in a large, beautiful house. Acres of land with trees and colorful flower gardens. Many, many light and airy rooms that somehow are always magically clean. The antique furniture shines. Upholstered pieces are free of cat-hair. Classical music plays on the stereo. The neighbors come over to drink tea from bone-china cups and the women wear pastel linen dresses and straw hats. Romantic poetry can be found on my night table.

I wrap myself in hand-knit lace shawls. Exquisite sweaters and lace socks fly off the needles.

The now-defunct Victoria magazine fed this fantasy. When I received an issue, I would wait for just the right time to savor it. It wasn't a magazine to rush into. A setting needed to be created. Dim lights. Soft music. Yes, it was a love affair and for countless women when Victoria ceased publication in 2003 our hearts broke.

However, good news this week! Victoria is coming back in October 2007! Different publisher. I'm keeping fingers crossed that we'll continue to see articles dedicated to blue and white china and roses--lots and lots of roses. And we'll have tea parties in English gardens and learn how to prepare quince and read about women who start a wicker and lace business.

Victoria was a huge advocate for women to have A Room of One's Own. They meant this in both the intellectual and comfy-nested sense. For me, Victoria was my refuge. The place where I could dream and plot and plan. The space I needed to assess my life and try out different ideas.

I'm hoping the new Victoria will be like an old friend that I haven't seen in a while. A bit older who has broadened with new experiences --but, still the comfortable, welcoming friend.


sonja said...

Mary, you said it wonderfully!

Jane said...

Hear, hear and hooray! I love(d) Victoria, too!