"the" Mrs. Astor

Monday, August 02, 2010

Something has changed. Although I am awake at four in the morning, my chronic sleeplessness seems to be gone. Something happened in January when I had to put KiKi down; I went into a seemingly endless death-spiral, and actually wished for death. For some reason, Mr. Astor held on to me and lectured and promised things I thought were long lost. I really don't know how I made it through these six months.
But, often, you are allowed to look back and see who the friends were; who stood by you as you fell; who were always there. There are many; but, when I stand back and think about what happened in the last six months, there are so many I need to thank for bringing me back from the precipice. Luis and Steven, Mamie, Baroness....they never left my side; I deeply bow to them.

Now, back to business. Mrs. Wilmerding insists that I recreate The Four Hundred as a rule to determine who can really talk to whom. She owns a whole block in Mid-Town and wants to open an establishment for like-minded Society Woman. This being a small town, I believe it will be a multi-tiered system. There will be The One Hundred who constantly know and feel comfortable with each other. There will be The Second Hundred, who really belong in The First, but fight for it. And, there will be the two hundred "fringe" elements. And, Mr. Astor, Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish, and The Wilmerdings love "fringe". There is something about that very word that makes it a happy thing.

My immediate worry is that Mrs. Stuyvesant-Fish is threatening to leave and go back to Nashville and take care of her mother. I don't know if I can really, solely hold up the morals of society without her. We have moderated behavior in this town for five years, despite our constant bickering and her fondling of Mr. Astor; total anarchy might soon take over if she leaves.

The Wilmerdings are picking us up with their yacht at the dock in Sunset Harbor on Tuesday; hopefully, I can talk some sense into Mamie then, when she is not land-locked. I can't be left alone to run this town; I need the only person ever able to counter my weight, my social weight, my--as Pearl Bailey used to say--my "social magnificence".


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