"Oh, hello. It's your mother. Where are you? It sounds loud there."
I'm at Lucille's in Lake Forest having dinner with Dino for his birthday.
"When did Gena get into town?"
I don't know. Is Gena in town?
"You just said you were having dinner with her."
No. I'm having dinner with DINO.
"Oh. Well tell Dino happy birthday. Listen, a friend of mine said you can see Mars in the evening and I looked and can't find it and I was wondering what you think."
Well, right now Mars isn't very bright. Jupiter is though.
"No, Maura didn't tell me that. It was a friend of mine."
What? What does Maura have to do with it?... What are we talking about?
"Didn't you just say 'Maura's not very bright'?"
No. MARS isn't very bright. Jupiter is.
So when I recently I saw all sorts of stories in the news about the Zodiac's 13th sign, "Ophiuchus", I remembered not just that illuminating email, but my conversation with my brother several years ago about astrology and the signs of the Zodiac.
|The 13th Sign- Since ancient times, Ophiuchus has been better known as Serpentarius or "the Serpent Holder".|
The whole conversation had only come up, as I was telling him about my daughter's uncanny knack of guessing the astrological signs of people. All people... Including those she had never even met, but whom I had merely described to her. "Heavens above!" exclaimed one shocked woman who's sign my daughter had just pulled out of thin air correctly. "That makes no sense! How did you know?"
It makes no sense to me either, as like my brother, the whole astrology thing seems a bit far-fetched to me, though it is harmless fun to sometimes "read" what my day or month may be like.
As an etiquette rule, I stay away from the subject of astrology when it comes to my business and also my professional life. I advise people who hire me, to leave the subject of astrology out of their business conversations, off of their websites, etc... too. There are those who are put off by talk of astrology, as their religious beliefs find astrology offensive, etc... Like politics, people can lose potential clients over mere talk of subjects like astrological beliefs. That said, I am making an exception in this case due to the following. My second thought when I heard there was a 13th sign in the zodiac; The Southern Silver Zodiac.
The Southern Silver Zodiac is from a book I actually have gotten 2 copies of since it came out in the early 1990's (yes, it is that funny!) and tonight I just bought a third copy, the updated reprint of it on Ebay. The book is titled "A Southern Belle Primer: Or Why Paris Hilton Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma."
A Southern Belle Primer, Or why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma by Maryln Schwartz
The following is a sampling of the patterns and the type of Belles who choose them;
2. Grand Baroque Wallace International This is Francis I with roses instead of fruit. Grand Baroque girls also have a sense of the dramatic. But they often also have a literary bent. That’s why you can buy a sterling silver bookmark in the Grand Baroque pattern. Grand Baroque girls often date boys whose families have the Acorn pattern. But they don’t marry them. It’s just a youthful rebellion.
4. Rose Point Wallace International Old-fashioned girls pick this pattern. It’s very popular with girls named Rose. Sentimental mothers who have chosen patterns like Old Master and Eloquence sometimes name their daughters Rose just so they can have a legacy all their own.
5. Buttercup Gorham Belles who choose Buttercup are always cheerful. They even choose the pattern because it’s so uplifting. Buttercup girls have friends with every kind of pattern. They are usually followers rather than leaders, but they are just so upbeat it really doesn’t matter.
6. Chantilly Gorham Belles with Chantilly tend to be a bit prissy. They do best with men whose mothers also have Chantilly. Never put a Chantilly girl with a man whose mother has Francis I or Grand Baroque. They will always be upstaged. Don’t let all that sweetness fool you. Chantilly girls were often fast in high school.
7. Strasbourg Gorham Strasbourg girls are traditionalists and just a bit formal. As good Southern girls, they are entranced with anything that’s festive and use their good silver almost all the time. Southern men love girls who pick Strasbourg because when Strasbourg girls bring out the good silver, they also bring out the good food. They don’t mix well with boys whose mothers have Buttercup. They will both always fight for control.
8. Acorn Georg Jensen Beware of the Acorn girl. This pattern is lovely but foreign (it comes from Denmark). Girls who pick Acorn are rebellious. They march in parades and sometimes have been known to go to colleges in the East and drink beer straight from the can.
9. Old Master Towle Old Master girls have spirit but don’t drift too far from tradition. Because of this they are fiercely attached to their family heirlooms. One Texas Belle got thirty place settings of her groom’s grandmother’s Old Master as a wedding gift. When she got a divorce, she took her husband to court over the Old Master and let him keep the Cadillac without a whimper.
10. Eloquence Lunt Eloquence girls like nice things. They expect their husbands to provide. They are extremely loyal whether it’s a boyfriend, a best friend, or a pet. Because of this they get along well with more flighty girls who have Francis I or Grand Baroque.
11. Chrysanthemum Tiffany These girls have been known to turn up their noses at Francis I girls. They are just as flamboyant and just as demanding. They also usually have a lot more money to spend. Their husbands have to be good providers because they also insist on Tiffany crystal and Tiffany china. This is a relatively new pattern compared to some of the others. Girls with Chrysanthemum sometimes go really wild and live in avant-garde homes. But don’t worry, they still cut the crusts off their tea sandwiches and their daughters always get good recommendations to Kappa, Theta and Pi Phi.
12. Repousse Kirk Repousse is one of the oldest silver patterns. These girls often have mothers and grandmothers who also have this pattern. One Charleston woman explains every woman in her family for three generations chose this pattern. Then her son married a woman who didn’t even have a silver pattern. (uh oh) The mother-in-law insisted she pick something out and had relatives fill in the place settings. When the new bride completely bypassed Repousse by calling it “too fussy”, the mother-in-law knew the marriage wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.
|Damask Rose-My Mother's Pattern|
|Maura answering questions after a talk on silver.|
|Frank Smith's Lion Pattern|
Regarding a friend's set of the very simple "Fiddle Pattern"... "These were my mother's, my grandmother's. I always loved them. They have clean, classic lines and go formal or informal!"
I later learned the pattern name "Nenuphar", introduced by American Silver Co., ca 1905, and I rapidly started collecting it and grape patterns, switching at some point from plated to sterling patterns, medallions, and finally to unusual coin silver & early sterling. To me, it was all about handle patterns, and I was as happy with a teaspoon as with the fanciest server. This has changed. Having found most of the interesting full-line patterns from 1844-1870 both die-struck and engraved, except for the really rare and pricey ones, I'm now concentrating on unusual servers, such as cheese knives (with teeth!), fresh cream buckets, buckwheat cake lifters, cakesaws, and cased sets."
|Her $22.00 antique shop find and the start of her incredible collection|