Real Life Dramas of the Gucci Loafer and the End of Tampa Society: The Best of Town & Country, March 2013

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Last month, I subscribed to Town & Country. I don’t really feel like I need to justify it but…it was $10. Also, I’ve never read an issue of Town & Country and not enjoyed it. For as long as I can remember, both my grandmother and my great-aunt have been subscribers and I’ve always loved reading the “back issues” they’ve kept. (Seriously, my aunt Honey has Town & Country issues from like 1983 in her spare room.)

I don’t think I ever really got just how amazing the very sincere and self-congratulatory WASP-y reportage that Town & Country offers was until I became a subscriber myself. So I’ve decided to document here all the best parts of each issue. For you! (But really for me.) Here, in no particular order, without too much context, are my favorite parts of Town & Country’s March 2013 issue:

From INBOX, Page 44:
A woman named Peggy Capone Butler – why are you holding on to that very ethnic maiden name, Peggy – decries the February issue’s celebration of Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey. She believes that Brendan Coyle – Mr. Bates! – is the real “heartthrob” of the show.

From “Pearl Jam”, Page 47:
Eric Ripert is coming out with his own caviar. His partner, a caviar distributor, says:
“It’s part of my job — I’m guilty of the crime of eating caviar every day. Someone has to do it.”

From “Snow Safari”, Page 52:
I’m not making fun of this. I genuinely love John Jeremiah Sullivan, who wrote this article. I just want to point out the brilliance of the following observation: “We saw a belted kingfisher, with it’s crest of Don King hair.”

From “Preppy Pack Rat”, Page 66:
“Thomas Cary’s Upper East Side apartment is a preppy paradies, meaning it’s timeless if not eternal.”

“Over the past few decades he has amassed a vast array of what he calls “product,” including 21 Club jockey lamps (above) and a leatherbound set of James Bond novels signed by Sean Connery.”

From “Two of a Kind”, Page 66:
Regarding Minnie Mortimer’s new Boast line: “For spring the two teamed up on five Margot Tenenbaum-inspired pieces.”

From “Bright Eyes”, Page 68:
“Here’s an activity for a lazy afternoon: stand on a corner of the Upper East Side and count the number of neon sneakers that pass by.”

From “Inner Circles”, Page 69:
“Is there a more ringing endorsement of the classic hoop earring than Christiane Amanpour’s decision to wear a pair in her official Twitter picture?” (NOPE.)

From “Night Vision”, Page 69:
“Should an evening bag go on top of a dinner table or underneath it on the floor?”

“Etiquette rules in favor of the floor – or, ideally, a purse stool…”

(Bring back the purse stool! Seriously.)

From “Bit by Bit”, Page 72:
“The Gucci loafer has also shown up in the real life dramas of players as diverse as Philip Niarchos, Lapo Elkann, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sophia Loren.” (No information provided on what these dramas were or the role that Gucci loafers have played. I’m looking into this.)

From “Welcome Matte”, Page 84:
“Skype hasn’t inspired many beauty trends, but the proliferation of matte faces this season may be one.”

“How To Get Out of a Car With Your Dignity Intact”, Page 87:

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“True Brit”, Page 90:
Just, read this whole thing. About “finding a paradise of traditional English-style hunting in the American West”.

Fun Facts From the Weddings Featured in the SOCIAL NETWORK Section:
1) “Wedding Gifts: The couple exchanged wedding day perfumes, each with a love note.”

2) “First Dance: A live performance by Donna Lewis of ‘I Love You Always, Forever.’”

3) “Before Dinner: A three-tier bacon bar.”

4) “Cocktail: Dark ‘n’ Stormy.”

5) “Cocktail: Cinco de Mayo-inspired jalapeno margaritas.”

“What Makes the Rich Beg?”, Page 98:
Trying to get their kids into private kindergarten, apparently! Snooze. But also, this article had sort of a light tone, which was super off-putting because knowing how much money to donate in order to get accepted to the right private kindergarten is serious.

HOROSCOPES, Page 102:
Featured T&C celebrities:
Francis Ford Coppola (Aries)
Candice Bergen (Taurus)
Josephine Baker (Gemini)
Ernest Hemingway (Cancer)
Amelia Earhart (Leo)
Arnold Palmer (Virgo)
Truman Capote (Libra)
Grace Kelly (Scorpio)
Keith Richards (Sagittarius)
Kate Moss (Capricorn)
Princess Caroline (Aquarius)
Harry Belafonte (Pisces)

From “Between the Lines”, Page 121:
Second to last sentence of this article on Sir Tom Stoppard: “As we sit, eating cake and pondering the merits of a Burt Reynolds movie that turns out to be a metaphysical mind-bender, only one adjective can possibly do.”

From “A Four Star Scandal”:
I generally avoided the whole Petraeus affair because I thought it was kind of boring. Then I read this “piece”.

Page 132:
“Every year, on the last Saturday in January, the men of Tampa, including those from the oldest, richest families, dress up as pirates and invade the harbor in ‘krewes,’ while the poorer civilians let themselves be invaded, at least symbolically.’

“Still, there are dozens of newer krewes that have embraced diversity, and Gasparilla, despite its aristocratic origins and social pretensions, isn’t exactly a redoubt of Tampa society – or a model of decorum. Women bare their breasts, drunkenness is rampant, and the police look the other way.”

“It’s also well known that many military men are enthusiastic patrons of Mons Venus, a local strip joint whose founder is renowned as the inventory of the nude lap dance.”

Page 134:
“Many a Tampa matriarch was left shaking her head, and the Chanel twins gained a new nickname: the Kartampians…The Kartampians were something of a Gasparilla in reverse: arrivistes intent on swashbuckling their way through Tampa society, taking no prisoners.”

“‘Tampa has a Trojan horse,’ a person whose family has lived in the city for generations told me, ‘and she’s called Jill Kelley.’”

Page 156:
“‘First of all, they were dressed inappropriately,’ one guest told me. ‘Miniskirts, boobs out — and everyone else looked elegant.’

Page 157:
“Accepting local hospitality was a military custom. Everyone had everyone else’s e-mail addresses. The barriers were down.”

“‘I think having Petraeus’s personal e-mail made Jill feel pretty special, like maybe she didn’t have to pay her mortgage and could fudge the numbers on a nonprofit,’ Scherzer told me.”

“She believes Tampa’s reputation may have suffered irreparable damage.”

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