Tuesday, June 2, 2009

DEAR NANCY . . . A Letter to Victoria Magazine

One of my all-time favorite magazines has been Victoria. In the 1990s, it was the quintessential elegant celebration of all things girlie. Silver tea sets, gorgeous flowers, all-things chintz, and old lace. Ahhhh.

Its editor was one Nancy Lindemeyer. Under her guidance, the magazine flourished. Then she retired around 2001 or 2002. The magazine soon failed under its new editor. (Sorry, Peg, but it’s true.)

I’ve written about the old Victoria, and its resurrection, and those two blog posts are the most accessed on this blog. (Thank you, Google.) Not a day goes by when one, if not both of those posts gets read by someone out in cyberspace. (Although, sadly, those readers don’t seem to come back and read the new entries on this blog. Bummer.)

I was not a subscriber of the old Victoria from day one. Therefore, every time I see an old issue at a yard sale, I scoop it up. I’ve been able to find most, but not yet all of the old issues. I like to pull those old issues out during the summer to revisit favorite articles from up to 18 years ago. And I’ve purchased a LOT of back issues at yard sales.

VictoriaMay1998 A year or so ago, I bought quite a few back issues. But as I was going through them this past weekend, I found one that had a hand-written note to Nancy Lindemeyer. Or I should say, an unfinished note to Nancy. It read:


Dear Nancy,

I recently ordered a 2-year subscription to Victoria for our business. I always read it first, then take it to the office where many times the ladies will ask to take it home for a day or two.

Today it came, my new subscription. But I got 2 issues. One May & one June. My first thought was “oh well,” but as I read through the May issue, it’s all about Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is long gone.

I don’t buy out-dated food and I don’t buy outdated magazines. Yours is a great magazine. The best in my eyes. I have been reading it for years. I used to dream of planning my only daughter’s wedding using ideas from your magazine. And one day I did. It was the most beautiful wedding. She wore a petal pink Cinderella gown and her Victorian bouquet was beautiful.

DearNancy The letter ends there. Okay, what was the writer saying? She was annoyed that she got two issues—one old, one new—but still, she’d used what she’d read in past issues to plan the biggest day in her daughter’s life.

Hello! What’s the problem here? She got a magazine a week or so late and it annoyed her, but then how long had she waited before she’d renewed her subscription? And how terribly annoyed was this woman when the magazine failed under it’s new editor? (I can tell you, I was pretty damned annoyed.)

The new Victoria isn’t quite as wonderful as its predecessor. Then again, even in its current incarnation, it’s much better than the alternative: having NO Victoria magazine.

But it was really kind of neat seeing the hand-written note, the looping letters in cursive script. Did the woman ever finish the letter? Did she go into greater detail about her daughter’s wedding, or did she just decide: Oh dear, what was I thinking? . . . and just shove the pages into the May 1998 issue and say/think “the hell with it.”

We’ll never know.