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OUR HOSTESS, THE CONTESSA, ALSO KNOWN AS THE @ANTIQUEGODDESS AND ELIZABETH
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One of my favorite people on Instagram is a woman known as “The Contessa” or the “@AntiqueGoddess.” A few months ago she asked her Instagram followers if anyone wanted to come to her home for lunch? Hello!! Why yes, I would. When she said her table could only hold eight, so we needed to let her know asap… 

I responded by saying, “I’m coming even if I have to bring my own folding chair and TV tray!”

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SUE BURPEE AND HER HUSBAND ON A SAILING ECO-CRUISE IN NEW ZEALAND.
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Recently I heard a radio host, inquiring if a guest would retire soon, ask, “Do I see a hammock in your future?” That reminded me of Grace Coddington, who when stepping down as Creative Director at Vogue, said she was “definitely not retiring” because she didn’t want “to sit around.”

Really? Hammocks? Sitting around? That’s their vision of retirement?

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PHOTOS FROM STEFANO GABBANA'S INSTAGRAM PAGE. HE WAS IN NO WAY MEAN TO SARAH JESSICA PARKER.
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Dear Brittany & Jessie, Part of me wants to say you’re rude and shallow, while another part of me thinks the difficulty our culture has with aging is because of people like you. Who are you to mock the way Sarah Jessica Parker looked at Monday night’s Met Gala with mean girl tweets like “she is aging faster than spoiled Greek yogurt,” “horses have a life span of 20-30 years so she is definitely blessed to still be with us” and “she’s aging like a bad raisin”?

Has it even occurred to you that you’ve shamed all women for the privilege of living and breathing and getting older?

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Now that I no longer have three storage units full of my things and one of mother’s, the pieces I haven’t sold, given to the Salvation Army, or had hauled away, are stacked in cardboard boxes in my garage. Last weekend I started going through them.

Opening these boxes has been like entering a dusty, faded time machine.

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Grieving the death of a spouse is like trying to hang-on to a 50-pound yo-yo. Grief plunges you to the bottom of despair, then raises you up for a brief glimpse of life, as you knew it, only to drop you again… and again. I never dreamed surviving the death of my second husband would make breast cancer seem easy.

In the last few weeks, two of my friends have lost their husbands to a serious illness. I’ve lost two husbands to death. I know how they’re feeling.

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PHOTOGRAPHY ©BRENDA COFFEE, 1010PARKPLACE, LLC, 2018
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The best thing about New Orleans isn’t the food, although it is fabulous, or the live music on the street. It is the people, most notably the women I met this week.

Would you believe I went to New Orleans to have lunch with women I know from Instagram?

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PEOPLE MET HIM FOR A SECOND, AND YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE HIS BEST FRIEND. HE HAD THAT EFFECT ON EVERYBODY.
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If you read my Fashion Friday post last month about the delightful Carol Dietz then you know how fun and fabulous she is, and she’s Diane Keaton’s doppelgänger. As former Art Director for the New York Times, Carol worked with the late Bill Cunningham, legendary photographer and eccentric chronicler of street style fashion, on his “On the Street” and “Evening Hours” columns. As Carol told me, “Bill was a mentor, a father, an uncle… He was everything.”

Carol Dietz and Bill Cunningham… I can only imagine what these two originals were like, together.

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I don’t have grandchildren. I’ll try not to sound triumphant here, because the word on the street is I’m missing out on something so huge that apparently it would be sacrilegious to admit I am immensely relieved I don’t have grandchildren.

My friends rhapsodize that grandkids are the babies you can spoil to death in a way you never could with your own. They tell me the relationship with an older grandchild is special because of the purity of the relationship. There are no issues such as discipline, clouding the fun and games of time spent together.

But what I hear is babysitting. Babysitting here. Babysitting there. Babysitting while the parents go on a vacation… instead of me.

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PHOTOGRAPH ©BRENDA COFFEE, 2018
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If you’re new to my blog this is not the kind of thing I usually write about. I’m more interested in writing Promise Yourself These Six Things, Does Someone Need Your Help to Heal or Fifi’s Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, Did Retirement. I’m writing this because of the number of emails I received about the serial killer I mentioned in last week’s blog. It’s also a reminder there are people like this in the world. Here’s a small snippet of a true story I’ve never published.

While I can’t tell you how or where I met him, I can tell you the last time I saw “Felix,” he’d killed 43 people. That was 15 years ago.

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