05/05/2008 04:21 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Let's Bring Back...

It's been a while, but Let's Bring Back is back.

The fourth of my LBB series, what follows is a celebration of rituals and objects from times past.

(And it's also an homage to Vogue legend Diana Vreeland's Why Don't You? Columns ... but that's neither here nor there).

Let's Bring Back ...

1. Telegrams. A great friend of mine has quite an impressive collection of telegrams from Cole Porter. These divine missives become chic historical collages.

Plus, upon arrival, telegrams are practically synonymous with anticipation, adventure, and mystery ... and who among us couldn't use more of these things in our lives?

2. Hot toddies. The real cure for the common cold, and therefore a reasonable excuse to stay drunk all winter long. Plus, I just like ordering them. Saying "hot toddy" proves to be an endlessly amusing pastime.

3. Curves on runways. The models at New York Fashion Week looked like they'd split a single head of cabbage among all of them and lived on it for a month. Power curves are gorgeous. I just re-watched 1990s fashion documentary Unzipped last week, and Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and their ilk looked hot. Like women you'd want to sink your teeth into. Totally unlike those gristly scraps of chicken bone dragging themselves down the runways these days.

Real women have curves. (From

4. Poetry. If you say it never went out of style, I say that you're living in denial.

To get all of you in a receptive mood for the Return of Verse, I offer up this witty ditty from Dorothy Parker:

If I don't drive around the park,
I'm pretty sure to make my mark.
If I'm in bed each night by ten.
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fun and such.
I'll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am.
Because I do not give a damn.

5. Live-in butlers. Because in modern times, they replaced oracles as the source of all wisdom and gravitas. And they also look very nice carrying mirrored trays laden with gin cocktails.

6. Subversive pamphlets. Printed up in bright colors, so no one misses them scattered about in the streets and subways. Plus: they are a nice alternative to a boring old blog, easier than getting agented, and cheaper than self-publishing a book.


Marie Antoinette, up to no good yet again! (From

7. Phone calls. If I get one more text message, instant message, Facebook message, or MySpace message, I am going to have an electronica bonfire. Whatever happened to picking up the phone to make plans, or simply check in? These days, it's almost more shocking to get a social call than to receive a letter in the mail.

8. Anthony Michael Hall. Well, maybe just AMH from that one scene in Sixteen Candles when he's mixing martinis for Jake and ruminating on the inner workings of the female mind.

I have long lobbied for an honorary Oscar to be bestowed on him for this performance, and I shall continue to do so until I die.


"Any halfway decent girl can rob me blind! Because I'm too torqued up to say no." (From

9. The Canterbury Tales. How overeducated perverts amused themselves before the Coen brothers came onto the scene. I'm partial to "The Pardoner's Tale" myself.

10. The word "dough" for money. Using this word will garner you lots of retro-street cred.

11. Those tiny colored marshmallows in hot cocoa.

12. Bette Davis. Who, in my opinion, deserves a higher stature than that pill Greta Garbo or that grating Katherine Hepburn.

Special thanks to Amanda Miller and Caitlin Crounse.