(For reasons 1 through 5, see the January/February issue.)
6. They force you to become a smuggler … so if you happen to visit, say, Paris with them—and if, say, Mom is Carmel Snow, a former editor at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar—be prepared to cut all the labels out of your new clothes and whistle “Dixie” at Customs. In her biography of Snow, A Dash of Daring: Carmel Snow and Her Life in Fashion, Art, and Letters, Penelope Rowlands insists that Snow’s three girls were well brought up. Indeed they were—only not by Snow. Want to know how a career woman can “have it all”? Live in the city, banish your children to Long Island and nannies, and drop by on Sunday afternoons (if you happen not to be traveling).
7. They announce breakups in a particularly crushing way … In Brooke Hayward’s Haywire, a wackily assembled but terribly sad recollection of her family’s propensity for glamour (childhood best buddy: Jane Fonda) and mental illness (both mother and sister killed themselves; brother Bill was committed), the beginnings and ends of relationships are marked by the strangest of statements. Her mother, the actress Margaret Sullavan, tells her children that her divorce from Leland Hayward must be treated “just like going to the bathroom; it’s not something you talk to other people about.” Years later, Hayward Sr. takes Brooke out for her twenty-second birthday to proclaim his love for Pamela Churchill (later Harriman): “ ‘I’ve decided to get married again,’ he declared. ‘But,’ I replied, stunned, ‘you already are.’ ‘True,’ said Father. ‘First I’ll have to get a divorce.’”