Mary Louise Drysdale, Interior Designer and Antiques Expert, 9/2000
A Life ago, my Ex and I came close to buying an antiques shop. And while I don't suggest, "On the Job Training" in antiques, it was what we were about to do. A warning sign came a year later from the infamous dealer, Tom Devenish who, when I asked, "What's new," replied, "That fucking Pembroke table in the corner." Innocently, we began by taking a week long American antiques course at Winterthur.
On the second or third day, folks in the class were getting comfortable and questions for the instructors increased. Most were not general but personal, "I have this 18th century toile …" sort of thing. About this same time the marriage was not going well. My wife and I constantly argued and she suggested that my interests were in younger 20-ish women.
The Ex was making the 'younger woman' point in class when an older woman, well into her forties and sitting next to an even older woman in her fifties, raised her hand. They were both wearing needlepoint slippers, khakis and button downs. A frosted blonde bob topped the hand raiser who asked, "What would the humidity in Palm Beach do to the veneer of a Chippendale tiger wood mahogany chest?" As the instructor answered, I leaned to my wife and whispered, "That's the kind of woman you should worry about."