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She makes it a policy never to mention horses on dates, but eventually hopes to settle on a permanent young man who can tell a forelock from a fetlock. She has been married twice (the first was a home-town Houston boy and the second was a South American; of this period, however, one can find out about as much from Parading Lady as from Miss Abercrombie).
"Someday I want to meet a man who likes me, horses, farming and travel in that order," she said on the way back to town in a convertible Cadillac which she had carefully explained she had borrowed from a friend. "Sort of a town-and-country type. Guess that doesn't make me very different from anyone else, does it?"
This consuming passion to be like everyone else occasionally takes exaggerated forms. Jo is always out of cigarettes and/or money, a combination of lacks seldom experienced by the medium-income group. When a friend met her at the airport last week, Jo greeted her in obvious relief. "I don't know what I would have done if you weren't here," she said gratefully. "I'm fresh out of cigarettes and I don't have a dime to call you."
Because she hates to be conspicuous?a lost cause?she tips very modestly, but has been known to scour the town for a pot of out-of-season violets upon hearing a maid mention they were her favorite flower. She is such a helpful house guest that weekend hostesses with servant problems compete for her trade. On a recent Connecticut Sunday she broke an inexpensive milk-glass mug in the act of preparing her own breakfast, spent the following Monday ferreting around town for its facsimile. (She finally found it at 4:35 p.m. down on New York's Orchard Street.)
She loves bargains and constantly urges her friends to visit marvelous basement shops she is always discovering. Upon being complimented on a gown she wore to a recent cocktail party under a four-foot sable stole, she beamed. "It was $39.95 in the most fantastic little shop," she said happily. "I'll take you there tomorrow. They have lots more."
WHITE GLOVES AND CHOCOLATE
She hates stuffed shirts, fish and hats, in that order, although she recently commissioned Mr. John to design her "a hat that wouldn't scare a horse," was so well satisfied that she bought six exactly alike. She likes white gloves, chocolate in any form and hamburgers. "I love your apartment," she said recently to Betty Betz, a friend with whom she often stays in New York. "It's so convenient to Harry Winston (a local diamond merchant) and Hamburg Heaven."
Miss Abercrombie's major ambition at the moment is to get into the winner's circle at Belmont at the same time one of her horses does.
"When Roman Patrol won recently," she said, heading onto the Tri-borough bridge, "I was so excited I couldn't find my way down to the winner's circle, and by the time I got there they were announcing the next race. But I'll make it yet," she said firmly, expertly sideswiping a truck, whose driver honked at her appreciatively. She grinned suddenly, like a small child. "Maybe that's what Mother means: girls who burn their candles at both ends have trouble locating the winner's circle."