December 9th, 2008


I have an intense devotion to etiquette, brought on by a lot of underaged reading of Amy Vanderbilt and Emily Post. I have thoughts, which I try not to share, on how one should conduct oneself regarding coasters, hairpins, floral arrangements and divorce. The reason I do not share these things is that they are antiquated and unhelpful, and most people only find my rule-following annoying and compulsive, not, as it is meant to be, respectful and friendly.

And then when there is a rule that I could usefully follow, such as RSVP, I drop the ball. I have been corrupted by modernizing forces, aka Facebook–where RSVP is not the French acronym for the polite imperitive, respondez-vous, s’il vous plait but a vaguer suggestion, “respond if you want it to show up on your wall, if you want someone to save you a seat or a sandwich, or if you feel like it. No committment required; feel free to ignore if unavailable/uninterested.”

Such is the social climate of Facebook–that’s the way it works, and it is respectful to follow the rules of Rome when there. But Facebook is not the Governor General’s awards, and despite the fact that I felt very sad about not being about to go, it never occurred to me to call and tell anyone this, despite the swirly-script RSVP clearly printed on the invitation. So I now also feel very sad about making the nice GG people call me to find out that I will not, in fact, be there tomorrow.

I have learned a lot from this experience, and will be rereading my Post and Vanderbilt shortly. Until then, if you are going the GGs, or any of the attendent amazing events, have an extra good time on my behalf.

Stared at the grown-up feet while they danced and swayed

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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