Lady B: It’s May at last, and that means the Season has arrived! The most exciting part of the year is finally upon us, and all the best people have now returned to Town–including my dear school friend, Lady John Bramblethwaite (married a younger son of the Duke of Donothing, don’t you know). This year, the Bramblethwaites are celebrating the debut of their eldest daughter, Pansy (bit of a milk-and-water miss, but I’m sure we can soon do something about that with our influence). Lady John promised to bring the gel to me directly so that I may assist in her introduction into Society. Ah, here they are now!
Butler (stepping into the drawing room): Madam, your guests–
Lady John Bramblethwaite: Heliotrope! (She glides over - air kisses on both cheeks exchanged.)
Lady B: Calliope! How lovely to see you again. Well, now, this must be Miss Bramblethwaite.
Lady John: Yes, this is my Pansy.
Pansy (with a curtsy): How do you do, Lady Beaufetheringstone? I’m so honored to meet you.
Lady John (whispering): It’s pronounced Batman! I told you in the carriage.
Pansy: Oh, dear me, I-I’m so sorry, my lady–
Lady B: Pish-posh, not at all. Now let us sit down, ladies, and I shall ring for tea. There is so much to be done to get Pansy’s first Season underway! Dear me, Calliope, the time is too short. We have but two months to see your daughter suitably matched.
Lady John (fanning herself as they sit): One hardly knows where to begin! Goodness, me, a daughter–seventeen! You cannot imagine my relief when you offered to help me with her coming-out, my dear Heliotrope. I was never as adept in society as you are.
Lady B: Yes, but who is? Ahh, I remember when we were debutantes, my dear Calliope…
Lady John: It was terrifying! At least for a shy girl like myself…
[Note: Visit http://thelondonseason.blogspot.com/ blog of ex-debutante Florrie Clarke, where I found this photo. Readers will be interested/delighted to hear that the political correctness nonsense that got rid of so many wonderful traditions in England has started to receive some pushback. Huzzah!]
Lady B: Not at all. We are going to have a marvelous time launching Pansy! Ah, here is the tea. Now then. (Pouring.) To start, we must hasten to the milliner’s to order a suitable hat for Ascot.
Furthermore, I am happy to say the ‘pushback’ as Ms. Foley so vulgarly called it above has also extended to the Ascot traditions. There has been some recent revision to the rules of what may and may not be worn at Ascot. Please, everyone, if you’re planning on attending Ascot this year, read these tips from to avoid committing a ghastly faux pas.)
Fortunately, I have found a fantastic young milliner named Aka Tombo to advise us on what will be all the kick this Season: http://reddragonflyakatombo.blogspot.com/2012/01/royal-ascot-hat-rules.html
Pansy: Oh, what wonderful creations! Do I really get to wear one of those, Mama?
Lady B: We must also take a turn around the Chelsea Flower Show, without which no Season could be complete…. http://www.timeout.com/london/around-town/event/234275/rhs-chelsea-flower-show
Lady B: But I can assure you, we shall be looking at more than flower. It’s an excellent place casually to scout out the young gentlemen of the first circles to whom you will want introductions later. If we should happen to meet our friends with interesting sons there, I will be sure to suggest a stop at Gunther’s for ices so the young people can get to know each other better.
Lady John: Excellent thinking, Heliotrope!
Lady B: In the meanwhile, it couldn’t hurt to make sure the gel is up to snuff on her etiquette. I’m sure you’ve schooled her well, Calliope, but let’s arrange for a three-woman panel of objective observers to give her a brief evaluation. I know just who to turn to!
Lady B: Now, I trust, Pansy, that you will in no way and at no time conduct yourself like these unfortunate creatures.
Pansy (horrified): No, ma’am! That girl was… was… in a most improper condition!
Lady John: I think I may be ill after that unspeakable display.
Lady B: Let it be a lesson to you, Pansy. (ringing hastily for the butler): Fetch the smelling salts.
Well, dear Ballroom guests, what romantic advice do you have for Pansy facing her presentation in Society–especially concerning the gentlemen she may meet? And in honor of Mother’s Day, what is the best/funniest/scariest romantic advice your mother gave you about choosing a hero and avoiding a zero? What do you wish someone had told you about males when you were debutante-aged?