Emily’s Post

I hope your New Year’s Eve goes something like this…

BALL OR FORMAL DANCE IN A PRIVATE HOUSE

For a ball there is always an awning and a red carpet down the front steps of the house. A chauffeur at the curb opens the car doors.  If there is a great crush, there is a detective (like a real private eye?) in the hall to investigate anyone who does not have himself announced to the hostess. In fact, it has become customary in New York and other big cities to have admission cards engraved and sent to all those who have accepted (now I used to work for a specialty print shop – do you have any idea how INSANE that would be?).

All the necessary appurtenances, such as awning, red carpet, coat-hanging racks, ballroom chairs, as well as crockery, glass, napkins, waiters and good are supplied by hotels and caterers.  In houses like the Gildings’ (who are the Gildings??), footmen’s liveries to match those of their own footmen (footmen??) are always supplied to the caterer’s men. In other words, fifteen of the twenty footmen in “Gildings’ liveries” who wait at big parties are caterer’s men and five, or fewer, their own.

Unless a house has a ballroom (which practically none have today), the room selected for dancing must have all the furniture moved out of it; and if there are adjoining rooms and the dancing room is not especially big, it adds considerably to the floor space to put no chairs around it. Those who dance seldom sit around a ballroom, anyway, and the more informal grouping of chairs in the hall or library is a better arrangement than the wainscot row or wallflower exposition grounds (Awe-maybe they should also engrave their dance cards?).  The floor, it goes without saying, must be smooth and waxed (seems dangerous for dancing if you ask me).
Happy New Year all! May it be filled with footmen, red carpets and an encounter on the dance floor with a Gilding.

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1 Comment

Filed under Emily Post, Etiquette

One response to “Emily’s Post

  1. Christine Vanderberg

    Sounds like more security than they had at the White House recently! No intruders would make it past the detectives, footmen and engraved invitations – to be sure. I think I prefer lying in bed with popcorn and watching The Sound of Music.

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