Often in society I get more than I give, and it’s become my custom to acknowledge the souls I meet whose comments have kept me going throughout the year. Unknown, they step forward out of nowhere, introduce themselves, and never fail to make work worthwhile.

Like the nurse in pink at the gala for the working uninsured who wished she said the things I do. You’ll be interested to know I once went to nursing school, and you’re better at it than I ever was. Melanie McKenzie who likes the Thanksgiving column, because her mother taught her compliments are made to be given. I couldn’t agree more.

Professor Mary W. Quigley, NYU Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism, who called one morning because she liked a column I wrote (Mama, wherever you are, did you hear that?) Jill Chiasson Jordan, because not everyone offers me a seat at the table, much less to watch my coat. Leona Sue’s Florist in Scott, who remembered me and my daughter after a gap of 30 years. Thomas Wolfe was wrong. You can go home again.

And, finally, Robert DeKeyser, Malcolm Domingue and the young man on the Albertson’s valentine aisle who turned and said, “I have candy and flowers, but I’ve only been seeing her about a month and don’t want to scare her by saying ‘I love you’ even though I kinda do.” There’s nothing more compelling than a man in love, young or old, and thank you for the reminder.

My reminder to you comes from King James: Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Because as they say, God loves you but the Devil takes an interest.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

New Orleans ladies

They sashay by, as did the models for Raoul Blanco’s couture collection, Scent of a Woman, at Benson Tower. Gayle Benson hosted the Milan-meets-New Orleans fall with a peek at spring, which took our breath away. Joseph Parrino et Cie, of Fleur de Paris, worked their millinery magic for Blanco, who has a Latin man’s love of color and femininity, while Andy’s Jewelry, of Lafayette, provided the diamonds and did a brisk business in the back as well. The fifth-floor view of the Big Easy was hard to beat. Both Sally Goodyear and Benson gave the models some stiff competition in their own Blanco suits, and gentlemen Giorgio Valobra and Richard Young kept our table lively. Among the social swans were Dian Winingder, Deborah Bellina, Vikki Leftwich, Blanche McCloskey, FACE Magazine owner Flint Zerangue, Lafayette ladies Penny Edwards, Madeline Ghandour and Veronica Rodrigue, and, yes, we wish now we’d borrowed that Valobra necklace if only for an hour.

Murder, She Wrote

The Krewe of Victoria ladies staged a murder mystery dinner at downtown’s Esprit de Coeur. We’d like to say it was a dark and stormy night, but it wasn’t as cigarette-toting Barbara “Pette Biddler” Bloomer and cast got ready to entertain. “We did this at Rio, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Jeanie Domingue, who holds dual citizenship in both krewes. “The play’s about powerful women who meet on the ship Perfection and realize their mentor’s a fake.” Gearing up for some vengeful murder and mayhem were Neil Morein, Jamie Crain, Sally Burdette, Luis and Teresa Meza, and Staci and Chris Villemarette.