After years in the etiquette catbird seat, Southerners have lost their perch. Although the idea that a funeral is a dandy outing still prevails, recent observations make a review of the rules necessary even south of the Mason-Dixon Line. It’s not that difficult. Dress up and be quiet, turn off your phone, tell the bereaved how sorry you are and sit down.

Albeit less formal than the funeral, a post-funeral reception is a somber occasion, not a flash mob. It is bad form to beat the bereaved back to their own door and you’re obliged to keep on your church clothes, not run home to change. Go easy on the alcohol (it’s not that kind of party) and you must be on speaking terms with the deceased or the family to attend. It’s not an opportunity to train children with “It’s just like when we buried Tweety in the backyard, only this is fancier.” Three trips to the buffet are two too many, and when the refreshments are gone, they’re gone. Do not announce you’re getting ready to make a liquor run to the Stop & Go and would anyone like anything. Don’t ask female guests if they want the flowers. No woman needs a bouquet that badly.

Keep your voice down. Loud laughter, particularly the shrill female variety, is unwelcome as many nerves are already frayed. Stand if it’s crowded, don’t sit on anyone’s lap (it’s not that kind of party) and save business for another time. Don’t seek out the relatives to ask how they’re planning to invest and do they need a good broker.

I know, that takes all the enjoyment out of it.

Exactly. It’s not that kind of party.

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

Twenty-Three Skiddoo!

It was all the bee’s knees as the March of Dimes Roaring ’20s Gala got underway at the Petroleum Club. Presented by Cypress Bayou Casino, Knight Oil Tools and others, the Signature Chefs Auction featured area chefs Mark Alleman, Colt Patin, Heath Lemoine, Gregory Doucet, Dean George, Justin Girouard, Many Augello, Paul Krato, Dustie Latiolais, Scott McCue, Blake Payne and lead chef Jeremy Conner, who wowed guests with everything from escargots to boudin sliders. The evening also acknowledged patrons Bob and Judy Dunn, Darla Montgomery emceed, and little Blaze Vidrine did his MD ambassadorial duties dressed as a newsie. What we loved: Hotsy-totsy Fran Williams and her Marcel wave. If she’s not a dead ringer for Josephine Baker, we don’t know who is.

Fly away soirée

And what a perfect evening to fly. The Lourdes Foundation greeted guests with semaphores and more as they raised money and had a little fun for a good cause. Uniformed flight attendants and pilots alike transformed the hospital’s meditation garden into an airport, while the prize of the evening was a genuine flight to an unknown destination on one condition — you had to leave in 24 hours, no questions asked. We have to say all airlines could be vastly improved if the captains only passed out tenderloin hors d’oeuvres and martinis, but while we appreciate Ted Viator’s determination to buy us a raffle ticket, The Advocate is grounded.

Break a leg

Who wouldn’t love a little wine, cheese and art? The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Department of Performing Arts did just that and performed “Art,” a Broadway comedy concerning friendship and painting, at the A. Hayes Town building following cocktails at the Alumni House. It’s our understanding the Paul and Lulu Hilliard Art Museum opened its doors as well, but the real star of the evening was Tycarlous DeBarry, who knows how to meet the press and a media opportunity when he sees one.

Victoria announcement party

The Krewe of Victoria formally announced its royalty, Her Majesty Daina Bernard, Queen Victoria XXIII and Prince Albert Greg Johnson in the City Club ballroom at River Ranch. The Queen was sequestered with her duchesses — Amber Hebert, Christine Saucier, Candy Kelly, Melissa Nugier, and Amanda Taylor — earlier in the evening in the Eleven Hundred Room, but proudest of all was young Gabriel Bernard, ready to escort his mother for the evening. “That’s Queen with a capital Q,” said Bernard. We have complied.