It’s that time of year again, and while Santa may still be making his list and checking it twice, I already know who’s been bad. Ladies and gentlemen, this year’s Naughty List. No names necessary, they know who they are.
At the top, the woman who addressed me as “Miss Society” and said I didn’t know what I was talking about politically. Madame, it might interest you to know that society and politics have always been bedfellows. In fact, the earliest retaliation by the Nixon administration was to bar The Washington Post society writer from White House parties. And for the record, it’s “Your Highness”.
Next, the national nonprofit whose annual luncheon check-in required guests to give full-contact information before entering. At some point it’s no longer fundraising, it’s a shakedown.
The audience at the live auction charity event that refused to bid on dinner with Gov. John Bel Edwards. It is a privilege to sit at the same table with an Army Ranger no matter what. Partisanship notwithstanding, philanthropy is neither the time nor the place.
The reporter eating the food while covering the Meals on Wheels fundraiser. Businesses have donated this on behalf of elderly shut-ins and paying guests. You’re neither. Your job was to serve the community, not your plate.
The River Ranch parents whose children played and cut up during the national anthem. Flag protocol applies to children who can stand on their own the same as it does to adults. If dogs can be taught to “stay” quietly, your children can, too.
Likewise, those loudly shushing the audience from the balcony at the symphony concert. It’s a faux pas to correct those committing a faux pas. Granted, one is technically not supposed to clap between movements in music, but while the audience may have been naive, you redefined peanut gallery.
And finally, the daughter who told her mother she was going to Austin but was actually going to Dubai. There’s quite a bit of difference in these destinations, and lies to one’s mother, albeit for a moment, are universally frowned upon. So don’t be surprised one day when you reach those Pearly Gates if you hear St. Peter say, “I’m sorry, we thought you were going to Texas.”
Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at Fete@theadvocate.com.
Kings Road Cocktails
Jay and Therese Culotta hosted the Friends of the Humanities for a Christmas social at their Kings Road home. All was merry and bright, quite crowded too, as guests enjoyed a cocktail buffet and serenade by Brooke Gutshall and Jennifer Tassin. Perfect weather allowed socializing both inside and out, and making the most of it was FOH grant recipient Olivia Morgan; foreign exchange student Margherita Balbo, of Turin, Italy; FOH President Mag Ritchey; former poet laureate Darryl Bourque and wife, Karen, and beautiful Fête fan Linda Gondron. A society presence all by itself: the genuine eggnog bar, complete with traditional silver punch bowl and cups, plus toppings of choice.
The Petroleum Club hosted its annual Christmas tea to what appeared to be some sold-out holiday spirit. Bluesy alto Patsy Bienvenu and equally jazzy pianist Jill Merkl took care of the secular side, while new author Dr. Bryan Sibley gave a book talk on "God First: Setting Life’s Priorities." Sibley’s slim guide is no doubt just what the doctor ordered and a prescription for spiritual malaise this Christmas season. Enjoying the music and the mentoring: Pat Olson, Marlene Milam, a hospitable Mary Kay Scott and Marguerite Bordelon.
The Galvez Chapter of the Louisiana Daughters of the American Revolution held a holiday tea at the Alexandre Mouton House. “We recognize debutantes, Christmas and prospective members,” said DAR Regent Louise Ganucheau. Present and accounted for were Second Vice Regent Myra Tener, First Vice Regent Julie McCarthy and Baton Rouge DAR contingent Pat Reed, Zora Olsson and Charlotte White. Anne Padgett did the honors, and the organization will again be honoring female military members with CARE packages this year. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of requested items and drop-off points.
Sip 'n' Shop
Neither rain nor sleet could keep them from the prosecco and pretzels at Aileen Dauterive’s River Ranch boutique. Caroler and keyboardist Denise Melancon gave a lovely rendition of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah" — the sacred version, not the secular one — and a good time was had by all, including Queen Xanadu Kay Foreman out browsing with Kacey Patrick.