Elitists at the gate

Posted on 01/06/2006 in misc

Joanne Jacobs found a Washington Post article on the on the return of that distinctly Southern tradition, the Junior Cotillion, to Loudoun County, VA. Some of the parents might want to consider a PR class themselves, as they don't come off sounding like the kind of people I'd want for neighbors.

Loudoun is the perfect place for an etiquette class, said Sousan Sweeney of Purcellville, because the parents moving to the county have high incomes and are well-educated, and want their children to learn the social skills needed to tap into the area's cultural events and political power base. Sweeney is assistant director of the junior cotillion chapters in Loudoun.

I guess she thinks the poor folk don't give a damn if their kids have manners? It's been my experience that a kid's manners and his parent's income level are usually inversely related. Country kids generally know when to use sir and ma'am, and military brats always know. Neither demographic is buying property in Loudoun County VA these days.

"I've been looking for a cotillion for my daughter for a long time," said Cascades resident Mary Ann Dowdle of her daughter Stephanie, who wore a new black dress and her hair in ringlets for the occasion. "I'm happy for her to learn genteel arts, social graces, being able to have a good time in conversation and knowing the nice thing to say," she said.

Translation...I want my daughter to associate with the "right" people, if you know what I mean. You can't teach manners at home?

Participants in nearby chapters have included daughters and sons of ambassadors, senators and high-ranking members of both political parties, who are likely to find themselves in such formal social situations as inaugural balls, said Marilyn Wellington, director of the Alexandria chapter, which has 300 youths enrolled across southeastern Fairfax County.

We had a mechanics daughter once, but we got rid of her right quick. She actually knew how to change a tire, can you imagine?

I signed up Kelly because she was very tomboyish," Lovettsville resident Melissa Burrows, a chaperone at the ball, said. "She has an older brother, so she was burping at the table.

So we joined an expensive, elitist organization, because, you know, just telling her to stop would have been bad for her self esteem. Thank God they are getting that tomboy crap out of her too. We can't have our young ladies being interested in physical fitness and that sort of stuff.

Next year, Michie would like to start an advanced program for third-year students, which would include an extra trip to the country club for lessons in tennis and golf etiquette. She also has plans to add a theater component so young people can practice the proper way to be seated, along with a catered reception so they can learn how to conduct themselves around heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Here is everything you need to know about golf etiquette. Don't eat the wild blueberries growing around the tee box. Somebody likely peed on them earlier today.

I've never been to one of them there Cotillions, but I'm pretty sure even the rich folk in the theater sit down ass first. If you want your kid to learn how to behave at the theater, I have this nifty idea. It's really quite radical.

Take them to the theater yourself. You live near Washington DC, theater opportunities abound. Give the nanny the night off and spend a little time with your kids.

I'd like to think we had moved beyond worrying about whether or not our sons and daughters will marry in their class. Apparently in Loudoun County, VA, they haven't.

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