Saturday, June 7, 2014

Memoirs of an Eclectic Shorebird:White Glove Society

White Glove Society

 Life as a child in our small seaside community was a lot of things but glamorous wasn't one of them. 

   And glamour, my BFF explained to me, was what we needed. I tended to believe Fanny because she was right about so many things. And because she was a whole year older than me.

Our brothers had recently turned into trolls. Their main form of entertainment was tormenting us and frankly, we were tired of it. What really bugged us was that squabbling with our brothers was so undignified.

 It was hard to maintain the cool aloof beauty of Grace Kelly when one’s brother was chasing one around the yard  with a spider.( On the bright side, I suppose I might attribute some of my later success at track and field day to that spider inspired cardio-training.)
Fanny and I had recently discovered that sitting in a dim, cool, air conditioned living room watching old movies beat the heck out of trying to out run our brothers.  If there were high jinx to be had it should involve elegant clothing and  witty repartee. 
Our days should be full of tea parties and wide brimmed hats. When, we sighed, would our life of high fashion, and  elegant soirees begin? I thought probably in about eight years when we were sixteen but as luck would have it we didn't have to wait nearly that long.

A year of indentured servitude in the local Brownie troop entitled us and our mothers to be guests at the end of year Girl Scout dinner.  Like practically every other town event the dinner was held in the elementary school cafeteria.

The evening included an actual ceremony where appropriately aged girls moved up to the next level of Girl Scouts.  The stage was set with dozens of poufy tissue paper flowers and  a little wooden bridge which the girls would cross over symbolizing their  advancement.
Now. There were two Brownie troops in town. One troop was made up of demure little girls whose hair ribbons never unraveled, and whose ruffled white anklets stayed white.

I was a member of the Other Troop. . . But tonight. . . Tonight we were as one.  Lining up with the other girls I absently scratched one of the mosquito bites on my leg as I looked around at the mothers.
They looked like elegant strangers in suits and hats and white gloves. 

The girl standing behind me gave me a nudge and handed me my beanie.  It was Mindy McGuire. Of course. Mindy always looked as fresh as a daisy, never a hair or a thread out of place. Mindy was a very nice girl who I wanted to dislike but couldn't; she was that nice. It was just that standing next to her had a way of making me aware of my lack of grace and refinement.  Generally I was oblivious to my shortcomings and liked it that way. She said, "Here, your beanie fell off."

My new pixie haircut might look neat, but my  hair still seemed to repel any foreign object, be it ribbon, barrette, or beanie. And somewhere between the entrance and my seat at the table I'd lost a glove. As I slid into my seat Mindy looked at me and a tiny frown creased her milky white brow. "Where are your gloves? You're not in uniform without your gloves." 

Panic fluttered in my tummy. I looked at Fanny who was seated across from me. Fanny pushed her pink  cats eye glasses up on her nose. "A lady never eats wearing her gloves. She places them on her nap, under her napkin." With a twitch of her shoulder that would have done Bette Davis  proud she tugged off her gloves. "Everyone knows that." 

It was, I think, Fanny's finest moment. 
"Yeah," I echoed. "Everyone knows that." I'd have liked to have seen it but by then I was under the table  looking for my beanie.

Wishing you a blessed Week. 

Don't miss Diane's tour of a Victorian Farmhouse  at Design till It Shines

Debbie-Dabble  gives us a garden tour   and introduces us to a garden guest - one with a happy surprise!

Enjoy a day at the Flea with  One Shabby Old House

Hope to see you at these great parties


  1. Susan, thank you for visiting my blog. Coming back to your blog this evening, I happened upon your recent post and I loved your story! It reads like a wonderful chapter book for young girls. Oh, I think it should be.

    Anyway, I am delighted to have found your blog, and will come back for more.


  2. I love this story! And your photos are so pretty! Thank you for sharing and putting a smile on my face :)

  3. What a great memory, Susan. I remember those days of wondering when sophistication would come visit me. : ) It sounds like Fanny was the perfect BFF!

  4. Enjoyed your story, Susan, and the photos!

  5. I love your stories Susan! This one was fun, and so well written. I could just picture it! I loved the accompanying pictures too. You have a real talent!

  6. Great story! Love the paper cut outs too. :)

  7. I had so much fun reading this story particularly because I just spent several days with friends from my Camp Fire Girls days - my sister was a Girl Scout so I had to be different.

    For me the awkwardness was at Cotillion. I was one of only about 4 girls who didn't like "in the hills". I never felt like my dance dress was right and the handsome guys never asked me to dance. I laugh now, because one of those boys who was so handsome and never asked me to dance is Barry Manilow's boyfriend. I guess I never had a chance.

  8. Susan,
    What a great post!! Loved reading every bit of it and thanks again for mentioning my blog!!

    Thanks too for always visiting!!

    Vacation is over and i am now back to work...UGH!!


  9. Susan, I enjoyed reading that post so much! And I think we should do a "white glove society", it would be a change from my usual "muddy gardening glove one"!

  10. Oh this was a riot! What a great coming of age story I'm sure we can all relate to! I had a best friend just like that- Your photos are fabulous- love the paper ladies and tea cups! Did you ever think of putting some of your post in a book of short stories? They are so well done and engaging!


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