The Wedding Gazebo continues to yield up its secrets! Today I discovered that Pinky had her own thrilling experience there. She had gone to sit there for a moment alone, still rather anxious about whether she had fulfilled her hostess duties adequately, and also rather sad. She came out of this reverie to find, beside her, a beautiful blue book. Letters in gold adorned the cover and she could just make them out by the unearthly light of the gazebo: “Emily Post’s Etiquette” were the words she found there. Also, a date from misty antiquity: 1955.
She opened the book to find a message from Emily herself! With her pink heart beating quickly she read: “With BEST wishes! Emily Post.”
She felt certain suddenly, that she would be able to achieve success as hostess of P-in-B, an honor she had never really felt she deserved. She continued to feel this happy certainty in herself even after reading Emily’s rules of wedding etiquette, many of which didn’t seem to apply to Big Bed Land at all. But that didn’t matter somehow. Pinky now sleeps with the signature of her patroness under her pillow and no longer has those terrible dreams about having put the place-cards for the Wedding Supper in the wrong place or having forgotten to set out the Wedding Guest Book so that everyone could sign it.
Here’s a passage that especially cheered her (she loves the image of Emily in a garden of language, pulling a word out by the roots):
“It is hard to say why the word “etiquette” is so inevitably considered merely a synonym of the word “correct,” as though it were no more than the fixed answer to a sum in arithmetic. In fact, it might be well to pull the word “correct” out by the roots and substitute “common sense.” In short, I wish that those whose minds are focused on precise obedience to every precept would instead ask themselves: “What is the purpose of this rule? Does it help to make life pleasanter? Does it make the social machinery run more smoothly? Does it add beauty? Is it essential to the code of good taste of to ethics?” If it serves any of these purposes, it is a rule to be cherished; but if it serves no helpful purpose, it is certainly not worth taking seriously.”
A fine approach to any rule, in my opinion!
Some points of wedding etiquette, Pinky realized (using her common sense now that she had been encouraged to do so) would serve no useful purpose in BBL, but were interesting nonetheless:
“DISPLAYING THE TROUSSEAU
Household linen, especially if very beautiful, is often displayed with the wedding presents, but in cities such as New York, Washington, or Boston, it has never been considered good taste to make a formal display of the bride’s personal trousseau. She may, of course, show intimate friends some of her things, but her trousseau is never spread out on exhibition.”
Goat’s P.S. to Wedding Etiquette: At a wedding, it is not advisable to take the form of a Giant Goat and sweep down to pluck the bride from the Wedding Gazebo and carry her up to the top of the nearest sky-scraper while hopefully she is screaming in a piercing manner. I asked Piggles, and she said it was not advisable, even as joke. Just so you know. But I'm really not so sure about etiquette having anything to do with common sense. If the Giant Goat was just meant as a JOKE...
Pinky to Goat: Here's what I'm thinking. What's common sense for a pirate might be different from what's common sense for a giraffe. If the bride were a pirate herself, this joke, I believe, would be perfectly appropriate. But then you'd better not complain when she unsheaths her sword and takes off one of Giant Goat's ears!
Goat to Pinky: Of course I wouldn't complain - such things are all in a day's work to a pirate. But I thank you for making it clear that pirates might have different rules of etiquette. I'm going to ask Bink to look for a manual.