By Piper Bayard & Jay Holmes
The Holiday Season is upon us. Soon, life will be a whirlwind of dinner parties and fêtes. We realize that we will be the main topic of discussion for many of our readers at these parties, and we’d like to do our best to help our reputations and yours. We’re proud to bring you the Bayard & Holmes Savoir Faire Consulting Service.
As a recovering boy from the hood and a bellydancing closet redneck, we are more than qualified to assist anyone, even the most long suffering Je N’ais Pas Faire victim, in developing the necessary social savvy and handy fake veneer of sophistication you need to be a smashing success this holiday season.
To help you determine precisely how much coaching you’ll need to maximize your social success while mingling with sophisticates, our intelligent, educated, worldly team of Savoir Faire Savants (us) have developed these questions.
A) You receive a formal invitation for dinner at 8:00 p.m. What do you do?
- You arrive at 8:40 p.m. with a re-gift of the same crystal bird statue the hostess gave you six months before.
- You arrive at 8:00 p.m. with a bottle of wine and flowers.
- You arrive at 7:45 p.m. with no wine or flowers and ignore the hostess while hovering over the oven, waiting for the hors d’oeuvres.
- You arrive empty-handed at 7:15 p.m., compliment the hostess on how great her a$$ looks in her dress, and demand the TV remote and a cold one.
B) When you’re seated at the table, you discover an abundance of silverware at each place setting. How do you react?
- You point out that they have forgotten to include an oyster fork.
- You confidently use the silver in order as each course is served.
- You cautiously wait to see which fork the host and hostess use when so you can mimic them.
- You don’t need their utensils at all because you brought your switchblade.”
C) The hostess’s aged and not-altogether-there grandmother is attending the party in her wheelchair. She attempts a conversation with you, but is having difficulty forming sentences. How do you respond?
- You wrinkle your nose and say, “Mrs. Vanderbilt, I see you’re not on your medication. And why don’t they dress you properly any more? I’ll get the nurse to attend you.”
- You smile and say, “It’s so good to see you. I always think of our last time together and how much fun we had. You’re looking great this evening.”
- You quickly grab the elbow of the unattractive, self-important flirter who regaled you with his tales of grandeur and whisper seductively into his ear, “Oh, Chauncey. You must meet the world’s most important business women.” Then you deposit Chauncey with Mrs. Vanderbilt and escape.
- You pretend to be her caring nurse and roll her outside behind the garage. You leave her there shivering and pleading for mercy as you return to the party.
D) A man in a dreadfully tailored tuxedo with the odor of gin on his breath arrives late to the party. While staring at your chest, he attempts to engage you in a plebian conversation concerning politics. How do you respond?
- You point him to the kitchen and tell him he is late for work.
- You excuse yourself with an urgent but polite tone and seek out conversation elsewhere.
- You look down your nose and ask him, “Is that really your tuxedo or did you steal it off a homeless man?”
- You whisper seductively, “Come closer,” and when he does, you deliver a hard blow to his head with a candlestick.
E) You’re feeling sleepy. What do you do?
- You announce your departure to everyone, explaining that you can’t stay late tonight because you’re expected at Buckingham Palace in the morning.
- You graciously thank your host and hostess for a lovely evening and quietly depart.
- You tell your host you’ve had a bit too much to drink, and ask him if he wouldn’t mind having his wife drive you home.
- You take the host’s 18-yr-old daughter to the guest bedroom and retire for the evening.
Now add up your score for your Savoir Faire Social Quotient.
1 = 1; 2 = 2; 3 = 3; 4 = 4
Score of 4 or less
This is not the proper curriculum for you. You might consider some math tutoring.
Score of 5 – 7
You’re an arrogant, insufferable snob. If anyone is still inviting you to parties at this point in your life, we advise that you decline those invitations. They are probably only inviting you in the hopes of drowning you in the pool as a source of amusement for the rest of the guests.
Score of 8 – 16
You’re the sort of person who could most benefit from our Savoir Faire Consulting Service. Stick with us, and you’ll be at the top of the social list in no time.
Score of 17 – 20
Not all the news is bad. For one thing, there is no need for you to attend our Savoir Faire Consulting Service. You’ll almost never find yourself invited to a party, and if you did, it’s unlikely that the penitentiary where you are serving time would grant you a release to attend. Think of the money you’ll save by not having to upgrade your evening wear.
Now that you have your starting point pinned down, we here at Bayard & Holmes stand ready to assist you with all of your Savoir Faire dilemmas.