I'm so glad my camera is
We had tickets to an informal etiquette training class.
Only one other boy was there. Talk about preaching to the choir.
Most were dressed to the nines but we had just come from tennis lessons. I considered putting their suit jackets in the car ...
Kenny delighted at being inside the mansion. It's homier than the haunted Wilson Hall toured last month. And for good reason: it is lived in.1
We toured the first floor before the program began. I told what I knew, pointed out the Canterbury Tales mural2 spanning three walls at the rear entryway, explaining about the muses painted in the music room, and saying that the chapel used to be a solarium full of live plants. I told the boys not to sit on the furniture because most of it is 100 years old. Of course, other children arrived and sat on the furniture but I reminded mine again, quietly, not to.
My one and only other time there, they were showing off a photo album that had been recently found containing pictures of the home shortly after construction. I wish the photos were color. But they are lovely just the same. And it gave Kenny a chance to see how homes change over time.
As the program began, Kenny was comfortable and interested. Tim frowned, stuck out his tongue and gave a thumbs-down sign. He wasn't interested in learning any "rules." But, really, imagine teaching etiquette in New Jersey where everyone is woefully gauche. Kids were at one table and parents at another, and the grown-ups became so confused as Nanny Rose walked the kids through setting a place at the table.
Afterwards, we drove home through Lakewood and Kenny noticed the Orthodox. I was troubled by how his comments went from highly complimentary ("Look, that man is wearing a tuxedo!") to benignly informative ("Jewish men always have to have their heads covered.") to derogatory ("Those girls in long black skirts look like witches!"), all based entirely on appearance.
1 One mother shared that her daughter asked whether she could live in the mansion. I said she could, she just has to join the Religious Sisters of Mercy!
2 Kenny knows a Wishbone version of the story.