Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Um, yea, prom tiaras are TOTALLY the fashion rage

I read ravenously online. I have a regular routine of sites that I always have to read (NYTimes, WaPo, Romenesko, Slashdot, Gawker, etc.), and many times I read pretty random things, like today's Miss Manners in the Washington Post Style section.

Now, I'm not a total dick, at least I like to think I'm not. I'm actually a pretty nice person most of the time, but the first letter had me cackling like that witch from the old Looney Tunes who left bobby pins in her wake when she jetted off on her broom.

I don't know, I mean fine, maybe this is a very nice person writing in who just naively assumed from old musicals or because she heard it from Edie while they were having some tea and scones to commemorate her trip that all British people had some sort of tiara handy for parties and since she had it nestled in her little "rainy day" chest with old high school photos she was meaning to scrapbook, she figured why not? Don't want to be rude, right?

But come on. I don't know how old this person is, but we're talking about someone who kept their prom tiara. Maybe she went to some crazy rich high school and her prom tiara's actually made out of Swarovski crystals or something, but hmmm, I'm going to guess that it's just some clear paste and glass affair (not that costume jewelry can't be expensive). Maybe if this was Aunt Mable who was keeping it for her niece's prom because it actually is one of those very expensive retro old school costume jewelry pieces I can see it being sweet as she thinks to herself "Oh my, I wouldn't want to offend the hosts while I'm visiting."

For me, the first mental image I got was of a bottle-blonde sorority chick who can't let go of the fact that she's no longer in high school. I'm thinking either she's in college in her early 20s going on her first trip to England on daddy's dime before the school year starts after spending a summer interning at some posh job daddy or mommy's connection got her and packing her numerous matching travel bags she decides, "Hmm...they have kings and queens there, right? So like, omg, I should probably totally like wear some kind of crown or else I'll stick out like a sore thumb!"

Yea, nevermind that packing shit for travelling is already a pain in the ass with all those regulations, try and figure out how to pack your goddamn tiara.

Also keep in mind that the best part is, this is someone who's going to *vacation* in England and is planning on attending several parties that are formal enough for her to consider wearing a tiara. I don't know what kind of vacations most people go on, but I've never been to one (not that I've been on many) where I'd be expected to wear a gown of any sort.

I think what makes this funnier to me is Miss Manner's response. There's almost a "Are you fucking kidding me?" tone to the response. It's like she's quietly losing her shit but is keeping herself in check because she remembers that she's Miss Manners. The "No, not a lot." at the beginning of the response really sets the tone. Especially where she breaks down what "full dress" means you have to read it in the sort of exasperated tone kindergarten teachers get when for the 10th time in 5 minutes she has to explain why not.

Her "Miss Manners hopes she hasn't spoiled your vacation" almost sounds like a very polite "fuck you and the high horse you rode in on" while her parting line of "Besides, tiaras are a nightmare to pack" seems like it's just added to soften the blow.

Of course I'm inferring my own interpretation into this and maybe I don't get the whole hubbub over a prom crown considering our school never held one of those, but of all things to pack I really doubt a tiara would cross my mind. It almost sounds like the writer of the letter is delusional into thinking they're somehow important enough for a tiara. I mean, I understand if you're like 10 and you don't really understand how the monarchy and stuff works, but my first assumption would've been that at any fancy ass party only the really important folks would be wearing crowns. But that's just me.


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