Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lady Angela's Bohemian Etiquette

As I have mentioned in several posts previous, I sometimes attend a British Meetup group. I have been to a few midweek pub nights, and of course the infamous night when a handful of expats were cosmically fated to create a pub quiz and become champions of the night. This past Friday, however, was my first attempt at co-hosting a Meetup event. Though it is a British Meetup group, several of the organizers are from various other countries, so a delightful Frenchman asked me to be his Gal Friday for an early Saint Patrick's Day soiree. A Frenchman and an American girl hosting a British event for an Irish holiday. Yes and yes. Unfortunately, the event began at 8pm while I had to work until 8:30pm. Fortunately, however, the bar was a stone's throw from my job, just across the Champs Elysées. 

When I arrived at the pub, the party was already going strong, but would still be growing larger as the night sallied forth. The Frenchman gave me a Union Jack to tie around my arm in addition to a stamp I could smack down on anyone's hand for discounted drinks. I felt the power of authority rising through me immediately. Now, being a hostess means trying to mix and mingle and make sure everyone is having a good time. If this was 50 years or more ago I might consider the ideals of etiquette according to Emily Post. Instead, I decided to embrace the Bohemian ideals hailed by the timeless children of the revolution. And if we're taking a page out of Toulouse Lautrec's book (or maybe taking a color from his palette), that means alcohol. 

Now, it was never my intention to be a tipsytastic fool... It really never is... But as a hostess, I was adorably dressed, charming in manner, and therefore a beacon for free drinks. I had a nice little following of men creating an entourage for a while and at one point definitely decided that the Irish bartender was going to be my new best friend. I even ran into the Scottish douche bag I thought I had forever dispelled, and after calling him out on his past behaviour, we ended with overenthusiastic hugs and a promise of friendship. It was a banner evening for the Bohemian ideals, running free, looking beautiful, telling the truth in more ways than one, and effusing love to all. I was gracious, I was accomodating, I was bathing in attention, and I was absolutely absurd. While I doubt that Emily Post would have approved of me stumbling home in a late night Uber, I consider Lady Angela's rules of Bohemian Etiquette much more in tune with the Parisian, and in fact my own, spirit.

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