An elusive standard, or just an illusion?

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Nov 22, 2022
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I read a poignant account written by a woman about dinner parties. As a small girl, her parents would often host lavish dinner parties, during which she'd be fed an early supper and packed off to bed. Lying awake listening to the conversations, the laughter, the glamour. In the morning, she'd pore over the dinner table like an archeologist, still strewn with ashtrays, empty wine bottles, crockery and cutlery, and image what it had been like.

When she left home for college and got her own apartment, she made a huge effort to try to finally have a dinner party of her own. Inviting persons her own age was a mistake. No one showed up with food to share, just booze. No one arrived on time. No one was nicely dressed or interested in sparkling repartee. They only wanted to get as drunk as possible as quickly as possible, and trashed her apartment.

I don't remember the conclusion of the may have been in The Atlantic Monthly or The New Yorker.

When my rural dwelling parents visted me in the city, my mother was puzzled and disappointed to see that everyone everywhere dressed like a slob and exhibited no manners, no sense of graciousness or aspiration.

Doesn't anyone want to be better than they are? I cannot remember the last time I saw a woman wearing a dress and high heels.
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