In the not too distant past, I caught Jack eating chicken noodle soup with his hands.
A couple weeks later, a friend mentioned that she was considering registering her son, one of Jack's pals, for cotillion. Might I be interested?
I am from and of the south but not wholly. I wasn't a debutante, I dislike snootiness of all stripes, and I chafe against traditions that feel antediluvian and exclusive. That said, I much admire manners, social graces, men who can dance well, and any excuse to put on a dress (and men, suits or tuxes), and when I saw Jack fetch a chunk of chicken from his soup bowl with a pincer grasp, well, let's say I realized I needed to call in the troops. Cotillion.
Jack may have been one of this fall's earliest registrants. When, two months after signing him up, I fessed up, Jack was not pleased.
I let him forget about it. Indeed I forgot about it. Until today when I realized that he did not have anything to wear to Night 1: The Waltz.
And a smart new outfit is how I attempted to bribe enthusiasm into my dear Jack this evening.
"This blazer and tie are the ONLY things OK about Cotillion. I love them. I cannot believe you're making me do this."
"Jack, some things in life are not negotiable. Learning to ride a bike, being kind, learning to dance, and not eating soup with your hands. I really believe you will thank me one day."
"I will never thank you. These clothes HURT."
I decided I would not make him take off those white athletic socks.
The drama. Did I have the heart to tell him that next month's class is entitled Pumpkin Shuffle? I did not. But I'm still laughing my ass off to myself. Thank god some of his friends have also been Cotillioned by their parents.
And it was worth everything to watch Tom teach Jack how to tie a real tie. Look how dear these pictures are.
I overheard, during the tie-tying tutorial, Tom say, "You know, I wouldn't have wanted to go either, but I do wish I could dance formally."
Hark! What do mine ears hear? I might suggest couples dance lessons for Christmas!