Fanciful

OUTDATED SKILLS

Dinner party Pinteresssssst.

Dinner party Pinteresssssst.

This is kind of irrelevant/ kind of relevant to the story at hand, here, but, once when I was in middle school, since my dad is an engineer he signed me up for SCIENCE COMPETITIONS instead of ballet/ tap/ jazz like most normal, suburban girls.

The thing about the science competition I was a part of was: you could pick your particular brand of science–physics stuff or environmental stuff, etc. Anyway, for a brief moment in history I was one of the area’s most well-versed middle-schoolers on map-reading. For real. I’m really good at reading maps. I know what the tiny numbers mean, I could work through topographical maps, even, without breaking a sweat. I had the blue ribbons, ya’ll.

And then: GPS systems came out and my skill set is virtually obsolete.

I still use a giant atlas when I travel cross-country, though. Mine has all of the states plus the Canadian provinces. I use the mile markers to estimate my location across it. But, really, now it’s just a hobby. My skill set has been replaced by technology. Alas.

NOW THEN.

One of my goals for 2016 is to host a full-fledged dinner party with all the stops. Nine courses, flowers, itty bitty name tags….everything.
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Here’s the thing about being me, I kind of assume that everyone knows a lot more about life than I do and I’m kind of just faking it all. I assume that you know all about Roth IRAs and how to properly sprout beans and how to paint china and how to monitor all of your car’s filters.

It doesn’t bother me that you know all of this and I don’t–I just know that I have space to learn.

I have space to learn about things like formal dinners, for instance.

SOOOO, I did a little bit of internet research for starters. I could find a little bit of information, but nothing overarching. So then I went to the library. Now, I know my way around the Dewey Decimal System, but still I wasn’t having a lot of luck.

I went to the librarian and I told her that I needed some help finding a book about setting a table and which course was which and which course comes first and all of that jazz.

She was like, “Hmmmm…let me check…” and she searched on the computer for a while until she was like, “Yeah, no, the only books that are coming up are about ‘Simple Entertaining’ or ‘Hosting made easy’.”

“Yeah,” I said, “That’s all that I could find, too. That’s the opposite of what I want, actually.”

Even Emily Post was like, “Multiple course meals aren’t a thing anymore. Manners change. Go away.” (Paraphrased).

So, yeah. My goals are obsolete, too. Just like my skills.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I’m not super hurt by this. I’m piecing together internet information and making up my own rules as I go. I figure…if I don’t know what I’m doing, maybe, just this once, no one else will know either. 😉

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5 thoughts on “OUTDATED SKILLS

  1. Google dinner menus from different periods. Collections like the NY public library collect these. Also, articles on dinner parties from 19xx.

  2. google books might have some old timey books on such things.

    Or perhaps this is the sort of information that was passed down orally from butler to butler in noble houses.

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