Sunday, December 11, 2011

'Tis the season to be spiffy ii: débutante invasions of December

Aw, Ma, do I got to?

Looking back, I'd say that
the Christmas holiday at
home which found me hos-
pitalised for dental sur-
gery, bent over convul-
sively in recovery from 
its anaesthetic, had a-
bout it a comparative 
modesty of invasion one 
could undergo again for
its unconsciousness, had 
the impactions not been
extracted. Yet such com-
ings-out are possible but 
once, it seems, and the 
work had been so thorough, 
and its fallout so famous-
ly picturesque, one could 
never again avail oneself 
of refuge in that parting.

Mind you, my aversions to 
the season could not then
have been articulated on
the scruples now known to
me, silently subcutaneous
in rebellion at the time. To
furnish the offices of the
escort has, indeed, not ev-
er been less than agreable,
given a mutual liberty to 
structure the occasion.

It's as the costumed prop in
an entertainment for other
parties, even more than for
a sodden inhalation of par-
fum, that the obduracy of
that servitude manifests it-
self, even today, in memory
of those holiday evenings.

My sedation now exhausted
as the excuse that it was, 
I welcome a marginalising
autonomy as I enter these
terminating days of the cal-
endar, chuckling with de-
light over cards announcing
at-homes for which an Eng-
lish dog affords the fair-
est of regrets. Whit must
always claim his share of
one's time; and we negoti-
ate these escortships rec-
iprocally, he in charge of
evening, I of day.

And every time these lic-
ences converge, when the 
light lowers just right on 
his coat on a stroll be-
fore dinner, as again now,
one can hear a kindly mov-
ie mother say,

John Ford, director
Frank Nugent, screenplay
Winston C. Hoch, cinematography
The Searchers
Warner Brothers, 1956©

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