Prudence Worthington

My Dear Prudence,

I suggest you follow your own advice. In the above column you warn your readers not to treat rumors as fact, yet you promptly do the same in the next item about possibly tainted food at (I assume) my parties.

Recycle the shrimp? If only. The dear vultures ate (and drank) everything at every party (there were 6) and everything was therefore fresh. My guess for the cause of the writer’s distress was what he did in my bathroom with another guest (was that rude or shameless or both?)

But onto other things. As a woman of a certain age, I would have hoped you would have taken to task the silly twit on his comment about “older gays”. It seems that ageism reigns unchallenged in the gay community.

I won’t hold my breath for a thank you note from him or any of the other 60 guests. Manners have taken a turn for the worse, it seems, despite your efforts e.g. asking a smoker to leave, receiving an uninvited guest who brought three other people and finding pictures in one room all tilted as a practical joke.

My dear you have your work cut out for you. So much rudeness and so little time.
Name withheld to protect the innocent.

My Dear,

Thank you for your correspondence and may I congratulate you for being the first person to post a comment on our new and improved website! Your letter is a litany of monstrous behavior and I do feel for you. I will address those issues in due time. I found one of your comments particularly poignant, and I shall attempt to address that first as it is most worthy. “It seems that ageism reigns unchallenged in the gay community.” Powerful words indeed, and a topic I have delayed in addressing. So let us challenge it, shall we?
I have been the recipient of correspondence and confidences focusing on the topic of age differences in the festive community. So many young men complain of the lecherous advances of “older men” that one would believe this to be an epidemic. Not so, I contend, thanks to your response and information provided by mature readers and acquaintances.

It is clear that ageism runs rampant in our youth absorbed society, yet approximately 42% of our population is over 40 while approximately 29% are aged 20 through 39. We therefore outnumber you lambs. Perhaps you could take a look at your own Festive history to glimpse the debt you owe to those who came before you. Start with Stonewall and work your way through the ongoing AIDS crisis into the arena of same-sex marriage. One would be hard pressed to find many 20 somethings donating their allowance from daddy to HRC, but please, do feel free to prove me wrong.

Apparently, age distinction in the Festive community borders on segregation. I firmly profess, young Festives, that not every 40+ year old that speaks with you is attempting seduction. Have you considered that some men have lost so many to AIDS that they are reaching out to new friends? They walked in your shoes and deserve respect upon their extension of friendship. You may even learn a thing or two and get invited to fabulous parties as well (see above). Remember, the 40+ generations fought for your right to feel so comfortably out and flamboyant in our culture today. Isn’t it time you joined the cause too?

Now I must not dismiss the accusations of lechery against the mature set. A woman of my age is utterly invisible to men over 50, so I am well aware of men’s desire to find the newest model, so to speak. I therefore suggest that you employ ample amounts of good taste in your amorous advances toward the younger set. Should your attempts meet with cold stares, do move on to another of the herd. One should not perpetuate a stereotype.

I also recommend you circle your wagons less tightly. By this I infer that many of you seek no friendship with those younger than yourselves. What a pity to wake one morning to find all your comrades expired and no one to laugh at your witty quips. You have a trove of experiences that may help the youngsters avoid many pitfalls and many laughs to share with others. Closing yourself to the folly of youth eliminates a great deal of entertainment from one’s life. Besides, wouldn’t you rather have a pretty young friend push your wheelchair than some unfeeling domestic? Harsh these words may seem, but I live by them. Now on to the other aspects of my dear reader’s letter.

Your thoughtful comments included your name, so I was naturally curious to learn more about you. Thankfully we live in the era of the interweb and Traxie immediately googled you. Much to our delight it appears you are quite the host in your petite burg. Am I to understand you hosted 6 soirees during the season? Dear Traxie was crestfallen to realize you are Festive, for she adores a fete. You and your staff must be exhausted following that social whirl. I applaud you for your herculean efforts and pray many thoughtful invitations fill your mailbox in return.

I sincerely doubt the aforementioned letter referred to you, for as you stated, your guests consumed everything and, I assume, survived to brag of the privilege of attendance. I appreciate your discontent at my not treating this as speculation, but you must understand two things. 1. I know of numerous hostesses who employ the tactic of recycling party supplies. For example, I can provide the address of a Richmond, VA socialite in whose home you should never accept a glass of wine you didn’t open yourself. 2. Dismissing this speculation as purely rumor makes for fairly dull reading.

How my heart goes out to you following the catalog of atrocities you suffered at the hands of your guests. I am in a quandary as to whether wanton activities in the bathroom are rude or shameless, but I am leaning toward both as you suggest. This is a topic I tackled ages ago and you may check the back issues for my guidance regarding such behavior. I have always maintained that the powder room is to be used only for the “call of nature” or the application of cosmetics. Pearls amongst swine, I suppose.

I am confused, Dear Reader, as to why you put yourself through all this. It seems to me a thankless endeavor to host a flock of vultures who repay your kindness with bad behavior. Your staff is probably wondering the same thing as they put your artwork back in position. May I suggest you cancel the parties next year, save the funds and take yourself on a fabulous vacation: Just a suggestion, Lamb, but considerably less wear and tear on your house, your nerves and your domestics.

Fondest Regards,

PS. We try not to mention names so when commenting online, one might consider how one fills in the blanks, so to speak. Should you prefer to reach me via email, you may send inquiries or thank you notes to Kisses.

Tags: Prudence


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