Last year, at a board meeting for the debutante society, one member made the suggestion that perhaps we should consider not having the invitations engraved, but use thermography instead. You would have thought she was suggesting that the debs could wear red dresses. There was just silence at the table. I, taking my life - or at least my social reputation - in my own hands, supported the idea, reminding everyone that it would save a significant amount of money and with today's technology it was very hard to tell the difference.
One of my fellow board members spoke up, "Oh, most people couldn't tell the difference, but I can assure you, my mother-in-law can. And, I would get the first phone call. I can hear it now. 'I just got my Ball invitation and I swear it did not feel like it was engraved. And, when I looked at the back, I found it wasn't. Y'all need to call that engraver right now and tell him of his error?'" We all laughed, sharing her pain - because we all could imagine the phone call.
After much discussion, it was decided that we would break with tradition and forgo engraved invitations. But it was not a unanimous decision. There were other decisions made that afternoon, but none so earth shattering.
When the invitations arrived, the doubters were pleasantly surprised. There was a collective sigh of relief. (I'm not exactly sure what they were expecting.) The invitations were mailed. The Ball could go on.
At the next meeting, I asked my friend if the invitations had made it past the "mother-in-law" test. She laughed. "Oh, the invitations were not the problem this year. I had to hear about the venue for luncheon being changed. Seems it did not suit her that it was not at the Country Club." Knowing her mother-in-law had been a former president of the society and was a stickler for protocol, I couldn't help but ask, "I don't remember that being in the constitution." "It isn't and I can assure you I looked."
At this meeting, someone suggested we start the receiving line at 7 pm instead of 7:30 to give everyone more time. My friend just shook her head. "Don't go there unless you're going to call my mother-in-law."