I recently attended a tea party which included an old friend of mine – 97 years of age, Lizzie, and her friend, Minnie, whom I had only met once before.
We were sitting at the dining room table having tea, crumpets and bee-sting cake. All of a sudden, Minnie said to me, “I see that you have a stray hair on your neck. I will get my tweezers and pull it out. That is what girlfriends do for each other.” She then jumped up, proceeded to get her tweezers out and pulled a number of hairs. I am a blonde and sometimes the hairs are hard to see, though as a rule, I tweeze them out at home.
I said absolutely nothing, because I did not want to embarrass Lizzie as they are close friends. Lizzie does not know how I feel about this as due to her age and her friendship with Minnie, I don’t want to criticize her friend. I also know that if I said anything, Lizzie would tell Minnie what I said and I don’t want that to happen.
This, I believe, is a breach of good manners. To me, it is inappropriate to comment on someone’s appearance in the presence of others, unless it is positive. Personal grooming should be done in private and not at someone’s dining room table.
They are coming to me on Tuesday for an English tea with crumpets, scones and clotted cream, etc. I am wondering if this happens again, I should comment.
Your thoughts, please. 0715-10