Dear Miss Manners:Who needs reality shows when you've got Miss Manners?
We are taking a vacation to England this fall, and I have a tiara I wore with my prom dress. What places can I wear it out in England? I know they use them a lot there.
No, not a lot. Not nearly as often as Miss America wears hers, for example.
Elderly British duchesses have been known to get fed up waiting for an opportunity to wear theirs, despairing that when their saucy daughters-in-law inherit them, they will pluck out the gemstones to use for heaven knows what. Probably bellybutton decorations.
This is because tiaras are worn only for full-dress occasions, which nowadays pretty much means only grand state banquets or ceremonies, and the occasional full-scale royal wedding. Perhaps Miss Manners had better explain that full dress means something more than prom wear and the full-scale wedding means something more than a royal second wedding you may have seen on television. In any case, the days of private balls and grand opera nights where tiaras were worn seem to have faded away. Furthermore, tiaras are not supposed to be worn by unmarried ladies, with the exception of those who are being married within an hour of placing them carefully in their hair.
Miss Manners hopes she hasn't spoiled your vacation. You may find there a daring young lady or two who doesn't care about the rules governing tiaras as a sign of rank and wealth and plops something sparkly in her hair to go out dancing. It is just that you are no more or less likely to do so than in the United States.
Besides, tiaras are a nightmare to pack.
[ETA] This, on the other hand, from Carolyn Hax's column, is out-and-out disgusting:
Dear Carolyn:Thank you, Hax.
I've been dating a girl for a few months now and things have been going well. The other night she came into my work while I was busy and went around with her digital camera showing everyone something. When I finally had time to see what the fuss was all about she showed me a video she had made. While cleaning a house she caught a mouse in a chip bag. The video shows her transferring the mouse from the chip bag into a Ziploc bag and then sealing the bag. The mouse struggles to escape, stops struggling for a while, and then finally breaks free from the bag and flees under a stove. I was appalled at the video and told her so. She said it was no big deal, people kill mice all the time (which I admitted to having done with traps), the mouse didn't die and no one else was bothered by it. I don't even know what to say. She tortured the mouse on purpose, filmed it and then showed the video around. I'm so disgusted on so many levels I'm at a loss for words. Can you put some perspective on this?
Turning a Mouse Into a Mountain?
People kill mice all the time, but some take care to ensure the mice don't suffer, and some feel bad about it even then. Your mountain is just the right size. Cruelty auteurs don't make promising girlfriends.
Show of hands if you're off breakfast now.