An Invitation to Best Society Post-Pandemic

Do come in for a spot of tea.
I have not seen you for so long.
Emily Post, Etiquette, in Society, in Business, in Politics, and at Home (1922)

After the throes of a global pandemic,
who wouldn’t dedicate 38 chapters
to defining Best Society’s etiquette? 
There’s so much room to write the rules 
for social life when socializing comes
with a side of Spanish flu. I want to be
four years removed from anti-mask
debates, death counts, and dining room
curfews, immersed in curtsies and bows
and the proper ways to dress my maids
I plan to hire with a butler, his suit 
tailored and ready to receive my hoards 
of visitors. These days, I spend long hours 
handscripting invitations to the attention 
of dozens of different couples, dates 
left blank in case of new coronavirus 
variants. Be ready, friends, to talk only 
of what we all find pleasant, no more ills 
or misfortune, our laughter absent 
of cynical wit. Instead, we will spend
long hours sipping a spot of tea and perpetually 
shaking each other’s perfectly clasped hands.

Old-Fashioned Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels 
Woman at Laptop Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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