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January 12, 2018

Vintage Entertaining – The Acquaintance

By Lindsay Goranson

I don’t know if the vintage community in your area is tight knit, but it seems to be that way everywhere I’ve lived: Jackson Hole, WY, Denver, CO, New York City, NY, Nashville, TN. When I lived in New York City I had a doozy of a time breaking into that scene even though I arrived on the shores of NYC with my hat akimbo and my vintage trunk in tow. I think I seriously thought the city would welcome me gladly into those impossibly posh dens and tiki bars. Needless to say, this was not the case. After time I did indeed find my footing and my kitsch-loving people. But it took time. And meeting a lot of strangers.

I suspect you might find it odd to write about acquaintances in an entertaining column. But an acquaintance is a necessary (if not glamorous and mysterious) step along the way to becoming a part of your vintage-loving family. And we’ve all entertained acquaintances. The thing about an acquaintance is that they are not really a stranger, but aren’t yet aware of your glorious quirks and delightful pet-peeves. It’s a transitory position… like attaching your garters. It may be a bit uncomfortable, but it’s necessary and if done well it can lead to a beautiful, supportive relationship.

OK. You’ve met each other through a mutual friend or at a fantastic party. You had sparkling conversation, cocktails, tacos, enchiladas, and beans. Now what do you do? The first invitation you extend should be a simple and fairly neutral one: An invitation to tea, a drink, lunch. Something that gives you an opportunity to learn more about each other, but not so involved end up having to plot an elaborate escape.

I think it’s lovely to also invite the person that introduced you if applicable. It will not only diffuse the potential I-don’t-know-what-to-say-next weirdness of having tea with a stranger, but possibly bridge the gap between your interests and theirs. After all, you know you’ll have at least one thing in common!

Inevitably you are going to end up with a couple of tea dates that lead you to become uninterested in further pursuing a friendship with someone. Should you find this to be the case on either side (yours or theirs) simply do not extend future invites or politely decline to future invites. It should be fairly common understanding that three polite regrets mean that there is little point in extending further.

Of course we all live terribly busy lives. It is possible that you may sincerely want to spend time with someone but your schedules are at odds. If you find that you have had to decline several invitations and are in danger of losing an acquaintance you are sincerely interested in getting to know, simply give them a call. Tell them that you appreciate the invitations and do hope you will continue to be invited and then schedule something you can both make for the near future. But make sure to make that appointment. After all, breaking appointments is like breaking garters… oh, wait, no… that’s not how that goes.

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