In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh these kids today and their prom invitiations. Also: AWKWARD ROMANCE OF PROM NIGHT STILL LIVES!

SERIOUSLY. My boyfriend's gorgeous daughter was asked to the prom by one of her dear friends (they've come to Life headquarters for dinner a couple of times and these kids are wonderful) and this is how he did it. Daughter is a photographer of extraordinary talent, and her date is apparently some kind of Secret Cake Whisperer. Check it:

Could you DIE? I love the directness, brevity, the cocksureness. Who is going to say no to that? If I get married this kid is making the cake.

As you can imagine I have a hideous prom story to tell. My junior year prom fell the day after an enormous student council convention at which I was running for State President. This would have been an epic coup, completing the dynasty that was the How To Run Your Life family. My brother had been President of the County Association of Student Councils. My sister was President of the District Association of Student Councils (5 counties). I would be president of the state!

Denied. I lost by a single vote, some back door deal between all boys schools. Devastating.

Anyway: I came home exhausted and got ready for my prom. My dress was completely tragic: magenta, one shoulder, giant flower on said shoulder, taffeta. I was not a pretty picture.

AND! I had to go to prom dinner with my older brother -- he lording the County manele over me (not really) and my Brazilian exhcange student. My date was the twin brother of one of my best friends. Not really a love match, and if I recall correctly I totally engineered the invite through his sister. Very Machiavellian. I wanted to go to prom. How wrong I was.

My brother, then 21, my exchange student Edie, my friend and I went to the local fancy f rench restaurant and had an unremarkable meal. Edie couldnt figure out how to eat he onion soup gratinee. My brother tried to order wine and was denied because even though he was legal he was going to a prom. He ordered escargot instead. We ate, left, went to prom. I was depressed all night.

And then on Monday morning, what should pass but a GIANT HEADLINE IN OUR HOMETOWN PAPER, in the Living Section , across the top. "AWKWARD ROMANCE OF PROM NIGHT STILL LIVES" it read.

There was no awkward romance. A brother, sister, neighbor and exchange student. Lord.

A columnist happened to be sitting at the next table, eavesdroping on everything we said... and transcribing it. I was red dress. There was white dress, white tux, black tux (thank god we were all wearing different colors or this could have gotten confusing). Hideous, horrible, totally mortifying and only happens to me.

I skipped senior prom and went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I missed seeing my best friend crowned prom queen :( . After party was fun though.

I've lent my boyfriend's daughter a gorgeous red silk gown, though, so it's kinda like I'll be going to a senior prom after all.

Right? Transitive property of gowns?

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