Recently I gave my gorgeous Father-in-Law, as a gift for his 60th Birthday, a voucher for Tea For Two at a tres posh hotel in Edinburgh (I could be gracious and say 'we' but c'mon, who organizes all the gift giving in your house?) . Lovely, I'm sure you agree and the very thought of a posh afternoon tea does sound delightful but I had a thought.......a thought that came to me as I was dabbing the coconut and cake crumbs from my plate with my tongue.....am I refined enough to go posh? I want to dab and lick plates clean. I like a cake fork, nice plates, stands and all the presentation paraphenalia that goes to showing and eating any kind of cake or pastry at it's best BUT do I need the privacy of my own home so I can scoff it in an Aunt Sally, unlady like fashion? Shoving in teeny sandwiches instead of delicate nibbling? I have eaten quite a lot of cakes and pasties at various establishments (I love that word but really you know I mean cafe's, coffee shops etc) and cannot remember if any dabbing and licking of plates has taken place out there in public ( I find it hard to imagine not!). Is it the thought of being somewhere so posh that I would be so self aware that I was uncomfortable I was doing the 'wrong' thing or more likely become a bit rebellious and go for a dramatically defiant lick of a plate? Exaggerated and unnecessary (debatable?).
There are many more important dilemmas in life I am sure.
But still I ask am I refined enough to go posh and more importantly do I even want to be? Is it still expected of us? Isn't refinement a list of behaviours learned and dependent on whether your were taught that list or not? Issues of Class, Etiquette and the 'done' thing? It's not just eating cake and sandwiches though, is it? It's a venture laden with questions of worthiness or acts of pretense. Acting like it doesn't matter and you don't care whether you 'belong'.........or is there even such a thing as 'belonging'......too much pondering either way.
Let's just call it a treat and have done with it. Yet I know there is always a chance of feeling discomfited which says more about me than what I am partaking in.
Can you see how 'clean' that plate is?