Patricia Gannon: The party’s over

Hostesses used to rule society. Up-and-comers lived and died by their invitations, and these women controlled a cocktail kingdom now sadly gone for good. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the placecards of the world, the answer’s actually quite simple: Barbarians arrived at the gate.

“We’re not giving the party next year,” said one well-to-do hostess of large, annual gatherings. “We’re leaving that to someone else.”

And I’ll bet I can tell you why.

Hostesses have grown weary of finding people in their closets counting their shoes, drunken male guests cavorting on the terrace breaking the patio furniture and those who don’t know when to leave. No one should have to lock the bedroom door to keep guests from taking pictures, or hire Blackhawk Security to prevent them from boosting the décor.

Every private home and public building has areas that are off limits vs. those that are open access, and Americans used to know the difference. Guests are not entitled to take tours, self-guided or otherwise, of the host’s apartments, nor should society have to post “Keep Out!” signs. It doesn’t matter how curious you are about the Baccarat, the walls of decorum forbid trespassing.

And those are just the invited guests.

Somewhere along the line attendees also assumed they had the right to ask whomever they liked. Sorry, but wanting to be invited is not the same as being invited. Unless it’s on the invitation, one does not BYOG (bring your own guest) without first prostrating yourself in front of the hostess and begging.

If she had wanted Attila the Hun to attend, she would have invited him in the first place.

Rio Ball brings down the house

Krewe of Carnivale en Rio held its ninth Mardi Gras Ball, and what better way to honor Queen Isabel IX Priscilla Whatley Wilson and Dom Pedro IX Lawrence Svendson. The Cajundome Convention Center rocked as Rio played to its secret agents’ theme. None too secret about it was queen’s cousin, Wendi Welsh, and the Royal Consort David Wilson, the man paying for it all. “It was beautiful,” said Welsh. “All of us eight first cousins were there.” Queen Isabel graciously decreed while her reign with Dom Pedro was just beginning, her husband David placed her on a royal pedestal long ago. His Honor Joey Durel presented their Majesties with keys to the city, but it was all too soon past. “It was over really quick,” said Welsh. Mardi Gras is fleeting, my dear.