Pearls before 5 PM

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Have you ever heard of pearls before 5 PM?! What about white shoes after Labor Day?

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While visiting with a wonderful new friend of The Pearl Girls she told me about the first time her mother met her daughter-in-law. Her brother had been dating a woman and secretly married her before actually introducing her to the rest of the family. So, you know, that was his first mistake. He then brought his new bride to his mother’s home to meet both his mother and sister. She wore a plaid shift and a strand of pearls which, under normal circumstances, would have been just fine. Except they were meeting for the afternoon. Meaning it was before 5 pm and Mother believed no one, absolutely no one should wear their pearls before 5 pm. Needless to say, the meeting went poorly and the mother never embraced her daughter-in-law and even today, 20 years later, the son and daughter-in-law remain estranged. It is at this point in the story that my own Mamma would say, “Now isn’t that a shame?!”

Now, I would like to hope that it was not just the pearls before 5 PM that caused such a great rift in the family but, then again, I know some people do have their rules. I am fond of pearls at any hour (obviously) so I will not count myself as a manners authority but will instead turn to Miss Manners. Now, I am not exactly sure who Miss Manners is, either, but she has a catchy name and writes a syndicated column in the paper, so lets assume she knows what she is talking about! Miss Manners says, “Pearls can always be trusted to be proper, so they are allowed out at any time of day or night. It is diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds that have time restrictions. They should not show themselves in daylight, unless they are respectably set in engagement or wedding rings.”

So, there you have it, even Miss Manners believes pearls can be worn at any hour. And lets just give up on tearing families apart over the properness of pearls when meeting the mother-in-law. We have many other things to fight over such as, how to raise the children, right? So, I say, play nice in the beginning. The conflict will come eventually!

Now, as for white shoes after Labor Day, I cannot imagine those white shoes made it through the dry, dusty Georgia red clay summer while staying white! So, I can only imagine that is why that manner rule came up. Lets get rid of it anyway. Sometimes it is enough just to get properly dressed. We don’t need to worry about shoes.

Instead, put your pearls on, then no one will be looking at your shoes anyway!


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