.

It's a Dirty Job

But I really want to do it

There were a lot of things I wanted to be when I grew up: a dolphin, a Broadway performer, an interior decorator who worked exclusively in a black and white palette, and just like Loni Anderson on Circus of the Stars.

Never once did I dream of becoming a doyenne, and not just because I had no idea what one was. At least not until this past weekend when I read a Washington Post magazine article about dinner parties in this area and it referred to women who host these well-heeled shindigs as "doyennes" and "socialites."

And now I want to be one, too. (Said while stomping foot and whining in a very Veruca Salt manner.)

This is the same Washington Post magazine that profiled my annual Oktoberfest party a few years ago and not only declined to describe me, the host, as a doyenne, but also referred to me as a Dilettante and mentioned my age.

Twice.

I'm especially perplexed because I totally fit the description of a doyenne. I’m the oldest in my closest group of friends, I'm a socially prominent person (in my own mind), and I am no stranger to hosting large parties. Granted, these parties are not generally frequented by the Washington elite ... or anyone that is offended by juvenile humor.     

So now I'm wondering whether I can just start calling myself a doyenne or if this is a title which must be bestowed, like the descriptor "buff?"

I did come close to having an impressive title a couple of years ago when I purchased a membership at Wolf Trap. Because we live in the D.C. area, members are presented with a veritable "who's who" list of titles in the drop-down menu when filling out basic information on the membership form. This menu includes appellations such as Ambassador, Baroness, Her Excellency, His Royal Highness, Lady, Lord, Master, President and Prince.

While a tough choice, I ultimately went with "Her Excellency" (though "Baroness" was a close contender). Wolf Trap apparently verifies this title choice, however, because after I received an initial e-mail confirmation addressed to "Her Excellency Canedo," everything I subsequently received was addressed with just my name.

Get a sense of humor, Wolf Trap.

On Sunday, my husband and I spent all day lounging by the pool, and then hosted an impromptu cookout for a few friends. One of the friends called to ask if dinner was going to be anything fancy and I replied honestly: "I still haven’t decided if I’m going to shower … which may give you an indication."

Perhaps I can be the Doyenne of the unwashed masses?

Dan Steinberg June 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Other appellations that may only be bestowed: intellectual, classy, visionary, mastermind, scourge, Patricia Arquette.
Dan Steinberg June 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Oh, and: it sounds like you don't care about being "buff" as much as "Buffy"--in the 1980's sense of the word.
Kathleen Canedo June 14, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Dan -- Excellent! And so true. (Although, believe it or not, I've heard people describe themselves as "classy" before...) I'd much rather be Buffy...

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