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Escorting Ladies into Court

Poster: John Strauss <jstrauss@gmu.edu>

	I, too, am ambivalent about the whole notion of escorting ladies 
into court. I have no illusions that ladies are so scatterbrained that 
they cannot find the thrones, which are after all the very focus of the 
room. But I also know full well that ladies can generally open doors 
themselves, and yet I tend to open doors for ladies.

	When I think back to various times I have escorted ladies into 
court, I find three instances:

	1) When called into court as a member of an order, I often find 
myself walking alongside a lady who happens to be going the same 
direction. Startling coincidence, that. It feels like a very natural 
thing to offer her my arm, so I do. I bet no one else in the hall 
consciously notices the interaction.

	2) When Mistress Nicole and I were together, I recall that she 
disliked being escorted into court, more often than not. But we evolved a 
pattern where I escorted her anyway. We observed that if she tried to go 
up solo, someone _else_ would impose an escort on her. This caused people 
to look at me like I was some sort of uncultured boor, that my lady could 
not depend on me for such things and had to get help from whoever was 
nearby. We couldn't find a gracious way to get what Nicole wanted; so we 
conformed, albiet grudgingly.

	3) I remember when Susanna Grey got her AoA. I knew it was coming
and contrived to sit near Susie. When she was called forward, I escorted
her. Why on earth did I feel the need to escort an extremely talented and
intelligent lady who could kick my ass any time she pleased? It was
strictly an emotional decision. I love Susie, have for years. I wanted the
opportunity to express my affection and respect and my profound pride at
her success. Did I take any percent of her spotlight? Nah. If you have met
both me and Lady Susanna, you know that no one noticed _me_ as we walked
forward. I remember that when I offerred my arm as escort, Susie smiled
and blushed, and yet, she needed an escort about as much as Xena would. 

And so I would have to say "it depends". What we actually need, I think, 
is a convention whereby a lady (or gentleman. one never knows) can 
graciously accept or graciously decline an escort offer.

Regarding the related issue of escorting ladies through the Dangerous
Streets of Pennsic<tm>. I have this recurring wish to be at a Pennsic
gathering with Sir Fern. I would wait until she was leaving, then ask if I
could escort her, as I was afraid to walk the streets alone and desired
protection. I would explain that I would understand if she refused; but
that I would sure feel safer with her around.... 

In a real live unarmed fight, for keepsies, I would bet on Fern over any 
randomly selected duke.


      John Strauss             |    if mail bounces, try       
      jstrauss@gmu.edu         |    jstrauss@poboxes.com       
 Unemployed intellectual. Will act like a pompous ass for food. 

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