Congratulations to S.J. and Jessica! Each will win her own copy of Class with the Countess to treasure and pass down through the generations.
Here is S.J.'s desperate cry for help; I highlighted my favorite part for you skimmers:
To put it simply, I live in smalltown, KS. A lovely town with lovely people lacking a Countess to guide us gracefully through the muddy waters of social interaction. This is an opportunity to introduce a sense of grace and poise that only royalty can impart upon us.I especially admired S.J.'s courage in opening up and admitting that she is not married to a Duke. So brave
As an educator in this lovely town, I have the ability to effect great change as a result of her tutelage. For example, I am curious to know how the Countess would handle spit cups left in public spaces, or how to politely inform my students that shoes should be worn at all times for our own personal health and cleanliness.
And on a personal note, I would like to learn how I might climb the social ladder of our small town as I am already married and not to a Duke. Much like Bethany, I need to understand the Countess' definition of class - am I inherently born with class, or is it something I can achieve by attaching myself to those with 'title' in our town? And how do I determine the properly 'titled' individuals?
I have already learned so much about how to publicly correct and shame my friends and coworkers who do not behave with the level of class I deem acceptable and to disguise my jabs at their lack of class, style, or beauty in statements of concern for their well-being. She is a fountain of knowledge from which I would like to continue to drink. Please consider allowing me to be one of your reviewers of what will surely be a great guide of ettiquette to challenge the stuffy, boring, how-to books of Emily Post and Martha
Jessica tells a story of a boorish woman who could really use the Countess' book (actually I think she'd benefit more from being whacked over the head with it):
My mother had a friend who was the ultimate pseudo-snob who had no clue what a fool she was. Looking back, I think my mother only tolerated her because they had a connection through our church and, well, God says you're supposed to love your "frenemies." Growing up, we were expected to play with her kids when she would come and park herself at our dining room table while her awful spawn ran rampant through the house and yard destroying things. We raised lots of animals and once, one of her sons threw a batch of baby chicks into the water trough. After rescuing them, my sister and I ran in and breathlessly told the grownups what had happened. The evil mini-sized serial (almost) killer was summoned and his mother asked if he had done this and he, of course, denied it. She looked at us and then to my mom and said, in a knowing tone, "Well, MY son wouldn't lie to me." with the implication being that we were certainly capable of it. As we got older, we realized she was outrageous and, mercifully, she finally moved across the country with her whole brood.Hopefully she's hidden away, taking private lessons with the Countess, Jessica.
This woman reappeared back at my parents' home after my mother died. Even though my mother had a long illness, she never visited and didn't make it to the funeral. In a bizarre move, she invited herself to stay with my father -- you're thinking she was going to make a move but I really don't think that was the motivation -- I believe that despite being "a physician's wife," she was basically cheap. She used the house as a jumping off point to visit other, more fabulous friends and not have to pay for a hotel.
On the last day, my sister and I were at the house mainly to see her in action and thinking my father may strangle her if he got the chance (and we didn't want to miss that). She got a vase from under my father's sink and proceeded to cut flowers from his carefully tended garden and made a bouquet and then announced she would now like a ride to the cemetery so she could place this on my mother's grave. She then asked my sister and me multiple times if we thought she'd done a good job on the arrangement. She acted as if this were a charitable, unselfish act while we fumed and plotted her demise. Mercifully, she left soon after and we haven't seen her since.
Please, join me in a jealous "chin chin" to these deserving winners whose lives are about to be transformed by the Countess' words of wisdom.
Thanks to all who entered! If you didn't win this time, do not despair. More books will be given away in April.
Have a lovely weekend.