In yesterday’s mail I received a personal invitation to the auction of property from the estate of Bob and Dolores Hope on September 20 and 21 and the Estate of Phyllis Diller on September 22 both to be held at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills.
As I look at the invitation more closely, I see that it actually is for the preview evening on Wednesday, September 18 with cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres catered by Gina Feeds. (Really? That’s her name?) The invitation has a number and e-mail address with a request to RSVP. Okay, do I actually RSVP?
My mother taught me — as most likely did yours — that one always responds to an invitation whether accepting or declining. And if mother didn’t explain it clearly enough, I think Miss Manners has pretty well covered that subject. Being a stickler for protocol (I requested Emily Post’s “Complete Guide to Etiquette” for my 16th birthday), I am inclined to actually RSVP. However, as I look at the envelope, perhaps less so. The address is computer generated and the stamp is “pre-sorted, first-class,” so I very much doubt that Darren Julien himself is sitting there with a list waiting to check off the responses.
This reminds me somewhat of when I was working for Phyllis and went with her to Giorgio in Beverly Hills. It was an awesome store and no doubt the anchor to what later became “the” shopping experience of all of Hollywood elite — Rodeo Drive. It wasn’t just a store, it was an experience. Champagne was offered and there was a pool table and seating alcoves where people could sit and chat as they sipped and contemplated the array of designer handbags and Halston pants-suits. The distinctive theme of the yellow-and-white striped awning was echoed in the store and, in the yellow-and-white striped shopping bags as well.
Of course, this was way beyond my price range, but somehow I did end up buying something there — a lightweight wool apres-ski outfit in beige and brown paisley. I loved it and wore it until it literally wore out.
Several months after my purchase, I received a letter from Giorgio’s owner, Fred Hayman, saying that they noticed I had not been back in a while and they looked forward to seeing me again. I remember sitting at the dining room table with my parents laughing about the idea that Fred Hayman and his wife were sitting at their dining room table saying to each other, “I wonder what happened to that nice young woman, Robin. We haven’t seen her in ages.” Oh, yeah, I’ll bet that happened!
So here I am with this invitation and as soon as I get some time, I actually will RSVP. I know Darren Julien will be disappointed if I don’t.
Shameless Plug: To hear more about my time with Phyllis Diller, check out my book: “Beyond the Spotlight: On the Road with Phyllis Diller” available at http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Spotlight-Road-Phyllis-Diller/dp/0985972882