East Cost protocal

So, I’m here for my cousin’s wedding at the Union League in Philadelphia – a hotel and social club of sorts. This “Union” league was founded in 1862 … get it? Union, 1862…? There are photos, statues and inscribed speeches of Lincoln everywhere, and it’s pretty darn cool. (He’s a bit of a hero to me, but that’s another story).

What’s not cool here is the dress code. Business attire on the first and second floors at all times. I showed up for breakfast in jeans (granted my nice jeans with no rips or worn seams, a nice turtle neck and make-up for goodness sake!), but was asked to go change. No sneakers, jeans or sports wear allowed.

I bristled and asked my parents if we could eat elsewhere. I was embarrassed and mad. My mom (who’s always dressed well) picked up food to bring back to the room, where the heathen (me) sat in my nice but unworthy jeans awaiting food along with my sympathetic father.

We went to the Barnes Foundation, where again I came up against more rules. No coats, purses or cameras – pretty normal for an art museum. But I asked if I could use pen or needed to use pencil in my notebook, and a Harry Potter-equse voiced boomed from behind the information counter, “NO SKETCHING. ONLY BARNES STUDENTS CAN SKETCH.”

You’ve got to be kidding me, no sketching?

I didn’t flinch when they turned down my debit card for a $4 purchase at the gift store. I needed to use cash for “that small of an amount.” Ugh.

I won’t give in and say their snobby out here – not yet. Maybe I’m just having a bad day.


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