April 3, 1852

Tablespoon

1852

March [sic] 3rd Saturday  Have made a ribbon head

dress for sister Amelia  Orinthia & self went into

Edwins this noon for some fish chowder.  She gave us

some platters and a great iron spoon to eat with and we

had to wait upon ourselves. We excused her knowing

she was a young housekeeper and knew no better.  She

ought to come here and learn politeness  Called on Mrs

Brett.  her babe is nearly two weeks old. she is not very

comfortable  Called on Abby  Hannah & Mrs J. C. Williams

Young neighbor Augusta Pool Gilmore invited Evelina and Orinthia Foss to midday dinner. This was a sweet gesture, perhaps intended to thank Evelina for her many kindnesses in welcoming Augusta to the village. The young bride may have been excited to debut her skills as a hostess.

However well-meant the invitation was, Augusta still had a lot to learn about entertaining. Evelina, a matron who had welcomed many guests to her dinner table over the years, saw much to judge wrong and in her diary took a snide swipe at the young woman. She criticized Augusta’s faux pas in laying out the wrong cutlery and failing to serve them properly.

While Evelina forgave Augusta her missteps, because the young bride “knew no better,” she also condescendingly noted that Augusta needed to spend time with the Ameses to “learn politeness.” Such scorn was perhaps exacerbated by the presence of Orinthia, who was always looking for ways to laugh. Innocent, inept Augusta was an easy target.

Evelina’s natural empathy returned in the afternoon. She visited other friends and called on another young woman in the neighborhood, Eveline Brett, who was doing poorly after having given birth.

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