The other day I was talking with someone I know in these parts and I can only say of him that he was well-raised and from meticulous and remarkably successful stock: The sort that owned a lot of stuff and gave a lot to sick people and children and had the obligatory insanely public family feud when Dad died. Cotillion trained, educated in the best schools, always holds doors and is friendly to dogs, even pit bulls. So, it is very unlike him to overlook an introduction, most especially his daughter but in any event, that is what happened.
This tall, lean, slip of girl, twelve years old, leaned around her father and pleasantly extended her hand in my direction. "Hello. And you are?" she said to me.
I had not noticed her behind him (it was the nature of the situation, unfortunately), and more from reflex than manners, I extended my hand to her and said, "Catherine." She shook my hand firmly (as well as any lobbyist I have known). For a moment, the young girl before me and the maturity of the greeting did not sync, although it was beautifully accomplished.
"I'm Jane." She went on to explain that she was Mark's daughter, visiting with him for the day, and pleased to meet me.
While the phrase, "And you are?" is one of my least favorite introductions on record, this girl was otherwise remarkably genteel and socially fearless. Her father is to be forgiven his oversight in this surely rare slip in deference to the grace of his daughter.
Reassuring, I thought.