Interview with Laura
Laura is from Portland, Oregon, and I met her this summer at various Cotillion-related luncheons. She did not know anyone when she first came to San Francisco.
MB: How long before last summer did you know you would be a debutante in San Francisco?
Laura: My aunt (my dad's sister) had been a debutante in San Francisco, and my mom always thought it would be fun for me to do, so I guess it had been a while. I think when I got to high school though was really when I realized it's what I'd be doing the summer after my senior year.
MB: So you were here all summer, just for the Cotillion events, right?
Laura: Well, for June and most of July at least. It was nice though, I got to stay with my aunt and see the city. I also got to meet all of you which was nice. The luncheons got a little tedious even I'll admit , but I always had fun talking to you guys.
MB: I was trying to remember, and just so that readers know, how many events do you think we had this summer?
Laura: I think we had about 8 luncheons and probably 6 evening parties.
MB: Yeah, that sounds about right. Did you find it strange in general to be part of a Cotillion Ball in a city that you didn't grow up in?
Laura: I think normally I would have, but honestly there were so many girls also in my position. I mean there where what, five or six of you who actually lived in the city? So obviously you all knew each other. But that was still only about a fourth of our class. The rest of us no one knew. And we didn't know each other. So I think regardless of where you lived everyone had some socializing to do.
MB: That's true. Okay so you're from Portland, you now go to school at Santa Clara, and you came back to San Francisco for Thanksgiving too, right? For that party? Did you want to do that, or would you rather have gone home?
Laura: Yeah, I know thanksgiving seemed a little excessive--like my family's whole life was being catered to Cotillion events. But, to be honest, it was nicer for me to go to San Francisco from Santa Clara just because it was less travel than it would have been to go home. My brother (who was her escort) was excited to come to San Francisco because he wanted to see some of the people he met this summer. I really liked catching up with all of you now that we had all gone to college and had fun stories to tell. And we were with my aunt on Thanksgiving, which doesn't usually happen, so it was actually really nice.
MB: That makes sense. Did you stay for Christmas after the Ball?
Laura: No, we went home on the 23rd. It was fun though because the Ball and everything we had to do for it beforehand was so distracting that by the time we got to Portland, it was practically Christmas. I liked that--I don't like waiting for Christmas.
MB: What did you think of the actual ball now that it's all said and done?
Laura: I had a really good time. I actually liked getting all dressed up, and I loved seeing everyone else's dresses. Everyone looked so beautiful. I got to see some members of my extended family that night whom I rarely get to see, and everyone kept saying how much I look like my grandmother, which I really liked. I never really knew her and I kind of feel a little disconnected from her side of the family, and it just meant a lot that people knew who I was just by looking at me. That was a cool feeling. I thought the whole night was fun. Especially the dancing. You feel kind of ridiculous dancing in that dress but the band played music that all the generations liked, and I just loved having an age range of 18-90 on the dance floor--when else does that happen?
MB: I know I liked that too. My grandma stayed out dancing until 1am! Do you think you'll come back next year?
Laura: Oh, definitely. [My brother] and I are coming back every year.