How to Social Climb
Dear Miss A,
I recently moved to a large east coast city, and am interested in getting involved in the charity circuit. I really want to meet the movers and shakers and the fashionable set of my town, which seem to be involved in doing service. I am already a member of the Junior League, so I know that will be a good place to start once it gets going. Do you suggest I just go to events alone until I meet people? Where do I start?
New to Town
Dear New to Town,
So you want to meet the “Movers and Shakers” and the “Fashionable Set” in the “Charity Circuit”, huh? Are you really sure this is something you want to do? There is always a fresh new crop of people who get eaten alive, and fall victim to men who have become infamous for preying on naive new women in town, or who want so badly to meet certain people in town that they come off as a social climber and turn everyone off. Please keep in mind that the grass isn’t always greener! The quietly charitable, somewhat fashionable and those who move, but don’t shake are great people, too! What you think you want — may not be what you need. So don’t dismiss out-of-hand joining a kickball league, watching football at a sports bar, or going to a dive bar to hear a local band.
In this age of social media, I would think you’d know someone in town, or have a friend who knows someone in this new town who you can get to know and who would be willing to introduce you to their crowd. I strongly advise that you meet people the “old fashioned”, organic way, rather than seeing people in a local magazine, deciding they should be your new BFF, and stalking them on Facebook.
If you really must be among the “Fashionable Set” in the “Charity Circuit” it’s pretty simple. Three words of advice: Join, Attend, Buy. Join lots of clubs and organizations. Attend as many charity and fashionable events as possible. Buy people drinks, coffee, dinner, cab rides, and buy yourself cocktail dresses, ball gowns, and shop your heart out at all the magazine sponsored and other shopping events. Unlike other sets in your new city, the fashionable set is by its very nature, a pretty superficial bunch, so it doesn’t take a whole lot to impress. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist – just be beautiful and spend money. It’s much more difficult to reach the true “Movers and Shakers” – they are more cerebral, and busy working and traveling, and don’t have much time for nonsense.
I hope this is somewhat helpful, and again I really hope you make real friends naturally through work, or through your alumni club and friends from home.
– Miss A