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by Bill O'Sullivan
10th Jan 2014

For the past week the silver hairs of Washington’s finest and best have been perplexed by a simple acronym in the invite to Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday party – EBYC – Eat Before You Come. As mistress of The White House with a team of caterers and chefs at your disposal and an array of fine silver and crockery to boot, refusing to feed your guests can cause somewhat of a commotion. The card invites the lucky guests to ?Snacks & Sips & Dancing & Dessert? later this month, suggesting they get ready for ?a little Dougie? but pointedly ending with a recommendation to do their feeding elsewhere. Etiquette cranks were shocked at the perceived ‘scabbiness? of this, with Oprah’s entertaining guru Colin Cowie saying it was ?not the way [he] would have done it.? But we feel there is something to this EBYC game and are inclined to give du chapeau to Michelle. The stress and boringness of having to make conversation with people at a large gathering when conversation can barely get below the surface, is simply too much – give us our dancing shoes over a dish any day.