Now our Preferred login method!

with your Facebook account

Coming Soon!

Login with your Google accounts

Original Member Login

You can now login with your Facebook account. A much easier way to view our Magazine! But if you prefer, you can still log in to Polite Society Magazine with your original user account.

Not a member yet?
Sign Up Now!

If you don't want to use your Facebook account (or don't have one), you can still register with us by using the original Login system.


Picnic in the Park

Text by: Jacque Crosswell Watene

There are few activities so delightful as picnicking under the dappled shade on a warm spring afternoon with someone you love. Spring beckons the senses to take in the euphoria of nature in the song of birds and buzzing of bees, the riotous color of flora and fauna, the perfume of pollen, and the taste of sweet spring vegetables and herbs. One of the most memorable afternoons I have ever experienced was spent basking in the spring sun, enjoying a picnic with my husband. He brought his guitar, I brought the meal, packed neatly into a picnic basket (along with goblets, china, silver, linens, and a blanket to sit upon). We dined, talked, listened to nature and the guitar, and lay down upon our blanket gazing up at the shapes in the clouds as they lazily rolled by.

I often think back to that day and wonder why on earth I have not recreated it. Maybe I am uncertain such a perfect day can ever be matched. No matter — I am determined to remake the splendor of that memory this spring.

Here is my plan.

I will hand-write a little invitation to my husband asking him to meet me at a particular park, under a particular tree, at a particular time. Then I will plan a menu designed to both seduce the palette and please the eyes. I will make plans for my little boys to be watched by their adoring aunts, so that my husband and I can speak full sentences to each other without being interrupted. And then, when the day and time for my little picnic affair arrives, I will be waiting for my date, blanket unfurled in the soft green grass, sparkly drinks in fancy goblets, goodies to nibble on pretty platters, and a serene smile on my face.

© Stephanie Stringfellow

I'm already smiling…

Where did my fascination for romantic picnics begin? Ever since I was a young, teenaged girl, I yearned to recreate the beautiful, afternoon picnics of the classic romance movies. Every time I watched "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (starring Jane Seymour, of course), I longed for an afternoon picnic. And it couldn't be just any old hoagie sandwiches-and-soda-stuffed-into-a-backpack picnic. No. For me, only hems of afternoon gowns blowing gently in the English pastoral breeze, while seated on a wool blanket in the cozy company of a handsome Duke, nibbling daintily on a tea sandwich and a strawberry would do.

In the movie, "The Scarlet Pimpernel," there is the most incredibly gorgeous scene in which the hero, Sir Percival Blakeney, has a picnic prepared for an outing with the beautiful heroin of the story, acclaimed French actress Marguerite St. Just. This is a picnic to dazzle even the most level-headed among us — the basket is the size of a baby crib, dripping with garlands of fresh flowers, filled to the brim with every delicious cold entrée conceivable to mankind. It is, of course, drawn by a team of horses and an open carriage, and Marguerite's dark curls bounce to and fro under her bonnet as the carriage ambles jauntily down the road. It is much more than my romantic heart can take!

I may not be a famed, French actress during the Revolution, and my husband certainly isn't a knighted Sir, rescuing the French Aristocracy from Madame Le Guillotine, but he most definitely is my hero, and a romantic picnic for two can certainly put some pizzazz into the hum-drum and monotony of modern living, carriage and curls or none.