There is no greater ignominy than this, to be shunned by the crowd who Summer in a Location.
Truly you have not known oppression until you have gone to the Vineyard and not been Received, as Alan Dershowitz has.
This is an unthinkable horror, this breakdown of civility. The tiny whales on the shorts of strangers all pointedly turn in the opposite direction when you enter the room. The Black Dog barks ominously at you, as though you were a stranger and not a Friend of the Family. Yacht captains pointedly pull up their gangplanks at your approach, and your martini includes no olives even though you expressly requested olives. To see other people in a boat in boat shoes, drinking cocktails, while you must stand on shore, in boat shoes, drinking cocktails!
No, until a man in shorts the color of radioactive salmon has turned away from you midway through what you were certain was an interesting anecdote, and you have been refused admission to a party that was going to break a bottle of champagne over the hull of a boat named Yacht So Fast, or Market Float, or Would You Like to Sink With iTunes Now, can you say that you have been oppressed?
Think what this means, and let the full indignity dawn on you. Men in cable-knit sweaters with names like Trip and Trey mixing drinks — apparently for you — and then offering them to others. The casual cruelty of a J.Crew catalogue cursed and made animate.
Others may claim that they live in a society poisoned against them — but imagine not being invited to a party where everyone is wearing seersucker. To see everyone else invited to “There’s A Seersucker Born Every Minute,” drinking Dark and Stormys in your absence! This must be expressly prohibited in the Bill of Rights somewhere.
When I see people massed with signs to complain about oppression, I wonder: Have they seen other people leaving for croquet and known they were excluded? Have they seen what Jared and Ivanka may suffer at the Hamptons? This is a nightmarish fate that the Founders would not have wished upon us. People may scarcely nod in their direction at group gatherings! They may heat the gazpacho before serving it to them. They may give them a peculiar number of forks and spoons in no way correlated with their number of courses. At the bottom of their martinis, curled inside the olive, may lie a rude note. To what depths will these foes of free social intercourse not sink?
This is like when John Lewis was not allowed to join a bridge foursome. Or he had some other bridge-related problem. Anyway, this is the cruelest cut of all. A paper cut. From real stationery. It is too far.
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.