The Washington society pages are different from any other in the world and most people turn to them before they read the front pages. The reason for this is that the hard news about world events is often buried in paragraphs devoted to embassy receptions, official dinners and Georgetown cocktail parties.
This is how a typical Washington society page story might read:
"The Russians threw a wonderful party at their embassy last night to celebrate the arrival of tbe Bolshoi Ballet. In the receving line was first secretary Karnonsky, who with his lovely wife, Zina, greeted the guests. Zina told me she was sorry the ambassador couldn't be there, but he had been called over to the White House to receive a special message from the president. When I asked Zina where the ambassador's wife was, she replied, she's packing the ambassador's bag for a trip to Cuba."
"I was very disappointed, as I enjoy talking to the ambassador and his wife so much. But despite their absence the table was loaded with caviar and smoked sturgeon, and there was a lovely centerpiece of flowers arranged to look like Angola. Zina can do wonders with flowers.
"In the main salon I met Gen. Warick Jablonsky, the handsome Polish military attache, and his beautiful wife, Minka Werick was telling some funny stories about Berlin and when I asked him if he thought East German troops would be sent to Ethiopia he handed me a glass of champagne and said, "I wouldn't know I'm defecting." Minka was wearing a stunning blue dress and blue hat with a veil to match. She always seems to have a nice word for everybody.
"I met Mrs. Nganda Ula wife of the Ugandan minister for economic affairs, who said her husband could not be there as he was being held prisoner by Idi Amin. Mrs. Ula was wearing an Indian sari of gold threads interwoven with pink, and she looked striking.
"I was about to ask her how she was doing with her house-hunting, when Col. Singh of the Indian military mission and his wife greeted me. I hadn't seen then since Lillian Carter's trip to New Delhi. The Singhs made me promise to come to a dinner party they were giving for Prime Minister Desai, who was coming on a secret mission to see President Carter.
"Gen and Madame Flambeau of the Fench embassy told me it looked as though France would soon build a neutron bomb. But what I really wanted to know was where Madame Flambeau got her beautiful beaded bag. "That," she said, "is a military secret."
"Maj. Hi Bo Pak of South Korea told me an amusing story about Tongsun Park. He also revealed he was being subpoened by the House ethics committee. I was sorry to hear it as Maj. Pak is so well-liked in Washington circles, and he supports all the political fund-raisers in town.
"It was a wonderful party and probably would have gone on all right if someone hadn't shot the Bengonian charge d'affaires with a poison dart. I had to go off to the Iranian embassy for a candelight dinner, so I never did find out who did it."