About 10 or 12 friends have called Terry Tydings to tell her that she isn't in the new 1988 Green Book (as "The Social List of Washington, D.C. and Social Precedence in Washington" is known to its subscribers).
Her estranged husband, former senator Joseph Davies Tydings, and their daughter Alexandra Huntington are listed -- at the same upper Northwest address where Terry Tydings has lived, lives and plans to continue to live.
For more than a year, since the former senator filed for divorce, all three, including Terry Tydings, have been domiciled at this Northwest address, but in the legal phrase "living separate lives under the same roof." Translated, this means you have to take your meals separately and sleep in separate rooms, but you can save the extra rent until the divorce is final.
Terry Tydings' lawyer, Peter Sherman, says, "The record would show that each has an equal interest in the house and she has the right to live there for several years." The other terms of the divorce are still being considered by Superior Court Judge Nan Huhn, he added.
Tydings, now an attorney in private practice, is currently out of the country, his office says, "but as of this minute that's his address." A friend of Tydings added, "I'm sure that the Green Book is full of other people living separate -- perhaps even bizarre -- lives at a common address."
Terry Tydings, her lawyer says, doesn't remember receiving the Green Book update form, but she's sure she didn't send it back without her name included. Sherman adds that Terry Tydings is considering "communicating with the Green Book" about her listing.
Thomas J. Murray, publisher of the Green Book, says all he knows is the form came in that way.
In the old days, at the first confirmation of a rumor of marital separation, both parties were dropped from The Book until they'd sorted out their new addresses and partners. The Social List's unseen, unknown selection board may find it hard to keep up with the varied living arrangments these days.
The new edition, however, also has happier points of interest.
Everyone is pleased to see that Midge Baldrige is still at her Connecticut Avenue apartment. After the death of her husband, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige, last July 25, her friends and fellow volunteers in half the charities in town feared she'd move back to their farm in Woodbury, Conn.
"I didn't want to be in too much of a hurry to make decisions," she said. "So I decided not to decide. For now, I'm staying put. I thought that I had a great many acquaintances here, but instead I've found out that I have many friends. I still go up to our farm. I was there on his birthday, October 4, when there was a freak early snowstorm. I wondered if it were him in a rage, unsettling the weather."
Anne Lathrop Liu, the Green Book editor, says Elizabeth Dole resigned as transportation secretary too late to have that change included in the 1988 book, but "she certainly has made my life easier. I had more calls asking how to address an invitation to her and her husband, Senator Robert Dole, than any other question of etiquette. My second most-asked question was how to seat them."
In case another congressional wife is appointed to the Cabinet, you might note that the proper form is, on three lines:
The Secretary of Gridlock
and Senator E.R. Amendment
As to precedence in seating, The Book says: "The wife of an official always assumes the rank held by her husband, whether he is present or not. Following this same ruling, the husband of a woman official assumes the rank held by his wife." Cabinet members outrank senators, who outrank congressmen.
Liu also notes that apparently Washington is at the beginning of a revival not only of calling cards but of the traditional form using initials on the cards denoting polite messages: N.B. for nota bene (note well); P.P., pour pre'senter (to introduce); P.R., pour remercier (to express appreciation or thanks); P.C., pour consoler (to express condolences); P.F., pour fe'liciter (to express felicitations); P.P.C., pour prendre conge' (to say goodbye), and P.M., pour memorie (to remind). A glossary of such terms is included in the new edition.
TITLED FOREIGN VISITORS OF THE WEEK: The Earl and Countess of Bessborough were in town last week to raise money for the American Franklin Friends Committee. They hope for $4.5 million to restore and endow Benjamin Franklin's former house and office in London. Former Supreme Court chief justice Warren Burger, now head of the Bicentennial of the Constitution Committee, has donated a bust of Franklin that he sculpted at age 14. At two receptions given by Margaret (Mrs. Johnson) Garrett, the Bessboroughs showed a video of the presentation of the bust to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the very house where Franklin experimented with electricity.