One of the Dolls, sweet as can be, sends an article, “Why Would I Want To Be A Lady?” She’s a fellow Cotillion chick. After I called out for the butler to fetch my smelling salts and picked myself up from the floor, I phoned to thank her.
Many do believe etiquette has left the fray. Not so. The “whys” of being a lady are simple. It’s easier to glide through social life and situations knowing how to behave instinctively instead of reactionarily. You become the most fun girl in the room, any room, if you make others at ease. That, dolls, is the root of etiquette, manners and ladylike behavior.
Being a lady changes over time to be sure. Some rules apply always and forever. Gossiping, spreading rumors, being too fussy, being late, and chewing with one’s mouth agape top the list. Oh–and your damn phone. Please, can we have one dinner without it needing a seat at the table? Want him, or her, to believe you are enthralled? Keep your phone in your pocket or purse. As for gossip, save it for hushed tones with the bestie who won’t tell anyone. Keep your fussiness to the things you can control–your home and car–not the people with whom you interact.
There are things being a lady does not mean. Sex and language come to mind. A well-placed F-Bomb peppers conversation like no other, depending on use and descriptors. As long as it’s not uttered at tea, your grandmother’s house or the boardroom–you’re good to go. That’s the private part. It’s one of the dirty little secrets ladies keep pocketed to pull out now and again. Shock and awe. As for sexual life–a lady does what a lady likes. When she likes. With whom she likes. With discretion. In the bedroom, rules are set by two (hopefully) and if not, that’s private too. Talking out of turn is gauche. Unless it’s just so juicy you have to tell the Dolls.
Pantyhose upset some in etiquette circles. Many believe a lady must wear them. If I didn’t wear pantyhose to my husband’s funeral, why the hell would I wear them to work? He died in the heat of July. On the surface of the sun. I was already all atwitter over sweat in all the wrong places. Nerves will do that to the delicate, non? If you think you need them, good for you. The rest of us feel sorry for you. Except when we meet Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. For Catherine, we don hose.
What’s at the essence of etiquette has never, and will never, change. It’s about making others feel comfortable, welcome, included. That means kind words, compassion, helpfulness and sometimes an arched eyebrow.
Don’t tell me you’ve never wanted to slap the silly out of some braggy blowhard on social media. Chicks don’t look like that without a filter. Jesus doesn’t count how many times you sit in the pew. He counts how many times you help your fellow man. And if you’re on your fifth trip to Paris this year, “just for a weekend of fun,” why the hell are you taking time to post it? A lady would be having way more fun than that. Pfft.