Sunday, January 6, 2013

Etiquette 101: "Act Like a Lady"

Audrey Hepburn is the epitome of class and a true lady.
"If more females would sit down and be ladies, more males would stand up and be gentlemen." - Author Unknown

When you were growing up, I'm sure you constantly heard these 4 words..."act like a lady".  And I am guilty of telling my 5 year old niece this constantly.  Walk like a lady, don't jump off curbs.  Put your napkin in your lap while sitting at the table.  Say "please" and "thank you" and so on.  But of course, being 5 years old, how are you suppose to know what acting like a lady really means!? As we grow up, acting like a lady means sitting up straight, speaking with proper grammar, using correct spelling, never chew with your mouth open (first of all; ew) and the list goes on & on & on. But did you know that in 1940's to act like a lady meant to smoke!? I had no idea. Nowadays, it's quite the opposite.  It's ladylike not to smoke.  And healthier, too!

On a shopping trip to Anthropologie on one rainy afternoon in early December a few years ago, I picked up a small, brown, pocket-sized book called "How to Live Like a Lady; Lessons in Life, Manners, & Style". I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and was completely astonished at how exactly you "act like a lady" in the eyes of the writer. She commented on the likes of Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn.  Two extremely iconic ladies in the early 20th century and both of whom I could only wish I was a fraction like.
The small book touched based on the subjects of how to sit. And how exactly do you sit like a lady, you ask!? Well, let me tell you.  You sit with the small of your back/rear end pressed up against the back of the chair and your ankles crossed. Never sit with a knee on top of the other or with an ankle on top of a knee, even with slacks on. It's a big manly no no.  Slouching makes you look lumpy and not the least bit confident at all.

It also talked about how to speak like a lady. My first thought was "STOP SWEARING!!!" Swearing like a sailor only makes you look uneducated and like a brute. I call using words that most need to look up in the dictionary my big "$10 words", as opposed to my measly "$.25 words". Watch your manners.  Such as belching. If you must, try to be discrete by placing your hand, but preferably a napkin over your mouth. And excuse yourself after doing so, even if no one else heard you.

A few other charming manners are, you should always smile when you meet someone. And always repeat some one's name when you first meet them, this will ensure that you will remember their name for the next time you meet. Never use your cell phone during a meal and always turn off the ringer when you are sitting at the dinner table. Never excuse yourself from the middle of a meal until after dessert. Never (and I mean NEVER) get drunk. Always say "please" and  "thank you" when it's appropriate to do so. And dress accordingly, without showing too much skin.  Leave a little something to the imagination of the men you are trying to lure in.  And it's respectful to your significant other, if you are a little more discreet about what you have on.

A real gentleman, Humphrey Bogart.
This all sounds like such a fuss, especially since we're in the 2000's and not the 1950's, but remember, guys don't like rude girls. They might be fun to watch (much like a train wreck you can't keep your eyes off of), but who really wants to be with someone like this!? I wouldn't want to be with someone who swears all the time or that doesn't know how to act when they're in public. I'd rather be with someone who can be a gentlemen and act properly when the time is right.

Also, if you have good manners and etiquette, it doesn't mean you are a snob, it means you are just acting like a lady.  I've been accused of this on many occasions, but oh well.  At least I know how not to act like an animal in public.  So, what are some ways that you act classy?  I'd love to hear them.

I stumbled upon this website while doing a little further research and found a majority of it to be ridiculous.  But check it out here.

Until next time, lovelies!
Miss Hell


Mandy B said...

Oh, that Bogey. He was such a man. I love looking at old photos of him and Lauren. They were so in love. Your blog is fun! Following. :)
Nestled in Nostalgia