I was illustrating in the last issue that there is a kind of poor mannerism a lady may address while there’s a kind she graciously overlooks. Her social highness approaches these situations with courage and tact respectively.
Interestingly, these days, more emphasis is placed on the ‘social’ aspect of the woman so much that the ‘lady’ element is relegated a back seat. I believe when the emphasis is on the ‘lady’, the ‘social’ is a given because a lady is social but you can have a socialite without having a lady. I’ll give you an example. Once, while I was in a lecture theatre in the university awaiting the arrival of the first lecturer of the day, a girl walked in and sat beside her friend who was seated about two rows of seats from me (I was behind them). This was a quintessential socialite and I must admit she had a great sense of style. While I looked on in restlessness between she and her friend, I got what was to be the most revealing habit of this ‘chic’ in a pre-lecture period. She apparently had a running nose, and without asking her friend (not to talk of the multitude of people around her) for toilet paper or wipes, she unabashedly reached for a very dirty piece of paper from the floor of the lecture room, tore it in two and blew her nose right into it! She did it like a politician telling a lie-effortlessly! I could tell it was a habit. But she wasn’t done yet. After blowing her nose, she paused to laugh at a joke her friend was apparently telling, then threw the now dirtier, messier piece on the floor beside her. I literally flinched. I did! I guess I couldn’t believe the sight of a well-dressed person doing what just played out before me. To imagine a more ironic situation was hard. She may be a socialite, she may even be high street ‘fashionista’, but, I remember shaking my head, she is no lady- suffice to say!
Worthy of note also, besides a good eye for hygiene (which was lacking in the above story),is what I call a ‘healthy’ fashion sense. I use the term ‘healthy’ because on the one hand, fashion sense can be obese. This is evident in super, over exposure of sensitive body parts. On the other hand, fashion sense can be gaunt- inflictive denial of a right to beauty. While I am not an authority in fashion, I do believe that there’s an acceptable code of dressing that behooves every occasion. If you choose to wear a dress with a very low neck line without any camisole underneath when you are required to make a presentation or address an audience, know full well that you will be distracting them rather than sending your message across- except, of course that is your intention.
“Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
The fashion sense that ceases to exist save for an element of exposure is not only questionable, it does not belong to a quintessential lady.
In summary, a lady cannot marginalize the position of wisdom which someone has called ” the art of knowing what to overlook”. It is ‘balanced wisdom’ however, that also knows what should be addressed also. The present day lady produces a fine blend of conservation and modernisation because conservation is still relevant in many aspects and we cannot help but be modern-it’s 2013!
Just in case you may think otherwise, the display of elaborate social grace is not an exclusive right of Queens, Princesses, Duchesses and those who value themselves enough to display it. No! You may join our royal company! What do you say?