My memories from when I was a little girl are of women who took the word ‘lady’ seriously. That meant dressing according to the occasion, taking good care of the things that they had so that they would last, and proper hygiene.
Due to budgets, single family homes, etc. I can see where it is easy to slack off, but there are various fabrics that no longer need to be dry cleaned and products like Dryel that freshes your garments, so it puzzles me that we have gone to t-shirts and jeans for even a semi-formal or after five dress events.
Modification of rules is commonplace in America. We change rules like we change underwear, of course, that’s for those of us who wear them.
Believe me when I say I understand how much easier it is throw something on and go. Jeans, t-shirts, smartwatches that never let us miss a text message- blows my mind!
It surprises me that many of our young people have no idea what an iron is for, with the exception of using it to hold a door open.
Do I dress like this? Well of course I do! It’s liberating when I get up early on Sunday morning, it’s raining, and ole author tells my bones to go back to bed or to throw on a pair of jeans.
Of course, I have jeans in a variety of colors. I put on a nice top and make myself go to church.
For me, it comes with a reward that I am not defeated. I have even gotten out of the bondage I was in of having to wear makeup just to open my front door.
Dress For Success
As I have aged, it is important for me to remind myself that people are watching all the time. Remember the “dress for success” phrase we used to hear?
Here is another thing I have allowed to creep into my life that is unacceptable but fixable: I am a very messy eater. The front of my blouse always has stains that need to be pre-treated.
The simple solution was to buy a bib. As a matter of fact, one of the ladies at my church purchased one for me. One day we were discussing how messy we both were, and a few weeks later she handed me a bag. In it was an oversized baby blue, with white trim, a bib that attached with velcro. It even covered my lap!
It came in time for our family reunion, and it is a good thing I had my bib because we had barbequed ribs and chicken and other homemade goodies. Looking back at the pictures, it looked like I had been signed out of a facility for the day.
Do you think I cared? Absolutely not!
My son said, “mom that’s a good idea.”
My outfit matched my blue and white bib, and after we finished eating, several family members ask me where I found it- they also wanted to get one. What really surprised me were the men who also stated they needed one.
Along with all of that though, call me old fashioned, but I still believe in being a lady in all aspects of your life.
First and foremost is proper hygiene. It does not do a person any good to perfume a stinky body. With an understanding of those women who have health issues which cause body odor, see your doctor, even ask for a second opinion.
- Dental health is very important: brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. For those of you with dentures, soak them things! The solution kills bacteria.
- Take your partials or dentures out at night to give your gums time to rest and get air, unless your dentist has told you to do something different.
- If you chew gum, purchase a pick and get the gum out of your dentures; they hold bacteria.
- Those beautiful locks of hair, weave, or braids must be shampooed. Use a good conditioner, even a leave-in conditioner will do wonders for your hair.
- Fingernails and toenails, please keep them cut and filed neatly. I used to be a manicurist, so I understand the cost can be overwhelming for some. If you do not have the money to keep your fingernails professionally maintained, don’t get them done.
- Keeping your cuticles trimmed and conditioned is something you can do while watching the news. Keep a bottle of cuticle oil by your chair or sofa/couch and just rub it around your cuticles. Cuticle oil can be purchased at Sally’s beauty supply or Wal-Mart.
Warning! If you are a diabetic, go to a podiatrist to have your toenails trimmed.
Remember that small thing’s matter. It is all of the small details added together that really tie up your look, helps you present yourself as a lady, and keeps you healthy.
So let’s now look at some rules of etiquette that I still remember.
A lady is so skilled in her social intelligence; other women will want to know her secret. With confidence, she walks in a room and owns it.
She has the ability to make those around her feel relaxed as they engage in conversation. Hospitality, most young women today do not have a clue about it.
- A warm and inviting hostess welcomes her guest- takes their coat or umbrella and puts them in a safe place. She shows her guest to their seat, and next offers them a drink of several choices.
- A good hostess is cheerful, even to those who give her a migraine. If one does not know her guest, it is important to engage them in conversation.
- Since people like to talk about themselves, that is a great place to start. Ask questions!
- Ask about their children- parents can talk about their children for days! Asking questions will keep your guests engaged in conversation. Remember to look interested, and know how to use your body language.
- If alcohol is being served, do not overindulge.
- Another idea, if you are the guest, leave the party while everything is going great.
You would be surprised by how far good manners and etiquette will get you in this world.
A good hostess should know the rules for both formal and informal meals.
- Know how to seat your guest by rank and age. If there is a guest of honor, seat them on the right side next to the hostess.
- Knowing the placement of silverware is another key. You can look online and find numerous videos to teach you things that are no longer common knowledge.
- Always respond to an invitation, this is just common courtesy. With the use of smartphones nowadays you can RSVP in a matter of minutes.
- If it is your first visit to a person’s home, consider taking a small gift, candy, or fresh cut flowers. Above all, always be considerate of the other guests.
Unfortunately, so many lessons of manners, etiquette, and hygiene are not being taught to the younger generations like it was in previous days. That is not a reason to not have those skills in your back pocket though! With all of the new technology that we have today, information of any kind is at our fingertips.
Train yourself to stay humble. Be humble, or be humbled. Remember, everything happens FOR us, not TO us.
Take the help and you will go so far in life!