Communication is so hard when no communication is happening. Is it my fault that I don’t understand you? I couldn’t tell a fake smile from a real one, hell I would not even remember what your favourite colour or TV show is let alone have any clue on what you’re feeling, thinking, worried about if you don’t fucking say it. I’m so sick of the question marks, the words left unsaid, the formalities. I am sick and tired of logic. You know there’s something wrong if the simple “because I love you” doesn’t feel like it could be a valid reason.
There comes a time where you realise… wow, maybe, just maybe, you’ve been living your life all wrong. You don’t clean, your manners are atrocious, you’re ungentle, you speak your mind too much, you’re foreign to make up, you can’t match your clothes or have good poise, and basically almost everything about you is unladylike. You kind of wonder what you’ve been doing for the past 20 years of your life, being a monkey? Certainly being myself has costed me. (I will now retrieve that self insult).
So it all started when Daddy decided to give me lectures on how I should really start trying to be more presentable and “more of a lady”. Thanks, Dad. 20 years being fine with your daughter living how she is and NOW you say it’s time to change? I mean, how awful! Normally I wouldn’t put too much thought into what I don’t understand (in this case being wait what – why do I need to? Meh!). But after showing up at a few designer brand interviews, and watching series/movies where I carefully observed the female protagonists, I eventually realised it for myself. Not only is it important to have “Proper lady” traits to leave immediate good impression, but it is, simply put – attractive. As they say, being female is one thing, being a lady is another. And takes a lot of patience and effort.
So what’s being a Proper Lady all about? Well I did some research and will share what I gathered:
- Know basic manners and etiquette
- Know how to apply make up
- Spend time on grooming and learn how to match clothes/accessories
- Before that learn where to shop and what not to buy (I’d love to know too…)
- Be kind, think before you speak
- Be gentle but confident
- Have a straight, refined posture at all times
- Sit and walk in a well presented way
Don’t: (or what’s considered to be highly uncouth and unladylike)
- Over-consume alcohol
- Wear bad, tasteless clothes and accessories (like when a kind friend of mine was like to me, “If I were you, I would not wear that bright orange bag.”)
- Vulgar jokes and bad language
- Be aggressive or hot-tempered
- Be clumsy
- Have poor eating manners
They sound pretty basic, all of them, but the hard part is consistency, and getting it all right. And it gets unnecessarily more restrictive and critical as you look further into it. I mean, I could keep going but I’d drive myself crazy before I’ll finish. We’re lucky this isn’t back in the 18TH century or something when girls, whether they liked it or not, were strictly trained to be a lady since young. Back then it wasn’t just about being elegant and polite, you had to be successful and multi talented, learning music, art and needle work and be able to cook. Thank heavens for liberty. Though, I will say I’m also quite disappointed. I wouldn’t mind if school still taught this stuff, just as a “to put it out there”. My dad even told me about classes that go on for $1000 per course, and that he would’ve registered me for it if it weren’t so costly, ha.
What I’m trying to get at is that maybe the thing about being yourself is… you shouldn’t. Unless you’re perfect, but I doubt there’s many of those. The older you get, and the more people and places you come across, i.e. work world, adults, your girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents even; the more you realise that in order to do well in this world, sometimes it means you can’t be yourself. Or being you alone is not enough. If you’re comfortable, then you’re probably doing it wrong. There are so many expectations that need to be met in order for people to like you, or hire you, or just to say nice things, and being a lady female is just one of an endless list of them. But hey, I see it as somewhere to start 🙂
- Replying messages. No kidding, in the back of my head I’m always guilt tripping over the messages I’ve forgotten, or failed to respond to. Most of the times it’s not actually me ignoring you on purpose but literally me reading and forgetting. I reply in my head and hours later realise “…shit.” It’s an awful habit, I admit. And I will try to change that.
- Attending classes. This semester has got to be one of the worst cases of my regular absence, to the point that I went from having friends at the start of the subject to sitting by myself because of my lack of effort to go (and to socialise as well).
- Giving equal attention to those around me. I don’t want to be that person who is only nice to those I care about. Well, I never really did that until this semester, where I just detached myself from everyone else. It’s like I am purposely lone wolfing when I could potentially get to know so many more people. Maybe I’m just sick of people. Yeah, that’s probably why.
- Showing appreciation. People help me all the time, and the one thing I wish I knew how to do is show appreciation. I do appreciate having people like you in my life and I probably won’t get by without you, but I don’t know how to show it.
- Remind people that I love them. I LOVE YOU GUYS. I REALLY DO.
- Spend less on food. I’ve literally spent my entire savings on nothing but FOOD in the last 2 months. And possibly gained weight. Well since boyfriend is leaving for 2 months I think I won’t have too much trouble cutting my food intake and live a while on cat cans or something.
- Not be so overly emotional. Like, okay, it’s so fucking hard not getting worked up over the littlest things because of this new found attachment, but nothings impossible right? I just need to learn to be emotionally tougher and not let everything you do bother me. Makes it difficult for everyone when I’m like that, especially myself.
- More quality time with my cat.
- Wear more jewellery. And make up. I’m starting to feel like I should do whatever I can to boost my confidence since I’m lacking it. I’ve been so accustomed to comfort and being around people who are too use to me to judge, that I forget they’re appearance “necessities” in today’s social world. I’m getting too old to not care. Earrings, lipstick, skin care maybe.
- Get employed. Writing cover letters is doing my head in, but I gotta preservere! I absolutely need a job!
There’s a lot more, but that’s my top ten right now.
I think I’m a nice rare case of a weirdo who would turn up at a counter with swollen teary eyes to buy sweets and drinks. I don’t know about anyone else but cake and chatime does wonders for me whenever I’m upset, reminding me that no matter how bitter I feel there’s still sweet things in the world. (How cheesy was that?)