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  1. I tried to be like Grace Kelly

    Sunday, 25 April 2010

    If you took a poll of my friends and family, I'm sure general opinion would be much of the same. I'm not ladylike. Now, to be clear, it's not that I'm a ladette, or a lout of some sort. It's just that by obvious definition, I don't exactly embody the innate qualities of grace and elegance.

    When I was in my teenage years, I can remember the shouts of 'spacial awareness!' from my Dad on a daily basis, as I would once again walk into the coffee table. Oh how that would annoy me. To be fair though, I do have the tendency to be a bit of a klutz. I have several different laughs. One of which sounds like I've swallowed a seal, and the other sounds like I'm a wounded moose. 

    But just because I'm not pretty, don't wear make-up, or style my hair beyond drying and brushing, and I prefer jeans and trainers to pearls and heels, does that really make me un-ladylike? What makes a lady ladylike in the first place?

    I had a quick google for 'how to be lady-like', and found a very helpful wikiHow, which gave me some food for thought. A huge part of being a lady has absolutely nothing to do with appearance. 

    Choose your words wisely. I do believe that this is very important. There are a lot of things that I would like to say, but since I'm trying to regulate the frequent absence of a brain to mouth filter, I am practising the art of biting my tongue (or fingers) more these days. There are a lot of people online in the d-world. I don't necessarily agree with everything that's said. I'm very opinionated in a lot of matters, but I try to be respectful, even if I completely disagree with what a person says. If I can't phrase it properly, I often steer clear. Not because I'm not interested, but I think it's probably better to say nothing than to begin a tirade against a person or an idea that looks like bullying. I hate bullies, and I've vowed never to be one. I've always wanted to be someone that younger people can look up to. There is no way that I could ever be considered a decent role model if I blurted out things without thinking about the consequences.

    Sharpen your mind. If it's all about the knowledge, then I think that I must be a lady in training. I don't think I've absorbed as much information as I have in the last year in a really long time. I think the first year with anything as life altering and new is a very steep learning curve. I think being pro-active has really helped with this. I read articles, I read books. I'm happy to talk with people, and educate when I can, and where it's appropriate. I think even writing this blog has been useful in helping me keep things together.

    Having read through a few different articles, and looking through any comments about grooming, I see 'stand up tall to face the world'. That, I absolutely agree with. Everyone should try to do that - it's all about the confidence. If you don't feel it, at least try to pretend you do until you can get back up again. All of us, ladies or gentlemen, need to walk tall and proud - I think that's how you get people to take you seriously. I think as well, it's how you get people to believe that diabetes isn't going to stop us doing anything. That it's nothing to hide and be ashamed of. Doing so could go a long way to changing some of the public misconceptions about this disease. Misconceptions that I, for one, am getting tired of seeing.

    So what do you think, ladies and gents? Could I be a lady-in-waiting? And would a pair of heels help me stand up a little taller?


  2. 4 comments:

    1. Smile4Loubie said...

      I don't think Im ladylike but maybe I am.... hmmmm.
      And as for you not being pretty..... You damn well are =) x

    2. Annie said...

      You look pretty to me!

      I also have the "I'm a wounded moose" laugh.

      You should come visit me at It's Time To Get Over How Fragile You Are!!

      Annie

    3. nerdse said...

      I really, truly, for lack of a word with adequate strength to describe it otherwise, suck at "girl stuff," as I call it. By that, I mean what society typically considers "femininity" & even "being a lady." I hate doing my hair; I don't mind nails as long as someone else does it (& I love the wild designs - a sorry side effect of being on disability is not having the energy to have it done if I did have the cash for it). I am good at makeup (perhaps because I've always been a "frustrated artist" type), but hate how it feels on my face. In the hypoallergenic makeup lines to which I must adhere, there is no makeup light enough that I can't feel it on my face. I don't like dresses, lace, or frills; I can't abide heels (and due to my chronic conditions, I can't wear them anyway). When little girls squeal over nothing in ear-shattering volumes, I can't figure out why their parents permit it - I was certainly not permitted those girlish shrieks, & I am now grateful for that. I don't like romance novels or movies (although I subscribed to inspirational romance novels for a while to see if there was any way I could learn how to write them & make some money, the experiment was an epic failure). Give me a good BSU movie (Blow Stuff Up), or sci fi (NOT horror, which is full of shrieking females), a non-raunchy comedy, a superhero movie, or a kid's movie, & I'm on board. I love anime & animation. I don't mind some crafts, but I consider sewing in any form to be unconstitutional (violates the clause against cruel & unusual punishment). I don't see the point in over half of all the "crafts" out there. In any gathering, I have more in common with the males than with the females as far as hobbies, knowledge base, technology...
      In other words, as a female aspiring to be a lady, other women consider me an epic failure.
      But my grandmother's definition of a lady makes much more sense. Ladies are intelligent; they learn continually; they seek out, as companions or conversation partners, those with whom a mutual sharing of knowledge & wisdom can occur to mutual benefit. Ladies act with honor; they pay their obligations (whether social, fiscal, parental, or filial). They dress clean bodies in clean, neat clothing, arrange their clean hair in a becoming but not fussy style; they groom their nails & take care of oral hygiene. They have good posture, they make full eye contact, they shake hands firmly. They extend courtesy to all ages & both genders, holding a door open for a male with his hands full as quickly as they'd do so for a woman or child, even assisting with parcels if needed. They are scrupulous & honest in their dealings. They are hospitable. They are poised, they do not shout, they don't have temper tantrums. They're hospitable & polite. They are diplomatic - & her definition of diplomacy was the ability to call someone a profoundly insulting name & tell them where to go & how to get there the quickest way possible, in such a way that the person thanks them profusely & reciprocates by doing what the diplomat wanted them to do.
      I like her definition much better. It has substance, grace, & honor. It's even fun.
      Best of all, heels & elaborate makeup are optional - which is great for someone with a chronic pain syndrome who is also chronically fatigued.
      I think, by my grandmother's definition, you qualify.

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