Eliza Doolittle, I am not.

So, the fact of the matter is that I love jeans and flip flops.  I have spent many a night sleeping in jeans instead of pajamas and when I put my flip flops away for the winter it’s because I’ve sobbed with relief over the fact that my toes are just numb and not frost bitten, as I had expected.  I’m the epitome of a laid back girl– whatever will be will be, don’t fret the small stuff, why cry over spilt milk, and all of those good sayings that people don’t seem to heed anymore.  These are my mantras.  Of course, I get stressed out at times, but I really do believe that a practical attitude keeps things from getting to the extremes.  If my assignment is already late, then I should just work harder to make it as good as possible.  If a guy I like thinks I’m not his true lady love, well, maybe that’s because we were destined to be best friends.  So on and so forth.  It really does make life a lot easier, in my opinion. 

 For every advantageous aspect of being stress-free, however, I really do think there is a disadvantage. I’m constantly getting bowled over by the realization that many, and I would go so far as to say, most people do not share my values.  I understand where they are coming from, I really do.  I can’t expect everyone to put their feet on the furniture and play with their gum, although, sometimes it’s a challenge to remember that these things are not to be done in polite company.  Recently, I picked up a book at my friendly, neighbourhood Chapters which will hopefully help me to bust out a magic wand and transform myself from a ragamuffin into a lady.  Dubrett’s Etiquette for Girls by Fleur Britten is a lovely looking hardcover book that sits quite daintily upon one’s coffee table and, as I have found, is wonderfully adept at tricking people into thinking I’m an etiquette expert.  But when I cracked that sucker open I found that it is filled with tons of helpful hints that are written in such a charming way that it’s easy to imagine yourself in the English countryside sipping tea out of your rose painted china cup (for the record, I do not have a rose painted china cup.  However, I do have a number of darling Alexander Keith’s Pale Ale mugs that can hold an entire beer each.)  There are some points when I find the book a little too preachy for my liking and it tells me that so-and-so must not be done because it is “unacceptable”.  Now, I’m not the type of girl to accept a “that is unacceptable”.  I really feel that if the book had given me a few more explanations I would have more readily agreed to a trot down Polite-Society Lane.   Like most uncouth ragamuffins, I found myself asking “why?” to a lot of the guidelines.  However, I did take quite a few pearls of wisdom from this read.

There’s a few obvious pointers:

  • Close your legs when you sit down, you naughty girls, so everyone can’t see your lady-bits.

There’s a few not so obvious ones:

  • It’s impolite to hold a door open for someone who is a fair distance away from you (yay!  No more obligatory jogs towards the elevator door!)
  • When eating sushi, avoid rubbing your chopsticks together.  You’re inadvertently implying that the restaurant is providing you with cheapies.  (Who would’ve thunk it?)

And some that I’m sad to admit are true:

  • While it might be fun to throw everything from your makeup bag onto your face, proper ladies try things one at a time.  If you want to go with false eyelashes you may have to postpone the crimson pucker because proper ladies don’t look like tramps.  (This one disappoints me).

Overall, this book was a fun read that really does help you think more about what is lady-like and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s not about the stuffy, antique-y type etiquette of my grandma’s era.  There are sections dedicated to paying your own way and flirting.  Plus, it’s filled with beautiful pictures (although some of them are a bit plain-Jane, stock photo-y).  Just keep in mind that this book is pretty lengthy– definitely not a sit-and-study, and has the possibility to keep you entertained for quite a while. 

So, am I lady yet?  Of course I am.  But I’m still going to wear tons of eyeliner and false eyelashes, huzzah!

Song of the day: