Recently a co-worker of mine said people in her life have noticed her saying “balls” way more often then she should be. And then went on to blame me for this. Before I could even defend myself, a montage of me saying “balls” was playing in my head. Dropped my pen: “Balls.” Missed a deadline: “Balls.” Just plain old tired: “Balls.” Not knowing what I want for lunch: “Balls.” I mean …
And that got me thinking about what “being a lady” has turned into. I’ve always been fascinated with the past when women dressed to the nines to go to the mall or even on an airplane. When “stretchies” weren’t even a word. And now look at us. People wear sweats out to really nice restaurants. Why?!
When I do an audit of my manners, I can’t help but shake my head, just a little. And I’m sure my grandmothers are up in heaven sipping their martinis shaking their heads, too. Sure, I say my “pleases” and “thank yous” and hold doors open for people. But in the same breath I have a mouth like a sailor (sorry family, you know it’s true), I slouch, and sometimes, here and there, have been known to let out a burp or two (I mean, I’m human).
While even the thought of going back to the days of wearing a hat and gloves and brooches and the big, beautiful dresses actually exhausts me and I really like the fact that I can wear whatever I please, and say whatever the fuck is on my mind (see what I did there), I do think we can adjust some things in our lives that MAY seem like common sense in order to make us more manners savvy.
I know, I know, who am I to be shelling out advice on manners, right? Well … I like to think I am pretty polite (thanks mom), minus the whole cursing like a sailor thing. And not only will these slight tweaks make us more shiny and brilliant to people of the opposite sex, new friends, AND new employers, it will also make us way more classy.
So behold … your first lesson on manners by Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra:
1. Limit The Eff Bombs: This will be tricky even for me. But Jesus, know your audience. If you’re walking down the street, telling a heated story, maybe don’t say, “fuck this” and “fuck that.” If you’re at a restaurant … absolutely no cursing. If you’re at work and drop something and want to say, oh I don’t know, “balls,” think about the people around you. And when you’re in the comfort of your own home, let it rip. But take down your cursing by 25% overall … at least. Apparently it isn’t “lady like” to speak like a truck driver (which, Ps. I think truck drivers get a bad rap).
2. Buy Yourself a Proper Tea Cup: Every lady should own a tea cup, as I write this drinking tea out of a paper cup. Literally. A paper cup. This past weekend dealing with laryngitis, I brewed myself some black tea, added some whiskey (strictly doctors orders, kind of, not really), and drank it out of a lovely floral tea cup. It made me feel dignified. Throw away that college mug, go to Home Goods, and indulge in some proper tea cups … saucer and all. It will make feel amazing. Stop asking questions and just do it.
3. Say No To Sweats: I actually saw a woman walking into the Capitol Grille once wearing sweats. SWEATS. To the Capitol Grille! If I’m paying over $20 for a meal, my ass will be in a dress, a-thank you very much. But it shouldn’t just be the rule for fancy shmancy restaurants. If you’re going out to dinner, or even out for drinks, no matter where you are going … make an effort. Your sweats will be there when you come home in a food coma, I promise.
4. Write Letters: I know, stamps are so annoying. They are never there when you need them to be and the idea of going to the Post Office is maddening. But you don’t just need to be getting married or having a baby to write a proper thank you note. Send one to the owner of a boutique you had a great experience in, send one to a friend just for the hell of it (they will think it’s creepy at first, but then will be all about it). Trust me, I do a happy dance whenever I get anything in the mail that isn’t a bill. So go buy yourself some rad stationery and a good pen (I’m a HUGE pen snob) and make it happen.
5. Cellphones Away For A Better Day: Once upon a time, checking your phone constantly whilst at lunch meant you were an incredibly busy and important woman. Now, thanks to reality shows like The Hills, and Vanderpump something or other, every clown does it. And it’s rude. And might I add weird. Have you ever looked at a group of women eating lunch together and ALL of them were on their cellphones? Hell I’ve been apart of that group of women. When food or drinks are present, keep your phone in your purse and try not to reference anything having to do with social media that will make you want to pull your phone out. I know, I know it will be hard not to Instagram your lunch, but make a rule that it is 1985. Live in the real world, kids, live in the real world.