Lady Lessons: First Term

Labels, in their proper places, are lovely.
It’s best to label the baking soda and the baking powder because, unlike sugar and salt, those two items actually look alike.
Labeling people is a bit more complicated, but necessary, in that we’re a verbal culture and we need words to describe things and assign characteristics.
I think we all know my feelings on the princess label.
There are no princesses here.
Sorry.
However, I have always responded well to being called a lady, probably because the term is laden with definitions that could apply perfectly well to a woman’s life at any given moment.
It’s also apparently a slang term for cocaine… I did NOT know that…

You know, it really would make my life easier if we could just call narcotics by their proper names. Pretty soon, I won’t be able to even open my mouth without accidentally calling down a veritable cocktail of illicit drugs.
Mary Jane?
Horse?
Snow?
Aunty Emma?
Stop it, please.
Tone it down.

*Ahem*
Anyway… definitions to follow, excluding the cocaine reference, because REALLY, culture?! We needed another word for COCAINE?!?!?!

**1. A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior.
a. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous.
b. A well-behaved young girl.
2. A woman who is the head of a household.
3. A woman, especially when spoken of or to in a polite way.
4. A woman to whom a man is romantically attached.
a. Informal A wife.
5. Lady Chiefly British A general feminine title of nobility and other rank.

That word is my favorite (right under “masticated” and “transmogrifying”, because you really have to work to use those words in a good sentence… and blessings upon you if you can use them together).
What I love about the term “lady” is that it doesn’t normally carry privileges with it (unless you’re British, which is privilege enough), which separates it from labels like “princess.” As an entirely average person, I’m a lady because I’m firstly a woman (chromosomes) and secondly the head of my household (i.e. single).
I’m also generally believed to be well-mannered and considerate (on Tuesday and Fridays, primarily… one must take ones chances on any other day of the week).
I’m a lady because I’m a lady and I (try to) act like a lady… I’m not a lady because of wealth, idle inclinations, or marital status.
Under the terms of those definitions above, every woman is also a lady.

With that established, I’ve decided to lay out a few concepts on how ladies do assorted lady things, like behaving like a lady or threatening creepy admirers with violence. If you’re a lady, how precisely do you start, maintain, and end an argument? What do ladies wear? What if you have to break someone’s wrist?
Can you break someone’s wrist as a lady?

I’ll admit it, this is really more for me than it is for you, because I organize my thoughts with my fingers.
It’s a bit like mouth breathing, really…

 

 

 

**The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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