Are you a lady? I suspect I'm not...

I was meant to write this post ages ago before I got sidetracked by, well, stuff, but things have started to settle down a bit and I finally have time to have a slightly more serious conversation with you.  For those of you who weren’t here last year, all 3 of you, Aint nothing going on but the rent? was my misguided attempt at tackling the women and money question that seems to have become a national obsession, if the mass media is to be believed, but this one is not about vilifying women for looking out for number one, today I want to know, what is your definition of a lady, and, more importantly, do you consider yourself one? 

Incidentally, this is part follow up and part apology; I’m at Munene’s this week, making a nuisance of myself, such as I do, as I argue in defence of men and their money, not too well I might add.  Now because there’s a random chance that my foot in mouth tendencies shall come back to bite me, here, I thought to put up a slightly more sober post, because the last thing I need is for strangers to find the sewer on my front page.  That’s right people, there’s a BOGOF today, well, BOGTF if you count the sewer tale I’ve posted as well, just because.   

This lady story is always a bit of a sticky topic, seeing as the definition of a lady is, a. highly subjective, and b. highly emotive.  In the traditional sense, lady conjures up images of a demure woman in a floral, ankle-length frock with matching gloves and shoes, and perhaps a little parasol to boot.  Think Downton Abbey, only with black people.  I know, it’s a bit of stretch, but it’s the best I could come up with on a Monday night.  A lady does not shout, or laugh with her mouth open, or eat with her hands, or cross her legs when she sits, or smoke, or drink anything foamy, or walk ahead of her man, or moan when she comes… sorry, the last one was uncalled for.  That myth is peddled by the same people who’ve been shoving the knight in shining armour lie in our face our entire lives, the evil Disney Corporation.  That’s right folks, all those seemingly harmless stories of a pale-faced, 12-inch-waisted damsel in distress and her disproportionately broad shouldered blonde prince charming were all a devious ploy to keep you buying whatever nonsense they were selling.  That you happened to end up thoroughly fucked up for life was just a lucky coincidence. 

I suspect that rant was unnecessary, but what the hell, right?

Part of the reason our fantasy of knights remains so attractive to us is because it also includes a very attractive image of ourselves, all Cinderella’d up and what not, we’re the pretty damsel whose life has just been magically transformed.  Problem is, there are even fewer damsels out here than knights.  Are you that plastic Barbie-esque creature the media keeps thrusting in our faces as the ideal woman, all ‘ladylike’ and shit?  Take the test and find out: Are you a lady?  Just so you know, my score was zero (really, Z.E.R.O.), and I was reliably informed that not only am I not a lady, at all, I am also somewhat crude and in need of urgent lessons in the ladylike graces and what not.  You gotta love the internet, no?  No.  I went off in search of another quiz, and I found one, The Are You A Lady Test, and on this one I scored a whopping 86%, if you can believe it.  Just goes to prove that you should never trust an online test (except that one for IQ’s that said I’m a genius, that one was very accurate, but I digress).  So?  Have you taken the test?  Are you a lady?  Not so much, I’m guessing.  Why then do you insist on subjecting men to similarly unrealistic standards?  Are you, in fact, delusional?  

It goes without saying that I do not subscribe to their narrow definitions of a lady, ati a woman who crosses her legs at her ankles and carries the smallest purse possible.  What the…?  In what world is that even logical?  I do agree that being a lady is about carrying yourself with a certain amount of class, but I do not think class is only about deportment.  Class, to my mind, is about integrity, and honesty, and perhaps some basic good manners.  A classy lady, scratch that, a classy woman, is a woman who knows who and what she is, and therefore cannot be bothered wasting time trying to be someone else.  This woman is comfortable in her skin, because she is more than skin deep, no? 

You know what?  To hell with this nonsense.  I’ve decided to discount everything I’ve just read and write my own list of what a lady, make that a classy woman, should be, because I like to write lists, and I don’t like being told to act like I have a stick up my ass, sorry, bum.

1. A class act will put down her fork and knife and grab the bloody chicken wings with her fingers, because she knows that finger food was so named for a very good reason.  She will not, however, lick her fingers clean, unless she’s in her house, because that can get a bit messy if not done right (although I’m not sure that there’s a right way to lick barbeque sauce off your fingers). 

2. A class act does not show up on a date with two of her friends, and proceed to drink the poor bastard, well, poor.  She will also show up with some money in her purse, because she has no issues paying a bill every once in a while. 

3. A class act does not wear a mini skirt she considers too short, and I assume she considers it too short because she keeps tugging it down, all the bloody time.  Note that I didn’t say a class act will not wear a mini skirt, I believe any woman with half decent legs owes it to the world to show them off, although perhaps within reason, and at certain times.  The same applies to half decent boobs, and asses.  Show them off with pride, and comfort, or don’t show them off at all.

4. A class act is mindful of how she talks.  I’m not talking about swearing (although perhaps limiting the curses to the odd ‘shit!’ may be advisable, especially in more polite company), I’m referring to knowing when to talk and when to shut up, because sometimes listening is just as important; how to talk to (all) people with respect, including rude security guards; how to restrain yourself from TMI-ing or hogging the conversation with your self-centred blather; how to conduct (seemingly) intelligent conversations if need be; most important, how to be genuine when you speak, because no one likes to talk to someone who’s trying very hard to sound like someone else. 

5. A class act is proud to earn a living for her own damn self, and does not expect anyone else, man included, to do it for her.  If the only reason you’re with someone, friend or lover, is because they’re your stepping stone to better things, you need to grow up and stop treating people like ladders.

6. A class act does not force a man into marrying her, using an ‘accidental’ child.  Don’t look at me like that, this nonsense of ‘Oops!  Imagine it just happened…’ must end.  Look at it this way, if the man is foolish enough to shag you without protection, and you him, then perhaps yours are not genes to be replicated, no?  Just a thought…

7. A class act does not write me hate mail, or angry comments.  No really, she doesn’t.

That last one is a bit self serving, no?  Ah well… 

For as long as women keep insisting on holding men to ridiculously high standards, making more and more unreasonable demands, then we will have to match them, stride for bloody stride.  You want a man who always looks good, dresses flash, drives the right car and lives in the right neighbourhood?  Right back at you babes.  This means no more weaves and sleeping in head scarves, no more dusty shoes, or flats for that matter, and no more living in the cheaper outskirts of the city where rent is affordable.  Do you insist that your man be of a certain income bracket?  Well how about that… so does he!  And now your broke ass will never date above your current station in life.  You want a man to cater to your every whim?  Sure, no problem, but be prepared to do the same, which means quitting your job to stay at home and raise the ten kids, cooking and cleaning all day, washing his socks and underwear every morning and preparing his bath every night.  Stop cringing, that’s what you asked for, no?  That fantasy nonsense you’re so hung up on, it’s a double edged sword.  

Put differently, be careful what you ask for, you might just get it.