Can I be a real woman and still radiate the aura of class required to be considered a lady?
I love the 1940's and the way women looked: Red lipstick, gloves, hats, dresses or pants suits, fabulous hairdos and Class. They also had some sass to keep things real. The new found freedom of employment and independence, coupled with the frantic romance of wartime love created for me an intoxicating combo of polish and sass. They were LADIES. They were real and they were iconic in my mind.
As time has passed I see how casual everything in the world has become and I mourn for just a little restriction. I'd like not to see gratuitous sex in movies but rather the passionate and mysterious clutches of a vintage film. I'd like to hear clever dialogue in coffee shops instead of the f-bomb or other crass words I struggle to avoid. I'd like not to see my own or anyone else's muffin top dangling out over the waistband of their pants. I'd like to have the energy and desire to do my hair on a daily basis in something more than a 'claw' hair clip or ponytail. I am grateful not to be judged, harshly at least, when I run errands in jeans and a ponytail but I would like to find myself looking and acting more like a lady than I currently do.
I cannot be alone in my lifelong desire to be beautiful and real at the same time. I have often struggled between the "Real Me" at home in fleece sweatpants sipping coffee sans makeup or class....and how good I feel as the 'Ladylike Me" decked out from hair to lips to heels out in public on a good hair day. I have prided myself on enjoying the dichotomy between the two versions of myself, yet I will admit envy when I look at a few of my close girlfriends who seem to be all lady all the time.
They are beautiful- the first lady in my life is Missy. She is the intelligent and doting mother of two tots. I have hardly ever seen her without tasteful makeup and coordinated outfit with sparkling beaded jewelry she created herself. She has a sweetness and poise I am delighted to find in one of my friends but dismayed not to see in myself. I am more of a chocolate dipped hurricane of energy and opinions...more likely to be decked out in a hilarious combination of perfume, wild hair and red lipstick and the same diamond earrings I wear every day unless I forget. I see Missy as a lady...and without betraying myself and my uniqueness, I would like to be more like her...more of a sweet lady.
The second lady in my life is Cathy. She is fiercely intelligent and creative in her business...she is also a lady. She cares for her family and loves her friends well and still pampers herself regularly. She has an elegance and presence in a room that grabs attention without shouting, more of a sultry 'come hither' whisper without pretense. Although we are both redheads that is where our likenesses stop. I would like to be more like her...more of a cosmopolitan lady.
Please do realize there are many more 'Ladies" in my life, these are just two great examples of women I see living the life of a modern woman and making her look good at the same time...reminding me of a true 'Lady". As I consider what makes me see both of them as 'ladies' I do begin to see some aspects of my own persona that could qualify even flatulent me as a lady. I am kind to people- often seeking out the overlooked to try to impact them in a cheerful way. I love my husband well- there is not a day he walks out the door to go to work that he doesn't know how great I think he is or how much I respect him as a person. I am honest...I know who I am and am usually forthright about it regardless of my audience. If I am being a sloth on the couch I do it up right- lap blanket, snack food, good magazines and the phone nearby for girlfriend chatter. If I am going out with my man I am as pretty as I can get and relish our adventure in it's entirety...especially the food and bevvies!
Whether I am dressed up or down, feeling pretty or feeling scummy, feeling flatulent or well mannered I enjoy every single moment of my life. Maybe I will realign my values of ladylike behavior to include authenticity, inner beauty and daily joy. As a matter of fact, I think that is what makes my friends Missy and Cathy so attractive after all...authenticity, inner beauty and daily joy. Maybe it isn't the clothes or lipstick that makes a lady at all.