I remember cringing as I looked up from the church choir past the glistening stained glass grapes of differing shades, to represent the evolution of a person’s individual and spiritual walk with Christ throughout his or her life (truly beautiful, thought-provoking artistry), into the balcony only to see my then six-year-old daughter Sara sitting with her legs spread wide open with a beautiful Sunday dress on and motioning to her repeatedly to close her legs. She never noticed, glazed over with that trying to be quiet little girl determination that “big church” children have to be focused before being dismissed to Mission Friends. After services, I gently pulled her aside to again, “gently” scold and school her to please keep her legs closed in church and especially in balconies and to always be a lady. Sara innocently looked up at me and asked, “But what’s a lady?” Nowadays, I think we call that feeling “Being Schooled”….because I definitely realized I needed to get my behind back to the Mommy Drawing Board and start teaching. I have done a good job, I believe, with the assistance of wonderful family role models and female friends and she is a truly lovely twenty-five year old lady.
Throughout Sara’s life began and to my chagrin has continued the “reality” television explosion. The women on these shows do not teach young girls how to be ladies and what really surprises me is the women who have money and clearly have all the advantages, education, opportunities are sometimes the worst behaved and most foul friends. Recently on the Ladies of London, women who think the UK is clearly above the US in behavior, a woman invited an etiquette coach to a luncheon filled with her “friends” unbenounced to any of them. Newsflash “Lady” of London, if all your friends decide that having an etiquette lesson would be fun and pay to have that set up as a group, that is a good idea. To decide your friends have no etiquette and force a lesson on them is classless. And clearly, family status, titles, education, money (old or new) and locale doesn’t buy class.
The “Real” Housewives series also has repeatedly showed young women how to not be ladies, not be friends, not be faithful to men, not behave with class, not follow laws, and that having money does not make you any more important than any other human being. Yet we watch. It’s a train wreck.
The only way these shows go away like bad tabloids is to turn them off and to stop buying them. I don’t want any of my time or money going toward these bad examples to our young people. It’s hard enough raising kids without all these fame-whoring examples out there being touted on every channel and every shopping aisle. Like the Kardashians, these women are literally famous for nothing but having money or marrying money.
We have to teach our young women to become educated in their own right, to depend on themselves, make their own money, and to be all they can be on their own…while becoming classy ladies too. That’s the answer to what’s a lady. Whatever she wants to be!