ladylike behavior: things I’ve been doing “wrong” (part 1)

I’m not sure how much of a “lady” I want to be, and I haven’t fully defined the term for myself. However, I’ve been learning the part according to others’ descriptions. (Note that I’m using the word “lady” and not “woman” here).

Things I’m probably not going to change:

  1. I like to use foul language. Have no intention to stop.
  2. I’ll keep periodically smoking cigars.
  3. I’ll let men generally lead in dance, but allowing a man to have an additional leadership role in any part of my life will be decided on a case-by-case basis in context.

Here are some things I’ve been doing wrong:

  1. Placing my nametag on the left side of my chest rather than the right. Since we shake with the right hand, placing the nametag on the right side of the chest provides a direct line of sight down the arm to your nametag when shaking for an introduction [1].
  2. A fork should be used by the left hand, knife with the right. This is the more elegant continental style, rather than the American style where the knife and fork are switched frequently between hands [1].
  3. I learned to introduce the person with more power first when making an introduction between two people [1].
    1. However, [1] advises when introducing people of equal rank of different sex/genders to each other, then the man should be introduced first because he has more power in a patriarchal society. I won’t tolerate this—either will introduce the woman first to resist the social order or randomly choose one.
  4. I learned to stand to the right of a date or escort, because (assume they know their part in this game) they will offer their right arm [1]. However, I’m not inclined to let a man lead me somewhere as an absolute rule, but I’ll do it graciously if I like the guy and he wants to.
  5. Matters of sitting, posture, walking, mannerisms and much etiquette will be discussed in more detail in later posts. Dining etiquette too.
  6. There are correct ways to wear and remove gloves. I don’t think I need to know these because I do not wear them. But I know now to look it up if the time arises.
  7. Eat soup by scooping away from the bowl. Don’t blow on the spoon or bowl; rather wait until the soup is cool enough [1].
  8. Lighten one’s purse periodically to help keep posture balanced [2].
  9. Keep good posture while carrying a purse, as if not carrying anything at all [2].
  10. Shoulder strap should be on the left shoulder. This frees up the right hand for handshaking and body language [2].
  11. Purse should never be placed on the table or the floor (germs!) [3].
  12. At the table, place the purse on an empty chair, or in a lap with a napkin over it [3].
  13. Don’t hang the purse on a chair because that takes space away from other restaurant patrons [3].

Coach says I should smile more!