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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

on becoming a lady.

marilyn photographed by milton greene.
{image via}

"i'm not a girl. not yet a woman". 
ew. why did i just write that?

very recently, while talking to a sales manager at work, (a handsome middle aged silver fox mind you) i choked on a mint and it got stuck in my throat. at that moment i threw my hands over my mouth and went over my options quickly in my head: hork it up in front of him as ladylike as i could? say a little prayer and swallow that shit down? the latter proved to be the smarter decision, when an hour later it slowly made it's way down my esophagus and into the abyss that is my stomach. leaps and bounds above the choice i made in high school to hack up a jolly rancher in mr. mckenna's geography class, or the time i spent an entire evening trying to get a piece of a meatball out of my nasal cavity, that had accidentally laughed it's way up there while eating a sub for lunch earlier in the day. why am i telling you all this? 
why am i admitting how disgusting of a human i am? 

because it has me thinking.

at 28 years of age, i am still learning the ropes when it comes to 'becoming a lady'. in moments of asphyxiation, i contemplate the most polite way to get myself out of the situation, not necessarily the easiest way. and it's not just in moments of panic that the "how to be a lady" rule book comes into play. i find myself wondering how many glasses of wine is too many at a dinner party? is it appropriate to swear because i'm an adult and can't be told not to? is going bra less justifiable when the dress you are wearing is opaque? maybe. sometimes. but not always. how am i supposed to know these things? i'm just learning. the truth is there is no manual, no handbook given out the day you put that big girl bra on and start wearing full bottom panties instead of thongs because they're a hell of a lot more comfortable than those effing thongs eye patches you've been wearing because your boyfriends liked them. you start wearing underwear for you, and no one else. 

i like to think that my nail polish wearing, drawing hearts in my agenda, never ending celebrity boy crush ways have launched me into a girlieness that can only blossom from here. but then i sit and think about it, not for very long either, and i realize that all of those things aren't the beginnings of my womanhood, rather they are remnants of my youth. it's like being on the last clasp of that training bra i am yet to take off, the first box of tampons i purchased, the moments before my very first kiss -- things i am not ready to let go of, and to be honest, i may never be. why should i? i should be allowed to carry that through with me my entire life -- i want to be old and grey and have hot pink toenails. that's me, and i'm ok with it. actually, i'm more than ok with it. 

maybe the biggest lesson i have learned through these transitional years from girl, to lady, to one-day-woman, has been that perhaps the definition of a "lady" has changed since the days of marilyn and audrey. changed enough that we can be who we are, at whatever stage in our lives, and still look and feel like a lady. the bones and basics are still there, just a new and improved version of it. one that continually evolves, and forever goes against the grain; swears when it's appropriate, doesn't take shit from anyone, and dares to sit legs open in a dress, even just long enough to catch a breeze if you need it.

maybe i do have a lot left to learn. and maybe, just maybe, i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be.


  1. This is quite an amazing post. It gives us a deep look into you, but it also gave me a deep look into myself as well.
    Thanks, beautiful x

  2. "a freak in the house, a lady in public". that is how my boyfriend describes me. i've never really thought about it until now. to be honest, i dont even know if i want to be a lady. most of the women i look up to are no ladies. they are grown up ronja robbersdaughters.

    1. That sounds familiar! I guess there is a time and a place for everything right?


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