When a lady encounters a jealous individual, either in a social setting or the workplace, she does her best to understand the underlying cause, and examines herself to see if she has inadvertently done anything to instigate or aggravate the jealousy. If she becomes aware of anything she's done to offend, she privately and sincerely apologizes and expresses her hopes for an amiable relationship.
If she is not knowingly at fault in any way, then the following guidelines govern her behavior:
She does her best to ignore any signs of envy directed toward her.
She doesn't go out of her way to avoid or ignore the person.
She always greets the person by name with a pleasant smile and direct eye contact.
She never speaks ill of the person to others.
She is consistently kind and looks for ways to express a personal concern and support for the person, without seeming intrusive.
A lady is patient with disagreeable people, always hopeful that kindness will win them over in the end. But regardless of the way others conduct themselves, she sticks to her code because of who sheis.
When a lady attends the theater with a man, she observes these guidelines:
If there is an usher on duty, the lady follows the usher first down the aisle, with her escort in the rear.
Where there is no usher, the lady follows her escort down the aisle and enters the row first.
A lady always sits farthest from the aisle, with the man taking the seat nearest the aisle.
When slipping past people in the row, a lady faces the stage and presses as close to the row in front of her as possible, being careful not to drag anything (purse, coat, etc.) over the heads of the people seated in front of her.*
Before she passes in front of someone, a lady says, "Excuse me," and then, "Thank you." If she should happen to step on a toe or bump anyone, she says, "I'm very sorry."
After she has been seated, a lady turns her legs to allow a person to pass in front of her.
A lady keeps her belongings in her lap or under her seat to keep the space in front of her clear for others to pass.
A lady does nothing to disturb another's ability to enjoy the performance.
As a general rule, a lady precedes a man up the aisle after the performance. If, however, there is a crowd and the man can make the lady's way easier by going first through the throng, he takes the lead.
*In Europe it is considered good manners to face the back of the theater when passing. Photo: Fox Theatre, Detroit, found on Pinterest
A lady who has been rewarded with several children may at times find herself the target of tactless questions and remarks, either by people she knows or complete strangers.
One gentle reader, mother to four children, has shared six comments that she frequently encounters, in hopes of arming herself with a gracious response. Here are those comments with some suggested ladylike replies, to be given with a low tone, a warm smile, and a twinkle in the eye:
Cheeky comment: "You know what causes that, don't you?" Ladylike response: "Well, I suppose some scientists might call it survival of the fittest."
Cheeky comment: "You guys need to get a TV." Ladylike response: "Yes? Well, I suppose there are those who'd rather watch television."
Cheeky comment: "Did you plan to have that many kids or was that an accident?" Ladylike response: "Children are never accidents."
Cheeky comment: "You guys are done, right?" Ladylike response: ""Well, I really couldn't say. We like to keep the busybodies talking!"
Cheeky comment: "Wow, you have your hands full!" Ladylike response: "Yes, it's a wonderful life!"
Cheeky comment: "Are you guys Mormon or something?" Ladylike response: "Or something!"
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
In April 1962 the White House was abuzz with preparations for the state dinner in honor of the Shah of Iran and his lovely young wife, Empress Farah. Reports had reached Washington that the Empress would be wearing the most exquisite jewels from the royal vaults; and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, whose elegance in fashion and style had won global notoriety, involuntarily found herself set up to compete in what the world had turned into a two-woman beauty contest. Although Tiffany and Company had made some of its most impressive pieces of jewelry at Mrs. Kennedy's disposal for the occasion, at the last moment she decided to forgo extravagance for a simple pair of diamond drop earrings and a small starburst clip for her hair. It was a remarkable exercise in restraint; and the result was that, as the First Lady's personal secretary later recalled, "Jacqueline Kennedy's understated elegance upstaged even the dazzling, jewel-laden Empress." Mrs. Kennedy's example is a valuable key to a lady's code: understated simplicity is the essence of elegance.