The Return of the Lady

Recently I had an opportunity to spend a Saturday morning with some young girls from Grace House and young women from the University of Montevallo’s Mu Mu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. who were my captive audience for a training on Dining Etiquette.

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It had been a while since I’d done any group talks and quite honestly I didn’t realize how much I missed it until sharing that time with the ladies and little ladies. Like, I really miss speaking regularly. Their questions and responses were thought-provoking, sincere, hilarious, encouraging, hilarious (I know I’ve already said that), gasp-inducing and inspiring all at the same time. They all participated and were engaged, and sent a clear message to me that, regardless of what the media says or what we might see regarding girls and young women, the return of the lady is inevitable.

Yes, we debated who was better, Beyoncé or Kevin Gates (who? what?), but we also talked about which fork to use, what’s appropriate to discuss at the table, how to slice a bone-in, fried chicken breast with poise and elegance (and still get all of the skin and juicy, meaty goodness) and how to engage in effective networking at “fancy” functions. Sure, we talked about why it’s not a good idea to place gum behind our ears or on the rim of our plates, why “smacking somebody” is not the answer or why we can’t take crab legs from a buffet, but we also embarked on a stirring dialogue about the fact that each and every one of them will be someone BIG someday and deserved a seat at the table, and not just a seat at the table, but some undeniable influence as to what was being served, and preferably positioned at the head of that said table. We absolutely laughed out loud, when teaching each other how to gingerly bite a green, frosted cupcake or cut it with a fork, then sip tea with or without a pinky up. We discussed at length how not to pull out the hot sauce in our bag (swag) to saturate our food at a fru-fru function, and talked about how it’s okay to be classy and respectable and unique and still cute and noticed even in this bare as you dare, be angry, be loud, frown all the time, forget manners, and pop off at will world.

That time with the girls was the perfect balance of what makes a lady. A REAL lady is a woman who is able to put her best foot and best face forward, regardless of her setting or personal circumstance, regardless of her upbringing, regardless of what media or social media says and regardless of what she might have seen before or hasn’t received from others. And a REAL, REAL lady can do that while feeling comfortable and confident never forsaking that fact that she belongs.

So, here’s a snippet of what we discussed. Want more? Email angelamoore316@gmail.com

etiquette

Table Talk in the Business World

  • Avoid: religion, politics, sports team talk, inappropriate jokes or topics of conversation.
  • Share the conversation (Don’t be a talking hog).
  • Plan to talk. Know what the topic of the event is and have conversation ready to share.
  • Know the organization or product you’re representing or supporting.
  • Take a deep breath and breathe, especially if feeling out of your comfort zone.
  • Just say no to the telephone while at the table. (That includes snap chatting, texting during the event, answering your phone during the event, not turning off or silencing your phone and any other things we think we can’t go without for that brief 2-3 hours.)
  • Know that you belong at the table, and the head of the table is always for the taking.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Child Please!

It’s coming! In the words of the Jackson 5, “Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Can you feel it?!?!?” Summer’s about to hit us and depending on what part of the world you call home that also means hotter temperatures, and fashions gone wild.

Let me just say that long ago in a far, far away world known as The Land of My Teens and 20’s I was a “skintight”, “bare as you dare” Diva with a capital “D”! Tube tops showing practically everything below my upper rib bone? Child Please! I did it! Super short shorts and even shorter skirts on my 5’9 body? Child Please! I did it! Mega tight can’t breathe, can’t move dresses? Child Please! I did it! Backless frocks to the lowest part of my spine that would make the sight impaired blush? Child Please! I did it! Clothes so revealing that my daddy had to hide one of my dresses that ended up fitting my sister (who ss actually nine years younger)? Child Please! I did it!

Notice how I cleverly refrained from posting any of those frightening photos:)

While I ventured into the form-fitting arena quite often, I never had a desire to wear clothes that were too big or masculine in style, perhaps, except the tie I would wear to work at the Cobb’s Midfield Six Theatre. However, today there also seems to be an overwhelming amount of attire that doesn’t distinguish the women from the masses. I get the concept of comfort and individuality all day long, but I believe there are certain features about us that are meant to be gracefully embraced, not totally embedded. Also today, there are hodge-podges of “tight is right” and “loosey goosey” styles that seem to have swept the world of little girls, teens, young women and grown girls by storm.

Now before you start to think that I’ve turned into an old, complaining prude that rests on terms like “back in my day” or “when I was younger”, I haven’t. Child please! I think young girls should be confident and comfortable and cute, and can be all of those at the same time in a manner that makes them who they should be, and how they should look at that stage in life. I still think grown women should be fierce and fabulously beautiful, but with taste and distinction (and a choice of selections of appropriate sass, uniqueness, comfort and flare). I think it’s possible to catwalk down the fine line of fashion and appropriateness, strutting to the tune of individuality, uniqueness and crazy creativity and look good while doing it. That, my sisters and sisterettes is what I believe makes one not just a woman, but a lady!

And so it is that I happened on the words of Marilyn Monroe and have nothing more to say:

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@AngelaMMoore316