A friend of mine posted Thought Catalog’s 24 Rules for Being a Gentleman in 2014 on Facebook and I loved it. For the most part, the post could be titled “24 Rules for Being Polite in 2014,” because it’s not just the guys who are doing these things. Maybe I’m just getting older, and shaking my fist at “those damn kids,” but we’re getting lazy as a society. Not the “I’m going to sit on the couch” lazy. More of a “what do these things matter anymore” lazy.
In the spirit of the original post, I present to you the Rules for Being a Lady in 2014. Again, most of these could be applied to anyone, but I’m writing it with a slightly female slant.
- Put away the complicated drinks. If your typical drink is more than three ingredients (plus a garnish) then it’s time to reevaluate. And for the love of all things fermented step away from the UV.
- Always have a well stocked bar. You come to my house and I have every basic liquor (except for Gin, I have no idea what to buy. Suggestions welcome in the comments) and mixers to compliment them. I have beer and wine ready as well. If someone’s having a rough day, or just wants to pop in, I’m prepared.
Even Sheldon gets the importance of a well stocked pantry. Photo credit: Society Tea
Keep the pantry stocked too. Lifehacker has this great list of things to always have on hand for unexpected company. Add it to your grocery list.
- Have something you can make for a party. If you won’t cook, bring a drink or something to share. But we all should have something we can bring to a pitch-in. Something you can make quickly, consistently, and tastes awesome. Mine is healthy(ier) buffalo chicken dip.
- Don’t say you “can’t cook.” Notice above I said “won’t cook” not “can’t cook.” That’s because you can cook. If nothing else you can boil water and drop in pasta. You either won’t cook or don’t cook.
- Stop telling me to be jealous. I see too many posts on Facebook telling me I should be jealous. I don’t want to be jealous. I want to be happy for you.
- Remember misery isn’t a competition. Too often we want to make misery a competition. You think you’re tired. Well I XYZ. No. This is not OK. Listen to your friends problems and empathize. Your feelings don’t invalidate thiers.
- Have a little black dress. You know when I realized I needed a LBD? When it was time for my husband’s company party and had nothing to wear. My little blue dress was entirely too flashy. I was lucky I had plenty of lead time, found one on Modcloth, and was able to talk to a stylist to see what size I needed. I would have been hosed with less notice.
- Learn to love shapewear. I used to brush-off shapewear as society trying to get me to fit a mold. Until a coworker gave me a pile of clothes that no longer fit and a shaping camisole was included. It didn’t change how I looked, but it changed how my clothes looked. No more uncomfortable bunching or catching. Every thing just looked well put together.
- Stop blowing up your partner’s wall with “I love you.” It’s great that you’re in totes love. But it means so much more when its said privately.
- Stop saying “totes.”
- Don’t compare your life to Facebook. People tend not to post the bad on Facebook, but love to share happy moments. Don’t think you’re the only one not doing awesome.
- Open doors. Seriously, it’s just polite,
- Accept compliments. We don’t accept compliments well. Someone says “Your house looks awesome” and we say “oh it’s such a mess.” Even though we damn well know we spent the last two hours power cleaning. Remember two little words: “Thank you.”
- Stop apologizing. We apologize for no reason, and I’m not sure why.
- Don’t make your guy go clothes shopping. If he wants to go great! Otherwise no one is going to have a good time.
- Stop keeping track. If a friend does something nice it doesn’t mean you need to start doing the “friendship tally” in your head. People like to do things for each other, stop making it into an obligation.
- Don’t judge other women’s life choices. Stay at home mom? Awesome. Childfree career woman? Fantastic. Something in between? Great. No one’s choices invalidate yours. We can stop arguing about it now.
- Speak well. Even in text messages and email. But don’t call out someone’s grammar mistakes publicly. It’s just petty.
- Remember that you’re awesome. Think this list is crap? Don’t let it bother you. Who am I to tell you what a lady is anyway?
Note: Shortly after I had finished this post, the original author’s “24 Rules For Being A Lady in 2014” started appearing in my Facebook feed. It’s also worth a read.