The modern girl’s guide to acting like a lady

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series: Mind Your Manners with Nathalie Findlay

How many times have I heard women complain about chivalry being dead?

I don’t know.  A lot.

I am not certain that is entirely true but before we go casting any stones, ladies, let’s make sure we hold up our end of the bargain.

Don’t worry, you need not don a corset and button up your frilly blouse just enough to let your pearls show.  We’re modern folks, here, we’re down with eating Nutella straight from the jar when nobody is watching.

But there are some rules that should not be broken:

1.Seat yourself with grace, then cross your legs at the ankles and off to one side.  Not only can no one get a glimpse of your knickers but it elongates your legs and thins your calves.  Thank me later.

2.Tuck your handbag discretely behind you or on a hook/stool provided, not upon the table.  It makes no difference that it is a limited edition glow in the dark platypus fur clutch encrusted with gems.  It’s full of germs, too.

3.Lean toward the speaker and extend your ear so you don’t miss a Single. Captivating. Word.  So we’re clear, that is the person with whom you are conversing, not the speaker at, like, a concert.

4.Eye contact is paramount in the western world.  Use it but don’t freakishly stare.

5.Speak quietly. Laugh moderately.  Praise loudly.

6.Never take any act of kindness for granted.

7.Don’t pour your own booze, if there is someone there to do it.

8.”Tarty” is not sexy.  In fact, “tarty” is the opposite of sexy.

9.Never telephone or text more than once.  If he hasn’t returned your telephone call, he won’t.  Not because he doesn’t like you, but because he went to work in a coal mine in an –istan country where he can’t get good mobile reception.  Move on he is not a gentleman.

10.When it comes to makeup, be subtle. Emphasize eyes or lips, never both.  The same ratio exists between hemlines and heel height.

11.Walk on the ball of your feet.  It will give you a lovely stride but will also prevent an unseemly thump.  Win-win.

12.Perform tasks with undivided attention.  Oversights do not a lady make.

13.Always remember that women fight for recognition as equals.  Not as identicals.

14.If a gentleman cooks for you, it’s a good time to cheat on your diet.

15.Write thank you letters with a fountain pen and upon headed paper.

16.Allow yourself to be kissed. You don’t always have to be the boss.

17.Let him drive, if he wants to drive. It won’t take your power away from you. On the contrary.

And lastly, there is no outfit an Hermès scarf can’t save.  No lady should be without one.

 

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Nathalie Findlay

After completing a degree in Fine Arts and another in Interior Architecture, Nathalie began modelling in New York, Hamburg, Munich and Paris where she eventually decided to base herself. Always on the lookout for opportunities to grow, she combined her modelling career with other areas of interest, working for the Canadian Embassy, Christian Liaigre, A Small World and Sotheby’s. She has also enjoyed appearing regularly as a presenter and speaker for television and media events and as a pit-lane reporter on Eurosport.

Exposed both personally and professionally to the intricacies of etiquette and protocol, Nathalie now focuses on applying her extensive knowledge-base practically, addressing matters of refinement, image and manners for individual and corporate clients with Lifestyling, a consultancy she created in 2007.

Nathalie lives in the French countryside with her husband, their baby and two Korthals.

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