Friday, December 2, 2011

how to be a lady.

Daughter Emily told me about a charming book she has been reading to the girls in her junior high classroom. As soon as I could get my hands on a copy of How To Be a Lady by Candice Simpson-Giles, I have been reading it to the girls at the dinner table.  The author shares common sense wisdom for everything from carrying a purse, to setting a table and etiquette on a date. The girls are listening, and so are Mike and I.

Most of the helpful instruction is given in one or two sentence blurbs like: "A lady never asks her friends in need what she can do for them.  It is better for a lady to respond to a need she sees than to expect a friend to come up with a job for her."  Or "A lady knows how to make and accept an apology."

This week I let the girls pick a section to read and they happened to select "How to Deal with Divorced Friends."  I appreciated the wisdom so much that I wanted to share the whole section:

Candace Simpson-Giles says "A lady regrets seeing any loving relationship break up, especially if she considers both persons to be her friends.  However, her regret is for their pain, not for her own.  She does not take sides in the marital strife; she does not carry tales back and forth between opposing camps.             If her friends are recently divorced, a lady does not attempt to put them in situations - a small dinner party, for example - where they will be forced to encounter each other.   She tries to maintain communication with both parties, but she understands that she is now friends with two people, not a couple.   Maintaining these friendships may require twice as much effort - and twice as much time.             After a reasonable amount of time has passed, however, a lady may feel free to include both friends in the same event, especially when a good many other people are involved.   To forestall any anxiety, though, she is thoughtful enough to make sure both parties are informed ahead of time.  She also makes sure that her guest list includes other single people, so that the divorced person does not feel like a fifth wheel."

Such lovely advice.  I am happy to print this because I am sorry to say that I have learned that people need some help to be graceful in these circumstances.  Mother Rabbit also wants to salute her friends that have known how to manage this delicate place with love and grace.

No comments:

Post a Comment