Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Prude? Me?

I was prompted to write this in response to a recent question from someone who may not know me as well as they had assumed, and that's quite fine. We all make mistakes. :)

After overhearing (eavesdropping on) an exchange with a friend of mine about this blog and my usual demeanor, I was asked "Are you really that much of a prude?" I had to ask what they meant because the assumption fascinated me. The response: "You are passing judgement on anyone who doesn't act like they're going to tea with the Queen." I smiled and after congratulating them on their knowledge of how one must behave at tea with Her Majesty, I politely responded thusly:
1. Because I had been discussing old world etiquette, modesty, demure behaviour, and ladies behaving like ladies, an assumption had been made... I had been judged as both prudish and judgemental.
2. I understood completely where their judgement came from as the topics my friend and I had been discussing tend to get one of two very noticable reactions: defensive reactions and scorn, or interest and wistful comments about "the good old days."
3. My blog is a means to offer another view of human behaviour and provide response to the growing number of people who have expressed a longing for less in-your-face behaviour.
My new acquaintance mulled it over for a moment and then slowly asked "Considering how crude, violent and obscene people are these days, why do you even try?" Simple. "People" is a scary generalization. Lumping all people into the Jersey Shore genre is giving Jersey Shore entirely too much power. I have friends and acquaintances from all walks of life: professionals (of several kinds.. don't ask), corporate types, artists, musicians, blue collar workers, burlesque and drag performers, house wives, house husbands, and courtesans. I absolutely adore the colourful people in my world. Some say I collect them. I say they tolerate me most of the time. But the simple fact is that because they are each true to themselves, no matter what that may mean, and do what they do out of passion for their craft, to be a good parent, or to be a responsible adult, I admire and respect them. It would be disrespectful of me and a lie to be other than I am. And what I am happens to enjoy a strong touch of etiquette, a low spoken tone, a demure presence and a healthy dose of humility. Never assume I do not understand, or even have a strong grasp of blunt vernacular, among other things. But everything has its time and place.
Trust me, dear reader, one does not learn to apply make up just to go to the grocer to the degree I do without having learned it from drag queen and burlesque aunts. (Incidentally, both, if done right, are brilliant forms of art) And yes, I sing. Or used to. Very little shocks me, but I will not go into my horror stories. They are irrelevant here. Suffice it to say, while I am seldom shocked, I know what I prefer. For me. Imagine my gleeful surprise each time I have crossed paths with others much of the same mind, and when the requests came in to start this blog. So here it is, offering a perspective from someone still wandering aimlessly in the days of gaslamps, chaperones, polite conversation over tea, revealing secrets only to those who deserve to know them, and saying a sincere "Thank You" when someone holds the door.
Quite honestly, I "try" because I have been asked to do what I do every day, be me, but this time, in print, online and with a bit of explanation as to why. A few friends have even suggested providing "lessons" and who knows.. one day, if it is meant to be, I may. Imagine a society of "darkling debutantes and corvid courtesans." For now I am more than content to write my bit here, work on my projects and enjoy the wonderful people around me, always looking forward to engaging conversation with the next ones I meet.

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