As I have mentioned before, I do not have cable television anymore, not like I watched anything that was not DVRed- so, I do not know how I came across the following commercial ad. But, take a minute and watch it.
Okay, did you really watch it? Did it make you think? Have those words, you _____(blank)____ like a girl, ever dinged around your mind or left your mouth? They have certainly run laps around my head and come flying out of my mouth. And get this- they are usually directed at myself! Like I am not allowed to act like a girl!
So, since seeing this ad, I have been thinking about what it means to act like a girl- and one step further, what it means to act like a lady. Any mention of lady-like-ness, leads my thoughts to my grandmother but they also meander through my own filters of what a lady is or more specifically, how a lady carries herself. Maybe I should back up. I think it is perfectly okay to do anything ‘like a girl’, whatever your definition. I believe this because I wholeheartedly believe it is okay to do life like yourself- man, woman or child. Being a female is not a bad thing. Being yourself is not a bad thing.
Here’s the catch: Being yourself and accepting yourself are two totally different things. After almost 35 years on this planet, I am the closest I have ever been to fully accepting all of me but, there are still a few corners I need to round out. One of which is being completely okay acting like a girl. No, I did not say acting like a brat, a diva, a bitch or a helpless imbecile. But, acting like a girl is perfectly acceptable.
My friend, neighbor and mother of five, Alece, and I took the little boys and her 15 year old daughter to the pool to meet some friends of ours who were on vacation. After it was all said and done and we were leaving, the husband, Jason, carried my bag out to the car. I want to be very clear- I am perfectly capable of carrying my child, my beach chair, my beach bag and a cooler all at one time and I can probably do all that for 50-75ish yards… in the sand. Yes, that is my life. However, I had no problem letting Jason carry my bag to the car- he was being nice and courteous.
Jason carrying out the bag sparked a conversation about Southern chivalry with Alece’s daughter. She said that her class had talked about whether it was alright for guys to open doors for girls. She said she was one of only 2 girls in her class who did not think boys should open doors for girls because girls can open their own doors. Of course girls can open their own doors- duh. But, it is the polite thing to do to hold doors, carry bags, etc. And I do not think it is just boys that can do these things- girls can open doors for boys too- in that way, it is demonstrating your manners (or lack thereof).
Because I am a polite and courteous person, I hold doors all the time. I offer to lend a hand every chance I get. I sincerely hope I do it with the grace and confidence of a lady. And it is also my hope that I rear a young man that will also hold doors and often lend a hand with the grace and confidence of a gentleman.
Now, tell the truth- did you watch that ad? If you didn’t, go back and watch it. I will wait right here… I hope it serves as a gentle reminder that we all need to be kinder- to ourselves and to others.