Miss Smith's School of Etiquette
The following transcript was found in an old steamer trunk that was
shipped to me upon the demise of my great Aunt Hattie Smith of Essex
County England. Included with this manuscript were instructions on what I, as
Aunt Hattie's favourite niece could do should I desire to open a Canadian
division of this school.
I skimmed her letter with a certain degree of wariness. Aunt Hattie
considered me her favourite niece but I did not return her affection. I felt
like she had set the women's suffragette movement back by at least four
decades. Let me illustrate why I felt this way by offering you an excerpt from
one of her lesson plans.
Ten Attributes to Develop in Order to Attract a Man
l. Hold your body in such a manner that it both captivates his
attention yet sends off a 'do not trespass sign' to his senses.
This can best be accomplished by folding your ankles over each
other in a coquettish manner. You will allow him brief glimpses of
your 'hidden treasures' by intermittently twisting your toes in a
clockwise manner, thereby allowing your skirt to delicately slide
partially up your calf. If this action causes your skirt to rise to
your knee then you are twisting your feet too quickly and must
desist such behaviour immediately.
ll. You must always, no matter what the occasion, be impeccably
groomed. One of my former students forgot this rule and as she
gyrated her foot in the above-mentioned situation was
completely humiliated when her shoe fell off to reveal, oh horror
of horrors, her big toe gaping from a hole in the sock that she
hadn't taken time to darn. That the said toe was not buffed and
polished made her situation even more shocking. Any girl who
needs to can receive extra instruction on the correct needle size
or weight of cotton to correctly darn their socks.
lll Speaking of darning, a true lady will never allow any expletives
more colourful then the word 'darn' to escape from her lips. The
fashion today of allowing the mouth to explode at will to whatever
words are being bandied about is not only awkward for the
listener but shows a total lack of breeding on the part of the
lV Speaking of breeding, it does not take but 'one dip in the pond'
for you to become 'just' another fish in the sea. Good breeding
demands that you forgotthe fisherman's pole until the bait that is
being offered ensures that you have acquired a good catch.
V. In order to acquire a good catch, you must also be considered
worth catching. This can best be achieved by following all of my
directives. It is important to educate your mind in order to have
the ability to conduct decent conversation, but do not educate it
to such a degree that you develop so strong a sense of yourself
that you come across as a know-it-all. It is much more intelligent
to learn how to cook a good meal then it is to exercise your mind
to a degree where only a genius male with an over-fried brain
could keep up with your verbosity.
Vl Acceptance of your lower station in life is the best way to
accomplish a happy home life. Never openly flaunt your
Cambridge degree to a man who was rejected by Harvard. It is
better to allow him room to shower affection on his dull little
sparrow then to make him feel like an eagle with empty talons.
Xll Men need to feel like the provider. A good woman needs to
know how to make whatever is provided look like a feast. There
is no point in clucking about like some Chicken Little declaring
the inadequacies of the 'size of the rooster'. It is a far wiser hen
that plucks and plumps the feathers that are before her than one
whom carelessly struts around the courtyard looking for bigger
Vlll Smart hens know the wisdom of keeping their courtyard clean
and welcoming. Roosters are not known for their fidelity.
Therefore a smart hen, though not openly intelligent, will provide
not only a hygienic environment but will ensure that her mate
knows that his comb, - even when slightly flaccid, is still as
courageous and remarkable as a rooster in a cock-fight.
lX Of course, a true lady will always allow a man to fight for her
honour. When naked-toed Lucy of rule number two experienced
the greatest discomfort a lady could be expected to endure, she
knew enough to remain silent. While others snickered and
pointed their dainty little fingers at her discomfort the man she
had been ankle twisting for, raised up and delicately covered her
pink appendage like Sir Raleigh with his red cloak of courage.
Of course Lucy hand laundered and starched it back to its former
X This brings me to the final and most important rule. "Ladies, you
must always be prepared to surrender to your man." Believe and
trust that he has a superior knowledge of your needs. Allow him
to rule the roost. It is better for him to debate, what came first,
the chicken or the egg than for you to have to disturb your fine
mind with such pointless topics.
I shoved this document deep into my school bag. I was too busy trying to
write an essay on Simone de Beavoir's theory of existentialism . As much
as I longed to understand this great aunt of mine, I knew that I would have
to wait several weeks to investigate the letters and journals, if not the
theories, that became mine through inheritance.
Love Aunt 'C'
Makedo will be greatly missed by her family & friends.....December 5, 2004
Created by Martyca for a very special person