Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

5.12.2009

A Book on Your Head & Tabs on Your Dress Part II


Read Part I here if you haven't already!
...All of a sudden, however, someone approached me. Someone whom God had mysteriously endowed with an innate knowledge of not only the origin of gritty molasses, but also the exact location of all hide-away-keys: a man....I have to say that somehow, I just knew that this young man offering his help would know more than me about finding mysterious keys that have all-but drowned in gritty molasses (not hard to do, I have to admit). He actually LAID DOWN on the pavement (on top of his nice hoodie, mind you) to look up under the car and try to spot the key.

“It’s magnetic, right?” he asked. This I knew, and I told him so. “Well, then it’s gotta be right here on the ____ [insert whatever word is proper, because I sure don’t remember], right? But it’s not here.” After looking for many more minutes, he finally lifted himself up off the wet pavement and announced authoritatively, “it’s just not there.” Somehow, Lauren’s cell conversation with Papa at that moment changed from, “tell me where it is again?” to a confident “nope—it’s not there.” Seeing that there was nothing more he could do, the man bid us good day and went to begin his shopping. In the end, when Papa came to unlock the car, he too came to the same conclusion as the nameless helpful fellow. So what is the point of my tale: to say that if you know the inner workings of cars you cannot be a lady? Hogwash (pardon the usage, but I assure you that it is fully sterilized of swine flu). Am I saying that ladies must play the dumb damsel in distress? No, of course not (although I, unfortunately, fit that bill quite nicely during this incident). My point, however, is that gentlemen are different from ladies. In my case, the difference between myself and most of the male population manifests itself quite obviously when it comes to automobiles. There are all sorts of other possibilities, though. My position is this: women are different from men.

In Auschwitz and the many other brutal Nazi concentration camps of World War II, the women were stripped of their clothes, bereft of their hair, often sterilized, and treated exactly the same as men, with just as many back-breaking tasks and just as many mind-numbing punishments. However, amidst this seemingly genderless sea of shaved living skeletons known only by their numbers, there were thousands of true ladies. This is because, while a lady makes use of “props” to aid in her femininity, womanhood is an essence of being, not a proper paper doll. While at my piano lessons once, the lady whose daughter comes before me was complementing me on my attire. “You always dress so nicely!” she said. My piano teacher interjected. “Yes, she always looks lovely—exactly like a lady. But you know what?” He asked. “She doesn’t just dress like a lady. She is a lady.”

I’d like to think that I could aspire to their comments, which I know I have not yet fully reached. However, what I most appreciated about this comment was that this man recognized and acknowledged that there is a clear difference between someone who just looks like a lady and someone who is a lady. A lady should make it simple for another to peg her as a lady by her dress, her actions, and her words. However, disguising herself (in many cases as a man) does not mean that she is not a lady. By contrast, there are many females who are not ladies at all, but dress up in costume to appear as a lady. Thus, one must be careful on both sides of the spectrum, knowing that the inner lady, while most important, is best manifested by the outer lady. Do not be like the contradictory lady spoken of in Isaiah 47:7 and 10: “And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it….For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.”

There are plenty of paper dolls masquerading as ladies, but there are very few women who become ladies from the inside out, letting their inner femininity dictate their outer attire, hair, words, actions, and—yes—even their stride. Let us all remember in our endeavors to be ladies (or, in the case of the gentlemen reading this, your interactions with ladies) that there are two kinds: beautifully lady-like paper dolls with equally flimsy and…well…paper souls, and living, breathing, tangible ladies who, by the grace of God—hair or no hair, name or no name, respect or no respect, food or no food—are, and always will be, ladies.

2 comments:

  1. Thought-provoking and encouraging! Thanks Mika!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mikaela,
    After reading part one I have been eagerly waiting for part 2. The pressure on ladies to "be" men, is very high, and clothing is only a small part of it. I feel it keenly, reading things like this help encourage my resolve to truly be a lady. Very well said, keep up the good work!
    -Norah

    P.s. Have you considered submitting this to ladiesagainstfeminism.org ?

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