MINDING YOUR Ps AND Qs - THE SLATTERN

March 3, 2011

ps and qs etiquette
Slattern.  I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to add this term to my vocabulary.  Because I find I often feel like a slattern.  

What is a slattern, you say?  “By a slattern,” according to my Book of Etiquette, by Lillian Eichler, 1923, “we mean a woman who shows lack of care and thought in clothing.  The girl whose blouse sags is a slattern.   The woman whose dress hangs loosely and does not fit well is a slattern.  The woman who looks as though she had jumped into her clothes quickly, dashed off to the office without glancing in the mirror, and then forgotten all about straightening her hat and belt, is a slattern.  Broadly speaking, any woman is a slattern who is not scrupulously careful in her attire, who does not show by her very appearance that she is well-groomed, well cared for.”

It isn’t that I aspire to be a slattern.  I try in the morning to get my act together.  I bathe, do my hair, press my clothes, apply light makeup, and polish my shoes when they get horribly scuffed.  But then there is reality.  An hour long commute, seat belts wrinkling my clothes, dog hairs everywhere five seconds after I’ve rolled them off, stains from tiny juice-pursed lips (by that I mean Little Man’s), and the odd coffee dribble I usually get whenever I wear white.  And, of course, even though I scrupulously look at myself in the mirror, it isn’t surprising for me to get to my work restroom and ask myself, what happened to you?!  I thought I looked good this morning.  What’s a gal to do?  

Miss Eichler goes on to say, “There can be no excuse for the girl or woman who does not always look her best at business as well as when she is attending to her social duties.”  Yes, Miss Eichler, I can understand that in principle.  And I do try as a rule.  But it just isn’t going to happen on this gal.   I love my Little Man and welcome his kisses.  I love my pup and wouldn’t boot her outside all the time for the world.  I love my seatbelt, for it literally saved my life, and my son's, when I was pregnant and in an accident.  And I love my coffee, for it is what keeps my sanity in check in the morning. 

So I guess I shall just have to embrace my slattern ways.  Difficult to say for a “lady by choice”, but I think ladies come in all kinds of packages.  Mine will just have the rumpled bow.


'Bye for Now,





Post a Comment

I I would love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts.