I was standing in line to buy a wildly over-priced sandwich at the O’Hare Starbucks; the boys were sitting by our gate eating junk food (yes, Michael Pollan, yes, I did buy my children “Old Macdonalds,” as Caleb likes to call it. Which they ate with LOTS of extra ketchup and LOTS of extra salt. What can I say. It had been a long day and we weren’t even on the plane yet).
So I’m in line. There’s a pretty mom ahead of me, younger than I am (most people are these days), and her little girl is sitting on the floor by the counter. The little girl is still in diapers, which I know because she’s sitting on the floor pretty much flashing everyone her pink Pampers pullups.
Her mom scoops up her mochiattalattatinolofatsoya whatever and looks down at the little girl. “Stand up!” she says. The little girl says “why?” The mother stares at her a minute and says “because it’s not ladylike,” and then the two of them walked off to their “final destination,” as they say in the air.
For a moment, I thought I was back in Bettydraperland. “It’s not ladylike?” I didn’t think anyone said that any more, at least, not without big ol’dollops of irony. But then again, I don’t have daughters, so maybe parents do say that and I just don’t know it.
Then, of course, I looked over at my own children, sprawled on the floor happily dragging french fries through ketchup and slurping their milkshakes while they blathered on about obscure Yu-Gi-Oh cards. It crossed my mind that they might benefit from a little dose of “ladylike” themselves
I wonder if Ru-Paul is available for etiquette lessons?