Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Little Black Dress

Since I do not have girls, I have become part of our AWANA girls group at church and work with girls grades 3 - 6. The majority of our girls come from the surrounding neighborhood of our church and are not as fortunate as many of the girls that regularly attend our church. They all have such sweet spirits and it is fun for me to leave my house full of boys and hang with the girls every Wednesday night.

Last night, we had a "Lock-In" for the girls and had a BLAST, the black circles under my eyes will eventually go away, right?. We did everything from a cool craft, to cooking, to counsel time, to my area (oh so appropriate for the Southern Belle in me), etiquette. We ate way to much pizza, pigs in a blanket, popcorn, cookies and yes, I drank a ton of Dr. Pepper. tsk.tsk. I will have to pay penance by only drinking water for the next 5 days, I mean hours.

Although I do not have girls, I often see how young girls these days are not taught even the basics of etiquette. I do not expect Miss Manners or Amy Vanderbilt level manners, but I do think that a girl should have some guidelines to follow that are appropriate rather than today's celebrity "role models" who are so obviously lacking in the class area. It makes me yearn for the Golden Age of Hollywood where Audrey Hepburn was who the young ladies wanted to emulate. Audrey Hepburn is the little black dress while the Brittany and Lindsey's of today are just leopard skin tights and neon parachute pants. Sure, leopard skin tights and parachute pants are fun for a while but eventually something new comes along and replaces it while the little black dress has been a classic piece decade after decade.

I just hit the basics such as having a positive attitude, showing respect, having good posture, proper attire, and a lesson on table manners. The girls had a blast, especially walking around with books on their heads.

All I can do is try to offset the negative influences of TV, movies, and entertainment news with a positive adult role model to these young ladies (at least The Park Wife tries to be a positive role model, let's not bring up the Dr. Pepper weakness) At the end of the day, or late night actually, I hope that they left there with something - be it which fork to use, cellphone courtesy, how to not slouch nor sit with your legs apart, or even preparation to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for walking the longest way with a dictionary on their head.

Most importantly, I hope that they will begin to depend on and value their actual character as a definition of success and know that being a lady will never go out of style. I hope and pray they choose the little black dress.

The Park Wife

13 comments:

Pam said...

I love manners. I love etiquette. I know you were speaking of girls, but I have always tried so hard to mold The Boy into a gentleman. I want him to say, "Yes Sir, and Yes Ma'am." I want him to hold doors and his tongue when he needs to. I am so proud to say that he has dined with politicians and other very important folks, and even at the tender age of eight, he has been quite the gentleman. It's possible, if parents only would teach it and impart the wisdom! Loved this post :)

BOOZEFAIRY said...

love it! I love how you compared Brittany and Lindsey to leopard tights and parachute pants and Aubrey Hepburn to the little black dress!! And I can already tell that the little Buckaroos are going to grow up to be perfect gentlemen!!

SharonB said...

You're doing a great job!!

Anonymous said...

As the mother to two girls, I love that you were trying to teach manners to these young girls. Some girls don't have the opportunity to learn it at home. My 7-year-old daughter is in 2nd. grade and her teacher this year allows them to eat in the classroom every Wed. so as to teach them table manners. I was very impressed when at Thanksgiving, my daughter waited until everyone was served and seated prior to eating. What a blessing this teacher is! She doesn't even have children of her own yet.
Wendy in Winder, GA.

SharonB said...

Oh Stephanie! I have something for you over at my blog....

:Jayne said...

That is the most wonderful thing that you are doing!!! As the mom to three boys, I always feared they would bring home the neon leotard types. Which once in awhile they did, but the ones that stick around are the little black dresses! Now if I could just get them to put those girls in long white dresses!!! Soon enough.
:J

OKGardners said...

Bravo!!! You did a good thing working with those little girls. They will remember that evening the rest of their lives. It is amazing how starved some little kids are for individual attention from an adult. You are doing a good thing, Mrs. Park Wife.

Betty in Oklahoma

Sandy said...

The best definition I ever heard of good manners was making sure that your guests are at ease and not making them uncomfortable by being right! Of course, this definition presupposes a knowledge of basic etiquette.

Flea said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Can you come teach my 14 year old daughter some manners? I grew up in the Deep South, have tried to teacher the girl manners, but there's just something about listening to mom. She'd rather compete in belching with her brothers than eat with her mouth closed. :(

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I have three girls and one boy. I have tried very hard to teach them manners. Since most of my friends and their children attend our church, we are constantly discussing this very subject. Thank you for taking time with these girls. I know they appreciate it, and as a mother, I do too. In our house, we are sick of the Britney and Lindsay influence. I actually bought my older daughters the complete Audrey Hepburn collection. Amen.

Tammy said...

How awesome that you take the time to teach so much to girls at these ages! All little girls need such role models as it sounds like you are to them. Keep up the good work.

Stacie said...

oh how I WISH Brittney and Lindsey wore parachute pants and leapard skin tights, unfortunately, they don't often wear pants at all and wear skivvies even less with micro mini skirts..yeah, just what the world needs to see, more girls with their coochies hanging out. UGH! I hope whatever you said to those girls sticks with them for a very long time. And if nothing else please Dear God in Heaven let them have heard the bit on cell phone ettiquette because the next time someones phone rings at the table next to me in a restraunt it's going to have to be surgically retracted!
Stacie

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

How cool that you are a part of this! I live vicariosuly through other people's little girls (since I too, only have boys)

Hallie