Ok. I am going to ‘fess up. I curse. I am a woman. I am not embarrassed that I curse. On occasion, I say bad words. I used to have a boss that would get mad -or rather perturbed- when I cursed. Sure, as a boss one can get annoyed at staff that curse. Obviously, cursing in a meeting is not something one should do. But if I stub my toe in the elevator, I am perfectly within my rights to curse, I believe. My former boss, didn’t mind so much when men cursed. He didn’t like hearing women curse. And in particular, he hated to hear me curse. I was his right hand. A senior executive and face of the company. He felt I had to be a lady. I felt that cursing had nothing to do with being a lady. I mean Tina fey curses. Does cursing mean one is not classy? I don’t think so. I believe classiness is exuded in different ways and through varied mechanisms.
I always sought common ground amongst key stakeholders. I tried to reason and use logic eschewing emotion in tough situations. To me that was being ladylike. Couldn’t agree me. Somehow that seemed to not fit within anyone’s definition of being lady-like anymore. For me, it was about keeping it classy (ish) with a touch of cursing which was somewhat charming (when done right). Coco Chanel once noted “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” I thought that was what I was doing. I was cherry-picking my statements in order to maintain some form of decorum. These days, however, it seems that everything is on the table in terms of what is allowed to occur and be said.
People will show their underwear at the drop of a hat if there is the possibility of going viral. There are people that will put a camera under a woman’s dress up an elevator. There are people that will witness such camera-action and not let anyone know what is occurring. Our political candidates are discussing the size of their hands and where it is that women bleed from. All this is the epitome of class, eh?
The other day, I wore a nice dress to work (as I tend to do). I have over 100 dresses. I collect dresses for a 101 occasions I anticipate attending some day. My dress was a Calvin Klein dress as I find the cuts to fit me quite well. Its as if they were made for my body type. I don’t have to be a skeleton to fit into them. I attended the meeting and some people spoke more than others. It as the first tim I was meeting many of these individuals that came over to my office to go over some numbers. My brain was barely awake but I looked good. I looked classy in my dress. At the end of the meeting I got up to handshake individuals goodbye. As I went to shake the hand of one, she looked at me and asked me what was my dress’ label. I mentioned quietly that I couldn’t remember. She almost rolled her yes at me while noting that she loved my dress. Instead of shaking my hand she went in back of me and pulled out my dress’ label. She then said “oh wow. Calvin Klein. How money of you.” Or something to that effect. I was flabbergasted. I wanted to say that I got my dress on the Ross clearance rack where I get everything else but I kept quiet. Why would I have to justify my dress purchase? I just wished her a good rest of the day and hid in my windowless office. Boy, did I need sunlight.
Hereafter the past few weeks, I have come to find that some individuals are just filled with so much anger that outrage is their everyday mode and classiness takes a backseat. Everyone has to protest something and they do so by psychologically mooning you. I just want to hand them a cocktail and tell them to relax a little.
Keep it C & F but bring a hint of fun rebellion.