Thanks to finishing schools being a thing of the past those who with to lady away the day have to dirty their fingers with a little Googling. Please try to think of Google as a kind of rectangular, quiet butler who is very concerned with how quickly he can bring you things. You can even say 'that will be all Google' when you're done and click the red cross to close the window.
Fortunately William Hanson is on hand to break the art of being a lady into 5 easy steps. They are, if I might be so bold Mr Hanson; 1. Less is always more 2. Don't abuse the booze 3. A Lady at the table 4. Avoid mean gossip and 5. Turn the table. None of these, apart from turn the table â which sounds like you are required to learn that magic trick where you whip the table cloth away leaving the crockery intact â are hard to work out.
Yes, I hear you, waving your little finger in the air trying to get my attention. This is all very well. But how do I put this into practice? You only have to peruse the rest of the Telegraph site to see even professional women (we'll address that term another time mayhap) fall foul of the Being A Lady instructions. Former Countdown presenter and Rear of the Year winner Carol Vorderman has fallen foul of a couple of these steps. And steps in general (arf, arf).
She did it trying to âcavort around like a caricature of a cut-price Kardashianâ Which sounds like a lot of fun but I'm a sucker for the word 'cavort'.
Carol, Carol, Carol. What does Mr Hanson say about skimpy clothing? âDo not feel that you need to show oodles of flesh, leg or cleavage.â Of course one of the joys of skimpy clothing is that it actually gives you freedom of movement. In a respectably pencil skirt climbing trees is an impossibility. In a short skirt it's just unlikely.
But Vorderman didn't break her nose climbing trees, or (oh dear, that's not very Step number 4, Judith Woods) getting a âdaftâ nose job. She did it trying to âcavort around like a caricature of a cut-price Kardashianâ Which sounds like a lot of fun but I am a sucker for the word 'cavort'.
See, professional woman Vorderman failed at number 3, Woods is a little iffy at keeping to step 4 âAvoid mean gossipâ. How can us non-professional women possibly manage the art of lady? Well, here's an exciting rule I think all the ladies can abide by, step 3 A Lady at the table: âA true lady knows that she is expected to begin eating first, before the men. Do not hang back or faff around, as a true gentleman will just sit there watching his food go cold as you carry on nattering.â True ladies, raise your forks. Quit faffing.
I'm glossing over step 2 Don't Abuse the Booze, Mr Hanson has a plea: âA few drinks are fine â but please donât lose control.â Step 5, the most baffling step Turn the Table means talking to the people sitting either side of you. The queen still practises this custom, my tip is only eat with people you like. There, why, with these tips you're quite the lady.
Most importantly, be sure to disappear once you turn 50. It's just good manners.
*uh, I have to watch those shows for research purposes. I knew you'd understand.