It's a phrase I heard throughout childhood, and even now, and one that also seems to be a constant theme of many an internal struggle. "A lady never. . ."
A lady never raises her voice. A lady never sits with her legs astray. A lady never over-indulges. A lady never applies her makeup in public (and especially not at the table, or while in mixed company). A lady never, ever even considers a tattoo.
Lord, I must have really failed my mother because I've done all of these things (though with the exception of lip balm, I leave makeup application for the powder room). Now, I do try not to do these things, but at times - especially among close friends - I think there's a limit to propriety. But still, that inner voice, engraved on my mind, is really on me now because, believe it or not, I'm considering a tattoo.
Two, in fact. The first I actually dreamt of; in memory of my nana, Lora Lee Eberhart, I would get a tiny script "L" on my left wrist, for the name we both share. And in the dream, too, the "L" was accompanied by a tiny ribbon bow (so, super hard-core).
The second is an idea I've had recently to have "j'adore," simply, "I love," placed on the back of my neck. But then, I've also considered changing that to "adorer," to love, but also, "j'écrit," "I write," or "écrire," "to write."
Clearly, I shouldn't get a tattoo I haven't set my mind on, and I struggle with the necessity of something like it, too (though I'm sure that by being on the back of my neck, not only would I forget about it from time to time, but it would also rarely be seen).
But that little "L" for my grandmother? I can't think that I'd regret a small memory like that. And truly, being a lady is all about carriage, confidence, and grace. If society grande dames can tattoo eyeliner on their lids, why can't I have a ribbon on my wrist?