Juanita Book

By Juanita Torrence-Thompson

ęCopyright by Juanita Torrence-Thompson

JUANITA TORRENCE-THOMPSON is a poet/writer/speaker whose award-winning work appears in U.S. and Canadian journals and online. See her poetry and book information at: Poetry Town. See Barbara Hantman's review of Torrence-Thompson's CELEBRATING A TAPESTRY OF LIFE (Torderwarz Publishing Company)at: The Pedestal Magazine
(Thanks to relatives for inspiring this prose poem)

Be A Lady

There is one thing you must remember in life; you must always be a lady.
Remember to always sit with your knees together or legs crossed gracefully.
Sit up straight and stand up tall or you'll be stoop shouldered.
Don't talk to strangers.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before cooking, eating and before leaving the ladies room.
Don't forget to say "thank you" when someone gives you something and say "you're welcome" when someone thanks you.
Remember to write a thank you note when someone gives you a gift.
If someone does a favor for you, find some way to do a favor in return.
Always be a lady.

Wash laundry on Monday or Saturday when you're home from school.
Wash clothes in three stages:

     the white load with Rinso White, bluing and hot water,
     the pastel load with Rinso in warm water and the dark load with Tide in warm water.

Clear off the table and wash dishes as soon as you've finished eating so the food won't get hard on the plates. It's a tradition to have chicken on Sundays along with cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and green vegetables such as spinach, asparagus or string beans. Always cook fresh vegetables. Let me tell you how to cook string beans. First cut off the ends then snap them into thirds or in quarters. Cook in salt pork to give them a nice pungent flavor. A proper Bostonian knows how to cook Boston baked beans. Let me show you how to make apple, quince and grape jelly. It tastes much better than the store bought kind.

Be sure to say excuse me if you burp. Hold your breath or drink water if you have the hiccups.
Then excuse yourself. Always cover your mouth when you sneeze and then say excuse me.
Always excuse yourself when you must leave the table or a room when others are there.
Don't talk with your mouth full.
It's not ladylike.
Don't chew with your mouth open.
Chew like a lady.
This is how you iron a shirt or blouse.

You're a sinner if you don't go to church and Sunday school on Sundays.
Never wear slacks to church. Always dress up in your Sunday best for church.
Wear a hat, white gloves, well-polished shoes and stockings -- yes, even in the summer. Remember, it's more important to look good than to be comfortable. Your dress or suit should always be neatly pressed and clean especially for church but also for school or anywhere.

Don't date those wild boys from Boston or fast boys from Cape Cod.
Always compromise in order to keep a man happy.
If he's not happy, you won't be either.
Always allow a man to open and close doors for you.
He'll respect you more.
After all, you're a lady.
Act like one and you'll be one.