Friday night. 10 pm. In a small and quiet-ish bar/pub in the center of the city.  

You’re with friends, 10 feet from the bar. A girl sits on a barstool and sips what looks like vodka and orange juice from a tall glass. She’s scanning the crowd all the while playing with the straw in her drink with the tips of her fingers. She’s in a tight, backless black dress and heels so chunky that she has difficulty crossing and uncrossing her legs. She lights a cigarette, and brings it to her red lips.

A guy in a khakis and loafers, walks up to her and nods at the stool next to her. Most likely her date.

She’s still playing with the straw between her fingers, sipping from a full glass (It’s constantly full – how many times has it been refilled?) staring at him provocatively every time she takes a sip. She giggles and touches his arm. She’s flirting.

His hand is on her leg and it’s moving upwards, his fingers playing with the hem of her dress high up on her thigh. She continues to giggle – they’ll be leaving soon. He leans in, whispers something in her ear, and then moves back getting off his stool.

Her eyes become wide and her features get screwed up within milliseconds. She jumps off her stool, slaps him straight across the cheek, throws whatever is left of her drink into his face and yells so loudly that half the bar turns to look at them. “How dare you say that to a lady!” And then she storms out, wobbling.

You’ll never find out what it was he said to her that made her react in such a way; but that’s not the point. What she yelled is what rings completely absurd in your mind. “How dare you say that to a lady?!” A Lady?

Okay, girls, let’s pause here.

I know that we all like to think as ourselves as ladies, and that we deserve the best possible treatment from guys. It’s the constant male-female tug-of-war of blame; a little ping-pong ball we tap back and forth between the two sexes, trying to make the other look like it holds all responsibility for the low standards in the relationship market. 

I will not get into the gentlemen thing –it’s become so cliché and sexist against men that it makes me sick; I think it’s time we owned up to our fair share, turned inward and took a long hard look at ourselves, and our conduct, when it comes to flirting.

No, honey, it’s not only their fault. That girl on the barstool was not a lady. And she had no class.

Don’t you ever wonder why some women are, by nature and beyond their looks, considered classy, no matter their age, looks or profession? And, on the other hand, some are considered sluts even though they are, generally speaking, less provocative?

Why is it that the characterization that comes to mind when you think of Monica Bellucci is that she is a classy lady, and not slut, even though she’s done full frontal nude in films and ads with no shame about it whatsoever, whereas you wouldn’t say the same about Megan Fox, who has, in fact, never done a nude scene in all of her career and has many similarities with Bellucci as far as looks go?

Class has nothing to do with appearance per se. The clothes you wear do not make you or break you here. You can be bare ass naked, in jeans, or in the sluttiest dress you own and still be considered a lady by anyone around you. It’s the way you wear the clothes, the way you sit, your posture and how move in them. Nor is it your make-up or shoes. It has nothing to do with your financial status, your professional success or even your family background.

Class is nothing other than your discretion and dignity –the way you react in certain situations, how you carry yourself in public, and, above all, your own self-respect and self worth. And if it’s not true, if you are not, by nature, classy, then all the acting courses in the world can’t help you become such. It comes from within, it is not an acquired skill. You either have it or you don’t.  

The fact that it is so rare makes it the holy grail of female traits.

A lady’s discretion goes beyond the first thing your eyes meet and also involves conduct and behavior. You see, a lady would never have actually been scanning the crowd so obviously, even if she was waiting for someone. The crossing and uncrossing of her legs would have been elegant and she would have been sipping wine –or even whiskey, it doesn’t really matter, because she knows how to hold whatever liquor it is she prefers– from a glass and not playing with a straw with her fingers or between her lips.

A classy Lady knows how to enjoy intense flirtation. She knows how to claim exactly what, and who, she wants. She is confident and secure when it comes to sex and the effect she has on men. And it’s more than likely she has done quite a few things that would cause shock in her sex life. But, again, discretion – no one would know and you would never be able to tell just by looking at her. She wears her sexuality like her clothes, subtly, leaving inuendo which whispers in your ear, not screams in your face.

A Lady can keep her cool in any situation and under any circumstance. She will not raise her voice to be heard by anyone other than the one she is talking to and she will not make a public scene. Mainly she will not make a spectacle of, and embarrass, herself. If in some way she is displeased with you, if you have somehow overstepped her boundary and she feels offended, one look will be enough to make you cower in the corner. She may even leave you high and dry; but she’ll do it quietly, leaving discretely so that she herself isn’t made a fool of.

I really hate to break it to you, but let’s be honest; these are precisely the kind of women real gentlemen are looking for. Classy Ladies will never go out of style. 

Author: Nikól Peri

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