Thursday, February 16, 2017

Old Fashioned Means...

If you follow any of my social media accounts, odds are you'll see this in my bio: Old Fashioned Lady. I thought I'd explain why I use that phrase and what it means to me.

First, "Old Fashioned" does Not mean outdated. It means I believe that the way things were done in old times were far better than how they are done now. However, I'm not going to walk around in a Civil War Era hoopskirt and only ride in a horse drawn carriage, refuse to use a computer or leave calling cards at friends houses instead of texting them (Though calling cards were a neat idea, I admit).
To me, being old fashioned means:
       Being modest. I dress like a lady, and in my eyes, that means wearing skirts or dresses. Nothing too tight, nothing low cut, nothing see through, nothing too short... Modesty is old fashioned but sorely needed. Being a lady means being modest. And despite what everyone says, it's not impossible to be modest. You CAN still find clothes that aren't skin tight. You CAN still find skirts below your knees and that cover your bellybutton. You CAN still find dresses that aren't indecently revealing. It's just a matter of looking for them in the right places and having the desire to be dressed appropriately that determines whether or not you will wear them.
      Respect for my elders. Grant it, if I get excited when I'm talking, I might not always remember my ma'am or sir at the end of an answer, but I believe you show respect to those older than you. I'm not going to walk up to someone who's 20+ years older than me and call them by their first name without a Mr. or Mrs. in front of it, and even then I'll still probably call them by their last name. I'm not going to cut off an elder in the middle of them speaking. I'm going to listen, smile and treat my older friends with as much respect as I would want someone to show to me.
     Hospitality. When we have guests, my mom, sisters and I will make sure our guests are taken care of. You'll have a glass of sweet tea always full on the table. You'll be welcomed to our home with kindness. Yes, we're going to ask you to take your shoes off (House rule, sorry) but if you want a pair of socks, we keep extra pairs just for that.
    Doing things the right way. I still believe wearing a white wedding gown should be a honor given to young ladies who have done things right and waited for marriage. That's not a common trait among weddings anymore, but it's something I will always support. And the young men aren't excluded from this. They should be waiting and doing things right, too, not just expecting the ladies to be the only ones.
     Working hard. There's rarely a moment in my day when you will find me doing nothing. I know I live in a big family so there's a lot of chores, but even if I were alone, I would still be finding things to keep me busy.
     Doing your best in whatever you are doing. If I'm working on an order, it's not going to be a slapped-together, poorly crocheted object. If I'm doing a chore, it won't be half done with a begrudging attitude. If I'm writing something, it's not going to be missing punctuation and have terrible grammar (unless I'm editing it, of course).
     Acting like a lady. I'm not going to be one of those loud, rowdy and obnoxious people who has to be the center of attention. I'm not going out drinking or partying. Being an old fashioned lady doesn't mean I have to walk around frowning and never allowed to have fun, it means I know what is fun and what is stupid. You can have more fun from a family game night playing Uno or Sorry than you ever will find in a club. You'll get more attention for being quiet and never trying to be in the spotlight than you will get by laughing loudest or having the best stories.
    Putting other first. I would rather be the one to go last in line at church fellowships. At home, I make sure my family has their food before I even consider getting mine. I'm not bragging on myself- I'm simply putting the needs of other first. The needs of my family come before mine. The feelings of others come before my feelings.
    Keeping old time traits, traditions and habits. No, they're not a part of my beliefs. No, I don't hold to them religiously. But I believe if there were more people who kept old traditions, we'd have a lot nicer people around us. Men holding the door and chairs for ladies, ladies carrying handkerchiefs, men removing hats when they enter any building or someone is praying, parents and brothers who step up and check out their daughter/sister's suitor before giving their blessing to make sure he's good enough and saying no if they don't approve (Not talking about jokes where the dad sits down for a talk with a gun on the coffee table, I mean REALLY checking the guy out!), young men and women who respect and honor their parents and their parents' wishes, ladies acting and talking like ladies, parents teaching their children proper respect for adults and the house of God... These are traits and habits we definitely need restored in our day and age!

These are just some of the things I would describe being Old Fashioned as. I am sure I could sit here for three or four hours thinking up things, but I've got kitchen clean up so I have to stop here. Sometimes it feels like I'm one of only a few truly Old Fashioned people in the world. I know I'm not the only one, but people like me are far and few between.
So, what do y'all think? What are traits or characteristics you would say are old fashioned?