Anne Cartwright

How To Live Your Life

An Aunt's Guide

Never allow anyone to tell you how to live your life - except me! Being brought up a Catholic girl amongst a community of Jews has given me some insights which are more than a little valuable.  Half fear of hell and damnation on the one hand, plus a fair smattering of suffering and oppression thrown in for good measure has seen to that.

Don't be put down by anyone. Don't be abusive or rude either.  It isn't ladylike.  On being ladylike, the term is a relic from my formative years in the fifties and I have come to realise that being ladylike just won't do.  You need to become a real lady.  I think that way back when in the years following the war the expression 'ladylike' was an excuse for a form of oppression.  Thankfully, things are different now in that respect, but sadly, people would seem to be losing the art of good manners.  Good manners often lead to better things and a way up that slippery social ladder.   Nowadays, being a lady does not automatically go hand in glove with being the suppressed little woman.  It is hugely empowering, so embrace the idea and run with it just as far as those smart court shoes will carry you!

Never be bought. You are simply not for sale and there's an end to it.  Be wary of powerful men (or women) bearing expensive gifts.  Ask yourself, 'when does a scarf by Hermes or a bracelet become chains which will bind you?'

Sex isn't everything. I'm not saying that because I am no longer young.  I'm not so old either and not yet for knitting and those drinks made from malted milk!  But Alright already!  It's a lot, and when you find that person who elevates those slightly ridiculous feats of physicality into something precious, hang on in there.  It can only get better.  It won't happen that often in your lifetime.  Treat the rest as workouts.  Enjoy it, but don't expect anything more.  There isn't any.

Don't waste time on people who are not your intellectual or social equal. You will always feel slightly ashamed and cheated, whilst they will feel inadequate and become resentful.

Never wear cheap perfume. It may bring on a prolonged bout of sneezing causing you to crash your car, or worse, spill the Champagne!

© 2018 Anne Cartwright