Blair Waldorf and Her Headbands

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While I liked Gossip Girl (and Blair Waldorf) as much as the next girl, I find that some people have taken it a little bit too far — as in they want to live the life of the Upper East Side socialites.

Isn’t that the dream?

But here’s the thing, striving for that life is different from living that life when your savings account didn’t even come close to theirs. (Nate has the least trust fund from the Archibald name, I think, and he had about $200,000 based on the first season, when the Archibalds were going broke) when he was like, seventeen.

These are very privileged kids, and unless, you know, you have about that much money, you really should skip over the (high-end) shopping and not-working thing.

Which brings me to my point. I’m in my twenties, and somehow, I know people older than me who are “striving”  to be like Blair Waldorf but had Jenny Humphrey’s bank account.

Okay, I get them: Blair is pretty and smart and rich and powerful, and well, who wouldn’t want that, right? But despite Blair’s “high maintenance” status (she’s filthy rich so she can be as high maintenance as she wants) her character is actually pretty amazing in a way that she didn’t want to be the next Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian — her role models are real, powerful women who are more than their (massive) bank accounts

She wants to be more.

And it’s something that those who want to be her should strive for.

I mean when you look at it, she lives a pretty charmed life: she focused on school to get into a good university (her long-term goal, never mind that it got screwed up), she built her own name (well, via her mother’s fashion empire) and she refused to let anyone get in her way for greatness (ergo the hundreds of schemes in the course of the six seasons).

She had the life — but instead of sitting back and spending all her time shopping and watching her money dwindle, she got up on her ass and did things the hard way because she would rather struggle than live a life with no passion or career. Her husband could give her everything she wants several lifetimes over, and yet, she refused to sit around doing nothing.

It’s weird that those who wanted to be her are acting like socialites when Blair, like her mother, absolutely despised being restricted to that label. Oh, and if you wanted to be Serena or Jenny or Nate or Chuck — at some point or another in the whole series run, they worked their asses off to prove they’re more than just the glittery things.

Blair wanted to be more than her looks, her status, (headbands) and her opulent lifestyle.

So if you want to be like her: BE SOMETHING. BE MORE.

Etiquette Matters, Even In This Century

Sure, Jane Austen is sooo two centuries ago, but her guide to good manners still apply, even in the modern era.

I can practically hear eyes roll, as well as the cries of protest, “ANTI-FEMINIST!”

Okay, look. I am a feminist, I really am. I believe in the strength and in the power of women, but I also appreciate that they reinforce their rights with grace and poise, and that’s when I respect them.

I just recently caught up with a friend who I haven’t seen in over three months. A lot of things has happened in that time we haven’t seen each other: me, I went through another life overhaul, and he — well, he met a girl.

Now, this is the buddy of mine who, despite having an extremely clingy ex, got cheated on by said clingy ex. The worse part? She dumped him on Facebook.

Silly girl.

That being said, I doubt his judgment when it comes to women, and when he told me that he likes this other one, well, of course  I got  a little curious.

As it turned out, this new girl can learn a lot from Jane Austen. I mean, I’m not trying to be nasty, but seriously, if women wanted men to treat them properly, they too, should have the tact to act appropriately.

Here are two common rules about calling and conversation that I think she should have the grace to apply:

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Rule 4. Do not call to briefly.
Any visit should last for at least fifteen minutes.

Putting it in a modern perspective, if you agree to meet with someone, you don’t say “hi” and run. Especially if you made him/her wait.

“But shouldn’t women make men wait so as to show that they are not too eager?”

Sure, if you’re old-fashioned (or just too high maintenance) like that, but if you have the gall to make him wait for an hour and a half and then drive him on a wild goose chase, at least have the decency to go through with your arranged date, not say “hi” then “good-bye.”

I mean this girl made my friend wait for an hour and a half, and when she finally arrived, she decided to make a bathroom run, then ate dinner with her friend instead of my buddy (they made plans to have donuts, which would have been proper at five in the afternoon like they planned) then left. Seriously? It wasn’t only rude, it was also tacky.

Rule 7. Make polite conversation
Over-much shyness during a social visit may be no less taxing to others’ politeness.

I am glad to say that despite my friend’s asshole moments, he is quite a polite lad with breeding, and it is quite frustrating that a girl who claims to be “shy” made him go on a wild goose chase. I don’t know about you, but if you’re not confident enough to go out with a guy, the least you can do is be polite.

If you’re not comfortable being alone with him, say no. Or bring a friend, but make sure that since your friend is there as a chaperone, he/she knows his/her place: that is to get you in and out of the date, not to intervene with it or make you miss it altogether. Again, have the sense to be polite.

I can hear you. “You’re too uptight and formal.”

The book already has a response for that:

“Manners are, indeed the foundation of a civilized society. . .  The codes of behavior which govern daily life should not be confused with mere formalities. They are based on solid principles of courtesy, propriety and, most of all, regard for the feelings of others.”

In short, live by the golden rule.

Money Can’t Buy You Class

I remember a conversation that my mom and I had a few years back. I was being my usual, mean self, stubbornly NOT making friends with my cousin’s girlfriend.

“I don’t like her because she’s cheap.” I said.

Okay, I know that this is contrary to my “no judgment” and “accept yourself” policy, but here’s the thing: I also believe in the power of association, and I do not like being associated with people who don’t make the cut. I go by what Coco Chanel said — There are two things that a girl should be: Classy and fabulous. And I know she knows that money can’t buy you class. But you don’t need million-dollar trust funds to learn how to be classy, either.

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So what does it take for one to be classy?

Dressing appropriately is one. How about being courteous and gracious? Learn to chew right, food is not sexy in your mouth. Learn to conduct yourself properly.

Read Jane Austen. There are lessons in her books about being ladies. Others will argue about her books being outdated, but I digress. I mean, how else could plain Elizabeth Bennett end up with the uppity Mr. Darcy?

This class thing came to my mind because I watched this video on the Napoles’ kid’s extravagant Beverly Hills birthday party, and saw the “money can’t buy you class” comment. haha.

Anyway.

I know it’s a bit un-feminist of me, wanting girls to conduct themselves like ladies, and all that, but hey, what’s wrong with acting a bit more dignified? Yes, girls should be who and what they want to be, but YOLO isn’t about rebellion and acting out — it’s about leaving a legacy.

It’s not about the mistakes you make in life, it’s about looking back and not being embarrassed to tell your kids the fun things you did in your youth. Something that will make your kids’ friends’ say, “your mom is beautiful,” instead of “Dude, your mom was hawwwt in that picture, I’d totally  b**g her!”

So, get the difference?

Class isn’t about the money you have, it’s what you do with the money that you do have. It’s not about the brand of clothes and shoes and bags that you wear, it’s how you wear them. It’s not the opulent, incredible displays of wealth, but the subtlety of how you display them without need for other’s acceptance or approval.

As for me, I’d rather be my plain, simple self, than be one of those who try too hard to the point of being tacky.

Money can buy you a lot of things, sweetie, but no, class isn’t one of them.

Classy Ladies and Gents Do Not Live Above Their Means

*This is a repost from my old blog*

My parents always said that I should never live above my means.

My parents always worry that I might get myself in a debt since I have this tendency to splurge regularly, and I’m pretty much an impulsive shopper. If I find that I want something and I have enough money in my wallet or ATM card, I buy whatever it is that I want at that moment. The good thing about me is, I never regret my buys, so that’s okay I guess.

I’m not saying that impulsive shopping is good. It’s not. You might end up buying for a lot more than you should and you will that you have to borrow money from someone in order to sustain yourself until your next paycheck, or in my case, allowance.

You see, if it’s all the money you have, that’s all the money you can spend. Never spend the money you don’t have. For instance, borrowing money from your friend in order to pay for your dinner, then for fare, and then before you know it, the amount of money you owe that person becomes too big that you will have a hard time paying it off. And your next paycheck will be for the ones you owe money to, and then you will have to borrow money again. It’s a tough cycle.

My parents always remind me to never live above my means.  They meant that in terms of material things that I buy on impulse, and the lifestyle in general. If I can’t afford it, I shouldn’t buy it. If I can’t live it, I should just stay in my zone. I should not depend on my friends to sustain me, or pay for me when we go out  because let’s face it, we’re all students (or young professionals) and we are not really financially independent yet. Even my friends who already have jobs.

And there goes the reminder again that small things do count. For a lot.

Because even the things that are very slightly out of your budget just might be the reason why you end up having an empty wallet or bank account before the date due. And if your friends have more money than you do and you’re with them a lot, then don’t get used to their lifestyles because when you get back to your real world, you’d go looking for a lifestyle that you honestly cannot afford, and that’s not good.

I’m not saying you can’t borrow money, ever. There are instances that you can’t help but do so. But if you do have debts, then pay for it in due time. Don’t make your debts bigger by spending for unnecessary things. Don’t go for something out of your reach, settle for what you can manage.

And if you really want that seemingly better, more expensive lifestyle, then  work for it. Hard.

So there you go. I’m glad my parents instilled this on me. I basically have no savings right now, but hey, I am still starting to learn how to budget properly, so give me a break. =D

Class isn’t about having expensive things. Class does not necessarily mean rich. Being classy in this aspect is about you, accepting yourself as you are, and accepting that no, you can’t live an expensive lifestyle. It’s accepting that your wallet has a limit, and frankly, it is classier to admit that you can’t afford something rather than be in debt because of luxuries you can’t afford.

Keep it classy, and remember that class is a lifestyle, not a pricetag.

Kisses,

Smart is always Sexy

I do not, for the life of me, understand why some people type L1k3 tH12.

M1Ssp3lL1nG w0RDz 0n purP0S3 1Z N0T 1n 4Ny w4Y 4Pp34L1ng. 1t d03Z N0t M4k3 j00 S33m 3cC3ntR1c, 0R un1Kw3. 1t JUst M4k3z J00 s33m dUm8, 4nd dum8 1Z n3V3r K3WL. 0N Th3 0TH3r H4Nd, 831Ng 1Nt3LL3G3Nt 1z. j00 mUsT R3m3m83r: sm4rt 1Z 4LW4YZ s3xY.

Okay, here’s the translation of the previous paragraph:

Misspelling words on purpose is not in any way appealing. It does not make you seem eccentric, or unique. It just makes you seem dumb, and dumb is never cool. On the other hand, being intellegent is. You must remember: Smart is always sexy.

Isn’t it easier to read the correct translation in proper English?

So for you lads and ladies, here are some points that everyone should remember:

I am eternally grateful for TheOatmeal for this:

See what difference the spelling makes?

Classy ladies and gentlemen are smart. They are impeccable in spelling their words and they use proper grammar, be it English or whatever their native language.

Remember lovelies, Smart is always sexy.

With all my love,