Friday, January 4, 2008

Ms. Prissy!!!

Today as I went about doing my usual Friday errands which included taking my new Nissan Altima to get its first oil change at the Honda place...yes, you read correctly, the HONDA dealer, I was labeled as being "prissy".

Now, being that I took ballet for years and having one of the strictest instructors on planet Earth who enjoyed smacking her students with a yardstick if we didn't point our toes properly, I must credit good old Ms. Mary Tanner with this not-so-newly acquired label. You see, this isn't the first time I've been referred to as Ms. Prissy. I recall, not so long ago, as I was leaving church after Sunday morning service when I heard someone calling out..."Hey, Ms. Prissy, how have you been?" I turned to find one of my dear friends from church smiling at me and coming towards me with outstretched arms ready to hug me. I was flabber was gasted - to say the least. She then proceeded to tell me how I am always so prim and proper. In my mind I that a bad thing?

Should I instead just slouch and shuffle when I walk. Maybe I'm enunciating words and emphasizing my speech beyond a reasonable doubt. Should I wear jeans when I'm at home instead of Laura Ashley dresses - albeit some acquired from the resale shop? I'm sorry, I don't do jeans, if you saw the size of my behind, which by the way takes up two zip codes, not one, you'd understand my plight. Should I (heaven forbid) go without makeup when I go out in public? Should I yell at my child instead of asking her politely to put a toy back that is to stay on the store shelves instead of cluttering up her already messy room? I'm looking for insight here. What is a prissy woman to do?

What's funny is that about two months ago I was at Sams picking up some Green Tea for the teenage-type offspring and as I walked past a couple of Latino women I noticed out of the corner of my eye that when they thought I wasn't looking, they mimicked the way I walk! My little princess looked at me and said, "Mommy, they're making fun of the way you walk." I was seething, to say the least. I mean come on...these were two adult women, for crying out loud! Being the wonderfully diplomatic person that I am I waited to get in line beside them. When they got to the cash register I turned to look at them and said, "If you need lessons on walking properly, here's my card." I handed them one of my business cards, smiled and walked away. The look on their faces was priceless.

It seems that the beatings I took from Ms. Tanner not only gave me very strong legs and taught me how to walk "like a lady" but also earned me the title of Ms. Prissy. Little did I know, back when I spent many a night nursing my bleeding toes, that my hard work and aim for excellence would one day come slap me in the face with a cold reality. I am prissy. At first I took it as an attack on my femininity. Then I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb because of it. Then I realized that the best compliment is when somebody pays me a compliment due to my "prissiness" and I'm ok with it.

So, here's to you Ms. Tanner, wherever you are. You can now rest assured that the smacking with the yardstick on my legs paid off in some weird and twisted way. I'm sure you needed to hear that. What's that you say, Ms. Tanner? Why didn't I go on to Broadway to perform in the Nutcracker? Well, you see, Ms. Tanner, my calling was to be here in the south, leading a prissy life and being made fun of by other less-prissy women. Raising kids, being married to Mr. Sir, staying home and being bored out of my gourd. That, Ms. Tanner, is the reason my parents paid an arm and a leg for all those lessons that by no means were a total waste of time or money. I was destined to be a prissy. I was meant to reign supreme above all other prissies. I owe that all to you, Ms. Tanner. I hope you don't have arthritis now, Ms. Tanner, from all those weird poses you forced upon us - your totally devoted students.

Here is the definition of prissy, according to an online dictionary:

1 comment:

N Dyess said...

Well you go Ms. Prissy! Of course this is coming from a Namby Pamby Sister. I would said you aren't as much Prissy as delightful so you sache anyway you please.