Friday, December 19, 2014

Dignity and Propriety

Paper napkins. Vinyl tablecloths. Wrinkled pillow shams. A spot or two on my shirt.  I know I have been cleaning all day, but I could look worse.  Does it really matter?  I mean who cares if there are some wrinkles? I am a busy woman.  I have things to do, places to go, people to see...

Besides, nobody takes the time to do those things anymore.  My grandma used to have that frilly stuff, but it's not for me!

But, there used to be a little bit of pride, too.  People respected themselves, and others. Enough to care about appearance; of themselves, their homes and their families.

I think the word I am looking for here is

True honor; nobleness or elevation of mind, consisting in a high sense of propriety, truth and justice, with an abhorrence of mean and sinful actions; opposed to meanness. In this sense, we speak of the dignity of mind, and dignity of sentiments. This dignity is based on moral rectitude; all vice is incompatible with true dignity of mind. The man who deliberately injures another, whether male or female, has no true dignity of soul.
Websters 1828


This is a handkerchief from the 1940s.  It is so pretty and delicate.  But, you know what's crazy? They blew their noses on this! They wiped away tears with this.  In times past women seemed to care enough about their surroundings to elevate them a little.  Not in a haughty or snotty way, but they wanted a little touch of beauty in the everyday.

I love to watch old movies.  Men wore hats (not baseball caps), they wore ties, button down shirts...
Woman wore clothes that actually covered them.  Pretty, feminine clothes.

I don't mean to step on any one's toes here...

Today I was waiting in the library parking lot, a woman came out the door in a jog bra and Lycra running shorts.  Really?! The Library?  I am not trying to be critical, OK maybe a little, but where has the dignity gone?  When did it become acceptable to walk around in our underwear?  I digress...


Fitness; suitableness; appropriateness; consonance with established principles, rules or customs; justness; accuracy. Propriety of conduct, in a moral sense, consists in its conformity to the moral law; propriety of behavior, consists in conformity to the established rules of decorum; propriety in language, is correctness in the use of words and phrases, according to established usage, which constitutes the rule of speaking and writing.
Websters 1828

As my son likes to put it, I have hopped on my soapbox, so stay with me...
No, I am not saying we should all dress like pilgrims, but could we at least cover some of our skin?
Can we dress like a lady?

We expect men to act respectful and not stare at us.  This is true. But, is it really fair for us to walk around with no clothes on and then expect them to treat us with dignity and respect?  We expect men to be Godly and upright, yet we tempt them to do otherwise.  I think sometimes women dress this way and are not aware of it, but I think it is rare.

We have this desire for attention.  We would never admit it to anyone.   But the only attention we need should be from that of our husbands.  I mean this kindly, but ladies, I have a husband.  I have sons, 4 of them.  I would like them to be able to leave the house without having to hide their eyes everywhere they go.  Even our churches can be a place where they have to look at the carpet.

I know I am probably hurting some of you, and I don't mean to.  But, when we lack respect for ourselves and others in our appearance,  it tends to slide over into other areas of our life.

If we don't respect ourselves, we usually don't respect our surroundings.  Grandma wasn't perfect.
But, she had something that our generation does not.  Our grandparents had dignity.  They had propriety.  We need to borrow some, desperately!

I imagine whoever carried this handkerchief took time to consider her appearance.
Was she being appropriate? Was she being suggestive?

I know some like to pull out that God only looks on the heart. True.  But, man looks on the outside. I give a testimony of what I believe wherever I go.

Without saying a word.

We all do. That's how life works.  Ladies, let's make a commitment to one another and to God, that we will think about what it means to be a lady.  Lets remember that the eye you are trying to catch may belong to someone else.

Let's commit to stepping it up just a bit.  Maybe use some cloth napkins for just one meal this week.
Put a little vase of flowers beside your bed.  Put on something clean before your husband comes home.
Add a little bit of refinement and beauty into our everyday lives.

Dignity and Propriety.

Enough said.


  1. Vintage linens always amaze me when I think of the effort that went into making and caring for everyday items. Every stitch meant that they wanted to make things as nice as possible for their loved ones. ~ Maureen

  2. That is so beautiful! I love it. I'm your newest follower from the Newbie party! Just followed with GFC. Then I saw your Networked Blog button. I followed there, too! I just added that button, and it would be awesome if you helped me. I still need my 5 followers. LOL :)

    Kathy @

  3. What a beautiful post! It's difficult to imagine the time,care and effort put into making those hankies work of art! Thanks for sharing. I'm now a follower.

  4. Thank you for stopping by Pam. Yes, unfortunately these things seem to be a thing of the past.... but we can revive them :)

  5. That's wonderful Elena. There is something so dignified about cloth :) Yes, I have noticed that as well, too. I think often people hit the bar we set, whether low or high. When we take the time to respect ourselves and our surroundings, most people take note and respond to it in a positive way. Thank you for visiting!

  6. Amazing post! I think we all need to appriciate what is done be human hands - it's tha warmth and love in things)
    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!