I had a man once tell me that I was not as classy as the girl he fancied because I like to frequent a certain underground dance club.
"She'd never go there," he said. "She's too classy for that."
This isn't the first time I've been told I am not classy by men. It used to really upset me when I was younger; I wished I were different. I wished I were the 'classy one' instead of the 'funny' one or the 'chatty' one. It's not the first time the term 'classy' has, when used by a certain kind of man, made me feel like I have failed in my womanly duties, as isn't 'classy' a synonym for 'feminine'?
This time, though, the word 'classy' brought me out in rage hives. I like myself how I am. Besides, it's a great underground club. One time, they even played the Time Warp! What's not to like? How dare he insult me thus?
I then decided to channel that rage for good rather than evil, studied at length what it takes to be described as 'classy', then compiled the following list:
How to be described as classy by a man
1. Be good looking. This is the most important step. You also have to have either medium length or long hair. Ideally long hair.
2. Be thin. If not thin, per se, you must not be overweight. In all my years, I don't think I have ever heard I man describe a woman as classy who has not been thin, as if this is a measure of success toward which we weaker sex must all strive.
3. Be a bit posh. The posher the accent the better. Ideally British. We colonials and our cultural cringe love a bit of posh.
4. Be a bit wealthy. Relates to #2. Pearls help.
5. Be a bit cold and aloof. Or arrogant. Or maybe just really shy, but combined with numbers 1 - 4 it could be the sort of shyness that gets mistaken for being simply aloof and arrogant due to your superior feminine prowess.
6. Never swear. Especially the 'c' word. The only other time I have been told I am not classy recently was after that word fell out of my mouth. Although, in my defence, it was the most apt word to describe the person I was talking about.
7. Catch the eye of a man who likes his women to be like numbers 1 - 6 but doesn't want to say 'I like hot thin posh aloof chicks'. So, instead he says 'classy'.
8. Dress well. Heels and dresses help. A muumuu and a turban does not. Be like Audrey Hepburn. Do not be like a high-profile feminist.
And having compiled that list, I don't think I want to be classy at all. I am who I am.
In fact, any man who uses my lack of perceived femininity as a way to insult me should be told to bugger off. Life's too short.
So that's what I did.
And now I am off to my underground nightclub to embrace my lack of classiness, where I hope they will play the Time Warp at least once.