At the end of last week an interesting scenario just popped into my head that made me wonder how many women would have loved to have the following final reply ready in such an embarrassing situation as the one I'm about to impart. Keep in mind that this is a piece of fiction and a bit fractured at that. The kind of words needed to vanquish an often suffered but rarely properly rebuked dragon of male human kind necessitated something the French call le mot juste often done l'esprit d'escalier. My setting is a type of semi-context imitating the set-ups of the wildly popular TV shows What Would You Do? and Shark Tank to give the idea a modern focus and yet relayed in the words of ladies, that is, when ladies were really ladies. Thus:
A woman who had once been of extensive means and titles found herself without real estate and finances and began to inquire in the town where she lived how to obtain the food and shelter she knew she would need to survive. This type of inquiry was unfamiliar to her and as she went the rounds and given quite a few runarounds, she became frustrated and did not understand why these services seemed to be unavailable to her. As a titled woman she understood that anyone in need could obtain necessities but may not have been aware how her situation would appear much better off to the average recipient of such aid. Her clothes spoke of gold but her purse was empty.
Finally, she stood in the street- baffled and not knowing what to do next- when, what appeared to be a gentleman (albeit a rather bedraggled version of such) stepped up to her and asked her if he could be of any assistance since she appeared to be confused and upset.
"I need to obtain lodging and sustenance. I have been to all the bureaus which are accustomed to giving aid. I have worked in them as a volunteer. Today they don't know me and tell me I do not qualify and must go somewhere else for assistance. Where can I turn to now ?", she replied.
"My dear lady, if you don't mind my being so bold may I suggest that a woman of your stature should feel quite uncomfortable to stand amid the throngs, all alone, begging bread? I say this only because I have been a man of position and know how I felt when I myself was reduced to such a predicament. Surely you have something you can sell or a service you can render to put yourself back into a more familiar situation. Am I wrong?"
"What would I sell ? What service would I render, that I have not already, in serving the public as the public servant that I have been?"
"I have suggestions. You hold one view of being a public servant about which the rest of the world has no idea or could possibly fill. No one today knows what a lady is or does. Please enlighten me."
"I can tell you what a lady would never do but I shouldn't have to tell you since you are a gentleman. That is unless you are a wolf in gentleman's clothing."
"I heard a lady once say that a gentleman is a patient wolf. Is this right?"
"I would not know that since I am a lady and not a gentleman."
"The lady I speak of turned out not to be a lady but a woman of ill-repute. A woman of ill-repute ends up selling her body- one way or another."
"Dear sir, as I'm sure you are a gentleman, I would have you know that I am a true and bonafide lady. I have considered the propositions you have just relayed to me and with all due respect I'm going to have to reject them. I do, however, wish to offer a counter-proposal. I'm prepared to accept $500 for which I'll gladly slap you as hard as I can in the face with the back of my glove. That is my final and adamant offer."
Now that's a lady!
The Castle Lady