The Lady of the Manners is very sorry for not posting anything during May, Snarklings. May was a bit of a blur of work chaos, concerts, preparing for, and then attending Convergence 13. The Lady of the Manners has swarms of letters to answer, and is going to try to post helpful (but possibly quick!) replies to them in the very near future.
The Lady of the Manners had a delightful time at Convergence 13. It was a lovely whirlwind of dressing up, reconnecting with old friends, and meeting charming new people. The weekend seemed far, far too short. Speaking of meeting charming new people, the Lady of the Manners thought that the couple who kept referring to her as “Miss Cupcake” were particularly sweet. (You see, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners favors a black-with-pink-accents color scheme in her wardrobe, so the “Miss Cupcake” thing isn’t quite as incomprehensible as it might at first appear. In fact, the Lady of the Manners has decided to start describing her particular strain of neo-Victorian Perkygoth —with extra pink frills!— as Cupcake Goth, and has the beginnings of an essay about the whole thing rattling around in her head. Consider this a sort of advance warning, Snarklings. Ponderings on what it means to be a Cupcake Goth, coming soon! Probably.)
Of particular importance and delight to the Lady of the Manners was having the chance to meet people she has idolized from afar, such as the staff of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, who are a collection of entrancing Mad Geniuses, just as the Lady of the Manners always suspected; and Jill Tracy, who is enormously talented and gorgeous, also just as the Lady of the Manners always suspected.
The Lady of the Manners would also like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you!” to Marc from Seraphemera Books for kindly offering to display the Lady of the Manners’ cards at the Seraphemera Books table in the Vendors’ Room. Seraphemera Books is the home of The Romantigoth Coloring Book and the Polyglot and Spleen comic book series. Both of those titles display a sense of elegant whimsy that is all-too-frequently missing in portrayals of the Goth world.
And now, so this meant-to-be-quick update isn’t made up entirely of “C13 Yay!” squee-ing, the Lady of the Manners presents a honest-to-goodness Letter From a Reader:
Dear Lady of Manners
I first must confess that my question is less about manners and more about goth-ness in general. You see, I have no dyed hair, numerous piercings, or PVC clothing. I am no baby bat dripping eyeliner with every blink but I do have a closet full of black. I do have a shelf full of poetry books ranging from Keats to Ginsberg, and yeah, I err on the side of poetically morose.
So at what point can I, or anyone really, consider themselves “goth”. I realize that goth is what you are and not what you look like, but for the sake of self identity and declaration, I can not help but ask your opinion.
Can’t Help But Wonder
Dear Can’t Help But Wonder,
In the Lady of the Manners’ humble opinion, you sound like you would be someone the Lady of the Manners would consider Goth. In the Lady of the Manners view, while Goth is partly about the outward appearance one presents, it is *also* about the aesthetic that one holds close to one’s heart. A shelf full of poetry books? Describing yourself as “poetically morose”? AND a closet full of black? Gracious, Snarkling, it does indeed sound like you should be counted as a member of the spooky and darkly-clad subculture.
Does this mean that every person who likes poetry and has a monochromatic wardrobe should have the Goth label applied to them? No, of course not. But those things do put one closer to the Goth side of the world. As the Lady of the Manners has said before, Goth is largely about finding beauty and whimsy in odd and dark places. If you’re the type of person who does search for those things in places most people think are weird or creepy, then you probably have an appreciation for some of the other, more stereotypical, trappings of the subculture. You don’t have to have oddly-colored hair or a face full of piercings to be a Goth. You have to be secure in knowing who you are and what you find beautiful, interesting, and worth your time.
With that, Snarklings, the Lady of the Manners is going to continue working on her backlog of letters from you. There will probably be upcoming holdings-forth on cross-generational concert etiquette, some fashion advice, and a longer look at Goth vs. Emo. (Oh, the letters the Lady of the Manners has been getting about Emo, Snarklings!) Yes, all of those in addition to the previously-mentioned essay-type-thing about Cupcake Goth!
Of course, if there is a topic you’d rather see Lady of the Manners cover, then by all means write to the Lady of the Manners …