Hello! My name is Maryam Siddiqi. I am in my mid-30s. I can’t walk properly in high heels, I don’t know how to put on lipstick and I do not own a purse. I have discovered that I am very average in this regard.

Recently, I stopped wearing running shoes unless actually running, started growing my hair out and even tried reading a sizable manual from Miss Manners (in my defence, it was really, really long and I’d borrowed it from a friend’s mother and felt guilty for having it sit beside my bed untouched for months).

So, I am embarking on a journey, one in which I become a lady. I fear I may find embracing femininity akin to embracing a bush of poison ivy. I doubt dousing one’s self in calamine lotion is very ladylike. Although, it is pink, so it has that going for it…

What is a lady? My definition is evolving, but whether or not the heels are on and the lace dress is buttoned up, a lady is a woman who’s got it together. She is poised, elegant and refined. She takes comfort in knowing protocol, but isn’t bothered if someone breaches it. She knows of etiquette and pastimes and can host last-minute guests with the greatest of ease.

Have sage advice, insight or want to attend finishing school with me? Let me know. A lady loves company.