Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How to Get the Girl, Period Drama Style

"Am I not sensitive, clever, well-mannered, considerate, passionate, charming, as kind as I'm handsome and heir to a throne?"
"You are everything maidens could wish for!"
"Then why no--?"
"Do I know?"
~Agony, Into the Woods

The guide I published a couple weeks ago with instructions on how to catch a man proved rather more popular than I'd hoped-- so at the suggestion of Ginger, I've written a second guide, for the benefit of all the hundreds and hundreds of guys who frequent this blog.  Because I'm totally an expert at the whole romance thing, duh.   Listen up, boys, here's how to hunt down a wife.

1. Stare at her from across the room.  Intensely.  Smolderingly.  Creepily.  It may take her thirty chapters or so, but she'll fall for you.  (Note: you have to be pretty good-looking to pull this off.  Otherwise you will just come across as sleazy.)

2. Don't bother proposing to her or acting remotely intelligent or anything like that.  If she wants you, she'll do it all herself.  So will that other girl over there. Oh, and that one.  Wow, you're more desirable than I thought.  And that one is also apparently interested.  And that one too?  Yikes.  You might need a trusty valet to get you out of this fix.

3. Talk wittily to her in a crowded public assembly room in Bath without being formally introduced first.  OH SHOCK.  You'll scandalize her so much that she won't be able to resist you after that.

4. Help her family out of poverty and prison, but pursue some other brainless young thing in the process.  When BYT marries a total loser, pine briefly, get trapped in a Ponzi scheme, and land in prison yourself. Eventually she'll come back and bail you out.  Protest, as a gentleman would do, but leave enough time for your business partner to pull a deus ex machina and get you back on your feet.

5. Befriend her at a party, hang out with her and her sisters, and basically get adopted into their family.  (This works best if you live, like, next door.)  Propose to her once you're old enough for that sort of them.  Get turned down, because the two of you really wouldn't work too well together as husband and wife.  Be crushed for a while.  Sow your wild oats, grow a mustache, do your thing.  Rediscover her little sister (this, basically) and realize she's been the one all along.  She'll tell you to get rid of the mustache.  Do it.

(I'm a terrible person, btw.)
6. Stalk her ceaselessly.  Teach her how to sing.  Dress up a dummy that looks just like her in a wedding gown and keep it in your sinister underground lair.  Don't show it to her, though-- you might freak her out.   Can't think why.  Oh, and kidnap and hold her fiance hostage until she agrees to marry you.  ...Wait, come to think of it, this might actually not be that effective.

7. So yeah, scratch that.  If you really want this girl, make sure you're a wealthy, handsome, charismatic, playful, gallant, adorable viscount with a really good singing voice who looks good in a tux.  You can be a little bossy and controlling if you want.  No, seriously, girls like that!  Duh!  Be prepared to deal with nooses and all that, though.  You might have some competition going on in the basement.

8. Save her from a vaguely dangerous situation in downtown Florence (it has to be Florence, because Artistic Moods and Angst and Wonder and Travel and the Great Italian Sun and all that), smooch her unexpectedly in a field of barley and then be weird and moody whenever you see her after that.  Oh, and collect her tennis balls for her.  And kiss her again when her fiance isn't looking.  Women find this irresistible.  No, really.

9. Treat her like a little sister for years and years, then fall head over heels for a self-centered schemer.  Realize your mistake at last when said selfish schemer's scurrilous brother runs off with your (already married) sister.  Dump said selfish schemer, realize heroine's worth over the course of half a paragraph, and then-- wait, what? Dude! She's your cousin! Gross! Stop it!

10.  Make one of the stupidest decisions in your entire life and propose to a vapid, soulless girl while you're still in school.  When The One comes along, regret this.  Proceed to be even stupider and don't even tell The One that she's not technically eligible to be your One.  You're a good and honorable guy at heart, though, so when Vapid Soulless gets in trouble with your mom for being too poor for you, stick by her anyway.  You gave your word, after all.  Fate will smile on you, however, and in the end she'll dump you for your brother, who stands to inherit the fortune that was supposed to be yours.  You and The One can live happily ever after, after all.  (Make sure The One has a sister who's marrying a rich guy who can give you a house to live in, though.  Otherwise the two of you might end up being happy on the street together.)

11. You know what, forget it! Scorn all women!  Who needs them, right? Your only girlfriend is Patria, and for the ignorant, that means France, not some chick.  Women are a distraction from the cause. Hearts and roses have no right to be red, because red stands only for revolution.  Love is a waste of time.  One purpose and one cause is all you'll ever need.   Soulmates?  Bah.  ...Be forewarned, you might not survive the movie... just so ya know.


12.  But yeah, like I said in the last one, if the right one's out there, then she's out there and you two will meet eventually.  Don't sweat it.  And don't start hunting out women who look like qualified wife material just because you feel you should get married.  That's not looking for love, that's fulfilling a shopping list.

Seriously, though, wish you all the best and all that.  Oh, and make sure you know how to dance.  And ride a horse.  Period drama ladies seem to like that.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

How to Catch a Man, Period Drama Style

"But if you DID want to catch a man how would you go about it? I want to know," persisted Davy, for whom the subject evidently possessed a certain fascination.
"You'd better ask Mrs. Boulter," said Anne thoughtlessly. "I think it's likely she knows more about the process than I do."
"I will, the next time I see her," said Davy gravely.
"Davy! If you do!" cried Anne, realizing her mistake.
"But you just told me to," protested Davy, aggrieved.
"It's time you went to bed," decreed Anne, by way of getting out of the scrape.
~Anne of the Island

On this day of love (love!) and romance (romance!) and denial (augh! denial!), I wish to extend a hand of sympathy to all my fellow single sisters, struggling through life without a significant other by their side.  You brave souls, you beacons of cold clear light in a sea of sentimental slop, you courageous warriors against all odds in this dark time that comes around every February... I salute you across the bonds of our fraternal (sisternal?) aloneness.  May this pitiable, tragic state last as briefly as possible, and may we all find our other halves soon so our lives can finally begin.

In the meantime, I thought it would be helpful to compose a little handy-dandy helpful guide to getting a guy as quickly as possible.  It hasn't worked for me yet, but maybe someone else can be helped.  If just one girl can be redeemed from a life of singledom by these invaluable tips and tricks, then my blogging shall not be in vaaaaaaaaain.

{All images via Pinterest, except #3, which I made.} 

1.  Have fine eyes.  This one has been proven time and time again, but seriously, all you have to do is blink at the guy across the room, and if he's The One, he will go head over heels for the Windows to your Soul and all that rot.  Just go with it.

2.  Let him fall in love with your stepsister first.  Be patient.  Eventually he'll realize she's shallower than a kiddie pool and realize it was actually you he wanted all along.  (If he rides seven miles to bring you a wasp's nest, it's a deal-clincher.  Nobody does that for no reason.)  When this fact hits him over the head with all the subtlety of a two-by-four, accept his proposal graciously... but if you want to let him wallow and grovel and call himself an idiot for a little while, nobody will blame you.

3.  Stare at him from across a crowded marketplace.  Be sure you're wearing a bonnet larger than the cumulative mass of his entire wardrobe, so as to get his attention.

4.  Be rude to him time and time again over the years, repeatedly refuse his proposals, and call him names.  He'll stick by you anyway.  We're not sure why... maybe it's because smooching you is at least better than kissing his dog.  (I'm sorry, that was probably crude.  Hey, I didn't say 'filthy', did I now?)

5. Have a stupid younger brother who gets himself into trouble that Cute Guy will have to get him out of, thereby meeting you and falling hard.

6. Insult his business and the way he treats his workers.  Then shake his hand.  Don't forget to look beautiful.  He won't know what hit him.

7. Tease him, pester him, and annoy him incessantly, but follow up with bearing his scolding and lecturing as no other woman in England would have done.

8. Rescue him from drowning when you were both children.  When he inevitably runs into you ten years later, he will of course be completely smitten.  Either the attraction of your amazingly well-developed personality stayed with him for all those years, or else he doesn't get out much and you're one of two women he knows who aren't his sisters.  Pick your preference.

9. Fall deathly ill.  Let him play courier and fetch your mommy so you'll feel better.  Thank him and let him read you poetry.  Boom, wedding.

10. Get annoyed over a childhood teasing episode, hold it against him for a while, then finally mellow and be friends with the guy, but don't let it go any farther than that.  (Continue to hold out for your tall, dark and handsome ideal.)  Finally, when said guy contracts typhoid fever, come to grips with your own idiocy and realize there's never been anyone else for you.  (Let the audience cry their happy tears.) Oh, and look, he's tall, dark and handsome after all.  Yoop.

11.  If all else fails, flirt like crazy, steal the chap’s sword and let him chase after you for it, dance with him even when no one else is doing so, and generally make yourself annoyingly irresistible.  Please note, this procedure may result in running away to Gretna Green and then getting shepherded back to London for an honorable marriage by your sweetheart’s stick-in-the-mud childhood friend who’s actually in love with your big sister. What a drag.

(This particular one was made by my best friend)
12.  Seriously though... if The One is out there, he'll find you and you'll find him, and the best way for the two of you to fall in love with each other is just to be yourselves.  Do you really want someone to fall in love with you because you were cute and attractive and always said the right thing at the right time?  Or do you want someone to fall in love with you because you're you, and that's all he needs?  So forget the tips and tricks, just be you (there's no one alive who's you-er than you, after all) and go live happily ever after.

...And if he's not out there?  Then he's not, big whoop.  Romantical love is a beautiful thing, but it's not the be-all, end-all of life.  I mean, have you had dark chocolate?