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.


Candice said...

This is hilarious!

Natalie said...

Hahahaha, this was great! I'm SO glad you did a follow up post! I liked the last example especially hahaha. A bit surprised you didn't include Sir Percy, though! :) Oh well-it was still hilarious!!

Hayden said...

haha. I love the Enjolras one. :)

Sophie said...

I wasn't going to do this, but I am. I have to protest.

What kind of dumdumkoff of a biscuit's daughter-- nooooono no wait. That's not proper etiquette.


no shouting.

Okay. What exactly puts it into your head that Raoul is controlling because he wants to take his girl out to dinner and concocts a slightly risky scheme to save her life.

*goes and rants to Anne-girl about pitiful misinterpretation of characterization in musicals*

Lois said...

Both of these posts were awesome!
It's ridiculous how Bertie always has women falling for him! :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Well, I included Marguerite in my ladies' post and so I didn't put Percy in this one-- tried to use different stories for each. But I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Wilber, Wilber, Wilber. This is tongue-in-cheek. Farcical, darling. Humorous. Satirical. Raoul is, in my opinion, as controlling as Mr. Darcy is intensely creepy. That is, barely at all, but just enough so as to make it (hopefully) funny when someone makes a joke of it.
But I will take your name-calling and shouting in good grace. You do, after all, tell me secrets now and then and I should like to keep my record running.

Anonymous said...

Ramin in both phantom photos? Check!! POTH were he just plays all male parts=HEAVEN!

Melody said...

Heeeeeeheheheheheeee. Loved this immensely.

"She'll tell you to get rid of the mustache. Do it."

And I didn't think you'd get through that without mentioning Eponine... haha. ;)

You missed David Copperfield though. That is sad. After all, he got TWO girls and therefore must be an expert...

Naomi Pitts said...

This was EVEN better. Bravo! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is bound to work! Next fellow I know searching for a wife I'll direct him to this post. :D

miss elliot said...

AHAHAHAHAHA OH MY WORDY. This is perfect!!! Like Naomi said - even better than the last. :-)

Jessica said...

Pretty funny stuff, my dear. ;-)

Maribeth said...

(*inserts another Taylor Swift reference in here*) "Aaaand that's how it works--that's howwww you get the girrrrrl! Oh-ooooh-oh!"

But seriously, Enjolras is my favorite :D

Elsa said...

Too, funny! I absolutely love both posts. Just one note, a violet field would be even more romantic than a barley field! ;)

Ella said...

Ha Ha!!! Yet another great, humorous post.

jillian n. said...

"You might have some competition going on in the basement."

Holy wombats.

Katie Hanna said...

I was secretly hoping you would do one for guys, too, after your hilarious post last week. SO happy you included B. Wooster!!! The Enjolras one is a riot (no pun intended) . . .

Éowyn said...

I firmly believe that Laurie only grew that mustache to test the true love of his chosen lady. :)

Poor Erik and his unrequited love! I feel terribly for him. I guess he had simply read the wrong kind of romance novels.

Oh, and Enjolras! I haven't watched the musical so I only have a nodding acquaintance with him, but from what I have heard of his character a man would do well to study some of its keener points. :)

Katelyn said...

This is perfect; I had an idiotic grin on my face the whole time I read it. Little Women, both POTO's, and Enjolras are my favorite.

Anonymous said...

This is a brilliant list! And so true. I feel like with many period dramas I can love them while still at the same time recognising how unbelievable some of the events are (maybe I even love them for that very reason!).

Your Phantom of the Opera one was brilliant; I've always found that particular story perplexing. "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." Sums up my thoughts perfectly. :D

Ginger said...


thank you for this, I'll be sure to pass it on to any potential period drama heroes I happen to meet. :)

miss elliot said...

(And whenever anyone mentions Taylor Swift and/or 'Shake It Off', I think of 'Mary's gonna fake, fake, fake, and Sherlock's gonna hate, hate, hate, so I'll just shave it off, shave it off.' :D)

Matilda Mi said...

Number six is the best! xD I've nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award, it's over here if you want to take part: http://musicandmymind.blogspot.fi/2015/03/blogger-recognition-award.html

Emily Blakeney said...

Haha! That's good Amy! I second the Enjonine ship over and over, it's just too cute! And, I mean the looks in the movie! After she comes to the cafe and after she dies - guys, why couldn't it stop raining so we could see he was crying?! :)

Anya said...

Tip #1 really works-trust me! I had a young man staring intensely at me for many months-and I fell for him hard. (To be fair, he did have such lovely wide eyes...never mind) But it never went beyond that...

Abigail Rehmert said...

Loved this! This is my first time visiting your blog, but I'll be back! :)


Bethy Morrow said...

This is brilliant!
Love the one for Laurie...
P.S #enjonine4lyf