Monday, March 19, 2018

Frighten the Horses

Polaroid 19080s two couples making out at a party. Frighten the Horses.
A timeline of dating etiquette from the Victorians (and you know those conventions are going to be crazy) to the current cyber hookup generation (and you know those conventions are going to be crazy in a whole other way.)  
Two Victorian ladies. Kiss on the cheek. Frighten the Horses.
Etiquette For Ladies (1847)  
It is, in general, bad taste for ladies to kiss each other in the presence of gentlemen, with whom they are but slightly acquainted. 
Were ladies typically kissing each other in the presence of gentlemen? I wasn't aware of that.
Victorian couple flirt behind a fan. Frighten the Horses.
Double entendre is detestable in a woman, especially when perpetrated in the presence of men; no man of taste can respect a woman who is guilty of it.
Limericks are probably out too.
If a gentleman presumes to ask you to dance without an introduction, you will of course refuse. 
We didn't spend three years in finishing school for nothing.

Pioneer woman gathering buffalo chips for the fire. Frighten the Horses.
Arkansas Newspaper (1850) 
"Any gal that got a bed, calico dress, coffee pot, and skillet, knows how to cut out britches and can make a hunting shirt, knows how to take care of children can have my services till death do us part." 
A tempting offer and limericks are probably fine.
Two Victorian ladies laugh while in an embrace. Frighten the Horses.
American Etiquette and Rules of Politeness (1883) 
The practice of women kissing each other in public is decidedly vulgar, and is avoided entirely by ladies of delicacy and true refinement. 
Seriously? How much lady kissing was going on?
Couple poses for a photo. c. 1900. Woman with a lap of flowers. Frighten the Horses.
A gentleman should, in the evening, or whenever her safety, comfort or convenience seems to require it, offer a lady companion his arm and deliver her into the charge of friends. At other times it is not customary to do so unless the parties be husband and wife or engaged. In the latter case, it is not always advisable to do so, as they may be made the subject of unjust remarks. 
Not being in the charge of friends, I decline to comment. 
Beautiful girl in a pink dress. Sweet and coy, postcard c.1910 Frighten the Horses.

The Etiquette of Calling (1850 - 1910) 
As an alternative to young ladies leaving the house with a chaperone, visitors could come calling and sit in the parlor with a chaperone.
Calling card Victorian Era. Sassy innuendo. Frighten the Horses.
List of some unacceptable behavior while calling. The social parameters to arrange for the call and subsequent reciprocal calling are not included in the list:
  • Do not stare around the room. 
  • Do not take a dog or small child. 
  • Do not linger at the dinner-hour. 
  • Do not lay aside the bonnet at a formal call. 
  • Do not fidget with your cane, hat or parasol. 
  • Do not make a call of ceremony on a wet day. 
  • Do not turn your back to one seated near you. 
  • Do not touch the piano, unless invited to do so. 
  • Do not handle ornaments or furniture in the room. 
  • Do not make a display of consulting your watch. 
  • Do not go to the room of an invalid, unless invited. 
  • Do not remove the gloves when making a formal call. 
  • Do not continue the call longer when conversation begins to lag. 
  • Do not remain when you find the lady upon the point of going out. 
  • Do not make the first call if you are a new-comer in the neighborhood. 
  • Do not open or shut doors or windows or alter the arrangement of the room. 
  • Do not enter a room without first knocking and receiving an invitation to come in. 
  • Do not resume your seat after having risen to go, unless for important reasons. 
  • Do not walk around the room, examining pictures, while waiting for the hostess. 
  • Do not introduce politics, religion or weighty topics for conversation when making calls. 
  • Do not prolong the call if the room is crowded. It is better to call a day or two afterwards. 
  • Do not call upon a person in reduced circumstances with a display of wealth, dress and equipage. 
  • Do not tattle. Do not speak ill of your neighbors. Do not carry gossip from one family to another. 
  • Do not, if a gentleman, seat yourself upon the sofa beside the hostess, or in near proximity, unless invited to do so. 
  • Do not, if a lady, call upon a gentleman, except officially or professionally, unless he may be a confirmed invalid. 
  • Do not take a strange gentleman with you, unless positively certain that his introduction will be received with favor. 
  • Do not, if a gentleman, leave the hat in the hall when making merely a formal call. If the call is extended into a visit, it may then be set aside. Whether sitting or standing, the hat may be gracefully held in the hand.

Not long ago, a young bride and bridegroom paid a visit to his mother. The young wife kept rumpling her husband’s hair when they were receiving callers in the town, slipping her arm around his neck and calling him all sorts of absurd little pet names.
A kissing couple in a risque pose. 1920s. Frighten the Horses.
The bridegroom . . .  found himself blushing and stuttering and saying all manner of things he would never have said if he had not been so frightfully embarrassed.  
His mom better hang on to her hairpins and garters because things are about to go off the rails. 
1927 Brigitte Helm in Metropolis, 1927. Frighten the Horses.
"Mothers Complain That Modern Girls 'Vamp' Their Sons at Petting Parties" - The New York Times, 1922.
The Revolt of Modern Youth  (1925) 
Previously most middle-class young men said they had their first sexual experiences in the red-light districts, now they petted their female peers on dates. Even if they refused to go "all the way," "nice girls" were no longer insulted by being asked. 
So an argument for increased access to red-light districts? 
1920s the vamp and the man under her spell. Frighten the Horses.

Woman, Her Sex and Love Life in 1927 by Dr. William Josephus Robinson, sexologists  
That the underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying, but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man. 
Just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep while they are alive, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner. . . . no age is exempt; sexual vampires may be found among girls of twenty as well as among women of sixty and over. 
But is she still a vampire if she wears pink panties with ruffles? 
More than 3,000 "Mental Hygiene" Films, were made in the 1940s and 1950s. 10-minutes of low budget, social instruction, were shown in classrooms across the country. 
Two teen boys watch a girl walk upstairs in a short skirt. 1960s. Frighten the Horses.
The Seventeen Book of Fashion and Beauty  (1967)  
Cross your ankles if you like, but never your knees. Why? Try it in front of a mirror and see.  
Nothing is more disenchanting than the sight of a girl frantically yanking at her hem in a futile effort to hide her garters from the public while she sits. 
I don't think "disenchanting" is the word he is looking for. 
Kissing on the park bench c. 1980s
 How to Be Popular With Boys by Stacy Rubis (1984) 
Ask advice. I learned this brilliant method by watching a girl at my health club. She's extremely unattractive, and yet she's constantly engaged in conversation with the sexiest guys. She walks straight up to a guy and says demurely, 'I hear you're an accountant, can I ask your advice?'
Determine your man's schedule of classes for the day . . . Figure it out and arrange when to bump into him . . . a lot. 
If he's at all good looking, send his picture to a modeling agency. (You'd be surprised how many male models actually got their starts when a kid sister or girlfriend send snapshots to a professional agency.)
I'm thinking less "true love" and more "restraining order." 
Couple kissing during a riot in Vancouver. Frighten the Horses.
Mobile Etiquette and the Global LOL (2014)
Do . . .  
Keep flirting to text - don’t try and pull it off on a call. 
Turn off your phone when you’re out for a meal or at the cinema and give dates your full attention. 
Give your friend your phone when tempted to drunk call or text. 
Reply to texts within a couple of hours. 
Text a partner good morning and goodnight.
Too much PDA! Couple going at it in the park. Frighten the Horses.

 Don’t . . .  
Finish a relationship by text. 
Resend the same text if you haven’t had a response yet. 
Text unnecessary small talk, like ‘Hey howz u’ or more than two texts without a reply – it looks needy. 
Use acronyms like LOL, K, G2G. 
Put more or fewer kisses than the other person. 
. . . and, if you are a politician, never, ever send a snap of your nether regions to anyone.
Couple kisses behind a hat. c1940s. Frighten the Horses.
Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses! - Mrs Patrick Campbell (1910)

#Date #Love #History #Etiquette

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