Monthly Archives: March 2012

Caught in the Act….

Dear Mr. Knightley, 

I’m so embaressed. Oh my god I cant believe I’m even writing this. Yesteday my boyfriend came over and we were in my room making out  and stuff and my mom came in and saw us(details removed) She doesn’t know we’re dating cause she and my dad said I can’t date till I’m out of high school but I’m a senior and she’s just driving me crazy! They’re super religios and like that.Anyway she didn’t yell or anything but didn’t say anything either so I don’t know. Should I just let it go and not bring it up? It’s super awkward and I kinda want to just tell them its my life, you know! Anyway, should I confront them or just act like nothing happened? I don’t know what to do.

-Akward Silence

Ps. I may not been wearing (details removed) when she came in…Actually he was just about to(details removed)  and then I (more details removed) but that was it.

Lovers caught in the act

An inopportune moment

Dear Awkard,

Well, I… I um…. let me just see here. I hope you do not mind but I did take the liberty of editing some of the more… extravagant details from your message. I mean no disrespect of course, I am merely thinking of the sensitivities of some of my readers. But I do think your question is a valid one and should be answered.

In short, I think that experience often proves that heeding the advice of someone older and wiser can be very much in your favor. And your parents can only be seeking your best interest and advancement in attempting to limit the amount of men in your life at this point in time. You may mistakingly place your affection in a fortune hunter or perhaps a man of less noble intentions, only to have your heart and dreams shattered. Not to speak of your own and your family’s honor. Now is the season of life that you should be refining yourself, polishing all of your finest skills and noble traits that an honorable man will seek in his future companion.

Regardless of whether you head my advice or not, I would strongly recommend you go to your parents and attempt to make amends. No matter how poorly their parenting may have been or how strongly you feel their interest conflicted concerning your future, they are still your parents after all and unless you are considering elopement (which ends poorly more often than not) you will have to live with them for maybe some considerable amount of time. Go to your mother, contrite and with humility, and ask her forgiveness. Sincerely if at all possible, but in the very least, for both your own comfort and her own, with the appearance of sincerity.

Youth can be a most trying season, and often it seems the end of the world. This is the magnificence of youth, to see all in greatest wonder and terror. When looking back, you’ll see the insignificance of many of your current tragedies. But you will also have something else. The flames you kindle now will be the sweetest to your memory, the loves the dearest to your heart. Take great care where you plant your affection, for it will be present with you for the rest of your days.

Cordially,
Mr. Knightley

Post Script: Again, I mean no offense but for future correspondence sake here is a small note: the correct spelling is embarrassed, yesterday, and religious.


A Cousin Courtship

Dear Mr. Knightley,

So I met this girl. And we totally clicked. I mean we get along really well and everything. Better than any gf I’ve had before. But the problem is last week was my big family reunion. And I ran into her there. Because turns out she’s my 2nd cousin, or something like that. Anyway, what do I do? We were already dating. But now I’m not sure if we should keep dating. Help!

-Kissing Cousin

Look but don't touch

Dear Kissing,

I think I understand your predicament. You must be worried that if you pursue your cousin people may question your motives. And it is true that many times close family marriages do occur for reason that are less than honorable. And this is all the more complicated when there are estates and titles involved.

Of course, if you are the entailed and your cousin one of the daughters of the current estate holder it does make things easier because you would be fulfilling your duty to your family and no one would be questioning your honor. However, if that is not the case, and if there is no apparent benefit for either of your resulting from the match, rest assured that society will most definitely make a scandal. Especially if you are spending the season in town.

My advice is that you would not want to comprise your own honor or the honor of your cousin. So I would recommend that perhaps if she is in town, you should go into the country, or vice versa. Allowing some room may give you better perspective to evaluate whether or not this is a proper and honorable relationship for both of you. It will also test the feelings you now share, to see if in fact they are truly as strong as they seem at this time.

Cordially,
Mr. Knightley


Getting Tangled in the Undergrowth…

Dear Mr. Knightley, 

I am not a lady to throw myself in the path of other men; on the contrary, I am twice as likely to throw myself off of it…especially when the man is one I admire.

I know this is most impractical. Firstly, however, I am terribly shy. Secondly, I cannot shake the feeling that to pursue the object of my admiration under pretenses of friendship would be dishonest. For I feel, you see, so much more, though I am hardly well-enough acquainted with the gentleman to justify more direct flirtation.

But I tire of hiding in bushes as my gentleman passes by. It is degrading, and further more, I’m beginning to acquire leaf stains on all my favorite frocks. In short, I most humbly beg your advice.

I am yours, etc.

Offroaded Admirer

 

 

 

Dear Offroaded,

Let me begin first by saying that those women who throw themselves so wantonly in the path of men at the blink of an eye are most certainly not acting as any true lady ought to. A lady does herself no favor in so desperately pursuing a man, no matter what his rank may be. For not only will her motives be questioned but she will also find that men take greatest delight in the pursuit of a beautiful woman but when they find their target too readily or too easily, they often lose interest fairly quickly. It is much better to let a gentleman pursue you, giving him small signs and tokens of affection but holding back slightly, as to arouse his curiosity and enhance your own air of mystery. But keep in mind, having a reception too cold, too modest, or too dignified may thwart a gentleman’s suit all together.

However, it seems to me that your currently methods, of throwing yourself off the path all together, may mean that you never even reach this point. A gentleman cannot pursue your heart if he does not have the opportunity to do so. This is why it is so vital to stay upon the road. Even as the wanton must resist pitching themselves at the gentleman, the trepidatious must resist the urge to flee. Love requires bravery, as all things of true worth do.

Regarding your thoughts on using friendship, there is a crucial difference to be grasped. Pursuing the object of your desire under the pretense of friendship is dishonorable indeed, however, pursuing the honest friendship of the one you desire is in no way dishonorable. It is only in knowing him a little better that you may realize if he truly is the man of integrity and honor that his impressions have painted him to be. And it may be that in gaining your friendship that small ember of love may be quickened in his heart as well.

Let me warn you though from bitter truths reaped from my own path, it is by no means easy, to be so close and intimate with the one you truly love and respect and regard above all others, and to know that they may not ever see you in the same light. But a very wise man once wrote, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. And Love conquors all.”

If what you feel is so strong, then draw strength from it and stand strong upon the road. Let him draw nearer to you, and draw near to him as well. Learn to know your gentleman a bit better and allow him to know you more. It is only this way that mutual admiration and regard can blossom into the sweetest of all life’s blooms.

Cordially,

Mr. Knightley

Post Script. You may find this helpful in dealing with your stained frocks http://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2007/07/24/every-day-chores-of-laundry-and-scullery-maids-and-washer-women/


So Say Most Gentlemanly Stalkers….

Dear Mr Knightley:

What is the proper distance to stalk a girl?  I want to be close enough that she knows I’m there, or my effort’s wasted, but I don’t want to be so close that she feels the need to take out a restraining order.  You seem like someone who has mastered the use of decorum, what would you suggest?

 -Fifty Yards From Heaven 

 

 

 

Dear Fifty,

While I am certain the lady of which you speak has many admirable qualities and is most deserving of the attentions you are paying her, I must say first of all that I would not advise your current method. However, if you are completely set on stalking this young woman, then here are the rules that society dictate.

First of all, appropriate distance. You must maintain enough distance in order not to raise alarm. This can be done several ways such as asking a dance partner to dance within the same line as her. Or you may “accidentally” find your carriage broken down right up the lane from her house in the midst of a rainstorm. However, do not pretend to be sick in order to stay longer as this will not enable you to see the young lady who will be keeping her distance as to not contract whatever disease you may have.

Second, proper attire. While you may think that going about in all black is the way to go, as best to blend in with the nighttime surroundings, you must also keep in mind of the figure you’ll cut if you were to be discovered so attired. Her father or brothers may mistake you for a common thief or marauder instead of the honest gentlemanly stalker that you are. It is best to wear handsome attire instead, and merely conceal it beneath a swart cloak. This will keep you from delicate eyes while not risking your life because of needless fashion.

However, most important of all, on the topic of her knowing you are there, I advise caution, as most gentlemanly stalkers go to great lengths not to be discovered by their lady of choice. A gentlemanly stalker never wishes to inconvenience or unsettle the lady upon whom he has chosen to place his affections. It is infinitely easier not to alarm her if your presence remains undetected at her window at night, for example. However, if you are insistent that she know you are there, you may also want to consider writing her a letter explaining who you are, what your purpose will be in being there, and that she ought not be alarmed since you are no common thief or vagabond but merely a gentleman stalker come to breathe down her neck in dark alleyways. I’m sure the prior word will be much appreciated and serve to enable most amiable interactions afterward.

Cordially,

Mr. Knightley


Concerning Concealment….

Dear Mr. Knightley,

Is a woman far more beautiful in the circumstance that she creates a synthetic face each morning and forbids anyone from seeing her God given face? Or is it more likely admired bare and organic? Think in terms of her face being seen by both men and women.

-Organica Olivia

 

Natural or Fake?

Natural or Fake?

 

Dear Organica (goodness!),

It has often been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but, while this may be true, there are certain perimeters that do exist. Many a lady had driven a man from her door by descending her staircase painted like a Cheapside harlot. And just as many could have retained the objects of their desire, had they paid a little more care to the condition of their eyebrows or the state of their hair.

This is not to say that one ought to change one’s appearance completely. First, because even if your husband never surprises you in your boudoir before you have a chance to dab some rouge, you can rest assured that there will come a day when you are either too ill, or too far removed from civilized society, or too great with child that you won’t be able to maintain your facade and he will see your true face. But more importantly, the further a woman removes herself from the position nature bestowed upon her, the more artificial she seems, and believe me when I say that while none of her friends may comment on it, everyone in society will be able to tell. And unfortunately society always speaks.

No, a woman is best suited to use her powders and colours not to hide defects but rather to enhance and exhibit the graces that nature has already gifted her with. To proudly exhibit a high forehead, an elegant nose, or well constrained teeth. Attempting to hide defects and blemishes only serves to draw further attention to them. As long as orderly hygiene is maintained, the lesser blemishes will quite easily fade, especially in the light of the natural graces that are highlighted instead.

And in the spirit of fairness, I will add a quick note that the same rules apply to men as well, in a lesser degree. One can easily differentiate a dandy, a fop, a beggar, and a lord upon the street. So too can and will others.

But remember, my dear, no rouge is needed for the cheeks already invigorated through exercise and fresh air.

Cordially,
Mr. Knightley


An Issue of Intellect….

Dear Mr. Knightly,

I have a friend who is a loner, an extremely smart nerd with almost no other friends. I hate to see him so alone as he always lights up when someone notices him. I want to reach out, but I feel I’m not smart enough to really maintain a friendship on his intellectual level. When he talks to other smart kids, he’s smiling and happy. When he talks to me, his eyes sort of glaze over. How can I be a good friend?

Sincerely,
Not Smart Enough

dark and quiet

I am smiling

Dear Not,

Your encounter is not a strange one, by any means. Many people of great genius keep very few friends, often because its either hard for others to understand them and their ways, or because it is hard for them to understand other people.

Of greatest importance is that you accurately recognize those small, subtle signs which people project about them. You say your friend’s face lights up around other intellectuals. However, do not assume that this means your friend seeks their friendship. He may only be in awe of their intellect and wisdom. Similarly you should not take his nonchalant gaze to mean he is not interested in your friendship. The more time you spend in his presence the more accurate your readings shall become.

However, if you find that you are in fact correct there are several different remedies to apply.

First of all, you may want to engage him on several different topics and see which one interest him the most. It may very well be that his lack of vigor in your conversations stems merely from the wrong subjects. If he has talked about something passionately in the past, bring it up again, ask questions, not in a challenging sort of way but rather in an inquisitive manner. However, if you notice agitation then your questions may in fact not be stimulating but rather irritating. Desist immediately to avoid damage to the relationship.

A second option is if you cannot make your own company tolerable, then create a company that can be. He who stands surrounded by stars appears the sun. That is to say, if you surround yourself with other people of various intellectual past times and pursuits your own company may seem more palatable, especially to someone of specific tastes. He may find other friends there, which seems to be partially your goal, and you may meet other intellectuals as well, thereby broadening your own personal salon. This will also help in relieving the pressure you feel to match his merits.

However, there is one option you may not already have tried that may be worth your efforts. Your friend may not in fact be seeking someone else who is intellectual. It is most often the case that intellectuals enjoy the company of those who can appreciate their intellect. One does not have to be an intellectual to be able to show appreciation for their knowledge and contributions. You mentioned that he is desirous of attention. It may be that is what he truly needs in you as a friend, not matching his knowledge but rather appreciating it. It may be well worth your time to attempt this, before attempting any of the other, more strenuous endeavors above.

Above all, I would recommend that you reassess your own personal value in yourself. There are many kinds of intellect in the world, and everyone is a genius at something, if one is willing to look hard enough. The way you can be the very best friend is by realizing your own self worth. Only then can you truly appreciate the worth of those around you.

Cordially,
Mr. Knightley


The Classic Conundrum…..

Dear Mr. Knightley:

How do I catch a girl’s attention? There’s a girl in one of my classes who’s cute and charming and I’d love to get a chance to talk to her, but she doesn’t know I exist. It’s a large class and she’s never spoken to me. She always leaves right after class, so I don’t have a chance to catch her then, and I can’t arrive early. Thanks for your advice.

Admiring from Afar

 

Love at first sight

Catching her eye

 

Dear Admiring,

Well I commend you for your bravery. So many people are merely content to sit and languish after the one they love, wasting their lives away pining for some unreachable Adonis or Venus. Success requires endeavor, so be ready to adventure forth if you wish to obtain the object of your affection. First of all, you should avoid confronting her directly with your love. This is brutish and without consideration for her, in that her feelings may lie elsewhere as well in that such directness places her in the position of having to respond to unsolicited advances. Rather, you should create the opportunity to further your acquaintance of her before letting her know how you feel about her. This can be done in several ways. You may attempt to be one of her partners during an assignment for the class. Or even better, the partner of one of the individuals in the class with which she has proven to be close with. It is also worth pursuing this individual’s acquaintanceship, since they may have more flexible schedules than she does, and it may be easier to become their friend. The friend of your friend is the path to surest victory.

Once you have valid grounds for speaking to her (either by being group partners or by working with her friend) you may find it appropriate to ask her to help you with a problem you have been having at class. This will prove her character to you as well as informing you of whether she currently has the time to entertain strangers in her life. Make sure you are at your utmost presentability at this time, since you most definitely want to be recognized for the right reasons, not the wrong ones. If she accepts, then have the meeting, making sure only to stay on the topic of school with slight divergences in the conversation to related topics. This will allow her to show whether she intends to take the meetings further while still also allowing her to stay on topic if in fact she is only entertaining your questions to be charitable.

However, the hardest hurdle to overcome is merely finding grounds to speak to her. The above method is one of several. You could also try asking her for a pencil, forgetting it each day, so that it becomes somewhat of a charming routine for her. Again, this allows her the room she needs to either open the door or shut it. If you feel an icy reply from her by the third asking do not continue and bring your own pencil the following class. This may in fact cause her to miss the routine, and gain you the attention you seek as well.

Above all, remember to be a gentleman. Let your invitations be soft at first, so that she may accept or decline your offers while maintaining her own honor, grace, and dignity. You would not want to force her association because it will be vapid and brief at best. Once you can speak to her, you may invite her to an event where several persons of her acquaintance will be present, to avoid unneeded discomfort on her part. From there, you may call her friend and call upon her with as much frequency as she desires. You should also take this time to get to know her father and brothers. Perhaps go out shooting with them. Also, do not forget the importance of her mother. When meeting her, take great care to compliment her on her parlor and the placement of the windows, as this proves you to be a person of discerning taste and good judgement. She will sing your praises once you have departed. And then you may be set to propose before next Michaelmas.

These are the fruits of endeavor; the success of the heart.

Cordially,

Mr. Knightley