If we in the twenty-first century have learned nothing else from Jane’s works, I like to think we’ve picked up a few things about the silent connection between a man and a woman—namely, that the wink wink nudge nudge telepathy route never, ever works. Romance by osmosis sounds good, sure, but the pitfalls (and the casualties) are many and varied: What? You think he likes you? You think he wants to marry you? Too bad you accidentally scratched your nose at the wrong moment, and now he’s scamming on your rich-but-dumb-as-a-brick cousin. Off to the poorhouse with you and your male-heir-less family!
If only the denizens of Austenland could learn a few communication skills—say, a few well-known (if nonsensical and/or blatantly sexist) phrases to start the conversation and get everybody on the same page. Not enough to betray real emotion or actual devotion, of course—what kind of sap do you take me for?—but enough to signal clearly the moment when a young man’s fancy turns to love (or at least an appreciation of those surprisingly low-cut gowns). What these people need is a healthy collection of pick-up lines.
“You must be tired—you’ve been doing laps around my brain all night in an attempt to show off your figure (but, you know, you can’t do that and appear secretive at the same time).”
“Did you clean your gown with silver polish? For I can see myself in your muslin.”
“Pardon me, miss. Do you enjoy balls?”
“Do you believe in love at first sight, or shall I rescue you from another thunderstorm?”
“Would you care to come back to my place and see all the furnishings so graciously provided by Lady Catherine de Bourgh?”
“I’m sorry, but I seem to have misplaced the calling card I send before arriving at friends’ homes for unannounced social visits. May I borrow yours?”
“I may be a retired sea captain, but you should see my telescope!”
“I haven’t seduced any very young women, refused to marry them, and left them disgraced and penniless.”
And the all-time most successful (or is this just us?) pick-up line in all of Austenland:
“Hello, I’m Mr. Darcy.”
What do you think, readers? Hit us with your best (and by “best” I mean “worst”) shots!Jane Austen, Jane Austen humor, pick-up lines, romance on Tuesday, October 27, 2009 · 5 Comments »