2006-11-26

Book Review: A Guide to the Mannerly Wooing and Winning of the Object of Your Affection

When I opened the door this morning, I found an unmarked manila envelope on the welcome mat. I've had bad experiences opening unmarked containers in the past, but this one looked thin enough that I figured any explosion would only take off the outer layers of my beard. But it was no bomb, instead it was:

A Guide to the Mannerly Wooing and Winning of the Object of Your Affection by Ms. Matilda Manners and Ms. Edwina Etiquette.

It is a well-packed little volume that purports to tell a person how to get themselves that all important first date with the object of their affection. There is an especially large section that our friend Agatha should read titled "The Object of Your Affection at Work". Here is an excerpt:

6. On Flirting

Anthing involving sexual innuendo is strictly off limits if your Object of Affection is working. There is an inherant power imbalance in the server/served, retail whore/customer relationship. You, the customer, hold the power: your Object of Affection must be nice to you or risk getting fired. Your Object of Affection cannot leave if they do not like you.

This guide is not perfect. For example, in the section titled "On Managing Your Peer Group and Your Object of Affection," the authors suggest that if you meet your OA at an event that your friends are attending it is only in a restrict range of circumstances polite to blow off your friends These circumstances include having "established some kind of prior agreement or code" allowing for the OA to take precedence.

Huh? If your friends are too stupid to know that an OA automatically takes precedence, the best way to show them the hierarchy is to blow them off on that rare occasion you have a shot at an OA. They'll figure it out.

I suspect the authors are a pair of hotties who find themselves in situations where there are OAs so often that they'd never spend time with their friends if they didn't set certain limits. They aren't approaching the situation from the perspective of a less-than-tall, more-than-slender, under-employed mineral-extraction-specialist.

That they are hotties is also apparent in the flow chart that constitutes the centre of the volume. Don't get me wrong, it is a major piece of scholarship in dating theory. However they have paths in the chart that lead to boxes that say "Politely request contact information (and then use promptly)". These boxes have only lines that lead to "Date". I can assure Ms M and Ms E that there is another entire module that needs to be inserted after the "Contact Info" box and that "Date" is not the only possibility.

7 comments:

Aggie said...

This sounds like an important reference book for our ESI library. Please bring it to tonight's emergency meeting.

Harmony said...

Ahhh Dwarf, I sense you speak from some experience here. When you talk about the possibility that getting a date may not be the only end result, would you care to further elaborate?

coyote said...

Mmmm, interesting... now explain to me again exactly where it is in this flow-chart thingy, that the certifiably insane woman with the natural purple hair fits...?

4th Dwarf said...

That is a good question my pointy-eared friend.

A CIW without or without purple hair would fit into two new modules.

The first module is called "Is this a date?" And it fits inside the "Date" box.

Then we go off the chart for the next insertion, after the "Date box" we have "2nd Date" or "No more dates", then "3rd Date" or "No more dates", and so on.

Somewhere in there we move into the next CIW module: "Is this a relationship?" [One possible outcome: "We may be sleeping together every night, but she is more comfortable with the word interaction."]

The Chair said...

I think I've covered some of this Dwarfie.

Remember this?

Agatha said...

Oh yes, Chair. You could publish your own little handbook, couldn't you?

4th Dwarf said...

Indeed you have covered some of this territory, Chair-Man,

The 2nd CIW module I proposed fits in when you are in your 8th state where there may be plans for cohabitation or even actual cohabitation.