Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Retro Blast: Flirting with Parasols

I am not a sun-worshipper. In summer I can usually be found seeking any available patch of shade, slathered in sunscreen and wearing a large hat. I heartily wish parasols would make a comeback: they're fun and stylish...and evidently, one can do a lot more with them than use them to ward off unwelcome UV rays, as we learned from this 2009 post about Daniel Shafer's 1877 Secrets of Life Revealed. Enjoy!

I must say that I regret that parasols are no longer in fashion—a pity, as they have a long history stretching back to the ancient world (yes, Babylonian and Greek women—and men!—used parasols to fend off the fierce middle eastern sun.) The thing is, they’re just incredibly useful: you can carry around some shade with you on a hot summer day, create your own flattering lighting by carrying a parasol of just the right color, or make a decided fashion statement by coordinating your parasol with the rest of your ensemble. And when furled, a parasol makes a fine instrument of self-defense that doesn’t require a license to carry!

And of course, they’re such fun to flirt with—peeking coyly from underneath them, or swinging them insouciantly at one’s side…the possibilities are endless! Daniel Shafer certainly recognized this fact, and furnishes the following tips on how to flirt with parasols:

Like the Handkerchief, Glove, and Fan, the "Parasol" has its important part to play in flirtations, and we give the following rules regulating the same: 

Carrying it elevated in left hand:  Desiring acquaintance

Carrying it elevated in right hand: 
You are too willing

Carrying it closed in left hand: 
Meet on the first crossing

Carrying it closed in right hand by the side: 
Follow me

Carrying it over the right shoulder: 
You can speak to me

Carrying it over the left shoulder: 
You are too cruel

Closing up: 
I wish to speak to you

Dropping it: 
I love you

End of tips to lips: 
Do you love me?

Folding it up: 
Get rid of your company

Letting it rest on the right cheek: 

Letting it rest on the left cheek: 

Striking it on the hand: 
I am very displeased

Swinging it to and fro by the handle on left side: 
I am engaged

Swinging it to and fro by the handle on the right side: 
I am married

Tapping the chin gently: 
I am in love with another

Twirling it around: 
Be careful; we are watched

Using it as a fan: 
Introduce me to your company

With handle to lips: 
Kiss me

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on how to secretly communicate with fans, gloves, handkerchiefs, and parasols…it’s rather like a 19th century form of texting, isn’t it?

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