Keep your friends close. Your enemies closer. That, ladies, is Lola’s advice for the day. For instance, should you happen upon the company of your suitor’s mother (not that I would dream of mentioning any names), and she peers over spectacles at your charming little grin with disdain in her brow, well, you must smile all the bigger. You must, indeed, suck up so intensely that inside you’ll get the feeling that a grand whirlwind has all but harnessed you from your corset!
Why must you do this? Because your beau will vomit all over himself with apoplectic shudders at the notion of maternal disharmony. Not his fault, of course, for a wounded and insecure mother is a dangerous beast.
Repeat after me: “Why, that amber necklace is so fetching, and your neck so graceful, I would have taken you for a sister.”
Or, “You must give me the recipe for his haggis! It’s simply to die for.” (And when you spit the crusty intestines into your napkin on the sly, make sure not to leave the telltale crumb upon your bottom lip.)
And never, I do repeat, never, indicate any intimacies what-so-ever have gone on between you and the golden son. In fact, if he is to reach for your hand, pluck it away modestly, and fake a good blush.
A first rate fascinator will likewise suck up. Let your compliments be of so marked a character that there can be no mistaking them. For instance, you may inquire if she is always careful to close her eyes upon retiring, to which she will ask, Why? And you will answer, quickly and with animation and sincerity, Because if you do not, I fear that the brightness of your eyes will burn holes in the coverlet, or set the house afire!
Remember, successful fawning takes some practice, but do invest, for if you insist on reserving your compliments you might find yourself alone, flattering yourself like a mad man whose dialogue with himself is pitied by those who happen to overhear it in passing. Or worse yet, you might forgo the fair sex altogether, and instead, spend your days at the side of your aging mother, patting her roughened, gnarled hand as she trots through the injustices that have been wrought unto her lo these many years.