Dating Advice for Women #5: Flirting with Hottie Guys

lovein90days.comDating advice expert, Dr. Diana Kirschner, assisted by blogger pup, Madison, teaches you simple yet powerful flirting tips designed to help you attract and date great men! Each dating advice webisode gives you three different flirting tips based on Dr. Diana’s bestselling new dating book, Love in 90 Days. For a free dating advice course go to http and sign up in the Love Etips box. You will get 11 free dating tip lessons that help you feel more confident and ready for flirting and attracting the men you really want!
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Flirting Tips: Attract Women With 2 Easy Steps

www.meetyoursweet.com For men looking for flirting tips to help them attract women in 2 easy steps, Meet Your Sweet has a video that will help answer the many questions you have about flirting.

A viewer wants some ways to flirt that actually work! Marie has some ideas on how to get to know someone, but flirting may or may not work, depending on the situation.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Nice Flirting Tips photos

Check out these flirting tips images:

Palming Card Trick Magic Macro 10-19-09 3
flirting tips

Image by stevendepolo
For macro Mondays-Magic

www.zna.com.tw/blog/?p=470
www.revealedtricks.com/tag/magic-tricks-revealed
www.zdnet.com.au/dangerous-fake-public-wi-fi-lives-on-in-…
www.lynxeffect.com/uk/home/blog/2010/11/29/video-flirting…
www.zna.com.tw/blog2/?p=324
blogdemagia.com/2011/12/30/magia-de-numeros-y-cartas-el-t…
www.sebarin.com/blogging/swag-bucks-tips-and-tricks.htm

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A few nice flirting tips images I found:

Nell Gwynne, actress and Mistress of Charles II
flirting tips

Image by lisby1
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne) (1650 – 14 November 1687), was one of the earliest English actresses to receive prominent recognition, and a long-time mistress of King Charles II.

Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been called a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella.

Elizabeth Howe, in The First English Actresses, says she was "the most famous Restoration actress of all time, possessed of an extraordinary comic talent."[1] By Charles, Nell had two sons, Charles Beauclerk (1670-1726) and James Beauclerk (1671-1680). Charles was the first Earl of Burford, later Duke of St. Albans.

Very little is reliably known about Nell Gwyn’s background. Her mother was Helena (or perhaps Eleanor) Gwyn, née Smith; contemporaries referred to her as "Old Madam Gwyn" or simply "Madam Gwyn". Madam Gwyn was born within the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and is thought to have lived most of her life in the city. She is believed by most Gwyn biographers to have been low-born; Beauclerk calls this conjecture, based solely on what is known of her later life. Nell Gwyn’s father was, according to most sources, Thomas Gwyn, a Captain in the Cavalier Army during the English Civil War.[2]

Three cities make the claim to be Nell Gwyn’s birthplace: Hereford, London (specifically Covent Garden), and Oxford. Evidence for any one of the three is scarce.[3] The fact that "Gwyn" is a name of Welsh origin might support Hereford, as its county is on the border with Wales; The Dictionary of National Biography notes a traditional belief that she was born there in Pipe Well Lane, renamed to Gwynne Street in the 19th century. London is the simplest choice, perhaps, since Nell’s mother was born there and that is where she raised her children. Alexander Smith’s 1715 Lives of the Court Beauties says she was born in Coal Yard Alley in Covent Garden and other biographies, including Wilson’s, have followed suit. Beauclerk pieces together circumstantial evidence to favor an Oxford birth. The location may remain a mystery, but the time does not: a horoscope cast for Nell Gwyn pinpoints it as Saturday 2 February 1650, at six o’clock in the morning.[4]

One way or another, Nell’s father seems to have been out of the picture by the time of her childhood in Covent Garden, and her mother was left in a low situation. Old Madam Gwyn was by most accounts an obese brandy-swigging alcoholic whose business was running a bawdy house (a brothel). There, or in the bawdy house of one Madam Ross, Nell would spend at least some time. It is possible she worked herself as a child prostitute; Peter Thomson, in the Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre, says it is "probable". A rare mention of her upbringing from the source herself might be seen to contradict the idea: A 1667 entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary records, second-hand,

Here Mrs. Pierce tells me [...] that Nelly and Beck Marshall, falling out the other day, the latter called the other my Lord Buckhurst’s whore. Nell answered then, "I was but one man’s whore, though I was brought up in a bawdy-house to fill strong waters to the guests; and you are a whore to three or four, though a Presbyter’s praying daughter!" which was very pretty.[5]

It is not out of the question that Gwyn was merely echoing the satirists of the day, if she said this at all.

Various anonymous verses are the only other sources describing her childhood occupations: bawdyhouse servant, street hawker of herring, oysters or turnips, and cinder-girl have all been put forth.[6] Tradition has her growing up in Coal Yard Alley, a poor slum off Drury Lane.

Around 1662, Nell is said to have taken a lover by the name of Duncan or Dungan. Their relationship lasted perhaps two years and was reported with obscenity-laced acidity in several later satires. ("For either with expense of purse or p—k, / At length the weary fool grew Nelly-sick".[7]) Duncan provided Gwyn with rooms at a tavern in Maypole Alley, and the satires also say he was involved in securing Nell a job at the theatre being built nearby.

Charles II had been restored to the English throne in 1660, after a decade of protectorate rule by the Cromwells, when pastimes regarded as frivolous, including theatre, had been banned. One of Charles’ early acts as King was to license the formation of two acting companies, and in 1663 the King’s Company, led by Thomas Killigrew, opened a new playhouse, the Theatre in Bridges Street (later rebuilt and renamed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

Mary Meggs, a former prostitute nicknamed "Orange Moll" and a friend of Madam Gwyn’s, had been granted the licence to "vend, utter and sell oranges, lemons, fruit, sweetmeats and all manner of fruiterers and confectioners wares" within the theatre.[8] Orange Moll hired Nell and her older sister Rose as "orange-girls", selling the small, sweet "china" oranges to the audience inside the theatre for a sixpence each.

The work exposed her to multiple aspects of theatre life and to London’s higher society: this was after all the "King’s playhouse" and Charles frequently enough attended the performances. The orange-girls would also serve as messengers between men in the audience and actresses backstage; they received monetary tips for this role and certainly some of these messages would end in sexual assignations. Whether this activity rose to the level of pimping may be a matter of semantics. Some sources think it also likely that Gwyn prostituted herself during her time as an orange-girl.

The new theatres were the first in England to feature actresses; earlier, women’s parts were played by boys or men. Gwyn joined the rank of actresses at Bridges Street when she was fourteen, less than a year after becoming an orange-girl.

If her good looks, strong clear voice, and lively wit were responsible for catching the eye of Killigrew, she still had to prove herself clever enough to succeed as an actress. This was no mean task in the Restoration theatre; the limited pool of audience members meant that very short runs were the norm for plays and fifty different productions might be mounted in the nine-month season lasting from September to June.[10]

Gwyn was illiterate her entire life (signing her initials "E.G." would be the extent of her ability to read or write), adding an extra complication to the memorisation of her lines.

Late in 1667, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham took on the role of unofficial manager for Gwyn’s love life. He aimed to provide King Charles II someone who would move aside Barbara Palmer, his principal current mistress (and Buckingham’s cousin), moving Buckingham closer to King’s ear. The plan failed; reportedly, Gwyn asked £500 a year to be kept and this was rejected as too dear a price. Buckingham had a backup, though: he was also involved in successful maneuvers to match the King with Moll Davis, an actress with the rival Duke’s Company.[25] Davis would be Nell’s first rival for the King. Several anonymous satires from the time relate a tale of Gwyn, with the help of her friend Aphra Behn, slipping a powerful laxative into Davis’ tea-time cakes before an evening when she was expected in the king’s bed.[26]

Romance between the King and Gwyn began in April of 1668, if the stories are correct: Gwyn was attending a performance of George Etherege’s She Wou’d if She Cou’d at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In the next box was the King, who from accounts was more interested in flirting with Nell than watching the play. Charles invited Nell and her date (a Mr. Villiers, a cousin of Buckingham’s) to supper, along with his brother James, the Duke of York. The anecdote turns charming if perhaps apocryphal at this point: the King, after supper, discovered that he had no money on him; nor did his brother. Gwyn had to foot the bill. "Od’s fish!" she exclaimed, in an imitation of the King’s manner of speaking, "but this is the poorest company I ever was in!"[27]

Previously having been the mistress of Charles Hart and Charles Sackville, she jokingly titled the King "her Charles the Third". By the summer of 1668, Gwyn’s affair with the King was well-known, though there was little reason to believe it would last for long. She continued to act at the King’s House, her new notoriety drawing larger crowds and encouraging the playwrights to craft more roles specifically for her. June 1668 found her in Dryden’s An Evening’s Love, or The Mock Astrologer, and in July she played in Lacy’s The Old Troop. This was a farce about a company of Cavalier soldiers during the English Civil War, based on Lacy’s own experiences. Possibly, Nell Gwyn’s father had served in the same company, and Gwyn’s part — the company whore — was based on her own mother.[28] As her commitment to the king increased, though, her acting career slowed, and she had no recorded parts between January and June of 1669, when she played Valeria in Dryden’s very successful tragedy Tyrannick Love.[29]

King Charles II had a considerable number of mistresses through his life, both short affairs and committed arrangements. He also had a wife, the Queen consort Catherine of Braganza, who was in an awkward position in several ways: made pregnant, she consistently miscarried, and she had little or no say over Charles’ choice to have mistresses. This had come to a head shortly after their 1662 marriage, in a confrontation between Catherine and Barbara Palmer that became known as the "Bedchamber crisis". Ostracised at court and with most of her retinue sent back to her home nation of Portugal, Catherine had been left with little choice but to acquiesce to Charles’ mistresses being granted semi-official standing.

During Gwyn’s first years with Charles, there was little competition in the way of other mistresses: Barbara Palmer was on her way out in most respects certainly in terms of age and looks and others, such as Moll Davis, kept quietly away from the spotlight of public appearances or Whitehall. Nell gave birth to her first son, Charles, on 8 May 1670. This was the King’s seventh son — by five separate mistresses.

In February 1671, Nell moved into a brick townhouse at 79 Pall Mall.[32] The property was owned by the crown and its current resident was instructed to transfer the lease to Gwyn. It would be her main residence for the rest of her life. Gwyn seemed unsatisfied with being a leasee only – in 1673 we are told in a letter of Joseph Williamson that "Madam Gwinn complains she has no house yett." Gwyn is said to have complained that "she had always conveyed free under the Crown, and always would; and would not accept [the house] till it was conveyed free to her by an Act of Parliament." In 1676, Gwyn would in fact be granted the freehold to the property, which would remain in her family until 1693; as of 1960 the property was still the only one on the south side of Pall Mall not owned by the Crown.

Nell Gwyn gave birth to her second child by the King, James, on 25 December 1671. Sent to school in Paris when he was six, he would die there in 1681. The circumstances of the child’s life in Paris and the cause of his death are both unknown, one of the few clues being that he died "of a sore leg", which Beauclerk (p. 300) speculates could mean anything from an accident to poison.

There are two variations about how the elder of her two children by Charles was given the Earldom of Burford, both of which are unverifiable: The first (and most popular) is that when Charles was six years old, on the arrival of the King, Nell said, "Come here, you little bastard, and say hello to your father." When the King protested her calling Charles that, she replied, "Your Majesty has given me no other name by which to call him." In response, Charles made him the Earl of Burford. Another is that Nell grabbed Charles and hung him out of a window (or over a river) and threatened to drop him unless Charles was granted a peerage. The King cried out "God save the Earl of Burford!" and subsequently officially created the peerage, saving his son’s life. On 21 December 1676, a warrant was passed for "a grant to Charles Beauclerc, the King’s natural son, and to the heirs male of his body, of the dignities of Baron of Heddington, co.Oxford, and Earl of Burford in the same county, with remainder to his brother, James Beauclerc, and the heirs male of his body." [33] A few weeks later, James was given "the title of Lord Beauclerc, with the place and precedence of the eldest son of an earl." [33]

Shortly afterwards, the King granted Burford House, on the edge of the Home Park in Windsor, to Nell and their son. She lived there when the King was in residence at the Castle. In addition to the properties mentioned above, Nell had a summer residence on the site of what is now 61-63 King’s Cross Road, which enjoyed later popularity as the Bagnigge Wells Spa. According to the London Encyclopedia (Macmillan, 1983) she "entertained Charles II here with little concerts and breakfasts". An inscribed stone of 1680, saved and reinserted in the front wall of the present building, shows a carved mask which is probably a reference to her stage career.

Just after the death of Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans at the turn of the year, on 5 January 1684, King Charles granted his son Charles, Earl of Burford, the title of Duke of St Albans, gave him an allowance of £1,000 a year, and granted him the offices of Chief Ranger of Enfield Chace and Master of the Hawks in reversion (i. e. after the death of the current incumbents).

King Charles died on 6 February 1685. James II, obeying his brother’s deathbed wish, "Let not poor Nelly starve," eventually paid most of Gwyn’s debts off and gave her a pension of 1500 pounds a year. He also paid off the mortgage on Gwyn’s Nottinghamshire lodge in Bestwood, which would remain in the Beauclerk family until 1940.[35] At the same time, James applied pressure to Nell and her son Charles to convert to Roman Catholicism, something she resisted.

In March of 1687, Gwyn suffered a stroke that left her paralysed on one side. In May, a second stroke left her confined to the bed in her Pall Mall house; she made out her will on 9 July. Nell Gwyn died on 14 November 1687, at ten in the evening, less than three years after the King’s death. She was 37 years old. Although she left considerable debts, she left a legacy to the Newgate prisoners in London.

She was buried in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, after a funeral in which Thomas Tenison, the Archbishop of Canterbury, preached a sermon on the text of Luke 15:7 "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

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Three Flirting Tips To Help You Get The Guy

=== howtogetamannow.com === Three Flirting Tips To Help You Get The Guy. Devon Brown explains the three simplest things you could do to increase the efficacy of your flirting. Apply these three simple flirting techniques the next time you go out and I GUARANTEE you’ll double your chances of grabbing the attention of that cute guy!
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Nell Gwyn, Actress and Mistress of King Charles II
flirting tips

Image by lisby1
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne) (1650 – 14 November 1687), was one of the earliest English actresses to receive prominent recognition, and a long-time mistress of King Charles II.

Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been called a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella.

Elizabeth Howe, in The First English Actresses, says she was "the most famous Restoration actress of all time, possessed of an extraordinary comic talent."[1] By Charles, Nell had two sons, Charles Beauclerk (1670-1726) and James Beauclerk (1671-1680). Charles was the first Earl of Burford, later Duke of St. Albans.

Very little is reliably known about Nell Gwyn’s background. Her mother was Helena (or perhaps Eleanor) Gwyn, née Smith; contemporaries referred to her as "Old Madam Gwyn" or simply "Madam Gwyn". Madam Gwyn was born within the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and is thought to have lived most of her life in the city. She is believed by most Gwyn biographers to have been low-born; Beauclerk calls this conjecture, based solely on what is known of her later life. Nell Gwyn’s father was, according to most sources, Thomas Gwyn, a Captain in the Cavalier Army during the English Civil War.[2]

Three cities make the claim to be Nell Gwyn’s birthplace: Hereford, London (specifically Covent Garden), and Oxford. Evidence for any one of the three is scarce.[3] The fact that "Gwyn" is a name of Welsh origin might support Hereford, as its county is on the border with Wales; The Dictionary of National Biography notes a traditional belief that she was born there in Pipe Well Lane, renamed to Gwynne Street in the 19th century. London is the simplest choice, perhaps, since Nell’s mother was born there and that is where she raised her children. Alexander Smith’s 1715 Lives of the Court Beauties says she was born in Coal Yard Alley in Covent Garden and other biographies, including Wilson’s, have followed suit. Beauclerk pieces together circumstantial evidence to favor an Oxford birth. The location may remain a mystery, but the time does not: a horoscope cast for Nell Gwyn pinpoints it as Saturday 2 February 1650, at six o’clock in the morning.[4]

One way or another, Nell’s father seems to have been out of the picture by the time of her childhood in Covent Garden, and her mother was left in a low situation. Old Madam Gwyn was by most accounts an obese brandy-swigging alcoholic whose business was running a bawdy house (a brothel). There, or in the bawdy house of one Madam Ross, Nell would spend at least some time. It is possible she worked herself as a child prostitute; Peter Thomson, in the Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre, says it is "probable". A rare mention of her upbringing from the source herself might be seen to contradict the idea: A 1667 entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary records, second-hand,

Here Mrs. Pierce tells me [...] that Nelly and Beck Marshall, falling out the other day, the latter called the other my Lord Buckhurst’s whore. Nell answered then, "I was but one man’s whore, though I was brought up in a bawdy-house to fill strong waters to the guests; and you are a whore to three or four, though a Presbyter’s praying daughter!" which was very pretty.[5]

It is not out of the question that Gwyn was merely echoing the satirists of the day, if she said this at all.

Various anonymous verses are the only other sources describing her childhood occupations: bawdyhouse servant, street hawker of herring, oysters or turnips, and cinder-girl have all been put forth.[6] Tradition has her growing up in Coal Yard Alley, a poor slum off Drury Lane.

Around 1662, Nell is said to have taken a lover by the name of Duncan or Dungan. Their relationship lasted perhaps two years and was reported with obscenity-laced acidity in several later satires. ("For either with expense of purse or p—k, / At length the weary fool grew Nelly-sick".[7]) Duncan provided Gwyn with rooms at a tavern in Maypole Alley, and the satires also say he was involved in securing Nell a job at the theatre being built nearby.

Charles II had been restored to the English throne in 1660, after a decade of protectorate rule by the Cromwells, when pastimes regarded as frivolous, including theatre, had been banned. One of Charles’ early acts as King was to license the formation of two acting companies, and in 1663 the King’s Company, led by Thomas Killigrew, opened a new playhouse, the Theatre in Bridges Street (later rebuilt and renamed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

Mary Meggs, a former prostitute nicknamed "Orange Moll" and a friend of Madam Gwyn’s, had been granted the licence to "vend, utter and sell oranges, lemons, fruit, sweetmeats and all manner of fruiterers and confectioners wares" within the theatre.[8] Orange Moll hired Nell and her older sister Rose as "orange-girls", selling the small, sweet "china" oranges to the audience inside the theatre for a sixpence each.

The work exposed her to multiple aspects of theatre life and to London’s higher society: this was after all the "King’s playhouse" and Charles frequently enough attended the performances. The orange-girls would also serve as messengers between men in the audience and actresses backstage; they received monetary tips for this role and certainly some of these messages would end in sexual assignations. Whether this activity rose to the level of pimping may be a matter of semantics. Some sources think it also likely that Gwyn prostituted herself during her time as an orange-girl.

The new theatres were the first in England to feature actresses; earlier, women’s parts were played by boys or men. Gwyn joined the rank of actresses at Bridges Street when she was fourteen, less than a year after becoming an orange-girl.

If her good looks, strong clear voice, and lively wit were responsible for catching the eye of Killigrew, she still had to prove herself clever enough to succeed as an actress. This was no mean task in the Restoration theatre; the limited pool of audience members meant that very short runs were the norm for plays and fifty different productions might be mounted in the nine-month season lasting from September to June.[10]

Gwyn was illiterate her entire life (signing her initials "E.G." would be the extent of her ability to read or write), adding an extra complication to the memorisation of her lines.

Late in 1667, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham took on the role of unofficial manager for Gwyn’s love life. He aimed to provide King Charles II someone who would move aside Barbara Palmer, his principal current mistress (and Buckingham’s cousin), moving Buckingham closer to King’s ear. The plan failed; reportedly, Gwyn asked £500 a year to be kept and this was rejected as too dear a price. Buckingham had a backup, though: he was also involved in successful maneuvers to match the King with Moll Davis, an actress with the rival Duke’s Company.[25] Davis would be Nell’s first rival for the King. Several anonymous satires from the time relate a tale of Gwyn, with the help of her friend Aphra Behn, slipping a powerful laxative into Davis’ tea-time cakes before an evening when she was expected in the king’s bed.[26]

Romance between the King and Gwyn began in April of 1668, if the stories are correct: Gwyn was attending a performance of George Etherege’s She Wou’d if She Cou’d at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In the next box was the King, who from accounts was more interested in flirting with Nell than watching the play. Charles invited Nell and her date (a Mr. Villiers, a cousin of Buckingham’s) to supper, along with his brother James, the Duke of York. The anecdote turns charming if perhaps apocryphal at this point: the King, after supper, discovered that he had no money on him; nor did his brother. Gwyn had to foot the bill. "Od’s fish!" she exclaimed, in an imitation of the King’s manner of speaking, "but this is the poorest company I ever was in!"[27]

Previously having been the mistress of Charles Hart and Charles Sackville, she jokingly titled the King "her Charles the Third". By the summer of 1668, Gwyn’s affair with the King was well-known, though there was little reason to believe it would last for long. She continued to act at the King’s House, her new notoriety drawing larger crowds and encouraging the playwrights to craft more roles specifically for her. June 1668 found her in Dryden’s An Evening’s Love, or The Mock Astrologer, and in July she played in Lacy’s The Old Troop. This was a farce about a company of Cavalier soldiers during the English Civil War, based on Lacy’s own experiences. Possibly, Nell Gwyn’s father had served in the same company, and Gwyn’s part — the company whore — was based on her own mother.[28] As her commitment to the king increased, though, her acting career slowed, and she had no recorded parts between January and June of 1669, when she played Valeria in Dryden’s very successful tragedy Tyrannick Love.[29]

King Charles II had a considerable number of mistresses through his life, both short affairs and committed arrangements. He also had a wife, the Queen consort Catherine of Braganza, who was in an awkward position in several ways: made pregnant, she consistently miscarried, and she had little or no say over Charles’ choice to have mistresses. This had come to a head shortly after their 1662 marriage, in a confrontation between Catherine and Barbara Palmer that became known as the "Bedchamber crisis". Ostracised at court and with most of her retinue sent back to her home nation of Portugal, Catherine had been left with little choice but to acquiesce to Charles’ mistresses being granted semi-official standing.

During Gwyn’s first years with Charles, there was little competition in the way of other mistresses: Barbara Palmer was on her way out in most respects certainly in terms of age and looks and others, such as Moll Davis, kept quietly away from the spotlight of public appearances or Whitehall. Nell gave birth to her first son, Charles, on 8 May 1670. This was the King’s seventh son — by five separate mistresses.

In February 1671, Nell moved into a brick townhouse at 79 Pall Mall.[32] The property was owned by the crown and its current resident was instructed to transfer the lease to Gwyn. It would be her main residence for the rest of her life. Gwyn seemed unsatisfied with being a leasee only – in 1673 we are told in a letter of Joseph Williamson that "Madam Gwinn complains she has no house yett." Gwyn is said to have complained that "she had always conveyed free under the Crown, and always would; and would not accept [the house] till it was conveyed free to her by an Act of Parliament." In 1676, Gwyn would in fact be granted the freehold to the property, which would remain in her family until 1693; as of 1960 the property was still the only one on the south side of Pall Mall not owned by the Crown.

Nell Gwyn gave birth to her second child by the King, James, on 25 December 1671. Sent to school in Paris when he was six, he would die there in 1681. The circumstances of the child’s life in Paris and the cause of his death are both unknown, one of the few clues being that he died "of a sore leg", which Beauclerk (p. 300) speculates could mean anything from an accident to poison.

There are two variations about how the elder of her two children by Charles was given the Earldom of Burford, both of which are unverifiable: The first (and most popular) is that when Charles was six years old, on the arrival of the King, Nell said, "Come here, you little bastard, and say hello to your father." When the King protested her calling Charles that, she replied, "Your Majesty has given me no other name by which to call him." In response, Charles made him the Earl of Burford. Another is that Nell grabbed Charles and hung him out of a window (or over a river) and threatened to drop him unless Charles was granted a peerage. The King cried out "God save the Earl of Burford!" and subsequently officially created the peerage, saving his son’s life. On 21 December 1676, a warrant was passed for "a grant to Charles Beauclerc, the King’s natural son, and to the heirs male of his body, of the dignities of Baron of Heddington, co.Oxford, and Earl of Burford in the same county, with remainder to his brother, James Beauclerc, and the heirs male of his body." [33] A few weeks later, James was given "the title of Lord Beauclerc, with the place and precedence of the eldest son of an earl." [33]

Shortly afterwards, the King granted Burford House, on the edge of the Home Park in Windsor, to Nell and their son. She lived there when the King was in residence at the Castle. In addition to the properties mentioned above, Nell had a summer residence on the site of what is now 61-63 King’s Cross Road, which enjoyed later popularity as the Bagnigge Wells Spa. According to the London Encyclopedia (Macmillan, 1983) she "entertained Charles II here with little concerts and breakfasts". An inscribed stone of 1680, saved and reinserted in the front wall of the present building, shows a carved mask which is probably a reference to her stage career.

Just after the death of Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans at the turn of the year, on 5 January 1684, King Charles granted his son Charles, Earl of Burford, the title of Duke of St Albans, gave him an allowance of £1,000 a year, and granted him the offices of Chief Ranger of Enfield Chace and Master of the Hawks in reversion (i. e. after the death of the current incumbents).

King Charles died on 6 February 1685. James II, obeying his brother’s deathbed wish, "Let not poor Nelly starve," eventually paid most of Gwyn’s debts off and gave her a pension of 1500 pounds a year. He also paid off the mortgage on Gwyn’s Nottinghamshire lodge in Bestwood, which would remain in the Beauclerk family until 1940.[35] At the same time, James applied pressure to Nell and her son Charles to convert to Roman Catholicism, something she resisted.

In March of 1687, Gwyn suffered a stroke that left her paralysed on one side. In May, a second stroke left her confined to the bed in her Pall Mall house; she made out her will on 9 July. Nell Gwyn died on 14 November 1687, at ten in the evening, less than three years after the King’s death. She was 37 years old. Although she left considerable debts, she left a legacy to the Newgate prisoners in London.

She was buried in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, after a funeral in which Thomas Tenison, the Archbishop of Canterbury, preached a sermon on the text of Luke 15:7 "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

by Simon Verelst,painting,circa 1680

Nell Gwyn, Actress and Mistress of King Charles II
flirting tips

Image by lisby1
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn (or Gwynn or Gwynne) (1650 – 14 November 1687), was one of the earliest English actresses to receive prominent recognition, and a long-time mistress of King Charles II.

Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been called a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella.

Elizabeth Howe, in The First English Actresses, says she was "the most famous Restoration actress of all time, possessed of an extraordinary comic talent."[1] By Charles, Nell had two sons, Charles Beauclerk (1670-1726) and James Beauclerk (1671-1680). Charles was the first Earl of Burford, later Duke of St. Albans.

Very little is reliably known about Nell Gwyn’s background. Her mother was Helena (or perhaps Eleanor) Gwyn, née Smith; contemporaries referred to her as "Old Madam Gwyn" or simply "Madam Gwyn". Madam Gwyn was born within the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, and is thought to have lived most of her life in the city. She is believed by most Gwyn biographers to have been low-born; Beauclerk calls this conjecture, based solely on what is known of her later life. Nell Gwyn’s father was, according to most sources, Thomas Gwyn, a Captain in the Cavalier Army during the English Civil War.[2]

Three cities make the claim to be Nell Gwyn’s birthplace: Hereford, London (specifically Covent Garden), and Oxford. Evidence for any one of the three is scarce.[3] The fact that "Gwyn" is a name of Welsh origin might support Hereford, as its county is on the border with Wales; The Dictionary of National Biography notes a traditional belief that she was born there in Pipe Well Lane, renamed to Gwynne Street in the 19th century. London is the simplest choice, perhaps, since Nell’s mother was born there and that is where she raised her children. Alexander Smith’s 1715 Lives of the Court Beauties says she was born in Coal Yard Alley in Covent Garden and other biographies, including Wilson’s, have followed suit. Beauclerk pieces together circumstantial evidence to favor an Oxford birth. The location may remain a mystery, but the time does not: a horoscope cast for Nell Gwyn pinpoints it as Saturday 2 February 1650, at six o’clock in the morning.[4]

One way or another, Nell’s father seems to have been out of the picture by the time of her childhood in Covent Garden, and her mother was left in a low situation. Old Madam Gwyn was by most accounts an obese brandy-swigging alcoholic whose business was running a bawdy house (a brothel). There, or in the bawdy house of one Madam Ross, Nell would spend at least some time. It is possible she worked herself as a child prostitute; Peter Thomson, in the Oxford Illustrated History of Theatre, says it is "probable". A rare mention of her upbringing from the source herself might be seen to contradict the idea: A 1667 entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary records, second-hand,

Here Mrs. Pierce tells me [...] that Nelly and Beck Marshall, falling out the other day, the latter called the other my Lord Buckhurst’s whore. Nell answered then, "I was but one man’s whore, though I was brought up in a bawdy-house to fill strong waters to the guests; and you are a whore to three or four, though a Presbyter’s praying daughter!" which was very pretty.[5]

It is not out of the question that Gwyn was merely echoing the satirists of the day, if she said this at all.

Various anonymous verses are the only other sources describing her childhood occupations: bawdyhouse servant, street hawker of herring, oysters or turnips, and cinder-girl have all been put forth.[6] Tradition has her growing up in Coal Yard Alley, a poor slum off Drury Lane.

Around 1662, Nell is said to have taken a lover by the name of Duncan or Dungan. Their relationship lasted perhaps two years and was reported with obscenity-laced acidity in several later satires. ("For either with expense of purse or p—k, / At length the weary fool grew Nelly-sick".[7]) Duncan provided Gwyn with rooms at a tavern in Maypole Alley, and the satires also say he was involved in securing Nell a job at the theatre being built nearby.

Charles II had been restored to the English throne in 1660, after a decade of protectorate rule by the Cromwells, when pastimes regarded as frivolous, including theatre, had been banned. One of Charles’ early acts as King was to license the formation of two acting companies, and in 1663 the King’s Company, led by Thomas Killigrew, opened a new playhouse, the Theatre in Bridges Street (later rebuilt and renamed the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane).

Mary Meggs, a former prostitute nicknamed "Orange Moll" and a friend of Madam Gwyn’s, had been granted the licence to "vend, utter and sell oranges, lemons, fruit, sweetmeats and all manner of fruiterers and confectioners wares" within the theatre.[8] Orange Moll hired Nell and her older sister Rose as "orange-girls", selling the small, sweet "china" oranges to the audience inside the theatre for a sixpence each.

The work exposed her to multiple aspects of theatre life and to London’s higher society: this was after all the "King’s playhouse" and Charles frequently enough attended the performances. The orange-girls would also serve as messengers between men in the audience and actresses backstage; they received monetary tips for this role and certainly some of these messages would end in sexual assignations. Whether this activity rose to the level of pimping may be a matter of semantics. Some sources think it also likely that Gwyn prostituted herself during her time as an orange-girl.

The new theatres were the first in England to feature actresses; earlier, women’s parts were played by boys or men. Gwyn joined the rank of actresses at Bridges Street when she was fourteen, less than a year after becoming an orange-girl.

If her good looks, strong clear voice, and lively wit were responsible for catching the eye of Killigrew, she still had to prove herself clever enough to succeed as an actress. This was no mean task in the Restoration theatre; the limited pool of audience members meant that very short runs were the norm for plays and fifty different productions might be mounted in the nine-month season lasting from September to June.[10]

Gwyn was illiterate her entire life (signing her initials "E.G." would be the extent of her ability to read or write), adding an extra complication to the memorisation of her lines.

Late in 1667, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham took on the role of unofficial manager for Gwyn’s love life. He aimed to provide King Charles II someone who would move aside Barbara Palmer, his principal current mistress (and Buckingham’s cousin), moving Buckingham closer to King’s ear. The plan failed; reportedly, Gwyn asked £500 a year to be kept and this was rejected as too dear a price. Buckingham had a backup, though: he was also involved in successful maneuvers to match the King with Moll Davis, an actress with the rival Duke’s Company.[25] Davis would be Nell’s first rival for the King. Several anonymous satires from the time relate a tale of Gwyn, with the help of her friend Aphra Behn, slipping a powerful laxative into Davis’ tea-time cakes before an evening when she was expected in the king’s bed.[26]

Romance between the King and Gwyn began in April of 1668, if the stories are correct: Gwyn was attending a performance of George Etherege’s She Wou’d if She Cou’d at the theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. In the next box was the King, who from accounts was more interested in flirting with Nell than watching the play. Charles invited Nell and her date (a Mr. Villiers, a cousin of Buckingham’s) to supper, along with his brother James, the Duke of York. The anecdote turns charming if perhaps apocryphal at this point: the King, after supper, discovered that he had no money on him; nor did his brother. Gwyn had to foot the bill. "Od’s fish!" she exclaimed, in an imitation of the King’s manner of speaking, "but this is the poorest company I ever was in!"[27]

Previously having been the mistress of Charles Hart and Charles Sackville, she jokingly titled the King "her Charles the Third". By the summer of 1668, Gwyn’s affair with the King was well-known, though there was little reason to believe it would last for long. She continued to act at the King’s House, her new notoriety drawing larger crowds and encouraging the playwrights to craft more roles specifically for her. June 1668 found her in Dryden’s An Evening’s Love, or The Mock Astrologer, and in July she played in Lacy’s The Old Troop. This was a farce about a company of Cavalier soldiers during the English Civil War, based on Lacy’s own experiences. Possibly, Nell Gwyn’s father had served in the same company, and Gwyn’s part — the company whore — was based on her own mother.[28] As her commitment to the king increased, though, her acting career slowed, and she had no recorded parts between January and June of 1669, when she played Valeria in Dryden’s very successful tragedy Tyrannick Love.[29]

King Charles II had a considerable number of mistresses through his life, both short affairs and committed arrangements. He also had a wife, the Queen consort Catherine of Braganza, who was in an awkward position in several ways: made pregnant, she consistently miscarried, and she had little or no say over Charles’ choice to have mistresses. This had come to a head shortly after their 1662 marriage, in a confrontation between Catherine and Barbara Palmer that became known as the "Bedchamber crisis". Ostracised at court and with most of her retinue sent back to her home nation of Portugal, Catherine had been left with little choice but to acquiesce to Charles’ mistresses being granted semi-official standing.

During Gwyn’s first years with Charles, there was little competition in the way of other mistresses: Barbara Palmer was on her way out in most respects certainly in terms of age and looks and others, such as Moll Davis, kept quietly away from the spotlight of public appearances or Whitehall. Nell gave birth to her first son, Charles, on 8 May 1670. This was the King’s seventh son — by five separate mistresses.

In February 1671, Nell moved into a brick townhouse at 79 Pall Mall.[32] The property was owned by the crown and its current resident was instructed to transfer the lease to Gwyn. It would be her main residence for the rest of her life. Gwyn seemed unsatisfied with being a leasee only – in 1673 we are told in a letter of Joseph Williamson that "Madam Gwinn complains she has no house yett." Gwyn is said to have complained that "she had always conveyed free under the Crown, and always would; and would not accept [the house] till it was conveyed free to her by an Act of Parliament." In 1676, Gwyn would in fact be granted the freehold to the property, which would remain in her family until 1693; as of 1960 the property was still the only one on the south side of Pall Mall not owned by the Crown.

Nell Gwyn gave birth to her second child by the King, James, on 25 December 1671. Sent to school in Paris when he was six, he would die there in 1681. The circumstances of the child’s life in Paris and the cause of his death are both unknown, one of the few clues being that he died "of a sore leg", which Beauclerk (p. 300) speculates could mean anything from an accident to poison.

There are two variations about how the elder of her two children by Charles was given the Earldom of Burford, both of which are unverifiable: The first (and most popular) is that when Charles was six years old, on the arrival of the King, Nell said, "Come here, you little bastard, and say hello to your father." When the King protested her calling Charles that, she replied, "Your Majesty has given me no other name by which to call him." In response, Charles made him the Earl of Burford. Another is that Nell grabbed Charles and hung him out of a window (or over a river) and threatened to drop him unless Charles was granted a peerage. The King cried out "God save the Earl of Burford!" and subsequently officially created the peerage, saving his son’s life. On 21 December 1676, a warrant was passed for "a grant to Charles Beauclerc, the King’s natural son, and to the heirs male of his body, of the dignities of Baron of Heddington, co.Oxford, and Earl of Burford in the same county, with remainder to his brother, James Beauclerc, and the heirs male of his body." [33] A few weeks later, James was given "the title of Lord Beauclerc, with the place and precedence of the eldest son of an earl." [33]

Shortly afterwards, the King granted Burford House, on the edge of the Home Park in Windsor, to Nell and their son. She lived there when the King was in residence at the Castle. In addition to the properties mentioned above, Nell had a summer residence on the site of what is now 61-63 King’s Cross Road, which enjoyed later popularity as the Bagnigge Wells Spa. According to the London Encyclopedia (Macmillan, 1983) she "entertained Charles II here with little concerts and breakfasts". An inscribed stone of 1680, saved and reinserted in the front wall of the present building, shows a carved mask which is probably a reference to her stage career.

Just after the death of Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St Albans at the turn of the year, on 5 January 1684, King Charles granted his son Charles, Earl of Burford, the title of Duke of St Albans, gave him an allowance of £1,000 a year, and granted him the offices of Chief Ranger of Enfield Chace and Master of the Hawks in reversion (i. e. after the death of the current incumbents).

King Charles died on 6 February 1685. James II, obeying his brother’s deathbed wish, "Let not poor Nelly starve," eventually paid most of Gwyn’s debts off and gave her a pension of 1500 pounds a year. He also paid off the mortgage on Gwyn’s Nottinghamshire lodge in Bestwood, which would remain in the Beauclerk family until 1940.[35] At the same time, James applied pressure to Nell and her son Charles to convert to Roman Catholicism, something she resisted.

In March of 1687, Gwyn suffered a stroke that left her paralysed on one side. In May, a second stroke left her confined to the bed in her Pall Mall house; she made out her will on 9 July. Nell Gwyn died on 14 November 1687, at ten in the evening, less than three years after the King’s death. She was 37 years old. Although she left considerable debts, she left a legacy to the Newgate prisoners in London.

She was buried in the Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, after a funeral in which Thomas Tenison, the Archbishop of Canterbury, preached a sermon on the text of Luke 15:7 "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance."

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Flirt Dating; If You Want To Learn The Art Of Flirting And Get A Date, Then Read This Guide To Body Language, Flirting Tips, Online Flirting, Flirting Mistakes To Avoid, And More!

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Women flirting with Women – 7 Secret Ways To Become A Fabulous Flirt

Women flirting with Women – 7 Secret Ways To Become A Fabulous Flirt

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Sanke card # 361: Oberleutnant Max Immelmann, “The Eagle of Lille”
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Nothing on reverse.

Possibly the most well known Sanke of them all – depicts Oberleutnant Max Immelmann in all his military regalia. Photograph taken in Lille / Douai sometime between 17 – 19 of January 1916 on the occasion of his promotion to Oberleutnant.

From Wiki:

Max Immelmann (21 September 1890 – 18 June 1916) was a great pioneer in fighter aviation and is often mistakenly credited with the first aerial victory using a synchronized gun. His name has become attached to common flying tactics, and remains a byword in aviation.

When World War I started, Immelmann was recalled to active service, transferred to the Luftstreitkräfte and was sent for pilot training at Johannisthal Air Field in November 1914. He was initially stationed in northern France.

Immelmann served as a pilot with Fliegerabteilung 10 from February to April 1915, and then in Flg Abt 62. On several occasions he engaged in combat while flying the L.V.G. two seaters with which his units were equipped, but never with any success. On 3 June 1915, he was shot down by a French pilot but managed to land safely behind German lines. Immelmann was decorated with the Iron Cross, Second Class for preserving his aircraft.

When two Fokker E.Is were delivered to the unit, Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke flew these, and it was with one of these aircraft that he gained the first confirmed air victory of the war for the Germans on 1 August 1915. Immelmann achieved his first victory, on 1 August 1915:

"Like a hawk, I dived… and fired my machine gun. For a moment, I believed I would fly right into him. I had fired about 60 shots when my gun jammed. That was awkward, for to clear the jam I needed both hands – I had to fly completely without hands… "

Lieutenant William Reid fought back valiantly, flying with his left hand and firing a pistol with his right. Nonetheless, the 450 bullets fired at him took their effect; Reid suffered four wounds in his left arm, and his airplane’s engine quit, causing a crash-landing. The unarmed Immelmann landed nearby, took Reid prisoner, and rendered first aid.

Immelmann became one of the first German fighter pilots, quickly building an impressive score of air victories. During September, three more victories followed, and then in October he became solely responsible for the air defense of the city of Lille. Immelmann became known as The Eagle of Lille (Der Adler von Lille). He gained two further victories during September, to become the first German ace.

Immelmann flirted with the position of occasionally being Germany’s leading ace, trading that spot off with that other pioneer ace, Oswald Boelcke. Having come second to Boelcke for his sixth victory, and thus second to be awarded the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern for this feat, on 15 December, Immelmann shot down his seventh British plane and moved into an unchallenged lead in the ace race.

Immelmann was the first pilot to be awarded the Pour le Mérite, Germany’s highest military honour, receiving it on the day of his eighth win. The medal became unofficially known as the "Blue Max" in the German Air Service in honor of Immelmann. His medal was presented by Kaiser Wilhelm II on 12 January 1916. Oswald Boelcke received his medal at the same time.

Boelcke scored again two days later. Immelmann would chase him in the ace race for the next four months, drawing even on 13 March at 11 each, losing the lead on the 19th, regaining it on Easter Sunday (23 April) 14 to 13, losing it again forever on 1 May. It was about this time, on 25 April, that Immelmann received a salutary lesson in the improvement of British aircraft. As the German ace himself described his attack on two Airco DH.2s, "The two worked splendidly together…and put 11 shots into my machine. The petrol tank, the struts on the fuselage, the undercarriage and the propeller were hit… It was not a nice business."

On 31 May, Immelmann, Max Ritter von Mulzer, and another German pilot attacked a formation of seven British aircraft. Immelmann was flying a two-gun Fokker E.IV, and when he opened fire, the synchronizing gear malfunctioned. A stream of bullets cut off the tip of a propeller blade. The thrashing of the unbalanced air screw nearly shook the aircraft’s Oberursel engine loose from its mounts before he could cut the ignition and glide to a dead-stick landing.

In the late afternoon of 18 June 1916, Immelmann led a flight of four Fokker E.III Eindeckers in search of a flight of eight F.E.2b reconnaissance aircraft of 25 Squadron Royal Flying Corps over Sallaumines in northern France. The British flight had just crossed the lines near Arras, with the intent of photographing the German infantry and artillery positions within the area, when Immelmann’s flight intercepted them. After a long-running fight, scattering the participants over an area of some 30 square miles, Immelmann brought down one of the enemy aircraft, wounding both the pilot and observer. This was his 16th victory.

Later that same evening, Immelmann in Fokker E.III, serial 246/16, encountered No. 25 Squadron again, this time near the village of Lentz. Immediately, he got off a burst which hit the pilot of one of the pushers, killing him instantly. This was his 17th victory. The crew of the second aircraft he closed on, which Max Ritter von Mulzer downed a few minutes later, was piloted by Second Lieutenant G.R. McCubbin with Corporal J. H. Waller as gunner/observer, and was credited by the British with shooting Immelmann down. On the German side, many had seen Immelmann as invincible and could not conceive the notion that he had fallen to enemy fire. Meanwhile, British authorities awarded McCubbin the Distinguished Service Order and the Distinguished Service Medal and sergeant’s stripes for Waller.

The German Air Service at the time claimed the loss was due to (friendly) anti-aircraft fire. Others, including Immelmann’s brother, believed his aircraft’s gun synchronisation (designed to enable his machine gun to fire between the whirling propeller blades without damaging them) had malfunctioned with catastrophic results. This is not in itself unreasonable, as early versions of such gears frequently malfunctioned in this way. Indeed, this had already happened to Immelmann twice before (while testing two- and three-machine gun installations), although on each occasion, he had been able to land safely. McCubbin, in a 1935 interview, claimed that immediately after Immelmann shot down McCubbin’s squadron mate, the German ace began an Immelmann turn, McCubbin and Wall swooped down from a greater altitude and opened fire, and the pioneer German ace fell out of the sky. Wall also pointed out later that the British bullets could have hit Immelmann’s propeller.

In fact, damage to the propeller seems unlikely to have been the primary cause of the structural failure evident in accounts of the crash of his aircraft, although it is possible that a sudden stall and spin resulting from the sudden loss of motive power could have caused structural failure. At 2,000 meters, the tail was seen to break away from the rest of Immelmann’s Fokker, the wings detached or folded, and what remained of the fuselage fell straight down, carrying the 25-year old Oberleutnant to his death. His body was recovered by the German 6 Armee from the twisted wreckage, laying smashed and lifeless over what was left of the surprisingly intact Oberursel engine (sometimes cited as under it), but was only identified because he had his initials embroidered on his handkerchief.

Immelmann was given a state funeral and buried in his home of Dresden. His body was later exhumed, however, and honorably cremated in the Dresden-Tolkewitz Crematorium.

The present-day Luftwaffe has dubbed Squadron AG-51 the "Immelmann Squadron" in his honor.

pandora’s aquarium
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Image by mehmet nevzat erdoğan
(c) mehmet erdoğan

You saw Pandora in fifth grade writing love notes on scraps of paper and thought her to be impossibly romantic. On the first day of school she wore a pink shirt that showcased two red hearts inside one another, and when she took some time getting up after the bell rang, you fell in love with her. She liked shivering early mornings; she collected cut outs of movie stars from magazines. You stayed consistently curious throughout high school – perhaps insistent on your crush particularly so it would get you through three years of otherwise mind-numbing world of academe. She would pack so much grace in small movements in the tiniest of moments it confused you. Which is why when she smiled at you, it warmed you, made you want to sing, made you want to dance – until you saw her smile at Josh, too, and then at Phil, and even at Casey. When Titanic came out, Leo DiCaprio was all she’d talk about, so you grew your hair. You got your braces taken out, much to your mother’s chagrin. You tried writing poems, but it wasn’t in you; you watched your brother play the guitar in his room and felt sorry for yourself. You jerked off in the bathroom quietly trying to think of anything but her, almost succeeding but only up to the last second; and when you got up and flushed, guilt covered your ankles like a pair of jeans glued to the floor.

There was a point where you were supposed to become a stronger version of yourself, when the older relatives in the family should notice a crack in your voice and contemplate the growth of your bones. Instead, it felt as though the tides of time took a little bit more sand from your shores every day; each "good night!" left you a little smaller, and you grew quieter, especially around her, especially when she walked up and down the hallway, as you pretended to look for a pencil or your soccer shoes in that locker. Eventually where others were filled with excitement, with danger, with history, with intellectual awakenings, you found yourself drawing blank. It seemed that just when that breakthrough moment had come for you, just when it was your turn to shine and you’d opened your mouth to celebrate, someone had put you on pause and left you there, waiting.

But you wanted it. Of course you wanted it.
The excitement, the danger, the history, the intellectual awakenings.
Instead you started to skip breakfast and opted to dive to the very bottom of yourself, every morning digging without an idea of what to do dig for but still yearning, hoping you’d recognize it if you could just spot it – though always having to resurface, always at the wrong times, breathless and aching.

She was bigger than everyone else combined – even her own shadow couldn’t live up to it; she outdid everyone and everything. As if a bird overlooking them all, in an instant flash, you saw it: all those boys (and Jacqueline, perhaps,) overwhelmed and scribbling in their respective corners, with her head raised high in the front seat, occasionally palming the pairs of eyes on the back of her head, in her hair, then lowering her arm to the floor and opening her palm, as if feeding stars to the fish in an aquarium.

Strangely enough, she never dated anyone. Everyone dated her – in their heads, in their stories, at night in dreams. It was the way it was those days: she smiled to you and you melted. She said hello and your appetite grew stronger. It was through her the plaids made a comeback. Then headbands. She wore one to a school party and next week the style went through the locker rooms like gonorrhea.

You grew suspicious of everyone who was smiling at the cafeteria.

Washing your hands in the sink and catching a glimpse in the mirror, you became suspicious of yourself…

.

Seven years later, now, a few minutes after you step out of the train on 72nd and start walking on Amsterdam, you will see her sitting at a café, wearing a beret, holding a mug to her lips, keeping it there for warmth. She will appear frozen for a tiny second, then move ever so slightly. (Still graceful – some things never change.) She won’t see you, so you will walk by, without a wave, and then you will think: all those seven years will come to you, jump to you, heavy as marshmallow, light as lead, stir you, shake you. Seven years of dirty towels under your bed will say: There is an incomplete scene here, this is your cue. Then in a rush, as in a run-on sentence, you will turn around and go in and stop by her table, wave awkwardly, all white teeth and good hair, the wave uncharacteristic of a 22 year old, a wave seven years late; you will say "hi – " then stop, frustrated with the word itself as if there should be more to it. You will make small talk, only the tips of your fingers inside your pockets, your little pockets unable to contain more, you cursing your fashion choices. You will step back and forth, throw the hair out of your face, take a quick peek at her notepad as she is talking to you – two scribbled hearts inside one another – and then you will both laugh at something she said, or you said, and then you will leave. Seven years of foreplay for such a short climax; so worth it, you will think. That’s the way it goes in the world with her in it. That’s the way it will go: After you get home you will think about her, though only briefly and after that only once in a while, only sometimes, like a secret box of chocolate you take out to enjoy only on special occasions.

What you didn’t know: She did date this boy for a very short time, but asked him to please keep it a secret while she continued flirting with other boys. She was the anti Santa Claus, collecting from children; she sucked out your hearts, all of them, as if she were a gigantic vacuum cleaner only NASA knew of. She was never all that romantic, though she was obsessed with the faint idea of it. She would not have appreciated a poem, or a song. She would have been flattered by your gesture, yes, and she would have been struck by its beauty, but it would not actually have entered her. It would have hit her, and bounced back off. She had no entrances; she was a vault. For you to fondle the lock and curse was eventually what she wanted. For you to knock and ask, Is anyone home? so she could peek her head out of the shower for a whole second and smile, before she went back in to reach for the bottle of shampoo. The attention, the effort, the eyes on her chest: she wanted these things, but only them, and in moderation. High school kids had been an army she could control. Had she let a willing guest come in, she would have had nothing to show, but to everyone looking in from the outside, the clean windows, the pink curtains had been full with the promise of something utopian and perfect.

Even now, as you lie head buried in blankets, still skipping breakfast, waking up listlessly to each morning, drawing days out like savings from a bank, you think she added to you.

One day you’ll figure out she is the reason you stopped making friendships.
One day you’ll figure out she is the reason you secretly think of jerking off as perverse, which is why you wish so desperately to stop it.
One day you’ll notice the girl in the apartment below yours sitting with the TV off when you’re home; then the blinking light on the answering machine, then the dehydrated house plant in your window.

I hope, eventually, someone at least tells you often you have the most beautiful hands.

Her Name Was Wendy
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Image by vasta
She was dancing with someone else when I first walked in.

I must admit, I originally paid her no attention — well, maybe a furtive look at her figure as I passed by on the way to the bar — until I realized who she was: by then, it was too late. Women like that don’t wait for you to sweep them off their feet; waiting is a game they don’t know how to play.

I stood by the bar, quickly chasing my drink while I made casual banter with the pretty bartender behind the counter. It was my first time there, but she seemed pretty comfortable pouring me an endless supply of Bombay Sapphire while I flirted unsuccessfully; she was probably thinking of the potential tip at the end of the night on my quickly increasing tab. I didn’t mind. I hadn’t come there to make friends. I downed another drink.

The woman on the dance floor had left her dancing partner and was surrounded by friends — all feigning dancing in a group but really only periodically shaking their hips as they bombarded her with questions about her latest suitor. A few of them glanced over at the bar, never looking at me, but scanning the room for anything or anyone that would catch their eye. She wasn’t the leader of the pack, or even the true center of attention from amongst her friends, but something about her made her seem like a woman worth meeting. Usually, women like that barely even acknowledged my existence. I didn’t mind. I turned to face my pretty bartender again, as she poured me yet another drink.

Her name was Wendy. Not my pretty bartender — she had a name that I didn’t bother to remember — but the once-dancing woman. She had broken away from her circle of friends to get a drink, maybe to tear herself away from the orchestrated chaos of the dance floor. I said hello as she stood there waiting for her vodka-cranberry, thinking that buying her a drink would have been a bit too forward. I wasn’t that type of guy. We chatted; small talk mostly, but I became enthralled with her intellect, captivated by her sense of humor. Small talk led to a swapping of phone numbers. She asked me to dance: I wasn’t in the mood.

And with that, she kissed me on the cheek and walked out of my life forever.

It wasn’t until then that I realized who she was: the woman of my dreams. I tried to stop her, but it was too late. Women like that don’t wait for you to sweep them off their feet; waiting is a game they don’t know how to play.

I turned towards the bar and quickly downed my last drink the bitterness burning all the way down my burning throat. I motioned that I was ready to settle my tab, but my pretty bartender could see the desolation in my face: the drinks were on the house.

She kissed me on the cheek and began calling for a cab just as I collapsed on the bar from the pain in my head, my body, my soul.

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