Something to woo
This page is a subsection of SCA Without Breaking the Bank. It provides information on courtship.
From ladies to lords
- Give him a favor: this need not be something fancy, unless you want it to be! Something small that you're wearing (a ribbon, a detachable sleeve, a necklace, etc.) is perfectly appropriate. A handcrafted favor or token is also nice, if he's someone you've known for a while, like your boyfriend or husband. Just remember, if he's a fighter and wearing your token or favor on the field, it will most likely get dirty and may get damaged. Don't give something that can't put up with abuse.
- Watch his fights: if he's a fighter, watch when he fights. Especially if he's fighting for you. It might be boring if you don't know what's going on, but try anyway. Cheer when he wins. Console him when he loses. After all, he's fighting for *you*.
- Flirt: hey, if you can't flirt in the SCA, you can't flirt anywhere. Be pretty. Bat your eyes. Smile. Offer tender witticisms. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at all this, but try it anyway. After all, much of what we're doing in the SCA is playing out the stereotype of court ladies. It's fun, I swear, both for you and the lord involved! (Just ask any of the men I hang around with. *grin*)
From lords to ladies
- Give her a favor: though many people assume it is only ladies who give tokens to their lords, this is not true! There's no reason why it can't work the other way around. Something small you're wearing or some small handcrafted piece will certainly be appreciate. (Notes on durability, above, apply if the lady is a fighter.)
- Ask to fight for her honor: if you're a fighter (heavy combat or rapier), ask for the honor of fighting for her. Ask courteously, and be prepared to accept a "no". But often, you'll make her day by asking.
- Kiss her hand: now, I know you probably do this for many people in the SCA. It's something of a standard. But done with all your heart, it's one of the most romantic things I know. Look at her sincerely, and ask for the honor of kissing her hand. Go down on one knee, kiss her hand, and look her in the eyes as you do so. I always melt, every time.
- Be chivalrous: open the door for her. Offer to carry her bags or baskets. Walk on the street-side if you're on a sidewalk. Just like I said for the ladies, we are playing out chivalric stereotypes. Act the part of the valiant knight and enjoy yourself!
- Write something for them: if you are musically or poetically inclined, write a song, poem, or story for them or about them. Then recite it to them, in private if you're shy or it's intimate, in public if both you and the receiver are comfortable with it (or do both!)
- Make something for them: if you are an artisan, consider making them something to show your affection. Or cook something, if you're a cook.
- Present a cloven fruit: if you don't know the SCAdian tradition of the cloven fruit, ask someone in your shire and be prepared to enjoy yourself!
Submitted by Bob Slivertongue
Here're some tips for the lords: if you want to impress a lady you've caught the attention of, take every opportunity to flatter her. (Comparisions to doves and angels work well.) If she accuses you of flattery, say that it could not be flattery, for she is fair enough that all compliments are intrinsically true, etc. Make sure you do all of this in character; for some reason, that seems to help.
Submitted by Tangwen verch Sylwein
For a man: If you really want to stand out when you greet the lady you've been yearning after, and you're sure everyone at the event has already kissed her hand, when introduced to her, don't kiss her hand. Instead, take it in your right hand as if to shake it, and then clasp it with your left hand as well, gently, as though it were a delicate creature that you were holding. Look into her eyes, tell your that you're pleased to meet her, and very gently move your left hand in small circles, just enough for her to feel the movement of your hand on hers. Be alert to the smallest indication that this is embarrassing for her, or that it makes her uncomfortable, and instantly (but gracefully) remove your hands from hers, still making eye-contact, and speaking with an attitude of respect. If you know a way to sweep a lord or lady off their feet without spending too much money, email the webmistress at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Svana Sölgadóttir
Make her laugh and dream.
Start by observing her for a while. If you don't know her, follow her around discreetly and listen. Look for an opportunity to be introduced by a common acquaintance or, if you know people, ask if you could be introduced to her. Upon being introduced, be chivalrous - courtesy always works. Once this is done, observe: her expression, her reactions and what makes her react. This will give you invaluable hints. If she speaks, listen and learn. You will have more chances of making her pleased if you have a clue of what you should be aiming for.