Basic Instinct 2: "shipping" love
("Shipping" and the language of love -alternate title)
I believe it is almost possible to find practical analogies for almost
everything in life.
In this piece we will use our very limited understanding of shipping to generate
for the various stages of courtship. While shipping will be used for the
analogies, we will use
plain English to explain the peculiarities of the language used at various
stages of courtship.
Below we will deal with three major stages of courtship.
I am unavoidably biased since:
(1) I am male, and
(2) I have only been privy to
certain parts of the discussion below
from an observer's point of view.
1. Pre-courtship (setting sail or arranging the cargo)
If you have ever been on a ferry or canoe that is still docked, you will know
slow rocking motion that the canoe undergoes as people and cargo get onboard and
try to find
positions that will optimise the equilibrium of the ship. You will notice that
the rocking motion
does not generate any real fear even though the passengers may be practically falling
each other. The feeling is more of nervousness with a little embarrassed
laughter. This feeling
is totally different from the one experienced when say- the ship is in mid-ocean
and is being
violently rocked by gale-force winds for example.
At this stage, both parties are sizing each other up. The guy has probably already made up
- usual brash male way;
he has seen something he likes and that is that (go for it dumbo!)
Girls are more likely to take their time - they need to be sure they are not acquiring
Some-"thing" that would stick like hot glue (or a leach) when it is no longer
desired or desirable.
2. Trimming the sail
sailors trim the sails, it's basically
to fine-tune the ship's motion which is basically alright at
the point in
question. Here the two involved persons
begin to build up a more accurate picture of
each other. The "level"
of accuracy of the picture is based to a certain degree on how honest the
two parties are about the relationship of
course. Men are notoriously able
to keep the wool over
women's eyes even at this semi-advanced stage of the
This is the courtship that precedes the "real" long
courtship that may lead to marriage or
"live-in" in the "West") - to be developed!!
3. The center cannot hold (abandon ship!)
If a couple finds themselves at this stage, it is because the budding
relationship has failed due to some
If this does not apply safely move on to the next section.
This section is
the focus of this piece and can further be subdivided into "break-up on
friendly" terms or
"I broke my finger poking your eyes out" terms.
While the latter is self-explanatory, we will dwell briefly on the former and
the changes in language and possibly
mannerism that goes with it..
The girl's language changes - subtly. Most likely unconsciously. She is more
paddy-paddy than "girlfriend"
or more "girlfriend" in its real definition than a possible lover
(sounds corny :-)
She is now sure of her "standing". She is no longer the pliable person
she used to be, she is now all chummy.
The language reflects this - chumminess. She is more friend or boyfriend (if
that is possible) than girlfriend
I have heard talk about "not liking soapy talk" but I suspect all
girls would lap it up like ice cream if it is the right guy.
Of course, it makes sense that since the particular guy is not "the
girl shouldn't encourage such talk.
At this point in time, we must state categorically that we do not know as yet
what is responsible for the changes
in language or maybe, stated in a better way, what causes the girl not to use this kind of language at stage
above for example. As we have said, it may be subconscious - that is, the girl is expectant and
something nice such as a good relationship may come out of the stage 1 which is why certain
suppressed. Terms like "gerrout" for example are never head in stage 1.
The bride grooming the groom
"Honey, let me brush of the little bit of cake you have on your moustache"
- perfectly acceptable at this stage.
At stage (3) above, it would probably have drawn a "setting-your-damn-moustache-on-fire"
glare. Or better still,
sideways motion - with apologetic
smiles at any inquisitive onlookers.
(Where did I get my info from, you ask? Please go and watch the film "She
is out of control" - pay close attention
to the doctor in particular)
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