We’re a special breed. We know funny tidbits about wars and royal families most people don’t remember outside of high school exams. We know exact dates of events, and chronicle world history by specific wars and empire changes. We watch street interviews and game shows, mumbling the answers to history and geography questions. We shake our heads and wonder how on earth someone our age and older could have gotten Archduke Ferdinand’s favorite cat’s birth date wrong on national television- Oh they must be so embarrassed! We can sit for hours watching documentaries on YouTube about forgotten battles and newly uncovered mysteries. We skipped home when the teacher gave assignments on WWII and it’s significance. We grinned ear to ear presenting a topic to the class that was so over achieved we were suddenly cool AND teachers pet all at once. We turn down our Count Basie and Bing Crosby at the stoplight when we realize our windows are down. We dream about time traveling, muse about being born in the wrong decade or century and wonder why on earth we’re single.
If none of this makes sense to you, well… I suggest you turn back now. It only goes further.
Who wouldn’t want to date all THIS…right? Well some of us don’t have it so easy. You may know how to flirt with the elusive gloves, cheeky parasols, and the confusing handkerchief. We ladies know the appropriate shade of alluring red lipstick. Some of you are probably still frustrated we don’t have coming out balls for eligible debutantes anymore- seriously, how else are they supposed to know this Grade A woman is on the market?? Where did the gossip column go for our rich and famous elite with classes of old money and new money?
Ahaha…yes -and that’s where I come in. I’ve compiled some basics to remember when trying to attract a mate, or well…friends.
Most of you reenact. When at events, make eye contact, smile. Make sure your authentic or replica uniform is washed, and REGULATION. As a civilian, make sure the 75+ year old clothes have been properly washed since you got it from Aunt Fran’s attic…. and lets be honest- Etsy and Ebay.
When in character, you clearly already know the era appropriate vernacular for asking someone on a date- just please make sure it’s respectful for 2018 as well as 1944. Many a time have I heard a wolf whistle at an airfield in my Rosie slacks, shirt and red handkerchief tied hair – Don’t get me wrong a man in uniform hair trimmed to a fade cut, holding a cigarette and winking at me with a devilish smirk sends my old soul vintage heart all aflutter but the people around me just didn’t understand.
When posing for photos it is appropriate to crack a smile if you are with someone you wish to eventually date. In any authentic event set prior to the invention of the camera feel free to mention your adorable confusion of the new fangled picture taking machine. Perhaps slip in a comment about wanting to know more about such inventions. (Let’s hope they’re smart and pick up on it too.)
When rolling up in a period car your options grow. People love the hardware with you. Make sure your pack/kit are complete and you know every detail about each item (like you didn’t the day you started compiling HA!), your plane is shiny and ready to roll, and your car is fully equipped for some joyriding!
Keep Your Standards!
It’s usually easiest to find someone similar to your interests in dating and the same goes for History Nerds. Fearlessly keep an eye out for the Molly Pitcher to your Patriot, the Rosie to your GI Joe, the nurse to your Yankee soldier!
Strut Your Stuff
Much like the graceful stride and air of the peacock, you too deserve to be seen and admired. If wearing period clothing is your thing, DO IT. Do it with a passion. I know half y’all wear your vintage out and about, don’t act like you don’t. Be proud of the 3 hours you and your mom spent crying over that complicated hem on the collar with bloodied, pin pricked fingers. Be proud of the literal YEARS you spent building your pack. Be proud of the hundreds of dollars you’ve probably spent adapting. This will most likely attract a mate.
Alone in the Wild: Learn to Notice a Tribe Member
We’re our own tribe. We know this. Instagram, Facebook groups and more have opened us all up to new opportunities within the history lovers community. We accept and acknowledge the embarrassing amount of joy we get from a good history joke or meme. When out in social situations we suppress the History Nerd and bring our other, well trained and completely normal portions of our personality and life back to the surface. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
You’ll spot another tribe member at a party by the way they offhandedly remark about a history subject and then quickly jump back to current affairs.
This is what I like to imagine is the signal we release on radar of other History Nerds in the area. We drop a phrase or bit of trivia and keep rolling with conversation to see who’s ears perk up.
That is one call I do myself when in the wild. As a single woman, out and about, and I’m seeing that things are going well with a fella, I’ll drop a reference only a History Nerd would get. (Although sometimes it’s really obscure and I come off as super weird. #Oops)
If he looks at me with a little confusion or I get the blank stare I know he’s not a fellow History Nerd. However! If he acts interested I at least know I caught one and can reel him in. (Guys, I’m really not objectifying you here… I promise) If he is a History Nerd this is where it becomes both exciting and tricky. The initial moment of realization looks similar to the small confusion the non-Nerd has. However their eyes do flash a little and suddenly they are yours for the evening. Buddy up for the rest of the event and see how things go -and invite me to your wedding when it happens.
Try to stay away from attracting a mate by Shakespeare’s standards. Leave that to the Literary Nerds. No killing her cousin and then yourself. Don’t dress up as her friend and ask her what she thinks of you, and DEFINITELY don’t call her a shrew.
And for heaven’s sake, when you do finally go out for a date, don’t stick her with the bill saying “OK, you got this?” Because that’s what we did to Germany in 1918 and that’s how we got WWII.
Also avoid sensitive topics and violent image sharing right off the bat. Come now. Don’t invite me for a milkshake at the corner diner and whip out a a few photos from your Japanese war crimes media vault or start a lively debate on your opinion of best HBO series – Band of Bother vs The Pacific (We all know it’s BoB anyways.) Best stay away from a heated discussion of WWII bad-assery, Airpower vs Big Guns as well. (I’m looking at you, Kurt)
All in all-
Don’t be afraid to branch out and appreciate her Betsy Ross to your GI Joe and vice versa. History is history, we love it all despite having favorite eras.
Tell me your tips in the comments!
I’ll plan another installment to this one if I get enough feedback.
The Mild Millennial