Ms Matilda Manners and Ms Edwina Etiquette presented an excellent workshop on Saturday evening. In starched white shirts and with excellent posture, they read us the entire contents of their Mannerly Guide to the Wooing and Winning of the Object of Your Affection.
Following the reading, they enlisted two audience members, "Chris" and "Chris", to enact dramatizations. In the first scene, an impolite wooer failed to secure a date with the object of his affection and in the second scene, the wooer who followed the advice in the guide succeeded in gaining an email address.
In a brilliant stroke, the workshop ended with a Question and Answer session. This allowed the participants to clarify matters that either needed elaboration or were not addressed in the guide.
The first question related to having an Object of Affection who was allergic to ones cat and afraid of ones dog. I believe it was Ms Matilda who informed us that "the polite dater always has allergy medication at home."
I was able to ask a question I have long wondered about - the number of times one should ask for a date when the Object of Affection always has previous engagements (such as tending their llama farm). While I have friends who won't ask more than once, others say you should give a prospect three strikes. The correct number? No more than two, says Ms Edwina.
The final question was about what to do if one is the Object of Affection and the wooer doesn't get the polite hints about llama farming. Both of the authors recommended a direct approach in that case. Ms Edwina modelled a response that politely concluded with "I'm keeping a record of your calls and if you persist, I will be informing the police."