800 years of Daygame

Notes from a Medieval City circa 1250

I just finished reading “Life in a Medieval City” by Joseph and Frances Gies.

It is about the city of Troyes in France, not too far from Paris, that was famous for its seasonal fairs. Really enjoyable book and it is shocking how little has changed in the last 800 years.

I couldn’t help but read it with a red-pill tinted lense, and I had to share a number of quotes, common knowledge for at least 800 years.

Read more history. I find it comforting to discover that things that are broken today have been broken for millennia, and it helps me tune out the noise and focus on what is really important.

Here we go, interesting quotes from the book, followed by my snarky comments:

The feminine ideal is a slender figure, blond hair, and fair skin—“white as snow on ice,” says a poet.

Chapter 3: A Medieval Housewife

Coco Chanel made tanning chic 100 years ago, but otherwise this has been pretty constant since 1250. Gentlemen really do prefer blondes.

Women work outside the home at an astonishing variety of crafts and professions. They may be teachers, midwives, laundresses, lacemakers, seamstresses, and even members of normally male trades and occupations—weavers, fullers, barbers, carpenters, saddlers, tilers, and many others. Wives commonly work at their husbands’ crafts, and when a man dies his widow carries on the trade. Daughters not infrequently learn their father’s craft along with their brothers. In the countryside girls hire out as farm workers. The lady of the manor takes charge of the estate while her husband is off to war, Crusade, or pilgrimage, and wives run businesses while their husbands are away.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE

The modern housewife trope of the 1950’s was not normal. Women were actually kind of an asset to a business – life was hard and they had to be. Marriage sounds like you at least get some free labor out of the deal.

A craftsman had status and was leading his family in the business. A patriarch. That sounds pretty good.

Interesting that daughters often also learned the craft of their fathers.

Among the landed gentry, women are better educated than men. In the romance Galeran a boy and girl brought up together are given typically different schooling—the girl learning to embroider, read, write, speak Latin, play the harp, and sing; the boy, to hawk, hunt, shoot, ride, and play chess.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE

Boys and girls have different interests and different strengths. Educating women in languages and music is a good thing. Educating women in STEM or MMA is kind of silly.

Wife-beating is common in an age when corporal punishment is the norm. But wives do not necessarily get the worst of it. A contemporary observer remarks that men rarely have the mastery of their wives, that nearly everywhere women dominate their husbands.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE

Sounds like an Eastern European stereotype…

Interesting to consider that henpecked beta provider husbands controlled by their wives was the norm. Been like that for at least 800 years.

Women are criticized for the way they look at people, like a sparrowhawk ready to pounce on a swallow. Take care: glances are messengers of love; men are prompt to deceive themselves by them.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (CITING RULES OF CONDUCT FOR WOMEN FROM POET ROBERT BLOIS)

This is where the title of this post comes from. 800 year old daygame wisdom:

Women, be careful to whom you give IOIs, men will misinterpret them

Men: IOIs from women don’t mean much

If a man courts a lady, she must not boast of it. It is base to boast, and besides, if she takes a fancy later to love this person, the secret will be more difficult to keep.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (CITING RULES OF CONDUCT FOR WOMEN FROM POET ROBERT BLOIS)

A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell. Girls should also keep their mouths shut. But when women enter into validation and status competitions with one another, as they do, she is shamed when she is scorned, dumped, left, etc. Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Furylike a Woman scorn‘d. But in this case, she kind of brought it upon herself.

A lady shuns the fashionable décolletage, a sign of shamelessness.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (CITING RULES OF CONDUCT FOR WOMEN FROM POET ROBERT BLOIS)

I have no idea what a décolletage is, but it sounds slutty, french and I would probably like it. I looked it up and it is a low neckline. So a lady doesn’t show off her cleavage.

A lady does not accept gifts. For gifts which are given you in secret cost dear; one buys them with one’s honor. There are, however, honest gifts which it is proper to thank people for.

How did she afford to travel to all these places on her Instagram? Whether or not it is true, one can’t help but wonder at her honor.

Above all, a lady does not scold. Anger and high words are enough to distinguish a low woman from a lady. The man who injures you shames himself and not you; if it is a woman who scolds you, you will break her heart by refusing to answer her.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (CITING RULES OF CONDUCT FOR WOMEN FROM POET ROBERT BLOIS)

It will break her heart by refusing to answer her. Women should ignore other women scolding them. Frame is powerful. As men, more women need to be ignored. It is hard to ignore some women who deserve it, especially when they are hot.

Cut your fingernails frequently, down to the quick, for cleanliness’ sake. Cleanliness is better than beauty.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (CITING RULES OF CONDUCT FOR WOMEN FROM POET ROBERT BLOIS)

Rivelino is going to love this. Keeping clean was probably more difficult 800 years ago. Perfume was invented to mask odors. This was before the black plague in 1350.

Women must not swear, drink too much or eat too much.

One must know how to eat—not to talk or laugh too much at table, not to pick out the best pieces, not to eat too much as a guest, not to criticize the food, to wipe one’s mouth but not one’s nose on the cloth.

CHAPTER 3: A MEDIEVAL HOUSEWIFE (Citing Rules of Conduct for Women from Poet Robert Blois)

The greatest hazard in the life of a woman of the thirteenth century is childbirth. If she survives the childbearing period, she stands a good chance of outliving her husband.

CHapter 4: Childbirth and Children

We are a bit removed from this in modern life, but sex was literally risking her life 800 years ago… …it was a big deal. That is still hardwired into women today, whether modern men and women realize it or not.

An old superstition holds that when twins are born the mother has had intercourse with two different men.

CHAPTER 4: CHILDBIRTH AND CHILDREN

Wait, this isn’t true?

Well-to-do women rarely nurse their own children. The wet nurse is chosen with care, for all manner of qualities may be imbibed with her milk. She must be of good character, have no physical defects, and be neither too fat nor too thin. Above all, she must be healthy, for corrupt milk is blamed for many of the maladies that afflict infants. She must watch her diet—eat white bread, good meat, rice, lettuce, almonds and hazelnuts, and drink good wine. She must rest and sleep well and use moderation in bathing and in working.

CHAPTER 4: CHILDBIRTH AND CHILDREN

Don’t let a fat party girl nurse your baby. Makes sense.

Marriages, at least those of the wealthy classes, have a legal as well as religious basis, with a contract drawn up by the notary specifying the bride’s dowry. The son and daughter of wealthy burghers may start life with a house, one or two small farm properties, some cash, and the rent from a house in town. The contract may also specify what property will be the bride’s after her husband’s death; if it does not, she automatically inherits one-third of his worldly goods.

CHAPTER 5: weddings and funerals

Whatever happened to the dowry system? I speculate that marriage for love vs marriage within one’s social class changed this and became a contributing factor to the amount of divorce out there.

Interesting that common law was 1/3 of a husbands assets after death. The paragraph prior to this one explained that divorce was extremely rare.

After the contract is drawn up, the next step is the betrothal, a religious ceremony of a solemnity approaching that of marriage itself. […] sometimes couples consider themselves married when they are no more than betrothed, converting an engagement into a clandestine marriage, which one party may later find easy to dissolve.

CHAPTER 5: WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS

The “long engagement” has been around for a loooooong time… Imagine the scoundrel daygamers of 1250 promising betrothal, only to disappear come winter.

Another trade closely associated with the taverns is prostitution. The girls of the Champagne Fair cities are famous throughout Europe. When the fair is on, servant girls, laundresses, tradeswomen, and many others find a profitable sideline.

Chapter 6: Small Business

A medieval tavern sounds like a strip club. Some things haven’t changed much in 800 years. Oldest profession indeed…

Also, a servant girl in Champagne is literally a “french maid.” Sounds hot.

[During the fair, the] cadre of regular prostitutes has been reinforced by serving wenches, tradeswomen, and farmers’ daughters.

Chapter 16: The Champagne Fair

Oldest profession indeed. Wasn’t there a British woman with a PhD that moonlighted as a prostitute? My bad, she was actually American

Things haven’t changed much in 800 years, for better or worse.

Desert Masquerade

TLDR: Experimenting with Daygame in college towns. Where to find water in the desert. Opening with masks.

So I know some people have strong opinions about wearing masks and how this whole covid thing is a big hoax. With all the riots and arson and looting (in American cities) and random lockdown regulations, one just loses trust in the government: Ronald Reagan once famously said “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”  I don’t know what to make of it. I’ve been reading books, working out (lifting, sprinting, trail running), working on a number of business ideas and also somehow landed a reasonably well-paid remote job, so I’m coming out of this fairly robust and quite fortunate. I do know it’s nearly impossible for Americans to travel abroad right now (even Canada just opened up 2 weeks ago), and my permajaunt plans (which were set for April) were placed on indefinite hold until Europe lets us Yankees visit again. I hope to head back to Central and Eastern Europe soon, but I expect it will be early 2021 at the soonest, but we have no idea. So in the meantime, I’m here, in America, thriving during a pandemic, but it happens to be a land full of American women. Fantastic.

Americans are really individualistic and many refuse to wear masks, unless (but also sometimes especially because) the governor mandates it. I was in a gun store recently (any guesses why?), and I was one of the only people wearing a mask (despite governor’s orders to do so), so some people are not wearing a mask as an act of individualism and resistance against the government. I can see both sides, I don’t buy that masks are humiliating unless you buy an ugly one, and I agree they probably become counterproductive when they get wet. It is nice that collective societies like Asian cultures do wear masks as a society and that probably helps reduce contagion, but this is America and we don’t always get to have nice things. So I don’t care and just wear the mask to not be hassled. Most anti-maskers are conservative and leave you alone if you wear a mask, and the pro-maskers get their underwear tied in knots if you don’t and aren’t worth the hassle. I also look like a fierce villain in a mask and I think that works in my favor.

I left New York City (daygamenyc was a good domain for 3 years). Now I am in a college town. College just started over the past week or two. I found some water in the desert initially: most of the summer I have been dating a girl I met while in line for my new drivers license (while wearing a mask. The mask did not block my vibe. She only saw my full face when we exchanged numbers).

Did I mention college just started up again?

Whether you are in a major city or not, most shopping malls are closed. Most major business districts with clothing (that would be good high foot traffic locations) have been closed for quarantine or by government decree, damaged by looting or riots and have earned a reputation for being unsafe. Girls like shopping and feeling safe. This is very bad for daygame.

So where do you go? I have been looking at green open park areas, especially along rivers and lakes, but volume is low. I’ve observed there are lots of seated 2 sets here (girls putting themselves in a fishbowl and hoping to magically summon a pair of hot guys that trip and fall in their laps) and the occasional solo girl out for a walk or reading a book.

A few days ago I started approaching properly again to shake off the rust. I have only done a small number of approaches since April. I missed the first few walking girls, but opened a girl reading by a lake, and got her number. She texted me right away, and then didn’t respond after that. I’m guessing she was about 20, so a prime age for flakery. Still, I’ll have a few more of those, please, and eventually something will work out.

Big box stores (Target, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, IKEA, etc.) and grocery stores (24 hour grocery stores, as well as the smaller organic food o-op places) have been OK. I usually get about one opportunity when I am out shopping. I have a plan to visit about 3-5 such stores in close proximity to one another as a daygame “session” and see if that is practical.

Today it was the cashier at the pharmacy: I had asked her about a product in the store, and she asked me a personal question about it when I was checking out. I recognized something on her mask and teased her about it, and we had a moment. It was just good vibes, but an avoidance weasel was telling me wasn’t quite strong enough to go for a number close. I think Mr.V got a number from a cashier once, but I’ve never properly tried. I’m regretting not playing to win on that, but this town is small enough I may get another chance.

Finally, to the point: I have had good luck opening girls with masks. However you feel about it politically, it is a conversation piece. I just added a European country flag patch to my mask that will give girls a bit of conversational assistance to ask me about when we are indoors and are required to wear masks. I know longburndafire avoids wearing masks indoors and I think it can cut both ways. Opening is more important than mask or no mask, especially in low volume times like we find ourselves in, so do what you are comfortable with.

I’ve been experimenting, and my best opening line, for a girl wearing a mask, is: wait for it… “Cool mask!” and then teasing is easy with a choice of to bank robbing, looting, looking like a nurse, or an animal if there is animal print on her mask (surprisingly common), etc.

The local college also gave students masks with the college logo on it. So now I can spot them a mile away (also helps whitelist them as being over 18) and ask any girl if she goes there, and drop a stereotype about the school. How are the classes formatted: “are classes taught remote or in person?” And for a challenge “Are you learning anything?” While this seems pretty basic for a stack, girls have had a boring summer and are starved for attention, and it just seems like they bust open or gush with conversation once you open them. “I bet you have a cute smile under that mask” is my go to spike. I insert/blurt out at the earliest opportunity that I used to live in New York City before moving here, and my fashion and fitness stand out a little bit more in this smaller town.

The townspeople are less active from leftover lockdown inertia, so there are just more students visibly out and about. There were even 4 college kids out with signs about abolishing the police (won’t happen in this town). It made me laugh and gave me a little state pump.

It’s all an experiment. I have some new skills now after learning daygame in NYC, and trying them in a lower volume area is a new challenge. I don’t need as much volume to learn anymore, so I expect I will be able to find some water in the desert (In some sense, I already have, but I want MORE).

Also, I bought a car. So now I can do that thing where I stop, put on my emergency lights, and chase down a girl. Feels try-hard, but I’ll probably learn something from it, so I’ll give it the old college try if the opportunity appears.