Move over Facebook, make room for the humble fan.
‘The fan expresses the caprices of the heart, nay even sometimes speaks’ or so claimed the Grand Magazine published in London in 1760. Fans seem to be making a comeback, especially in churches in Malta and Budapest where no respectable old lady travels without one in the heat of the summer. They’re useful things and once you get over the perceived affectation of using one, they’re handy to have around.
What I didn’t realise though, was that back in the 1700s, fans spoke – or rather their mistresses used them to convey messages to their gentlemen friends. Forget flirting on Facebook… this has a lot more class and I, for one, am all for reviving fan language.
It’s like a semaphore for lovers. Just think what it could do to revolutionise the dating game. A chap would never even have to cross the dance floor had he not been given the come hither! No more poking or liking or friending – just a plain, old-fashioned come-on.
As for that awkward bit at the end of an evening when others are present and you’re doing the old ‘where to’ fandango [MM:couldn’t resist…], think of how much face could be saved by a fan sign.
Mind you, I can already seeing myself getting into trouble. I don’t think I could resist the urge to rest the fan on my lips… I do it with pens and pencils … but would I want you thinking I don’t trust you? I wear my sunglasses all year round. I’m not fond of sunlight but were I to use my fan to block it out, I’d be telling you that you’re ugly. And when I’m off in a world of my own, looking at you but not really seeing you, and slowly fanning myself, then you’d have every right to think that I don’t care about you at all.
And then, how would I know that you spoke fan language, too? Or indeed what type of fan language you spoke? Dropping my fan in your presence (depending on where you did your fan study, could destin us to a life as platonic friends or as serious lovers. mmmmm…. on second thoughts, I’m not quite sure I’m ready to risk it.