I was reading a very very old book last night written by an Englishman from a French and English perspective. Published in 1901.
“The coquette plays on a man’s vanity and makes a fool of him. The flirt displays her accomplishments and personal charms either to make you have a pleasant time with her, or, when more serious, to lead you on to an offer of marriage, which she will honestly accept, often with the best results for yourself.
“The French language expresses the difference to a nicety. The world as an adjective is complimentary, but certainly not as a noun. Elle est coquette means ‘she dressed very elegantly, and has very winning manners,’ whereas C’est une coquette means ‘she is a coquette,’ that is to say, ‘she tried to fascinate for the mere sake of fascinating.’
“The world flirt comes from the French fleureter, which means to go from flower to flower, to touch lightly; but although the word is of French origin, the thing itself is not French. Flirtation is a pastime which is most essentially English. We do not flirt in France; we are more serious than that in love-affairs. After all, flirtation is trifling with love, and that game would be a dangerous one to play with a Frenchman. A woman who flirts would pass in France for giddy, if not worse. She knows her countrymen well, and is aware what she would expose herself to if she flirted with him.
“The English girl in flirting does not play with fire. Englishmen are reserved, cold. The customs of the country grant liberty to the women, and they accept flirtation for what it is worth. The worst they might say of a girl who flirted with them would be, ‘She is an awful flirt,’ with a mixed expression of pity and contempt. And English girl who has had a good time at a party, a picnic, a ball, can say, ‘I have had such a flirtation!’ Why, she could say that to her own mother, and if that mother was still fairly young and good-looking, she might answer, ‘And so have I.’
“I takethe American woman to be too intelligent – I had almost said too intellectual – to enjoy that childish pastime.
Tango was divine last night. It was, truly, the intermediate class, and we did little ‘trucs’ to make beautiful les huites. As is the intermediate salsa class in Winnipeg, there is much more of a rapport between the dansers in the class, and we stayed after for a bit to talk. Maybe I should initiate the going out to Johnny G’s … no, wait a minute…
I now have three favorite dansers.
1) Gregory. He allows the tension of the marche to completely control the movements that are done. He is direct with his signals and very graceful (both in manners and movement).
2) Ana. Just danced with him for the first time last night, but he is the best dancer I have ever danced with. He is so, so easy to follow and he does all the things that the music wants him to do, and that feel good for the danseuse.
3) Thomy. He is silly and is constantly cracking jokes, half of which I don’t understand because they are in a spanish accent. But he likes to ‘essayer a faire des petits trucs’ like dips and kicks and this sort of thing. I always laugh when I am dancing with him.
It went so well that I got an email from my teacher today saying,
“Juste un petit mail pour dire que tu as fait un bon cours ce soir.”
translate: Just a little note to say that you had a good class this evening.
I may go to a salsa class at the same studio this evening – at any rate, I will be visiting lots of places today.