Emily Post-

Dear Emily,

I met a girl. Rather, I met a fellow actor. We were onstage together, auditioning for a university production. I couldn’t help but notice her doe eyes, but what really captivated me was her talent. The audition is over, and I’m left dreaming about this girl. Should I approach her? Try to forget our chemistry? Guide me.

Sincerely,

CRUSH

 

Emily Post- is tired, and she has drunk too many mojitos. This is a night for weeping over To Have and Have Not, pining over Humphrey Bogart, and longing for the days when men were real men and smoking was permitted indoors. We’ve been intimate in a way, have we not, CRUSH? Very well. Light up a metaphorical post-coital cigarette (in a red lacquer holder, bien sûr), and let’s talk about how to woo a woman.

You tell me that you can’t stop thinking about this woman. You tell me that your chemistry was electric. Now, allow me to tell you about another couple who met onstage. (Well, on set, but technicalities are so tedious.) Once upon a time, Lauren Bacall was a wide-eyed 19-year-old actress in her first film, and Humphrey Bogart was a jaded Hollywood star with a rocky marriage and a drinking problem. (Emily Post- relates.) He heard that smoky, sultry voice, and sparks ignited. Was Bogie held back by his comparative decrepitude or the minor issue of his marital status? No, CRUSH, he was not. He wooed the shit out of her, and less than a year later, they married.

Seventy years after his heyday, women are still swooning over Humphrey Bogart. There’s a reason for this. He knew how to deliver a suave line, mix a stiff drink, and look at a woman like he wanted to rip her clothes off. Here’s a dirty little secret: sometimes women just want you to act like a man. (Sometimes we want you to act like something else entirely. But that’s another story.) We do not want you to dither about whether to approach us. Men are decisive. We do not want to pay for our own drinks. Men pick up the check. And we do not—Emily Post- repeats, do not—want to make the first move. Be masterful, CRUSH. If you’re not self-assured, fake it. Find a way to be in the same room with this girl, approach her, and give her the Humphrey Bogart eyes.