When I was a freshman at L.S.U. and lived in the dorm, people would be sure to ask who you were hanging out with that evening. Sometimes sisterly advice was offered; often sarcastic comments were the commentary. Guys, you certainly did not think that this was not going to happen, did you? Anyway, some frat guys speedily acquired a reputation for being brazenly forward; like stealing second base within the first hour!
One older guy, a grad student, asked me out for dinner and a movie! When I answered the inevitable question about who I was hanging out with, I was simply told to "lie back and think of England." I my naiveity I thought this meant that he was English, and tended to dwell on that topic overly long.
Foolish thought! It turned out he was all hands, and he wasn't following the old "five dates" rule. Anyway, to make a long story mercifully short, I pulled the plug early in the evening. And walked back to the dorm. Fortunately, we had been in Tigerland so it wasn't far. Does coming back early still wearing all your undies constitute the Walk of Virtue?
Since I returned at around nine, there was a lot of speculation about it having gone south. Yes, it did; and he had bigger paws than a Great Dane!
But the evening intrigued me in another way. I did not detect anything Anglo in his speech or interests. He had no apparent interest in cricket or rugby. And did't wear an old school tie, whatever that entailed.
No, it turned out it was a faux historical allusion.
This advice, "Just lie back and think of England" had been around for a while; presumably referring to advice given to Victorian age brides by their mothers in dealing with undesired sexual activity from their husbands. It played on a stereotype of proper English upper-class women as being sexually unresponsive, patiently tolerating the fact that men will be men but they don't have to be pleased with that part. The remark has been specifically attributed to Queen Victoria (probably stridently false) and Lady Hillington, who wrote in her journal "When I hear his steps outside my door I lie down on my bed, spread my legs, and think of England."
[I wonder that if she thought of France or Italy instead, would her experience be different.]
Actually this is good advice for our dealings with the government.
It's also good advice for the Scots, the Welsh, and the Irish. And, historically, for us before 1776.
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