How to Slide Into Her DMs Without Provoking a Decades-long Blood Feud With Her Kinsfolk
Slide into her Dignified Missives like a nobleman
‘Tis common for young lords in our day, smitten by love, to eschew the courtly traditions of winning a maiden’s hand. Gone be the days when being rich, negotiating a few political and economick agreements amongst family patriarchs, and a handshake were enough to seal a betrothal.
Alas, in our modern tymes love, lust, and “emotional connections” have become commonplace in a marriage. Often these “relationships” and “feelings” betwixt man and man’s-wife start not as a political strategy to ally their families, but as a simple DM (Dignified Missive) betwixt two lovers.
And yet, sliding into a damsel’s DMs is no simple feat. One does not want to come off as untoward and accidentally launch an eternal blood feud with her kinsfolk. But one still must clearly communicate that it is her hand in marriage thou desires, and that neither blood nor sword nor blocking of thy missives shall forestall thee. Herein be some tips for sliding into a maiden’s DMs that are sure to have thee betrothed in no tyme!
1. First, slide into her father’s DMs
Before sliding into a lady’s DMs, ‘tis important first to slide into her father’s DMs to get his permission. Also request his review and approval of each and every missive you exchange with her, no matter how prurient. Send them to her brothers, cousins, uncles, ladies-in-waiting, and priest if they ask, too.
2. Be a prince
The goode thing about being a prince is thou can pretty much say and do anything you want and no one can stop thee. In case she is unawares of thy vaunted status, be sure to close each DM with the postscript “btw i’m a prince.”
3. Send her a woodcut of thy dagger
Before a lady accepts thy DM, she will certainly want to know the size and composition of thy sidearm. Whilst sending a woodcut of thy full on broadsword might come off as uncouth, a woodcut of thy sidearm will give her confidence that thou cannest defend her in single combat from any rival factions that might attack thee in the streets.
If she is unimpressed and asks for a woodcut of thy broadsword, but you do not have a broadsword, send her a woodcut of someone else’s.
4. Try a pickup line
Clever pickup lines in thy DMs are sure to rouse a damsel’s spirits. Tryeth something like:
Art thou the Grand Inquisitor? Because thou hast torn out my heart and blotted mine eyes as if I had been practicing the pagan rites of my forefathers.
Is thy nape the tailor? Because the sight of it is recommending I adjust my trousers.
If thou wert a repast thou wouldst be a stuffed pheasant garnished with sprigs of lavender; I’ve never tried it but most of the other lads in the village have and they say ‘tis quite tasty and smells goode.
5. Lurk outside her balcony playing the lyre until she responds
Nothing will display thine affection more than lurking outside her window for days on end strumming the lyre until she responds to thy DM. Never mind the many soldiers and relatives she sends to forcibly remove thee from the premises. That is just part of the courting ritual.
6. Don’t do it
Sliding into a maiden’s DMs is oft quite disreputable. If it is her hand thou desires and her family objects, simply do it the olde fashioned way and murder her male relatives.
Addendum: A Love Letter About Eating Your Meat
On 1 June 1476, an English merchant named Thomas Betson wrote a “charming” love letter to his fiancée Katherine Ryche, who was likely a teenager at the time. In it, he is quite adamant that she “eate your mete lyke a woman” which “shuld helpe you greately in waxynge; ffor south þan ye make me veray hevy agayn.” Here’s some of the high points from the letter, translated from Middle English:
And if ye would be a good eater of your meat always, that ye might wax and grow fast to be a woman ye should make me the gladdest man of the world, by my troth;
…when I remember your youth, and see well that you are not eater of your meat, which would help you greatly to grow, forsooth then you make me very heavy again.
I am once again asking you to eat your meat:
And therefore I pray you, my own sweet cousin1 even as you love me, to be happy and to eat your meat like a woman.
Okay, forget the meat, now we’re talking about my horse:
I pray you greet me with well my horse and pray him to give you four of his years to help you withal; and I will at my coming home give him four of my years and four horse loaves till amends. Tell him that I prayed him so.
She goes to see him at the market in Calais, but goes to the wrong Calais:
My own sweet cousin, it was told me but lately that you were at Calais to seek me, but could not see me nor find me, forsooth you might have come to my counter, and there she you should both find me and see me, and not have faulted of me; but you sought me in the wrong Calais, and that you should well know if you were here and saw this Calais, and would God ye were at some of them with you that were with you at your gentle Calais.
And finally, the best way to close a letter, which also seems like a passive aggressive remark about how she went to see him at the wrong Calais:
Written at Calais on the side of the see, the first of June, when every man who was gone to his dinner, and the clock struck noon, and all our household cried after me and bade me come down: “Come down to dinner at once!”; and what answers I gave them you know it of old.
By your faithful cousin and lover Thomas Betson.
I send you this ring for a token.
May this letter be delivered in haste to my faithful and heartily beloved Cousin Katherine Ryche at Stonor.
The love letter worked. Thomas and Katherine were married two years later and had five children before he died in 1486 at the ripe old age of forty-something.
Read the full letter:
He refers to her as “Cossen” or “cousin.” She was actually the daughter of his business partner. “Cousin” here is likely just a general term of endearment.