Ask the Past: handkerchief code

There's a guy at work that I really like, but I don't want to make things weird. Is there any way I can let him know I'm interested without having to come out and say something?

Usually, in situations like this, I recommend the language of flowers, but that's not the only option you have when it comes to oblique hints at your feelings. The Modern Art of Making Love (1900) includes several possibilities, but it recommends using a handkerchief for your silent communications, "as it is most simple and is conducted through the medium of that common article used by all men and women."

Here are the various things you can say, and things to be watching out for if you see him with a handkerchief in his hands:

Drawing across the lips— Desirous of an acquaintance.

Drawing across the eyes— I am sorry.

Taking it by the center— You are too willing.

Dropping— We will be friends.

Twirling in both hands— Indifference.

Drawing it across the cheek— I love you.

Drawing it through the hands— I hate you.

Letting it rest on the right cheek— Yes.

Letting it rest on the left cheek— No.

Twirling it in the left hand— I wish to be rid of you.

Twirling it in the right hand— I love another.

Folding it — I wish to speak with you.

Drawing it across the forehead— We are watched.

Over the shoulder— Follow me.

Opposite corners in both hands— Wait for me.

Placing it on the right ear— You have changed.

Letting it remain on the eyes— You are cruel.

Winding around the forefinger— I am engaged.

Winding around the third finger— I am married.

Putting it in the pocket— No more at present.

Do be careful, though, when choosing the colour of the handkerchief to communicate with - if he is more familiar with the 70s version of the handkerchief code, you may find yourself saying more than you intended.

I'm sure that will help.

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