Speaking of pick-up lines in that other post got me remembering the Best Line Ever, which was totally wasted on me a few years ago in a used bookstore:
Dude came up and said, “Can I help you find anything?”
And I was all, “No thanks, I’m just looking,”
And he said, “Looking good.”
And I was like, “What… Oh! Ha! Oh, you’re smooth.”
Would’ve been smoother if he’d peeped my wedding ring first. Such a shame to waste that magic.
There was another time in another bookstore, not quite a pick-up line:
Dude came up and told me I looked exactly like Winona Ryder, and that he respects her because, “she is the Robert De Niro of our generation,” and then shook my hand and walked away.
Thing 1: I resemble Winona Ryder in that we are both female, and
Thing 2: The Robert De Niro of our generation. What does that even mean? And
Thing 3: Was the handshake meant to be congratulatory? Nice Work on the Ryder/De Niro-ness?
Maybe people just get crazy around books.
Back in highschool my BFF had a job at the nice quiet respectable public library, where she was constantly having to fend off date requests, meanwhile I was a lifeguard at the local pool, a job that requires a bathing suit, and all I got was Fear And Respect.
Anyway what was the point?
Oh right, bookstores, new ballet book!
Well not new, used. Same bookstore as the Looking Good pick-up, in fact.
No new come-ons to report from this trip.
The book is Ballet for Beginners by Nancy Draper and Margaret F. Atkinson, copyright 1951 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Beginners in this case means your usual beginners. Little kids not adults. What I love most about this book is how the photographs show us a ballet world before ballet clothing became an industry.
For example, check out this photograph by Fred Lyon:
Two girls are wearing what are probably home-made cotton leotards, or maybe two-piece combos, one paired with a blouse. One girl is wearing a dress and socks, poor thing must’ve forgotten her dance bag that day. Two girls are wearing regular old shorts, like the not stretchy kind, like the kind of thing they might also wear for playing outside. And then on the facing page there’s a sweet two-piece circle skirt and crop-top get-up. That girl must’ve felt like a queen.
I don’t have proof of this at hand right now, but seems like by the 1970’s photos show ballet classes looking much more uniform in uniform, although still a fair amount of handmade, and then by the 1990’s, forget it, is all store bought.
So this book is a neat time capsule.