Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Boudoir - The Sulking Room

Nude female, Woman, Dressing, Undressing, Bedroom,
'In the Boudoir' by Karoly Teuchert (1886-1926)

BOUDOIR

Noun. Late 18th century.
[French, literally 'place to sulk in', from bouder pout, sulk.]

A (woman's) small private room.

It is a scientific fact that women have a pathological tendency to sulk. This is not to be held against them; their fragile and emotional design predisposes them so, and it is beyond the ability (and remit) of any mortal man to try and reason with a woman, any woman, let alone one presently in the act of sulking. However, we can be thankful that Man's superior intellect has already addressed this issue to great satisfaction, so that never again may your ill-humoured woman sour the ambiance of the entire household, fretting the children and upsetting the staff. Like the female mind, the solution is elegantly simple: the boudoir.

This boudoir was realised in the 1700s, a time when female sulkiness had reached pandemic proportions. It was deemed necessary in all good and noble households that ladies be given their own private room specifically for the purpose of sulking; to be a haven where their tears could be daintily dabbed, fans afluttered and wistful sighs exhaled in solitude. The boudoir would be their retreat, a gift from the man to the woman, a charitable place where she would have ample time to consider her volatile state, remember her place in the world, and ultimately accept her inherent unreasonableness. When she is ready, she will emerge from her boudoir, duly chastened and free from all moodiness, and the gentleman will accept her apology with good grace so that she can immediately return to her duties. Thus, the boudoir, 'the place to sulk in', has served its purpose and all can benefit from this most meritorious arrangement.

If of the landed gentry, how best do you cope with the vagaries common to womankind?

If you are a woman, would you like to express your gratitude for the kind provision of your own 'sulking room'?

My valet will gladly receive your most 18th century comments.

25 comments:

  1. I discovered recently that 'hell hath no fury like a woman scorned' really ought to have incorporated the consequences of telling a woman to calm down.

    -c

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    Replies
    1. Calm down? Ooh. Is there ever a more infuriating combination of words than 'calm' and 'down', patronisingly put together with a pat on the head. You didn't pat her on the head did you? Did you??

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    2. If he did, C's broken bones would've prevented him from writing the comment above.

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    3. Bibi, your kind scare me greatly. Females that is.

      I also discovered recently that there is no safe response to 'do you think SHE'S pretty?' other than feigning epilepsy.

      I love her very, very much though, despite the fear and the eggshells, projectile plates, multiple fractures.... all of which I concede, if you're reading this my sweet little bundle of eternal tolerant forgiveness, were my fault.

      -c

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    4. We're not scary, come on. If we were, you guys wouldn't go to such great lengths to get involved with us. We just sometimes feel a little bit insecure about ourselves. If you keep that in mind, interacting with us really isn't that hard.

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    5. That's worth writing down I think. I'm missing an entire skill set, growing up without sisters, attending a boy's school, and being, well, clueless.

      Very odd that two members of the same species can think so differently. Case in hand - 'Buy a girl a rose, she'll be happy for a day - buy a girl a sack of mulch and teach her how to grow her own roses, she'll be happy forever.' Simple, logical conclusions.

      -c

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  2. Replies
    1. From my 'research', Bibi, the sulking in a boudoir is usually done while rolling around seductively in lingerie. I mean, if you're gonna sulk, you might as well sulk in style, right?

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    2. Of course. There's an outfit for any occasion.

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    3. That's how I sulk ed, and every time my wife walks in and sniggers again, I remove another sock.

      It's established fact that the level of surly broodiness you can achieve is inversely proportional to how many clothes you're wearing.

      -clueless.

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  3. Finally some insight into the shadowy recesses of the female mind! I thought it was always just me. My more fragile half's boudoir is our sitting room complete with blanket, hot water bottle, strong tea, and multiple episodes of the Kardashians. Thank goodness us chaps are built free from such feminine silliness ( he said mischievously ).

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    1. That's me! You're describing my perfect night in - except maybe replace the Kardashians with with something ... anything ... else.

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  4. That does it. I'm off. And you can be jolly glad my boudoir doesn't have access to the internet, that's all.
    FLOUNCE.

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    1. Yes, flounce! Wonderful. One must flounce as one makes one's way to one's boudoir. It's hardly sulking if one doesn't flounce.

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  5. Laugh all you want, but last Friday, I was really very angry so I decided to lock myself in the bedroom, eat my grilled cheese sandwich and well just be angry. 10 minutes into my sulking, my husband started knocking on the door saying "Let me in, I need my basketball shorts".

    ...

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    1. Exactly what a woman needs to hear in the middle of a good sulking session.

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    2. Don't just leave us hanging - did you give the poor man his shorts or not?

      -c

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    3. I decided to continue my sulking in the living room but this resulted in some plastic bottle throwing which I think scared the husband because all of a sudden he knew both where I keep the mop and how it is used. It's nice mopping the floor in your basketball shorts, you should try it some time.

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    4. You see, Evi? This is why a boudoir is so necessary - no awkward swapping of rooms or "Honey, I really need to go," or "Can't you see I'm sulking in here? Use the sink," etc. You just have the boudoir - that's what it's for. So nice and easy.

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  6. Is there a male equivalent of a boudoir? Perhaps not for a sulk, more a fume. I'm not livid at the moment but for future reference.

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    1. The shed, a pub, that nasty little bathroom under the stairs. Basically anywhere unlikely to have pot pourri or scatter cushions.

      -c

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    2. The male equivalents are listed in several references as the cabinet, closet or studiolo. None of them are specifically for sulking, pouting, huffing or fuming though. I suppose the need just never came up.

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  7. I told my fiancé our marital home should have a boudoir for me to sulk in and he very intelligently (and truthfully) replied: "You don't need a boudoir. You never sulk."

    Am now not speaking to my fiancé because the meanie won't let me have a boudoir.

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    Replies
    1. Oh the irony! Sulking because you're not allowed a boudoir - I love it!

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