Professor Higgins' Guide to Dating

     After reading George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion, and watching the 1938 film version, I was left confused by Eliza Doolittle's return to Professor Higgins. It is clear to anyone that Professor Higgins (played by Leslie Howard on film) abused Eliza (Wendy Hiller) at every opportune moment he saw. How could anyone tolerate his arrogance and chauvinistic torment? Much less, I never understood why Eliza returned to Higgins at the closing of the story. Was she masochistic? Did she enjoy the abuse?

     I pondered on this conundrum, coming to no real conclusion about or rationalization of Eliza's decision. Then it struck me: Professor Higgins was a dating mastermind! He must have devised some method of sexual temptation that no woman could possibly resist. I analyzed his steps to success, and organized them in this easy access guide:

     Step 1--Find a girl (any "common" flower girl will do, really). Embarrass her in front of a large crowd by pulling the old "You're gonna be arrested." joke. This is your first impression, so it is vital to come across as an insensitive, condescending rich man.

     Step 2--Show off. Explain that your studies of phonetics, the science of speech, can "place any man within six miles" of his home. Try to avoid having anyone comment on how useless this skill is. If necessary, one could always just ask that man from where he came, and by doing so, avoid the expensive scientific education. If all is done successfully so far, the woman will feel ignorant and useless. This is good. Proceed to step 3.

     Step 3--Do not ask for a phone number; instead give her your address, in hope that she will show up at your door on a sudden whim. If you hint at this, she will come.

     Step 4--By now she should be at your door, wanting you to call her a "guttersnipe," or other such derogatory terms. If she threatens to leave at this point, react as Professor Higgins would: offer her chocolates. It has recently been proven that eating vast amounts of chocolates has the same chemical reaction on the brain as sex.

     Step 5--Rigorous psychological torment. Try "enlightening" the woman in the ways of propriety and high society. Keep her up for hours on end, reciting, rehearsing, and repeating nursery rhymes. As Higgins would (and did), make the woman feel as though she may never return to her previous lifestyle.

     Step 6--Test your accomplishments. Now is the time to risk the life of the woman by manipulating her into a scheme of fraud. Introduce her to your mom, or take her to the racetracks. If all is done successfully, then not only will your friends be impressed at your ability to change a person entirely, but also will the woman be forever grateful for proving that your knowledge and intellect is a force to be reckoned with. You now deserve all the boasting your ego can give itself. She may even be so impressed that she will bring you your slippers.

Brandon Smith

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