While a courted young lady finds her head filled with fine visions of the silk and lace of her eventual wedding gown, my suggestion is that she bears a rather more humble material in mind with a view to her potential happiness: Flannel.
Perhaps not the first thing that she might think of but the history of romance is littered with the fractured hearts of many a maiden who overlooked this trivial word and fell victim to the flowery Old Flannel of some wordsmith lover who promised everything but delivered next to nothing.
As the good book doesn't actually say, Beware he who hath all mouth and no trousers.
How many broken-hearted maidens have been promised the moon and stars only to find themselves sobbing over the desolate ashes of their girlhood dreams?
Whatever he passionately swears and avows, she should ask herself Wherefore art the proof in this steaming great pudding? before accepting his seemingly heartfelt oaths as gospel because a man can often be trusted in equal measure to the distance which she can personally throw him.
The young lady should always keep handy a bucket of icy cold water, literal or metaphorical will both do equally well, so that she may swiftly pour it upon him whenever he gets that certain look in his eye which forewarns of wanting something so badly that he will say just about anything to achieve it.
© Sean Barrett