Sunday, February 25, 2018
Cicisbeo or Walkers!
growing up about who we all are. There is the point to note everything has a
reason and so is the point to act upon or to fix such issue that needs to be fixed.
To accept the reasoning of why the issue is there in the first place
and to do what is needed to fix whatever it is, would be a good
sign of growing up accepting what is needed. To stop acting like your parents,
and to grow up into the man or woman you are into the future not the past!
Cicisbeo or Walkers? That does point to a trust as to a long term relationship
in the point of all the time in building trust. The point of such has meaning
to all. The wife gets support, love, like a open door much growth!
The husband gets the trust that his wife is ok and is supported not running loose
getting in unknown trouble. Or whatever it is the point is to make better,
as we all look to go higher in life. It's best to accept those needs in life.
If such actions fit, then all the better to do better for all!
In 18th- and 19th-century Italy, the cicisbeo (Italian pronunciation: [tʃitʃizˈbɛːo]; plural: cicisbei), or cavalier servente (chevalier servant in French), was the professed gallant and perhaps lover in a sexual sense of a married woman, who attended her at public entertainments, to church and other occasions and had privileged access to his mistress. The arrangement is comparable to the Spanish cortejo or estrecho and, to a lesser degree, to the French petit-maître. The exact etymology of the word is unknown; some evidence suggests it originally meant "in a whisper (perhaps an onomatopeic word). Other accounts suggest it is an inversion of bel cece, which means "beautiful chick (pea)". According to OED, the first recorded usage of the term in English was found in a letter by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu dated 1718. The term appears in Italian in Giovanni Maria Muti's "Quaresimale Del Padre Maestro Fra Giovanni Maria Muti De Predicatori" of 1708.
his arrangement, called the cicisbeatura or cicisbeismo, was widely practiced, with knowledge and consent of the husband, especially among the nobility of the cities of Genoa, Nice, Venice, Florence and Rome. While many contemporary references to cicisbei and descriptions of their social standing exist, scholars diverge on the exact nature of the phenomenon. Some maintain that this institution was defined by marriage contracts, others question this claim and see it as a peculiarity of 18th-century customs that is not well defined or easily explained. Other scholars see it as a sign of the increasing emancipation of aristocratic women in the 18th century.
The cicisbeo was better tolerated if he was known to be homosexual. Louise d'Épinay wrote from Paris to her friend Ferdinando Galiani about the impending departure of marchese Alvise Mocenigo, the Venetian ambassador, whose tastes the ambassador had displayed in Paris:
Nothing equals the friendly companionship afforded to a woman by men of those persuasions. To the rest of you, so full of yourselves, one can't say a word that you don't take as provocation. ... Whereas with those gentlemen one knows quite well that they want no more of us than we of them—one feels in no danger and deliciously free"
Regardless of its roots and technicalities, the custom was firmly entrenched. Typically, husbands tolerated or even welcomed the arrangement: Lord Byron, for example, was cicisbeo to Teresa, Contessa Guiccioli. After his death, her second husband, Marquis de Boissy, was known to brag about the fact. Byron also famously analyzed the institution from an English point of view in his poem Beppo. Attempts by the husband to ward off prospective cicisbei or disapproval of the practice in general was likely to be met with ridicule and scorn:
[...] for, you must understand, this Italian fashion prevails at Nice among all ranks of people; and there is not such a passion as jealousy known. The husband and the cicisbeo live together as sworn brothers; and the wife and the mistress embrace each other with marks of the warmest affection.
[E]very married lady in this country has her cicisbeo, or servente, who attends her every where on all occasions, and upon whose privileges the husband dares not encroach, without incurring the censure and ridicule of the whole community.
Cicisbei played by set rules, generally avoiding public displays of affection. At public entertainments, they would typically stand behind their seated mistress and whisper in her ear. Customs of the time did not permit them to engage in relationships with any other women during their free time, making the arrangement rather demanding. Both parties could decide to end the relationship at any tim
e. A woman's former cicisbei were called spiantati (literally penniless, destroyed), or cast-offs.
~~~~~Every woman needs a man or two to make her feel like a star
It's not easy to explain the concept of "walkers" to a new husband. "They're a selection of five or six men who take me to parties in rotation," I explain. "Their purpose is to be witty, above averagely attractive and a little obsequious, thereby making the evening enjoyable, or at least bearable."
In retrospect, I should have started with the fact that there's also no romantic involvement whatsoever. "So, they're gay, then?" Not always, I say. "A walker isn't the same thing as a male friend – and he's certainly never a 'stand-in' for the husband." There: clear as mud.
In 18th- and 19th-century Italy, the role of the cicisbeo or cavalier servente was more defined: these were walkers not just "with benefits", but with the husband's blessing. Later, the term came to be used to describe the kind of charitable young men who would escort their aged aunts to the bridge club – or female "beards".
Walkers didn't become what they are today until the 1920s, when Zelda Fitzgerald had strings of them. Yes, her marriage to F Scott descended into a tangle of resentment and acrimony, and, yes, Zelda was ultimately committed to a sanatorium. But otherwise, they really worked for her.
A good walker, you see, makes you feel like a Hollywood starlet. He'll pick you up from your door (rather than a crowded pub), admire your outfit (and, unlike friends, never see you in anything with an elasticated waistband) and gracefully point out wardrobe malfunctions or uneven flooring as and when they occur.
Walkers can be married (although if they are, you rarely discuss the wife/kids), but should never be used as human bling. One girl I know persists in making this error, and choosing glittering good looks over substance. Whenever I see her at a party, she's either desperate to escape a dense male-model consort or pretending to be asleep. This is where men would slip up, were they to take up the habit (something I'd encourage).
Walkers have a bad reputation, but there's nothing emasculated or courtier-like about them. However, as with all labels, one should refrain from using them to people's faces. Which is why I hope none of mine read this.
It was as I read a florid description of "the Jacuzzi scene" in Silvio Berlusconi's most recent sex scandal that I decided the makers of Viagra should be forced to apologise publicly to all women. "The girls were lining up," alleged 28‑year-old Nadia Macri, "and Berlusconi was in there saying, 'next'." I can just picture the old goat now: the combover dislodged as he bobs up and down among the bubbles, like an unwanted extra from Fellini's 8½.
Age once had the benefit of enforcing a sexual curfew: true, an old wolf would only lose his teeth, rather than his appetite, but his long-suffering wife could at least look forward to a few decades of respite in the winter of their married life. No longer. Like it or not, the shape of the future is a randy, Jacuzzi-bound septuagenarian calling out: "Next!"
It's an hour into Sir Elton John's winter ball, and I've been complimented once on my shoes and twice on my walker. With good reason: he saw off the lumbering twit who stood on the hem of my dress earlier, and I haven't once been forced to point out that my glass is empty.
He's also looking impressively slender. "I'm wearing a mirdle," he confides, when I point this out, inviting me to twang the Spandex-like man-girdle beneath his shirt. I try to disguise my horror. "Does it hurt?" He thinks about this. "It does feel like someone is pressing down hard on my diaphragm, but it's shaved inches off my man-gut. That said," he cautions, reaching for a foie gras blini, "it's no substitute for healthy eating and exercise."