Hand fans have been around, depending on where you research, 4000 years in Egypt and/or around 670 A.D. in Japan…looks like Egypt wins.
Hand fans can be used for cooling and as a weapon; Japanese war fan. They have been the symbol of the wealthy and for dance.
My husband thought my hand fans were flirty and made me mysterious. I didn’t have the courage to tell him I used them to cover my nervousness when we first started to date. When you’re dating in a Summer heatwave fans need no explanation. By the Fall I had to tell him my truth…the fans hid my blushes.
He then shared his truth…they didn’t hide any blushes and made him concentrate on my eyes more. I had been told by other dates my stare was too intense. He said, no, never too intense. My eyes shone with my intelligence, humour, and emotion.
He didn’t know he was such a romantic flirt, argued with me every time I called him one. How can one be a flirt when one isn’t even trying? He would answer, every time. Maybe that’s why I kept a hand fan with me whenever we went out.
It became our way to communicate across a busy room. Opening it, closing it, and simply how I held or tapped it would tell him my mood or need and he would waltz across to my rescue…sometimes it was me rescuing him.
My sister said we coordinated my hand fans to his walking sticks…something we weren’t even aware we were doing. She said she knew when we had been arguing or even recently making up by how we held the fans and canes.
I miss those times. I haven’t taken a fan with me anywhere since he passed. His walking sticks are still in their stand just under my fan shelf.
Maybe, one day, I’ll pass them on. Share them with someone who needs a little flirty mystery in their life.