Once upon a time, I called the man I love to talk about the man I'd like to love, and a man who loves me. I'd had a frustrating weekend with good and bad things to discuss, so the hero of my life (we'll call him Andrew) was the natural choice for a soundboard and advisor. You might think Andrew was out saving the environment, but on this particular evening, he was working security at a structure considered holy by a large portion of members of a certain religious organization. That's why I know I can always count on Andrew to be my sage, my wise-man on the mountain. I never know when he's going to call and say, "Oh, I've just jetted off to..." or "I'm currently thinking about pursuing...". He is a non-stop achiever, with life experience a-plenty, and if the word did not connote some beautiful woman wearing sheer fabric and whispering in the ear of a man in a toga, I'd call him my muse. I think he thinks I'm funny, and occasionally I surprise him... usually with my energy. And he hasn't even seen me at Disneyland yet! But, as usual, I digress.
On this particular evening not so long ago, Andrew and I had occasion to discuss not only his security work (which I'm guessing is a volunteer position), but also my plans for the Great American Novel and the breakthroughs I'd recently had. He celebrated the end of Writer's Block with me. I could imagine him doing doughnuts in his golf cart.
Andrew had given me so much over the years-- love, support and poinsettias. We share a love of Mucha, and laughs about no-longer-secrets (like his nearly-nude modeling or him seeing me in the bathtub). We are 650 miles apart, but when I look at a calendar he's given me, or open my door with the Bialy Orzel key chain he brought me from the motherland, it feels like he's near. No person can chastise me more deeply or quickly, but in such a way which I never resent. Needless to say, I hold him in the highest regard. Why is he not my husband, you ask? Well, aside from obvious reasons (such as we love, but are not in love), it is because he fills the hole in my life of the archetypal teacher, the platonic ideal, and the traveling stranger who occasionally crops up as a charming companion. Just like I am the fairy godmother, he is the knight in shining armor. But it's not me he is rescuing-- just all the little servants along the way to his princess locked in some tower he's yet to find.
But where was I? Oh yes. Once upon a time, I called Andrew. And after we discussed the mundane (which is actually never mundane with us), I felt the time had come to reveal my own brand of magical power to him. I told him that part of my current frustration comes from my ability to enchant. In what way, you ask? Well, at the risk of losing such a gift, I'll tell you: I have this special ability to make men in particular do whatever I want. Does it sound bad? Perhaps not at first, but as with any blessing, the other side can be a curse.
Perhaps this particular gift was bestowed upon me through prophecy when I was but a young girl of 15 or so. In later years, I understood that women of my acquaintance referred to me as the Black Widow-- they said I derived the greatest of pleasure from making men fall in love with me, and then stomping out their hearts. At the time, such a title was laughable (and in some ways, still is, considering the utter lack of suitable suitors in my circle, not to mention my lack of malice), but perhaps I'm growing into it. Likewise, my own esteemed father once said (perhaps in the spirit of encouraging a homely and gawky daughter) he assumed there would come a day when men would beat down my door. He predicted age 18 or 19. And of course, by no means is this true-- I happily spend as much time as possible in my own home or in my own pursuits, waiting for no man to knock. If opportunity has been knocking, it must have come while I was out. However, my new power grows daily, and I must admit, I fear it.
When my own precious and sagacious Andrew did not understand, I began to illustrate: It is with great ease I can now trip up those with Y chromosomes. I first noticed the power while singing in a holiday choir concert. The attractive boy of my acquaintance who'd welcomed the audience was in charge of photographing the event for posterity. How delighted I was to catch him staring at my fishnet stockings and taking pictures of them from the audience. In fact, I was so delighted that I managed to mess up my line about peace on earth beginning with me, and the brief spell was broken. But even in that moment, I knew something about me was changing.
And it wasn't that I was all that different! Certainly, I basically look the same (though certain looks are an excellent part of my bag of tricks) as I always have. Heavens! I've been highlighting my hair the same way for 10 years now. And I don't think that it's because I'm particularly special. I'm rather convinced that most (if not all) women may have access to this same wonder, if only they learn to harness the power, and not use it for ill. No longer latent, it can be a force for good or evil.
The responsible execution of this power is where things get tricky. When Andrew didn't understand, I explained it thusly: I asked him if he knew why we'd never kissed. I'm sure that was a shocking opener, but it is a good example. Rather than let him answer (because the male ego more often than not requires answering such a question with cosmic insensitivity), I told him it was because I'd not decided to. However, I told him, had I decided, he would have been powerless. And what's more, he would have thought it was HIS idea.
The kissing examples are often the easiest to illustrate, and with the most built-in entertainment. How else would I have gone on a recent date (remember, this is once upon a time) with a fellow so long entrenched in his puritanical views on osculation (on an earlier outing years before, he explained his kissing rules as follows: 1- No kissing on the first date; 2- No making out, ever; and 3- No "French-kissing" until you are engaged) to have him surprisingly interested, pursuant, and determined to kiss? Surely he has changed a bit over the years, and yet, all I had to do was empower him to go for what he wanted (which, for the sake of the evening, was what I also wanted), and the deal was done.
Of course, such demonstrations of the secret super power (SSP, for short) are not without risk. I left that particular weekend a little worse for wear, particularly in the lip region. Did you know you can get bruised lips? And I'm not even talking about that nice, post-kissing swollen look. I'm saying purple spots here people! And for a non-lipstick wearer such as myself, the horror of realizing even lippy won't cover them up is a bit shocking. But, it was a beginner's mistake (his, of course, not mine).
But the SSP is not limited to kissing. Other feminine wiles are proving useful. Sometimes it's just an ego boost-- like on Sunday. I didn't do anything but throw on a pair of fakey glasses, and yet how many of the little men started acting like mini buffoons? My personal favorite was the boy who said, "You look... well, I'm not sure I should say." Intriguing, yes? Then he said, "What's the word I'm looking for? Pretty." Wow. Revelatory.
Other times, I can use it for the greater good. Handsome boy at Sweet Tomatoes hooked me up with a discount because I offered to use my BOGO coupon to pay for the next patron, as I was eating by myself. He looked at me like I was a saint, when I was really just trying to be nice and pay it forward. The architect who won't take my father's phone calls? He'll answer mine because I sound sweet-- little does he know that I'm actually a shark. Just kidding. As a reporter, it worked wonders. As a shopper or a Relief Society President hauling myriad parcels from points a to b, it is indispensable. I let men think it's chivalry. I don't play helpless, because I'm not. But bat the eyes and smile sweetly, and you can have whatever you want. Almost.
Because, after I hung up with Andrew, the days went on. The problem is, so often the price is too high. Like when Mr. Enthusiastic Kisser dropped the M-word-- in a purely theoretical way, I am sure. But it makes me uncomfortable that he started thinking along those lines after two dates, two years apart, and a few kisses. He is gone for many weeks, and I am relieved. This gives me time to reconsider how to proceed, particularly in how to modify my behavior so I don't start receiving inappropriate proposals from just any old chap. Not that my friend is any old chap. But I'd always suspected he'd be a footnote in my personal history, rather than a chapter.
Regardless, women ask me all the time how they too can harness their own brand of SSP. It's easy... like anything, practice makes perfect, and confidence in your abilities helps them grow. Start small. You must look the part. That does not mean looking like every Jane in a magazine, but you have to look like you. Your best you. If a certain article of clothing helps, go for it. My dearest Louise has a certain vest her friends all vote for. Not only does it accentuate her figure, but also she exudes confidence each time she wears it. Pair that with her righteous hair flowing in the breeze, and she can have any man she wants do anything she wants.
Next, don't be a nincompoop. Know that men are different than women. Men will inevitably be irritating from time to time, but when they are inclined to please, they can be very charming. Don't out and out ignore them (though not running to answer their little and frequent calls is more than acceptable), but give them enough attention to sate them. Again, using the beautiful and accomplished Lou as a positive example, think of the intrigue she has caused in her latest admirer, who we'll call Spencer (as that is his name). Louise is kind to Spencer. But when she was more interested in talking to her bestie (me) than him, he understood she is not a dunder-head who thinks of nothing but boys, and he tried even harder to be charming. And this does not work if you are trying to play a game, showcasing your avoidance. Read: to be successful and powerful, get a life. Get your own friends, your own hobbies, your own goals. They may not be what draws your admirers to you initially, but a man can only hold your attention for so long-- even the best of them. You must have a life outside men.
Finally, you must be genuinely kind. Men and women will be helpless against your power if you truly love them. You must treat the person with whom you are speaking as if they are the most important person in the world while you are together. Why did I find D.C.C. so obnoxious while we were dating? Because he was always on his cell phone when we were together. People know if you are looking over their shoulder-- literally or metaphorically-- for the next and better person to come along, and they do not appreciate it. Loving and appreciating others is easy when you get the hang of it. Make people feel good about themselves, and they will always want you around.
As I said before, this is dangerous. You young men so susceptible to women's charms, I don't want it to get back to me that I've done a disservice to mankind by telling women the truth here. Don't resent us when you find yourselves wanting to please us. We are pleasing, and so it is only natural. Of course that's true. It was, after all, your idea in the first place. ;)