Tag Archives: Always Ask a Man

REDHEAD UPDATE: It washed out.  It’s barely noticeable, so I’m going to try it again!  Fingers crossed, glam geeks.

Finally, autumn!  Fall is my favorite season; once you get a job and have to wear office clothes instead of short shorts and micro-sundresses, summer doesn’t seem that much fun…but fall, that’s when I can REALLY show off the good stuff! Leggings, boots, jackets and hats, HURRAH!  And layering, layering, LAYERING!  It’s much more fun to experiment when there are multiple pieces involved and not just one sundress and some sandals.

Plus, it’s what Ian likes me best in–soft sweaters, cozy tights, all looking sweet and comfortable.  In the summer, I like to feel like a seductress with my long legs and high heels, but in the fall, I turn into Manic Pixie Dream Hipster.  I bought a dress printed with cat faces.  I wore flats ON PURPOSE.  And he LOVED it.  I might , just might, be getting the hang of this “impress your man” thing.

But it’s a look I can rock, and it’s a look that men seem to like.  It gives the appearance of low maintenance, charm and quirk.  Men all say they like high heels, until they want a girl to be able to walk more than ten feet.  The only man who ever hated my Doc Martens, well, let’s just say he’s not around anymore.

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So As it Turns Out…

I took Arlene Dahl’s hair quiz again, and it turns out, I’m actually a redhead! Impulsive, vibrant, affectionate and proud–yes, that sounds about right!

This isn’t my first redhead rodeo.  In college, I went as Jessica Rabbit for Halloween, and I loved the spray-in dye so much that I went right to a salon and had it done permanently!  Apparently it was a hit, because Catch confessed a few years later that he to stare at a “beautiful redhead” across the dining hall, but never had the guts to approach me (until I was a brunette, that is!).

It’s been awhile since I dyed my hair and I’ve only ever had one bad experience with it, when I dyed it Bettie Page black and looked like a hipster idiot.  It took two weeks of cheap shampooing to strip out the color enough to dye over it, and I never tried THAT again!

But the grays I inherited from my dad have started showing up again, so I bought some “true red” and dyed my hair the other night (while skipping out on the first part of the Burn Notice series finale, since I am very sore at Michael Weston).  It gave me nice highlights, not as red-red as I had hoped, but even in that first night, I felt a little more daring, a little sexier….

Dare me to go redder?  Or maybe even . . . . blonde?

(Pictures didn’t show up well–will post some tomorrow)

Hair Affair

“Psychologically, the brunette is cool and logical.  Emotionally, she’s dynamite.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

My sisters Hilary and Laura were beautiful blondes, like my mother.  I was always envious of them, with their halos of fair curls, while my locks looked like wood paneling.

But it was my older sister Shaun (and movie stars like Geena Davis and Carrie Fisher) who taught me how to be a brunette.  Shaun, as I’ve said before, was (and is) a knockout.  As I got older, I began to embrace my dark hair, and Arlene says that brunettes are the “most sensational”  My dark hair and pale skin have always accompanied my “look” very well, whether it was dramatic goth girl or funky hipster chick.  

Ian gave me one of Arlene’s hair personality quizzes and, sure enough, I was a brunette. Animal magnetism and the brains of a chess player, a vamp, an adventuress, an eternal siren who always gets her man.  I like the sound of all that!

But check in tomorrow, because everything is about to change….

Flirting in the Digital Age

Practice the art of flirtation, but save the advance techniques for THE man” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

I think I have gone backwards.

In nine months of trying to become a glamorous flirtatious sex-pot housewife, I somewhere got turned around and became a blithering idiot in too-tall heels.

I have always, always been able to get male attention whenever I wanted.  I had a way with a glance, a head-turning outfit, a clever remark in class.  I’m not the prettiest girl in the world, but if I set my sights on a guy, more often than not, he ended up mine.  (It took me three years to get Ian, but he was well worth the wait) and even now, I continue to practice my charm because, well, it’s fun.  Almost everyone likes to be innocently flirted with–NOT HIT ON–but given a little charm and attention from a stranger. 

So let’s say there’s this man.  (We’ll call him Mr. W to protect his identity.)  We had a conversation on Twitter, as people do, and nothing much of it.  But lately, he’s been tweeting to me, with a darling nickname, telling me that I am witty and well-read.  My immediate reaction to seeing these tweets was not coyness or charm, but immediate sweating (I do not sweat ever), followed by intense panic and layered with dizzy flattery.  My transformation into Liz Lemon is complete.

Arlene and Helen and all the other charm-stars out there did not write about digital flirting, so we modern ladies have no guide.  The general idea seems to be send a topless/nude selfie, which I’m not going to do.  Those are advanced techniques, far too forward for this interaction. It’s not that type of flirting.  There is no end goal or sex or marriage, just two people engaging in a little banter.  It’s important to understand the end game of any flirtation and respond accordingly.  A smile begets a smile.

Flirting in the digital ether is especially difficult because there are a thousand ways to read a sentence.  What might be construed as flirting could be just an innocent answer, or an innocent answer may be seen as sarcasm.   Aggressive techniques take over to make sure the message gets across, so charm and subtly–the fun parts of flirting, if you ask me–get lost. 

So I waited a bit before tweeting back.  I tried to be as charming and darling as possible.  I continued our conversation and, in accordance with Arlene’s suggestion about making the conversation about him, asked him what he liked.  He responded, very friendly.  It is not a love for the ages (he doesn’t even formally follow me) but seeing “Mr. W has responded to your tweet!” pop up in my email still gives me a giddy little thrill. . . after the sweating has worn off, of course.

Second Thoughts on Chivalry

I think I might have figured out part of the reason Chivalry is dead–because some men, (you can spot them because they’re usually wearing a fedora or a bow tie; the more romantic among them might sport a ruffled shirt or floor-length leather trench coat) use it as an excuse to lash out at women when they don’t bend over on the spot.  These guys (often referring to themselves as “gentlemen” or “nice guys”) believe that if they hold a door for a woman or pay for dinner, she “owes” them sex at the end of the night.  This is bunk, and women are sick of it. No wonder we get weirded out when people don’t hold doors!   There are men out there I wouldn’t let hold a door for me if it was leading into a room filled with bunnies where Walton Goggins and Clive Owen and Ewan McGregor were all there holding plates of tiny finger food to feed to me while I lounged on a soft couch watching 30 Rock.

So how about this, everyone.  How about we ALL hold the door for other people?  How about we pay for dinner if we know a friend is a little short on cash, and we help carry a pal’s luggage if it looks heavy or if the person is clearly burdened with packages.  If we get to the table first, we pull out the chair.

And everyone else, let’s try to say “hey, thanks” when other people perform nice tasks for us, hmm?  It’s 2013–let’s remove the gender politics from politeness.  And quit expecting things from other people.  Do good deeds from the heart, not because you think you might get something out of it.

 

At Your Service, M’lady

“Women complain that chivalry is dead.  Maybe we have helped kill it.  A little patience on our part can revive it.  If you want to be the woman men rush to pull up a chair for, give them time to get there.” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

My friend Ari & I were traveling to NYC over the weekend, meeting my friend Matthew & her husband, Pav.  I’ve known Ari & Pav since college; I attended their wedding last year and they’re both some of my dearest friends.  Ari is an actual genius and scathingly funny; Pav has a sweet face that is almost deceptive about his quick, wicked sense of humor.

When we got off the bus, Pav met us and immediately offered to carry my vintage red suitcase, which was sitting on the ground next to where we were waiting.  “How come you didn’t offer to carry my bags!” Ari joked.

Pav’s answer was priceless.  “I didn’t want to insult you,” he said.  “After that talk we had about gender roles.  I know you’re strong enough to carry your bag.”

It was a perfect example of both chivalry & love.  He respected her enough to know that his offering to carry her bags might be considered an act of disrespect for her strength and position as an independent woman.  But because I am their friend and in her company, it was a show of respect for me for him to offer to carry my bag, the same way a young man in love might offer to buy his girlfriend’s friends a round of drinks when he meets them for the first time.

I thanked him, but carried my own bag out of respect for their marriage.   But I do love it when a man carries my bag; Matthew does it whenever we’re together and Ian, who was raised by a fiercely independent mother who taught him that all parties carry what they packed, picked up my suitcase when I arrived at the train station at the end of the weekend, without me even clearing my throat and awkwardly pointing.