November 29th, 2006

Is This Like Being Famous for Being Famous?

I have quasi given up casually mentioning to friends and colleagues that they’re welcome to comment on my blog. I have made peace with the fact that people will email me, call me, or even wait till they see me to tell me that some arcane blogging remark of mine made them laugh or retch or whatever. (Thus leaving me without any public cyberproof that they read and recognized my brilliance. Thanks a lot, guys.)


Still, at least they think about it sometimes.


Just this week, a friend of mine told me—all excited, mind you—about a funny conversation she had at Thanksgiving, and that she immediately thought, “Elisabeth would so blog about this if she were here!” (And this is a friend who, I’m quite sure, never, ever reads these pages.)


Then today I received an actual request to blog about a topic near and dear to many a woman’s heart. (And maybe many a gay man’s heart, too. But I can’t speak from experience on that point.)


So here I go:


It is a known fact—okay, known to just about any woman, but apparently a complete mystery to just about any man—that there are two very, very simple ways a guy can worm his way into a woman’s heart:


  1. Flowers.
  2. Aftershave.

It is virtually impossible to overestimate the power of these simple tools. 

Once after I wrote a short, short item about a new business in town, the proprietor sent me a beautiful bouquet in a little purple vase (which I still have and regularly use). The next time I was in the neighborhood, I popped my head in her office to thank her for the super thoughtful gesture. She sighed.


“I know—isn’t it great to get flowers? I keep trying to tell my husband….” She sighed again.


And the aftershave thing. Hey, pheromones exist for a reason. Take advantage of basic biological responses, guys!


There was this guy at my high school. A funny-looking guy who hung out with a Goth crowd. I never talked to him, and never even knew his last name. But I swear I trailed that boy around campus, eyes closed, nose in the air, just to smell his cologne.


Then one day my pal Hazel, whose locker was near his, noticed my vacant look and avid sniffing as he passed by. “Isn’t it great?” she muttered to me. “Here, check this out.”


She slipped a piece of paper from her notebook—one of those perfume samples from a magazine—and unfolded it so I could take a whiff. It was the exact same cologne. Here I’d been stalking some guy I didn’t even like, when clever Hazel found a discreet piece of paper she could carry around with her and sniff any time she wanted. She let me borrow the sample that day, but I had to return it before I went home. (She was very, very firm on that point. Ah, well—it was nice while it lasted.)


So there you go—I take blogging requests. How the requester imagines this is going to improve male-female relations in the long run, I can’t say (but ever since we met in an unintentionally hilarious German class in college, she’s had an overinflated opinion of my abilities! Everyone should have a friend like that).