19 November 2009
As I waited to meet the fam at dinner, I popped into Borders. As I started browsing through my favorite aisle (obvi “self help”), something caught my eye...a book entitled “The Rules.” In case you are not up on this kind of lit, the book's premise is that there are "secrets" to capturing the hearts of Mr Perfect and by secrets they mean play hard to get, training men and being well groomed. Since my paid friend had recently "suggested" that I may in fact be sending bad signals to men on dates ( so much so that they feel they can hold my hand all the time) I figured I might as well pick it up. I mean if spending $9.99 teaches me about proper boundaries, why not?
As soon as dinner started I told everyone I was planning on evolving into a "rules girl" in the next week or so (or however long it will take to read this bible). Eric and Jess seemed very excited. Instinctively, I knew they were excited about different things. Naturally, my dad became the focus for the rest of the dinner so it wasn't until me, Eric and Jess drove to Franklin Lakes that we breached the topic again. As soon as Jess had the floor, she had lots to say...
Me: So in this book, it says that girls should not be loud, opinionated or funny.
Jess: Well, not at first. At first just be nice. It’s not important if you are funny or opinionated. Once you have them, then you can be funny. Also, I wouldn't talk so loud.
Me: So basically be someone I am not...trick them ?
Jess: Yes, just in the beginning. Everyone is pretending in the beginning. Eric tricked me. He said he liked going downtown to all the restaurants and having long dinners. We know he is scared of going below 42nd street and we have never ate below 72th street. He only likes to eat at two restaurants.
Eric: Jess, that is not true. We go to CPK alot and that's in the 60s.
Jess: And Alison, I think it sounds like you are mean to boys. Be nice, supportive and smile a lot. Always smile.
Me: Yuck. I don't look good when smiling. More importantly, how does one act nice and supportive?
Jess: You know, make them feel important. Nod your head when they talk. Smile like they are interesting. Sometimes I didn't even listen when the guys would talk, I just nod and tell them they were right.
Eric: Wow, Jess. Any other thoughts for her?
Jess: Well I don't think its a good idea to make fun of them. Let them be funny, you just listen. Don't talk a lot.
Me: This sounds horrible. I am not even sure I can do it.
Eric: Alison just channel Jess when you are dating.
Jess: Yes, that's a great idea.
Eric: How about we role play??? (we agree) Hi, I am Matt and I work at a hedge fund because I want to be rich. I love the suburbs, golf and cars.
Jess: Ok, Alison what would you normally say?
Me: Yuck. That sounds horribly depressing. I would probably slit my wrists.
Jess: Alison!!! That is completely wrong. The right answer is-- I understand. It’s hard and its nice to have things.
Eric (smiling from ear to ear): I would listen to her. She did well for herself, she got me.