Cheat your way to being a Thinking Woman

Sigh! The challenges my tribe faces these days. Not only do we have to fight the Yummy Mummys and PYTs who are abounding at every school corner and pub, we also have to appear interesting, intelligent and articulate.

In the quest, some of us realize that our DNA is just not skewed towards ‘intellectual’. However, fret not. For when in doubt, cheat. All you need to be is well-armed with these ‘cheat tactics’ to make your man believe you can do much more than work those six-inch heels.

1. Start spouting travel stories about exotic, weird places: Girls, this always works. Men love women who have traveled extensively and can tell a story well. You could go on for hours talking about how you were horrified by the sights and stories of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp when you visited Berlin or how you discovered this moment of profundity as you spotted turtles in Zakynthos, Greece. Through such anecdotes, you will not just prove you’re well traveled, you’ll also come across as sensitive, well-read and perhaps, even rich. And when you end your story with a punchline like “Travel is the ultimate teacher and I am the perpetual student’ or ‘I travel, ergo I am’, you may just see a thought blurb around the guy’s head that goes ‘Wow, Traveller Girl is my girl’.

2.Say existential stuff that mean nothing but appear funky: These are an acquired art, but once you have the hang of it, they’re sure shot. Take for example, a situation where a guy is explaining his exercise routine, you’re bored out of your skull but you don’t want to move because you’ve got prime position at the bar…. just look thoughtful and ask very slowly ‘Makes you wonder, is it a good thing or a bad thing?’ Chances are, the guy will think your question was extremely profound. Since it’s so “layered”. Or try something equally existential like ‘Crazy world, right?’ or ‘What are the chances, right?’ or ‘sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do’. All these are filler questions that can be used in any conversation and chances are, you’ll be coming across as this woman who not just listens but also has a ‘deeper’ perspective on life.

3. Carry books that haven’t been made into movies: Books-turned-movies are too pedestrian. Instead, turn to Magic Realism. Milan Kundera is good. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is nice. Murakami is better. Or if these are done to death, any of the books written by Camus, Hemingway, Vonnegut, Herman Hesse, Henry Miller, Cormac McCarthy, Djuna Barnes or Ayn Rand should work wonders at airport lounges. But hey, if you want to seem “cool and well-read”, start browsing at autobiographies of sports stars like Paul McGrath’s Back From The Brink. See the cloud above the guy’s head. It’s saying ‘If I’m reading her right, she’s reading right’.

4. Talk about Sports but in a knowledgeable, commentator-like manner:  Since it’s FIFA season, I’ll use it as place holder for all sport. So girls, talking about WAGs and their style sense or Gerard Pique and how Spanish football stars are so hot – not a good idea. What will keep you in the guy’s mental radar though is your ability to analyse a game, spout impressive sport jargon and talk about footballers in a professional, no-nonsense tone. So talk about how the defence was weak, how the centre-forward needs to change, how the ball hit the crossbar and missed the goal by a whisker….and how Argentina has to become bigger than just Messi. All this you can fake, by reading the newspaper daily and listening to your bloke pals. Benefit: Thought blurb above man’s head that says ‘Sports fan. Ah, I’m her fan’.

5. Endorse a charitable cause, especially on Facebook: Charity is good news, not just to the world but to the world of men too. After all, who doesn’t like a girl with heart. So make sure you stand for a cause. The more ‘rooted and humane’ the cause, the better. So while caring for pets is sweet, make sure you do stand up for the handloom weavers in Bengal or the firework making children in Sivakasi, for instance. However, do make sure you casually throw in a few pictures on Facebook that show you in the midst of the action. Not too pose-y. Just right. And he’ll be thinking ‘A girl with a cause is a cause for celebration’.

Now, you can do better and tell me other ‘cheat’ ways of making an impression. But do remember, if all the above fail, go back to tried and tested Rule No. 1: Wear high heels or/and little black dress.

Savita

Savita Nair is an advertising copywriter who lives and works in Mumbai. When she is not travelling, she is writing about all things seemingly superficial and inconsequential. She is also the author of 45 ml – a collection of irreverent poems on love, longing and living a life not-quite-so-ordinary.
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