How to use impressions to your advantage.

con2Read this and I’ll show you how to become a millionaire within a week, without working. I’ll make your boobs bigger, penis firmer, and waist smaller. You’ll drive a nicer car, travel to exotic destinations, and wow all of your friends at dinner, karaoke, and the poker table.

Bullshit, I know, but if I give you the impression that I have something valuable to offer, you might not slam the door in my face; you might give me a few minutes to hear me out. That could turn into hours, days, or weeks. With a little misdirection, I can sell you something that’s not quite what I promised when we met. But, you’re happy enough, and I’m successful.

Success in life is all about opportunity. Those who have the most opportunities usually succeed better than those who don’t. This isn’t New Age, Self-Help nonsense; it’s just the way it is.

It works whether you’re shopping, gaining access, applying for a job, or looking for a romantic connection. If you give the impression of something impressive, you’ll get a deal, bypass the line, be hired, or book a date with someone you may have thought was way out of your league. I see it every day. Some people are more gullible. Some are too kind to say “no.” Some appreciate the effort.

Here’s an example: I recently bought a fancy sports car. Why? Because I love driving, and just knowing that I whiz past just about anyone is something I find rewarding. What impression does it give?

  1. He’s rich.
  2. He’s stupid and careless because he went into major debt to buy this car.
  3. The expensive car is supposed to make up for his small penis.
  4. He’s selling drugs or something else illegal.

Scarce is the person (even from among friends and family members) who sees that acquisition as a reward to myself for all the hard work I’ve done. Surely, some people don’t care (and those are my favorite people). Yet, the impression I give is usually not the impression intended.

Guys use this strategy for mating calls. We can give an inaccurate, yet effective impression by:

  • Wearing expensive watches, suits, shoes, or sunglasses. (Note, the clever man wears good replicas.)
  • Persuading or hiring an attractive, platonic friend to join him around other prey.
  • Spreading rumors about himself regarding wealth, job titles, or athletic ability.
  • Listening and acting genuinely interested in the mate, then presenting an offer to make her life better. This can be as simple as offering a glass of fine Cabernet after she discloses her love of wine, or daring her to join him on his business trip to Cabo. (A hint of danger excites as well.)
  • Chasing away a nuisance rival.
  • Making her laugh. (Shit. I’m giving away my secrets.)
  • Hiring a bodyguard or a limo.
  • Befriending bar and restaurant owners. If he gets special attention, she gets damp.
  • Being mysterious.

Sure, after any significant amount of time, the evil plot can be exposed. That can cause immediate termination and regret, but often it doesn’t, because nobody likes having buyer’s remorse. The mating target often twists this in her mind so she feels less gullible.

“He did all of this just to get close to me. He must really love me.”

Yep, that’s it. Now, about those millions…

Always keep a pair and a spare.

As I sink into the dentist’s chair, the lecture begins. No, not the one where the dentist tells me to floss, I whine about it, and he compromises by telling me to only floss the ones I want to keep. It’s the assistant (usually female) who unloads all sorts of dating stories and advice while torturing me by scraping my receding gums. Today’s lecture was given by a woman in her sixties (she was darn cute, if you ask me). She had gone through the usual dating sites and eventually found her man on JDate.

“My advice to women is to always keep a pair and a spare.”

“Reading glasses?”

“No.”

“You lost me.”

“Men do it. Why shouldn’t we?”

“Keep underwear in the glove compartment?”

“No.”

“Jeans?”

“No.”

“Shoes?”

“Ugh. We’re speaking of dating, Dr. Scholl.”

“Well, you’re speaking. I’m just mumbling while this odd device sucks the life out of me.”

“Women should date a minimum of three men at a time until they decide which one to keep.”

“Interesting.”

“It takes time to figure out of he’s the right man, so it’s best to overlap them and compare and contrast.”

“Right. And, you think men do this?”

“All the time. I’m sure of it.”

“Damn. I’m missing out by always dating between zero and one at a time with long breaks between. So, let me ask you this: Are each of these men aware you’re keeping spares?”

“It’s not their business.”

“Is too.”

“Nope. They should be out to impress me. I pick the best and discard the rest.”

“But, when things become intimate …”

“Well, yes, that’s when monogamy is important. Women have to be careful.”

“So, when you’re finally penetrated, you immediately call the other two and explain that there’s no more room at your inn.”

“Something like that.”

“You text them?”

“Sometimes.”

“Hm. That would sorta suck for the cast-aways.”

“I try to keep them around as friends, just in case.”

“Is the penetrator made aware of that?”

“Not necessarily. I mean, why complicate matters? You know men and how jealous they can be. Some things are best accidentally omitted. Fortunately, I can blame my age–forgetfulness.”

“Ah.”

“You know, things got so crazy at one point, I had to keep a spreadsheet of my dates to keep them straight. It also helped with the evaluation process.”

“That’s a superb idea. I’m going to borrow it. You have no idea how much I love Excel. I’m going to list Abby through Zoe down column A, and across the first row I’ll list attributes. Then, all I need to do is enter scores, insert an average column, sort descending, and wah-lah–the next queen of my court.”

“What sort of attributes?”

“I’m thinking aloud here but, I can envision things like body mass index, skin quality, hair quality, kissing ability, tongue use or misuse, scent, nipple size, ability to control spending, oral proclivity, pets/children, annoying friends/exes, taste in movies/food, religion, and tidiness. That should be a decent start.”

“I’ve created an animal. Spit, please.”

“Grrrrr.”

Are my fixtures possessed?

I have a ceiling fan in my living room. It seems to have a mind of its own. At random times, it will begin spinning or the lights will come on. Last night it came on at 3 a.m., causing great confusion as I woke up and wondered if I had overslept. Finally, the tequila fog cleared, I crawled from bed, staggered downstairs to turn it off, peed through a semi, returned to bed, and lay awake wondering about my ceiling fan.

My explanation for this phenomenon would tell you a lot about me–perhaps more than my Match.com profile would. If I were:

  • Republican – Obama is responsible.
  • Christian – Jesus is showing his divine presence by shedding light on me.
  • Superstitious – It’s a sign that I need to play 3-0-8 in the Lotto because that’s the time I awoke.
  • Spiritual – My oneness with the light means I need to shed light on others.
  • Procrastinator – The light is reminding me to pay my electric bill.
  • Single – My prayers about having an active sex life are about to be answered.
  • Married – My wife left it on.
  • Cat Lover – My little guy’s night vision is fading in his old age and he’s looking for the stuffed mouse.
  • Cat Hater – Little fucker’s trying to fool me into thinking it’s feeding time.
  • Neighbor Hater – The prick next door has decoded my ceiling fan remote code. He’s doing this to fuck with me.
  • Paranoid – Armed, masked thieves are hiding behind a door, waiting to club me and make me watch while they empty my house.
  • Old – What light?
  • Logical – There’s a short, which I should have checked before it burns my fucking house down.

Next time you’re on a first date, interpret his reactions to determine what type of fellow he is. Disregard his profile statements about being kind, aware, and a frequent exerciser. You may need to prompt some of these reactions, depending on where your first date takes place. Here are three suggestions:

  1. Order shots of tequila. Do not order them chilled, and insist they come without lime or salt. When they arrive, watch his reaction closely. If he wrinkles his nose or asks the server if he could have his chilled, he’s probably packing two inches of future disappointment. If he asks for salt and lime, he’s a rookie but may be trainable. If he slams both shots and yells “fuck yes,” he’s a keeper.
  2. As you chill on the sofa, excuse yourself for a minute and change into lingerie. When you return, observe his reaction. If his nose is buried in his iPhone, change back into your clothes and ask him to leave. If he’s too engrossed in the latest episode of Hillbilly Handfishin’ to notice your nipples poking through the netting, take the remote from him, turn off the TV, and slap him. If he’s lying there, pinching the head of his tented jeans, bravo!
  3. If you’re at a baseball game, and the Kiss Cam focuses on you, what does he do? If he raises his right hand to high-five you, throw your eight-dollar beer on him and leave. If he blushes, leans in, and kisses your cheek, start texting your friends to rescue you. If he straddles you, cups your face, and tongues your tonsils, he’s the man.

If he doesn’t call you, what does it mean?

Last night, I ran into a woman I dated once … once. Actually, I was chatting with her friend and when she introduced us, a tiny sensor went off in my Bushmills brain that said, “She looks familiar.” My sensors are less sensitive nowadays, leaving me in embarrassing situations.

“Oh, don’t even act like you don’t remember me.”

“Huh?”

“We had dinner date then went back to my place and I kicked your ass in Foosball.”

“Um…”

“What? You were so butt-hurt about a girl whooping you that you forgot to call?”

“I … but … losing in Foosball? That’s impossible.”

“Pathetic.”

“I think you have me confused with someone else.”

“No. You’re an author from Philadelphia. You drove a white Infiniti.”

Holy fucking shit. I’m such an ass.

“I’m just messing with you. Of course I remember.”

“Right. Let’s go, Betsy. Buh-bye, loser.”

Off they went. Well, I didn’t take a chardonnay bath so it could have been worse. Her friend was cute, but my chances were diminished now that Ms. Jilted tore me a new one.

Honestly, I don’t remember her or the date. I’ve dated numerous women since becoming single eight years ago. I can’t expect to recall every detail of every date, can I? I don’t think we had sex. Hm. Nope. I usually remember that. She probably had an annoying dog or halitosis. Whatever the reason, if I didn’t call her, I must not have been that into her so I did her a favor by tossing her back. It was only one date. How could she be sufficiently into me to hold such a grudge?

My buddies found it amusing. As much as I try to stay in the shadows, drama finds me and I eventually become the entertainment.

“You know she probably practiced your beat-down in the mirror for years just waiting for this day to come.”

“Stop. It was one fucking date.”

“Right now she’s taking laps around the bar telling all the single women you’re a heartless swine.”

“I know. Damn it. Her friend was cute, too.”

“No shot.”

“Oh, I bet if I pushed it, I could get a date out of her friend.”

“No way.”

“Women have egos too, dude. Her friend must know she’s a sassy pain-in-the-ass-y and is confident she’d have better luck with me.”

“That’s some twisted-ass logic.”

“Seriously. If you went on one date with a chick and she never returned your calls, that wouldn’t scare me away from her.”

“What if I told you she can burp the alphabet?”

“Fine.”

Jesus, woman! I’m sorry I didn’t call you. What would I have said, anyway? “Thank you for the date last night. I’m not feeling it, so there won’t be a second date. Have a nice life.” Radio silence is gentler. My conflict avoidance gene insists I skulk away quietly. If I burn a few bridges along the way, so be it. Life is too short to go on second dates with dead ends.

Last Date Questions

It’s time for a little negative reinforcement. These are things people are trained do to avoid pain. For example: If your husband trips over the shopping bags every night he comes home from work except for those nights following a morning orgasm, he’ll get the hint (or you’ll take over another shelf in the closet).

I cringe when I overhear ill-timed questions during a first date. Few men know how to read body language. They’re not discouraged by folded arms. They ask silly questions and obliviously plod toward what they hope ends between the sheets but will more likely end with a peck on the cheek and a long, late-night phone call between her and her best friend about the dud she just met.

Listen up, men. Do not ask any of the following questions on your first date or it will be your last:

  1. When’s the last time you got laid?
  2. Have you considered Botox?
  3. Do a lot of hot chicks attend your yoga classes?
  4. Did you vote for Obama?
  5. Are your tits natural?
  6. You so want me right now, don’t you?
  7. Your place or yours?
  8. Do I have any food in my dentures?
  9. Why did your ex dump you?
  10. Have any cute single friends … um, for my buddies?
  11. Would you come to church with me this weekend?
  12. How would you like to meet my parents?
  13. That right there looks like it might be cancerous. Have you had it checked?
  14. Clean-shaven, landing strip, or TruGreen thick-turf pussy?
  15. How old were you when you lost your virginity, or might I be your first honored guest?
  16. Are you taking birth control or are you past that point in your life anyway?
  17. Is your company hiring?
  18. Do you think a nipplegasm is a myth?
  19. Are you open to getting rid of your pets?
  20. You won’t mind splitting the tab with me, will you?

First Date Questions

We’ve been through so many first dates we may have forgotten how to act. Repetition breeds tedium, especially in relationships. (See the current divorce rate for evidence.) So, the next time a fellow comes a winking, and you decide to meet in a public place with lots of witnesses, bring along this handy list and refer to it frequently between sips of your just-makin’-you-handsome martini.

  1. What do you do for a living? Don’t shorten the question to “What do you do?” because his answer will probably be irrelevant, like “Cupcakes.”
  2. Do you have any children? Be careful with this one. Not everyone assumes that children and offspring are synonyms. An answer of yes can mean anything from diapered terrors to a freeloading adult.
  3. Where did you go to school? If his answer ends in “Tech” and it doesn’t begin with “Texas” or “Virginia,” beware. Then again, if your front-end needs alignment, he could be useful.
  4. Did you grow up in [where you currently are and, no, not “a bar”]? This will tell you how likely it is that the person you’re with has already mated with other patrons.
  5. What’s in your iPod? If his answer is “Lint,” he gets points for creativity and no second date. If he lists Liza Minnelli, Madonna, and Depeche Mode, you have a new shopping partner. If he doesn’t know what an iPod is, send him back to the old folks’ home.
  6. What do you like to do for fun? This will tell you much. Listen for subtle clues that he might be a redneck: “Go cow tipping, drink Old Milwaukee, chew, watch NASCAR, or campout in my backyard.” If everything he lists is an indoor activity, he’ll wind up being another piece of furniture you won’t use.
  7. Do you like to cook? A great answer is, “Yes, in fact I was just about to go bake a fresh spoonful of crack. Be right back.” However, brownies, muffins, salmon, and green bean casserole are more encouraging.
  8. What’s your favorite local restaurant? If his mother works there, excuse yourself. If it’s Carl’s Jr., look for clues that he’s wearing Spanx and diabetic.
  9. Do you have any dream vacations in mind? I hope they don’t include anything in the Bible Belt or India. If he lists “Vegas,” he either is a gambling addict or convicted John.
  10. What kinds of exercise do you do regularly? Encouraging answers involve some type of physical exertion beyond walking, kicking a spongy ball, and drinking beer between reps. Firing a gun is not exercise, nor is sitting in the stands yelling at teenagers or eating.

You can learn so much in ten simple questions, can’t you? Maybe I’ll create a score sheet to assist you further–an iPhone app, perhaps? Naturally, if he has huge hands or is a great kisser, his answers won’t matter … much.