Garrett and I had the most awesome date night the other day. We don't have set date nights and we used to go out to dinner every night (not usually fancy, just anywhere we didn't have to cook), but since we moved to a new place (still settling in) and started eating at home more (thank goodness for our toastee maker and eggbeaters), heading over to Chez Fon Fon for the first time in months was awesome. After feeling like a fancy Frenchie Garrett suggested coffee and we went to O'Henry's in Homewood and then off to Barnes and Noble at the Summit. It was the day after Valentine's Day (which is not even on our radar really as a holiday) and we went to dinner early... I think we still made it home by 8 something.
While at Barnes and Noble my eye was drawn to a book "Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes." As a natural blonde who doesn't feel necessary preferenced for that trait I was interested, it was on the bargain case which made me think it must be pretty terrible. The text inside is all purple (on this particular copy with a silly cupid on the front, which might've been realeased for Valentine's Day), and I thought I'd just see how terrible it really was.
In college I majored in Anthropology (and was focusing on Archaeology), and my favorite parts of the basic classes were learning about the evolution of humans and our biology, basically what makes us like animals and what separates us. How we became dependent on agriculture, how we chose mates, how our bodies are made to walk and run upright (I read a book several years ago called Why We Run and loved it). The Blondes book (by Jena Pincott), is set up in a series of questions and answers with references to studies that explain either biologically or socially (or both) the rules of attraction for humans.
Garrett probably wishes I hadn't spent the rest of the night reading all of the neat facts I was learning out to him, but I couldn't stop reading (which is rare for me, with my ADD tendencies that most especially come out when reading words without pictures, haha I am a child). I tend to shout from the rooftops when I find something I really believe in (hence telling every woman I can find about the Mirena IUD and having baby bites from Pastry Art at most of my client meetings), and so of course I can't resist encouraging everyone to read the book.
I own a copy of the 7 habits of highly effective people and have never read it, which I should probably remedy, but this is what I want it to be. I'm finding the book, which focuses on romance, to be relevant in dealing with people in general (an exciting thing for a former anthropologist). There are rules to attraction in our faces that I'm starting to apply to photographing people. There's evidence that fake smiles are detectable. There are reasons why old couples start looking like each other (cutest thing ever?). Reasons to maintain eye contact, touch people when you're talking with them, a certain height of heel that looks best (and it's not 6 inches).
It looks like you can pick up the hardback on Amazon for super cheap, and the Barnes and Noble at the Summit has a few copies left for $5 (I went back and bought a second copy for lending out), and $5 is the new $1.
One of the best things the book has encouraged me to do is to smile more, genuinely, at people. I tried it out at a party in Vegas for WPPI (a big photographer meetup with one really amazing party). I was wearing a ridiculous sheer gold sequined dress (with a very opaque nude slip, thank goodness), and heels, and I'm sure some of the girls there thought I was crazy or full of myself (you know how you look at girls who are drawing attention to themselves, fellow ladies, don't lie). I'd catch girls looking, make eye contact, and then smile because I was having a great time. I'm so very happily married, not dancing with their men, not trying to steal their soulmate away. Once they saw me smile their almost scowls (or at least questioning "Who does she think she is" faces) turned to real smiles too. I felt like that part in Mean Girls where Tina Fey makes all the girls see the err of their evil ways.
I've too frequently been that judgmental girl glaring at Miss Sequin low cut cleavage (of which I only had sequins going for me :)). I want to be friends with people. I want people to see good in me and thus good in the world. You may think your true feelings don't show themselves but oh how they do! I couldn't believe how well just smiling and making eye contact works. Try it! And let me know if you pick up the book!