“So, what do you think of my date?” my friend Dan asked, sidling up to me as the stunning blonde went to the ladies room.
Sara and I had run into them when we’d popped into the new brewpub to get a beer after a long
sweaty hike this weekend. Dan waved us over, and I hung around when Sara had to leave to pick up her daughter.
“Well, she’s really pretty.”
“Yes, she is! But, what do you think of her?”
I didn’t quite get what he was getting at, so I went with the Wonder Bread assessment.
“She seems very nice.”
“C’mon Kat. Tell em what you really think.”
I’m always nervous when people ask me what I think of their love interest because being honest often doesn’t work out well. So, I fudged it.
“Dan, I think I should be asking you what you really think; you know her a lot better than I do, and besides, that’s all that matters, right?”
“True. Well, she’s not too with it, you know?”
“You mean she’s not too smart?”
“She’s smart, she’s just …”
And just like that, she was back at the table, all dimply and freshly lip-glossed.
We chatted some more, and I listened and watched a little more closely before I said my goodbyes.
Then I realized what she was “just” about.
She was just beautiful, but dull — there was no charm or wit to her, no curiosity.
Does that matter?
“It’s essential,” Dan said when we chatted on the phone later. “And that’s something women have forgotten.
“What do you mean?”
“Women nowadays act as if their degrees and ambition are aphrodisiacs, but they’re not.”
“Smart’s not enough. They need to think like Cleopatra.”
“Uh, she killed herself with a snake. How smart is
“Go read about her.”
So I did. Evidently the Egyptian queen was quite the hottie in her day (although as people debate whether Angelina Jolie is the right person to portray her, Egyptologists insist she was actually “short, fat and plain”), but it really wasn’t her
beauty that captivated men or her age — although she was just 21 when she hooked up with the 52-year-old Caesar, and really, you can do no wrong at 21.
It was her wit, charm and, as Plutarch says,
the “sweetness in the tones of her voice” that made her a guy magnet.
Oh, dear; well, good luck, Valley girls …
Not to mention that she could “make herself agreeable to everyone,” as Cassius Dio says — which nowadays we’d probably have some silly self-help guru telling us to stop being such a “pleaser.”
But, is that what men want?
Dan says yes. Beauty and intelligence? Sure,
but if you can’t be playful and charming …
Guys may or may not want their intellectual equal, but they want someone who’s low-maintenance and makes him feel good, someone who’ll “make herself agreeable.”
Is being “agreeable” another word for doormat? Could be, if that’s how you feel about it. Can “agreeable” also mean manipulative? Maybe — I wouldn’t say Ms. Cleo had just her man’s best interests in mind. She had a few people offed, including her own sister, to keep her power.
But, haven’t you ever noticed that when you have a little “sweetness” in your voice that a guy will do pretty much anything for you?
Maybe to be treated like a princess we need to act like a queen!
- How important is charm and wit to you in a potential mate?
- Have women forgotten how to be “agreeable”?
- Is being “agreeable” giving up your power, or using your power?