Thursday, January 27, 2005

A Handsome Trick

Having been to see my old friend the day before, enlivened by the meeting and by his kind and intelligent company, I was in a good mood all day yesterday, whistling and singing to myself, being generous to everyone, bouncing along the streets of London on my air-cushioned soles feeling sprightly, like an old gent with a new hip anticipating the prospect of a liaison with a horny widow at a tea dance.

I noticed how in this expansive relaxed state it really was true that body language alters considerably. Feeling relaxed and giving smiles and being mellow generally does work in your favour - people are more likely to treat you well, let you pass, thank you for allowing them in first, the kind of urban moments that locked up internally and beset by stress you never experience.

So I decided to play a handsome trick. It's very simple and it involves thinking yourself handsome (or beautiful) in a kind of instant, self-help affirmation way. It can be hilarious. You have to be a. relaxed and b. in public. Don't get so self-involved that you fail to relate to the people around you and your surroundings. Don't obsess. Suspend disbelief. Hold the thought. Just keep it there. When the mind wanders, bring it back on track like a little doggy on a lead. Then keep going and see what happens.

So there I was in Victoria Station, walking to get some lunch before getting a train. I AM INCREDIBLY HANDSOME. Hold the thought. I AM VERY, VERY HANDSOME. I AM REALLY HANDSOME. Suspend disbelief. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HANDSOME AND I ACCEPT HOW HANDSOME I AM. He he. 5 minutes of this and I actually start to feel handsome.

I AM INCREDIBLY HANDSOME. Immediately a very attractive young woman said directly and curiously into my left ear, "Are you?" and I practically jumped. She was mid-flow in a conversation. But I could tell it was beginning to work. I walked smoothly to Pret a Manger. I am really handsome. I paused in the lunchtime throng, selecting my sandwich, feeling (by now) relaxed, and very handsome. It had stopped being an effort. I stood weighing up Thai Chicken against Crayfish and Rocket. OTHER PEOPLE FIND ME VERY ATTRACTIVE. Selected fish, went to the counter. The woman next to me smiling and indecisive, waved me in front. I thanked her. The voice that came out was slightly deeper and more resonant than usual, and I moved elegantly to the front of the queue.

There before me was an open, fresh-faced woman with lovely skin and hair, the hard-working cheerful east-european kind favoured by Pret, and I gave her my sandwich and smiled. I am very, very handsome. She looked at me, and took the sandwich, but she looked at me long and sweetly, smiling broader and in some surprise, then fluffed the move, dropped the sandwich and blushed.

"Anything else?" she recovered gamely. I am really incredibly handsome. I paused for a half-second and felt like saying "personal modesty" but instead I said, "no, thanks, that's it.." and offered her a fiver, which she took, and then proceeded to put the sandwich in a bag in her neat and efficient way. Except that she then looked up at me to give me the change and managed to miss my outstretched hand and I watched the coins fall off the counter, some her side, some mine onto the floor, among the feet.

Her composure gone, she apologised and blushed deeper. I murmured, "think nothing of it" and picked up the money. She gave me the rest of the change, smiling and blushing, and I moved away. As I left she was looking distractedly over the shoulder of the person behind me towards the exit. Damn. She really liked me! She could tell how handsome I was. We could have danced all night.

Wow. Poor Sean. Poor Cary. Poor Paul. Poor Steve. Poor Brad. Poor Keanu. Poor Johnny. Being too handsome is a problem. I decided to revert to my normal thought-form of being reasonably attractive to some people most of the time, and highly attractive to certain people once in a while. It's a lot easier to get what you want that way.

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At 12:42 AM, Blogger transience quoth...

i did a thesis on the pygmalion effect--self-fulfilling prophecy--in college. it got a good grade, and i was self-fulfilled.

nowadays, when i think myself beautiful, i only have to remember to flash my disclaimer label. with great power comes great responsibility.

At 3:28 AM, Blogger Laurie quoth...

You've given me an idea for a post! I'll be right back.

At 4:42 AM, Blogger Indigobusiness quoth...

You should've had the Crayfish and Rocket.


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