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Sunday, 19 July 2009

When psychology and fashion work ... together.

This is a real-life story with happy ending.
Good news like someone getting what they wished for is scarce in everyday life, so this one can probably be considered offbeat. It looks like a piece of my humble advice bore fruit, which was by no means a sure bet.
A girl I’ve known for some time now had had a 5-year relationship with her boyfriend and started to fret that he was just stringing her along as the whole thing was rather bogged down.

They belonged to different social classes and his mother — the same old story — didn’t approve of her son’s choice to the point that on one occasion, when due to couple’s bad timing she happened to be at her son’s right when the girl, let’s call her Susan, showed up, she looked her square in the eye and said bluntly, ‘There is no point in beating about the bush, so I’ll give it to you straight: you are a slut and I want you out of my house!’ Credit where it's due – she is indeed a straightforward, sincere woman. All the hell could have broken loose as Susan can give as good as she gets, but she wisely made herself scarce.

Tug-of-war or tug of love?
Some men just can’t definitely cut the umbilical cord tying them to their mothers even after having flown the nest, though in this case the ties of filial love were especially strong: she threatened to disinherit him, which, it turns out, worried him enough despite living high on the hog. No doubt poor guy was under a lot of strain, so much so that he was reluctant to present her to his posh friends and relatives so that she literally had to sneak in and out of his house for a bonk (sounds romantic, just like Romeo and Juliette).

For some inexplicable reason Susan claimed she still had feelings for him and couldn’t bring herself to let him go. She hoped to marry him some day (my guess is not having better options, a drive to reproduce, body clock playing up, and an urge to get herself a home also contributed to the affection), though the affair started to hurt her pride (about time!).
Prince charming, on the other hand, was in no hurry at all. Why would he be? He had all the comforts of married life with no strings attached. Conversely, some women just can’t wait to put on shackles, although admittedly all the paraphernalia of wedding has a very wide appeal.

Lately, Susan was in doldrums most of the time, maundering on about his somewhat indifferent attitude towards her, and then it hit me there might be a way to find a crack in his skull for the idea of marriage to get in by.

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaw
(© Luc Viatour GFDL/CC )
It was a make-or-break plan. First step was to give her a makeover. ‘Do you expect these clothes to get you noticed? — you blend in with the walls in such drab colours and baggy silhouette’, I told her. She is one of these girls that don’t take much pride in her appearance, what a big mistake! Granted, most men don’t pay attention to a woman’s dress, but their unconscious does see the result.

Which one is more likely to catch your eye?

Blackbird female
(Blackbird female by Andreas Trepte)

It isn’t beauty that sells, but the image, and image is largely created by the right clothes. You can gain extra 50% of beauty through the right dress, but in my opinion the best way to look stylish is to wear Italian designer clothes (made there), preferably upmarket labels so that you don’t look cheap. Mind, I suggested this option because I knew she could afford it.

According to Italian clothes design philosophy the price of a piece of clothing builds up according to the value of grazing sheep etc (i.e. raw material) that makes for quality fabric, tailor skills and the extent to which the item in question allows you to create the desired image. After all, life is about playing your role out.

 The next point was a bit more delicate. I don’t mean to pontificate, but why would anyone pay for a freebie? I don’t usually approve of running after a bloke, I think it’s denigrating for women, but if that’s what makes her happy... Basic psychology says people don’t usually care much about what is easy to get or is always available. Instead, if someone else wants it they immediately need it too.

 I asked Susan to describe the guy (what he was like and what he looked like) so that we (I and my friends) could profile him and figure out what kind of personality we were dealing with (I wonder how many, if any, men of today are worth going to so much trouble).

 Want to keep someone? — let him go. Make them think, but don’t make out you can get along without them or have met somebody else. The plan of course could backfire, but you know what they say: nothing venture, nothing have. Besides, it’s a win-win situation — whatever the result you’ll be moving on soon.

Golden Ring. The trophy
The trophy
And so she did. She bought reasonably expensive Italian clothes and became less available. Three weeks later the boyfriend popped the question.

But don’t assume this method would work with anyone in any situation: each person requires a tailored approach depending on the way he is and the circumstances.

There hasn’t been closure to some threads in the story yet, such as his mummy’s will.
Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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