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Saturday, 14 December 2013

The secret of success with women

Big guy everybody loves at Christmas. And Santa.
Brian is a bit of a babe magnet. He denies it modestly, but the evidence is there for all to see. Beautiful blonde wife he's devoted to. Women gazing adoringly, when he goes out. 

If I've heard "Brian is lovely" once, I've heard it a dozen times.

So this evening I've decided to get the secret out of him, as the two of us are having a whisky together in his lounge, while the females of the family are off somewhere, buying Christmas presents.

"Is this a Glenlivet?" I say, sipping the mellow malt.

"Singleton," he tells me.

"Close," I say. "The distilleries are only ten miles apart. Same water and air. Same smooth, sweet, fruity Speyside."

He noses his glass. "True," he says. "But I think you'll find the fruit notes in The Singleton are blackcurrant with a hint of espresso coffee, while The Glenlivet is powerfully pineapple."

I take a sip and survey the guy over the rim of my glass. He is probably right. He always is. It's what makes you want to slap him round the head. I don't because I'm too civilised for violence. 

And because he's six feet three.

A man of studied calm, eclectic interests and impressive erudition, Brian read philosophy at Cambridge and has about 5000 books around his house. He is an admirer of the empiricist philosopher and urbane 18th century gent, David Hume.

"He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper," Hume wrote. "But he is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance."

Which pretty much sums up young Brian. Nothing seems to faze him. I don't believe he has ever lost his temper. I've never seen him show irritation even, which is some feat in a modern world that starts irritating me as soon as I notice it's still there in the morning.

"So listen laddie, what is the secret of your appeal to females?" I say. "And none of your false modesty."

He considers the question, his head tilted to one side, studying the light shimmering through his whisky. "Maybe it's because I don't try to impress," he says quietly. "I just chat to them."

"What about?" I say.

"Anything." He shrugs. "Everything. Books, films, music, history, philosophy, sport. It's not rocket science."

"I know that," I say. "I can do rocket science."

"You have to remember that women are people," he says, and I place my whisky down on the coffee table and study him closely, trying to figure out if he's pulling my leg. 

"You mean they are like people?" I say.

"No," he says. "They are people." 

"Surely men are from Mars and women from Venus," I say. "Everybody knows that."

"We are all from Earth," he says, sounding like one of those long-haired, airy-fairy, love and peace, get a job in banking as soon as I graduate hippies that were around when I was a lad.

"Let's say you're right," I say. "Does that mean I should just be myself around women? Then they'll like me too?"

“'Be yourself; everyone else is already taken,'” Brian says. 

"I've always liked that quote," I say. "Ralph Waldo Emerson wasn't it?"

"Oscar Wilde," he says. "What Emerson said was: 'To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.'”

"Really?" I say. "Thank you for correcting me. Anyway the point is it's all about being yourself. That's what you're saying, isn't it?"

He scratches his chin. "It's not that simple, I'm afraid," he says. "'Be yourself' works for me. But that's because it's me. It's not going to work as well for you, because you'll end up with you. Same idea, different outcome. 

"You see what I mean, don't you?"

"Yes I do," I say, gritting my teeth, reminding myself that Brian only looks average size because he's seated, taking a swig of his Singleton and detecting for the first time those bloody notes of blackcurrant he was on about.

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