Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Charm School For Guys
I've come up with an idea that will secure my fortune. I'm going to start a charm school for guys. While girls have equal opportunities to play sports, I think guys need equal opportunities to learn how to function in polite company.
There are a lot of guys out there who would benefit from charm school. Perhaps you know some of them. Some of the basic covered in my charm school for guys would be:
1- Deportment. Perhaps you don't need to learn how to glide into a room, balancing a book on your head, but you won't impress anyone slouched to one side like you've had a blow out.
2- Gentleman skills. Opening doors, pulling out chairs, helping on and off with coats - these are dying skills which need CPR.
3- Dinner table manners. To quote one of my favorite movies, She's The Man, "Chew like you have a secret!" Really, dudes, no woman wants to see what you're eating after it's passed your lips.
4- Dress. No, that doesn't mean you wear a dress! It means you care about how you dress. Perhaps you can't afford to look like James Bond in your wardrobe choices, but you can certainly take it up a notch if your low-riding pants let everyone know what the print-du-jour on your boxers is.
5- Conversation. This is where guys are most desperately in need of guidance. Grunts do not a conversation make. What passes for conversation between a bunch of guys playing video games would make the gorilla house at the zoo sound like The Globe Theatre. I think a whole semester would be spent on the fine art of conversation. How to make introductions, how to reply intelligently to a query, and, most importantly, how to pay sincere compliments.
I'm not sure if it's linked to the y-chromosome or what, but there seems to be an inability with guys to pay sincere compliments. And if circumstances demand a compliment, it is squeezed out, grudgingly, in the negative form.
"Dinner didn't suck." (In response to a 5 course meal that took 3 days to prepare.)
"You're not that bad." (In response to a recital that involved 2 hours of practice per day for months)
or, the exceedingly generous, "No, don't worry, you look fine." Fine? Fine?? For "fine" I just spend 3 hours curling, painting, primping, plucking, cinching, squishing, and gilding?
Guys, here's how it's done. Say it simply. Say it honestly. Say it with enthusiasm. And say something NICE, that will make her glow with happiness.
Let's try those compliments one more time.
"Dinner was fabulous. I know you put a lot of effort into it and it certainly paid off! You're a wonderful cook."
"Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. I never suspected you were that amazingly talented!"
and, for the bonus round, "You are breathtakingly gorgeous. I can't believe that I'm lucky enough to get to go out with you."
Try it guys. Really, it doesn't hurt .And you might even like the results so much that you try it again. And again.
Today's cookies are snickerdoodles, which are basically sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. Think of the cinnamon sugar as compliments - something sweet which, when liberally applied, makes everything better.
Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 egg plus 1 egg white
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1- Preheat oven to 400 deg. F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
2- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and egg white; beat well.
3- In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and beat well.
4- In a small, shallow bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Using a cookie dough scoop, or your hands, shape the dough into walnut-sized balls. Roll the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar and place them 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
5- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will puff up and flatten as they bake. For soft cookies, be sure not to overbake. Bake just till the tops are set, then allow the cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
Note: It's best to prepare and bake this dough the same day. It doesn't work as well if you refrigerate it.