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.


Jennifer Jo said...

This is fabulous, Lynn. (I'll be reading it to my boys.) In fact, it was so engaging that I forgot about the milk I was heating for yogurt and it boiled over!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Charm school is needed for both girls and guys in our text-loving teens these days but I certainly don't doubt our male sector could use a few tips. Very wise words!

leslie said...

wow, charm school! what a concept! definitely needed. i'm with you!
and beautiful looking cookies, by the way! yum! i love cinnamon sugar!

Liisa Vexler said...

ooh - I would send my husband. My favourite "not so sensitive" regular comment of his is "it was really good, but maybe next time you could (fill in the blank)"

I think I'll make these snickerdoodles this afternoon!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Jennifer Jo - so sorry about your yogurt!

Bellini Valli - Ah, yes, a whole semester on cell phone etiquette, too.

Leslie - Thanks!

Fit For a Kid - is your husband by any chance an engineer? It's the "how can I improve it?" mentality. Try telling him to save those kind of comments for two days after the "it was really good" comment.

Adam said...

"Deportment" had me laughing pretty good :). Thanks for that. But I think a lot of this we're going to have to give up on. What we need to focus on immediately is the destruction of the English language by teenagers as a result of instant messaging (both of the online and texting variety) :). But maybe I'm just saying that to take the focus off my slovenly ways :) -- And the cookies look great, I love snickerdoodles, but don't make them enough. I suppose I can use the excuse of "whole wheat" to make these though :).

Mindy said...

You should offer this in an online youtube class, this could be amazing!

Karen Baking Soda said...

Where and when can I enroll my three boys? Oh and when we're at it, I'll add the big guy as well. (You forgot the flowers! It doesn't need to be every week, just once in a while)

Unknown said...

Hehe I'd totally sponsor you for this effort. Though I must say, the school needs to be for guys that aren't single. They're quite the charmers when they're running after you ;) That's why I've decided to enjoy the single life for a while!

Elle said...

Great idea...now the real challenge is to find a guy who can give the classes :) Only another guy would have street 'cred. In the meantime we can all enjoy some snickerdoodles and coffee...thanks for the recipe.

Homemade Heaven said...

With a teenage son I certainly would sign him up for your deportment school. The only thing that I get more than a grunt for is when I brag about bench pressing 30kgs!
I do believe these cookies might leave him speechless (or should I say gruntless)!

Abby said...

Down South you can still find schools like that, but as the mama of (almost) two boys I plan to put YOUR plan into action. There's a reason Rhett Butler was so beloved, you know? I'm going to raise two of him!

grace said...

agreed! #2's a biggie for me (that could be taken WAY out of context and deemed disgusting...).

Barbara said...

Good idea, Lynn, but I'm hoping mothers of boys teach them instead...from the start. It's our job!