As a children's book writer and part-time teacher, I get asked a lot of questions. Mostly :
Can I go to the bathroom? The answer to this one is always no, because it makes me feel wildly superior when a small child soils itself in my company. "How far I have come", I think, "since last I soiled myself." And then. "It has been too long."
Another question is this: "Where do you get your ideas from?" This is a pretty dodgy one, as my reasonably priced novel for young teens is pretty much just a synopsis of the 1987 classic Robocop. I figured no one actually reads books anymore, so they probably wouldn't notice. Also, Dublin is a long way from Detroit and people usually only watch films that are set in places near where they live. So I copied and pasted the screenplay, changed the names and replaced most of the swear words with a sub-plot about a pet rat. Golden.
But the question I get asked most often, by people young and old, big and small, polite and somewhat less polite is this. "How do you land/keep a man?"
I'm very glad you asked me that, world, let me share with you my wisdom....
First of all you have to wear dresses. Trousers confuse and anger most men, because they are also wearing trousers and yours probably fit better than theirs, which is hard for a man to take.
Which brings us to tip two: Men do not like women who are more successful than they are - and why should they? I mean, as a woman I'm not too gone on women who are more successful than me. I acknowledge their existence and appreciate that it takes all sorts to make a world. But still, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I mean, what are they trying to be? Men? Luckily as an under-employed primary school teacher, my job is about as threatening to a man as the weakly beating fists of a busty heroine against the burly chest of some sort of elizabethan privateer who will turn out to be a secret earl.
Himself often reminds me not to get too big for my boots, and he means this both literally and figuratively. Men aren't that gone on big feet either. If you have big feet, it makes men think of the phrase 'you know what they say about big feet', which makes them think that you have a willy of some description.
This is because men have only a rudimentary knowledge of biology, but you best pretend I didn't say so because god help your chances of landing a man if you are one of those clever women.You know the ones. The ones who know things. Confession time: I know some things. But I NEVER EVER tell my boyfriend this. He thinks I am illiterate (even though I wrote a book about a robot cop coming to terms with the death of her mother in a dystopian version of Detroit)) and it works out very well for our relationship. I read a lot, but he does not know that. I hide the books under the bed, in the oven and in the washing machine, places I know he won't ever have to look because I take proper care of my man and ensure he never has to lift a finger unless it is to raise a forkful of something delicious I have prepared for him to his mouth. I mean, they are not called the womanly arts because men are supposed to do them.
Be good at the womanly arts is another HOT SEDUCTION TIP. You heard it here first. Also, you should probably have long hair. Not on your legs silly! You are only allowed to have long hair on the bit of your head that hair is supposed to be long on. Otherwise you are probably pretty bad at being a woman. And I am sorry for you.
But not too sorry ...because once you have landed a man, it is important not to let him see any other women. This one does pose a wee bit of a challenge. But not too much of a one. First, delete all the women from his phone. Even his Mum. You can take her number down, because he'll need to visit her once or twice a year, on the holidays. But only with your permission. Second of all, delete all the women from his life, by aggressively challenging them to fist fights whenever you see them. He will think this is adorable (see the bit about weakly beating fists above- men find that hot). Now, you shouldn't appear to be too good at fighting, because that would be shooting yourself in the foot. Which you shouldn't do, unless you have big feet or want to prove to him that you are not as good at shooting as he is. Anyway, once the other women are vanquished/ horribly scarred/ poisoned (always carry poison) you will be on home ground in terms of man-keeping.
To be safe though, you should probably forbid him to leave the house without your express permission. You can do this in a cute way. Wear lipstick! Use a baby voice! Explain that you just need to be around him all the time because you need so much protecting, like a fluffy baby bird!
Also, and I cannot stress this highly enough, you need a well-rounded knowledge of passive aggression. Any Irish mother should be able to help you on this one. After all you can't become a mother without landing a man at some stage! Unless you adopt, but personally I find that distasteful.
This is one example of how to do passive aggression right:
"I don't mind at all" (while glaring murderously and sharpening your boning knife. the boning knife is important because, while it is clearly a threatening weapon like thing, it also reminds him of dinners and the other sort of boning. Multi-facted strategising there.)
If you manage to follow these simple tips, as well as the 21 others found in my forthcoming audio self help book (not that I need to help myself. I already have a boyfriend) then you will be living the fairy-tale, the happily ever after, the dream of dreams. And if you don't, no matter how high you think you are soaring, you will never be validated and people will talk down to you at the kind of parties that single people are invited to out of charity. Happy hunting ladies!