November 26, 2006

Everyone needs a hook. Something that draws people in, holds their attention, and gives them a reason to want to see you again. Liza has a great hook: her cleavage. Whenever she goes on a date she wears a low-cut top. This usually ensures a second date. What's strange is, she is the first to admit that her biggest insecurity is her body. She watches what she eats and works out every day so she can look as good as possible and men will be interested in her. But then, when they're interested, she worries that it's only because of her body.

The reason she flaunts her cleavage is that it's something she can count on. Like an insurance policy. No matter how unfunny or nervous she might be, the cleavage will pay off. I don't think she needs it, but if it makes her feel better, why not? Humour is subjective - boobs aren't.

For some people, their hook is their children. A friend recently began seeing a man who has an adorable five-year-old son. The son is definitely the selling point. He asks questions and seems interested in the world - much more than his dad. Plus, he likes being read to. The problem is, children grow up. So I predict the relationship has a firm expiry date: his 13th birthday.

That's the problem - a hook has a shelf life. If your hook is your body, you're in trouble. Liza's cleavage won't work as well when she's 70. Even if the hook is power, fame or money, which might not fade, it's dangerous to let them influence a decision. Who'd want to be stuck with someone powerful, rich or famous? You still have to talk.

I don't know what my hook is any more. It used to be my personality. When I was younger, I could be charming for hours at a time. I could turn it on anywhere. Over the phone, on a date, at a party - someone once called me "mesmerising" and they weren't even that drunk.

Now I don't have the patience to be charming for more than five minutes. I can't be bothered to sell myself and I'm too lazy to do anything special. Liza will spend half a day getting ready before going out with someone. If I take a shower, it's an occasion. I suppose I'm lucky that my physical appearance was never part of my hook: it means I don't have to worry about decline.

If I do have a hook, it would most likely be something I don't do. For instance, I don't break down crying when talking about my life. Unless I'm at therapy. I don't take heroin. And I don't whistle. Or maybe it's something I don't have. How about this: I don't have a family. Who needs another family? And I don't have any pets. No fish, no family - that has to be a hook for some people. I could mention that I'm not good in emergency situations. That's catnip for a co-dependent. That, or I'm really needy. My hook is for a select few.

Overcoming adversity is a hook. The more someone has struggled, the more sensitive and interesting they are. That could be my hook. Except for the "overcoming" part. I'm still working on that. I'd have to mention that I'm planning to overcome stuff.

Maybe my hook is not having a hook. If the purpose is to entice a lingering interest, I could stand out as the person who doesn't try. That's enough of a reason to see me again. It's rare to find someone so ambivalent.