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Home: The Toast

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Position yourself, whenever possible, at the top of a flight of stairs. This will inspire, either in you or your beholder, a visceral recognition of mortality. Remember: mortality is beauty.

Alternatively, just be always on the verge of death. Achieve a frailty so extreme that rainwater collects in the hollows between your bones.

If you can swing it, be a horse or a boat or a whale.

In the young this “verge of death” may manifest itself as a reckless drug problem. Note that this tip is particularly successful if you hang out with wide-eyed boy narrators slightly younger than yourself and are written by an adult man who didn’t get any in high school.

Be unhappily married. Or a sex worker.

Have a seventeen-inch waist, the smallest in three counties.

Ladies, men want what they can’t have. Embody all those attributes your target is lacking (be they physical, financial, or spiritual), and he will fall at your feet in hopes that your love will help him transcend his shortcomings.

As such, an air of general reproof or self-righteousness will go a long way in securing the affections of a bad man.

Never use your hands—manual labor is for peasants. Keep your hands white and soft with the regular application of lotions and potions. When the muscles start to atrophy, you’ll know you’re a raving beauty.

Really deep serious sex.

Keep your clothes on for said sex, as your target man may be mostly aroused by your fashions.

Avoid artifice, or else prepare to have your wedding night ruined when your husband finally notices you wear a wig.

I cannot recommend highly enough some time by the seaside or taking the waters for recovering one’s bloom.

Be in every way superior to the men in your life, but crippled emotionally, so as to create in them the delusion that you are at once their only female equal and also more in need of them than their other, sensible, female acquaintances.

Have an improbable hair/eye/skin color combination.

Either be obscenely patient or a spontaneous maniac; there is no in between.

If you know you’re already working with some excellent assets, set them off with deliberately simple clothing. Eschew all finery. Caution, though: this has a proven success rate with religious curmudgeons.

If, on the other hand, your assets are limited, get yourself some puffed sleeves.

When measuring your height, wear socks.

Cultivate a voice full of money. At the very least, swallowing the spare change in the bottom of your purse is sure to land you a spot on TLC’s “My Strange Addiction,” gilding you in the soft glow of infamy for fifteen minutes.

Secure a pair of fine eyes. Eyes are everything. Brighten them with exercise. Let them shine brightly with happy tears if you’re an ingénue or smolder darkly with scorn if you’re ever-so-slightly past your prime.

For surefire babe status, drink whiskey.

This is crucial: Do all of the above while maintaining an irrefutable femininity at all times.

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Sara Colvin writes from her bedroom above a biker bar in San Francisco. She likes pho, the Mitford sisters, and Frasier reruns.

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