You didn’t notice me at all and if you did you were probably just a little weirded out by the old guy holding a purse and leaning against the bra rack. I’m not a weirdo, though. I was holding the purse for my wife, who was trying on a dress for a dinner party neither of us wants to attend, but which we will attend anyway. The bra rack is just the closest rack to the changing room. After laundering about 10,000 bras I’m afraid they have lost their entire mystique.

You, the tall girl with the cute pierced belly button and the thong undies pulled way up high over your pants, you were holding up this dress. You laid it against yourself and tilted backward so the fabric draped over you and you tried to look down at how it might fit and you asked your friend, the tongue-pierced girl, “Do you think Bobby will like me in this?”

I know the answer to that question and a far, far more important question. If you just listen to me, I will save one of the two of you from an eating disorder of some kind and a host of self-esteem issues and if you ever become poets, then I will have saved you from an entire volume of maudlin crap about how society doesn’t think you are pretty enough, and how Barbie made you purge while considering a boob job. You won’t listen. When I was a teenager, around your age, my friends would come pick me up to go out. I’d say to my mother, “Can I get a few bucks so I can get high with my friends?” and she would smirk about what a cool mother she was and the funny joke we were telling because she thought I was going to buy a soda and some chips. That’s how you will listen.

Here is my life-changing secret:

The most attractive thing about a woman is proximity.

One time this woman hit on me real subtle-like. She just only talked a little and half-smiled and I thought it was a total accident that her breast touched my arm for one tenth of a second. Only much later, weeks later, did it occur to me that she might have been interested. This other time I was dancing with a woman who had asked me to dance and she leaned into me and said over the music, “I want to fuck you so bad.” We dated for months, until she dumped me.

I can’t remember one single thing about what either one was wearing.

So, do whatever you like to impress your girlfriends, but just know that is what you are doing. If you want to attract a man, go stand next to him. That will do it. If you chicken out and do that “friends” thing, he will still be attracted, but instead of hitting on you he will go home and use AOL Instant Messenger to send you notes from “MrWrite” to you, “ladygodiva2345621,” using just one hand. So, really, that is the long way around because it will be months before one of you suggests, all wide-eyed and harmless, that you give it a try or some other nonsense like people make up so it’s okay to do what they had in mind from the beginning.

David Bulley