Friday, June 12, 2009

Confessions of a Failed Femme Fatale

According to the movie Mildred Pierce, it can be defined as "the kind of woman men want...but shouldn't have.” Allure, mystery, and classy, dark glamour embody the femme fatale. (excerpt from

I always wanted to be a woman of mystery, a femme fatale. I yearn for that elusive quality that draws in strangers because they just know there’s more to you than meets the eye – someone with secrets and dimensions that are slowly revealed in the course of whispered conversations in smoke filled, dimly lit rooms.

I have never been able the master the art of mystery. I laugh loudly when I’m delighted, cry easily when I’m touched or saddened and stutter wildly when I’m grappling for self control. I’m more like Lucille Ball than Lauren Bacall. has some guidelines for becoming a femme fatale. Here is an excerpt from their list with my commentary…

Speak in a low voice. Not creepy low, just attractive low. In typical conversation not so much but if I concentrate or if I’m inspired to lower my voice register I might actually be able to pull this one off. Of course then there’s the whole giggling thing that completely breaks the mood. Grade: B+

Wear dark, sexy, retro clothes. I’m not quite sure I walk the line between “retro” and “old” but I make an attempt. I’m thinking I get points for the perpetual black dresses in my wardrobe and the 1940 peep toe pumps. Grade: B

Hang out in mysterious places. Not sketchy or scary - just unusual. The problem with this guideline is that there aren’t that many unusual places to be found in Northern Indiana that aren't scary. And, if you do manage to find an unusual place everyone flocks to it like the opening of a new Walmart. Grade: D
Hold your own with the guys in their poker, pool, or video games and occasionally win - be one of the guys. I fail to see how being one of the guys gets you into the Femme Fatale Club. Besides, I’m not a good winner. The little happy dance I do might be frightening but it definitely does not help my mystique. Grade: F

Be mysterious. Don't let everybody know what you are feeling or what's going on. Oh boy I don’t even come close to this one. Don’t misunderstand. I’m capable of being discreet and keeping confidences. But, if you are standing before me delivering what I believe is a load of fiction you can practically see the word “Liar” written across on my face. Grade: F

Find some unusual interest, skill, accessory unique to your femme fatale and work it. I can’t tie a cherry stem in a knot. I don’t smoke so I never learned how to blow smoke rings. I can, however, make a mean pineapple upside down cake but somehow I don’t think that qualifies. Grade: D

Wear a signature scent - not wimpy little fruit-foodie sprays, something oriental or woody. I do have a signature scent and the signature is Jovan White Musk sold for $14.99 at the corner drug store. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to get me into the Femme Fatale Club either. Grade: D

Wear your hair in an extreme side part with Veronica Lake-esque waves. Yeah right, as soon as I part my hair I look just like Veronica Lake – wait, isn’t she dead? Grade: F

Wear pale foundation, 'cat's eye' eyeliner, and red or maroon lipstick. Even if I could pull this off I wouldn’t. Can you say mortician? Grade: F

Watch old movies. Hell, if I was going to stay home and watch old movies why would I want to be a femme fatale? Grade: B

Make guys wonder. How? How? How? Can I get a little more detail here? This is like saying that in order to be a millionaire all you have to do is make a million dollars. Duh. Grade: F

Bonus Question:

Situation: Snotty remark made by a clerk in an upscale clothing store
Femme Fatale Response: small indulgent smile while she begins to compile a list of ways to embarrass her villain publicly – revenge served up cold.
My Response: “You bitch”

1 comment:

Christy said...

The problem with being "the kind of woman men want...but shouldn't have" is you then are the kinda woman other woman don't want around, and will spend all sorts of time plotting against. I'm MUCH more afraid of other women's scorn than man's disinterest. I think your list should keep your safe in the dark alleys of Northern Indiana. :O) ...and the Pineapple upside down cake should get you down the dating road a bit with the whole '...a way to a man's heart'...philosophy. Maybe start entering bake offs, and see if you can pick up a guy at the fair or something ;o) I like the analaysis, it made me laugh.