How to Be Popular

If you want to impress somebody (or a group of people) and get them to like you, tell them “no” to 3 different suggestions / opinions / proposals, etc in close succession. No explanation. Just a calm, non-aggressive “no.”

The reason why such refuseniks are so magnetic is that being around them protects us from our anxiety. Their capacity to say “no” shows inner independence and authority. Being close to that kind of authority is soothing.

For the same reason, prospective romantic partners who are very eager to please end up losing all attraction. We perceive that they have no inner strength, which makes them lousy partners. If they are very eager to arrange their lives around our whims, they won’t be able to help us in a bad situation. A vine that wraps itself around an oak can’t stand up without it, let alone hold it up in a storm.

Nobody wants to carry another person through life. People pleasers practically demand to be carried. That’s why they are so annoying. They demand things we aren’t ready to give.

Literary Recipe: Neapolitan Eggs

I have no idea how Neapolitan this recipe is. I found it in a Russian-language police procedural. The protagonist is notoriously bad at cooking, which is why the recipe is mega simple.

Mix cooked rice with a lot of pressed garlic and butter. Arrange boiled eggs nicely and cover each with some butter. Plonk it all in the oven for 20 minutes. That’s it!

Of course, being myself, I also added tiny noodles, grated cheese, allspice and paprika. But none of it is necessary according to the recipe.

Don’t forget to be very generous with the garlic. It’s more important to the recipe than the eggs. I ate this dish with large raw radishes, which lightens up the flavor.

Saturday Plans

In the morning, I’m attending a class on how not to let your life turn into a crumpled brown bag from McDonald’s. It’s a metaphor, in case people are having trouble waking up. This is yet another one of my “meaning of life” classes.

Then I’m taking Klara to a birthday party at a skating rink.

After that, I’m planning to cook a literary dish. That means a recipe mentioned in a work of literature. It’s a 4-ingredient cheap-and-easy dish, so I’ll share the recipe.