When I met Mr. Burns he wore those washed out, light colored jeans from the 90s. Despite the fact that it was already 2007. When he came to pick me up for dates, I admit I cringed at the jeans.
I remember asking one of the relatively stylish, married guys that I worked with, "At what point can I tell him to buy dark denim jeans?" Paul told me it had to be subtle. Something like pointing out a friend of his or at the store and saying, "Those dark jeans would look really good on you."
Then when he tries them, load on the positive reinforcement.
So that's what I did.
Before long, he went shopping on his own and came back with one light pair, one dark pair. He is an engineer after all, so if there was going to be a change it was going to be gradual.
I oohed and ahhed every time he wore the dark jeans. Now, he wears light jeans when he's working in the field - where he's bound to get dirty. And the MANY pair of dark denim jeans he's accumulated are worn ALL the rest of the time.
Tonight we met a group of his friends for dinner. The couple who got married in April is moving and this was their send off.
I rarely drink, so when I ordered a beer - Mr. Burns was SHOCKED! I followed with a Mojito. As a result I was fairly tipsy.
The newly married couple was joking about how she seems to be in charge now that they're married. Women all around the table were encouraging this, saying that's the way it should be. One woman said, "Is she smart?" Hubby said, "Hell yeah, she's smart." "THEN DO WHAT SHE SAYS!" came the reply.
On the ride home, I pointed to Mr. Burns jeans and mentioned how much I like them.
Yeah, he likes them too.
I said something like, "Good thing for my influence."
Mr. Burns bristled. "What are you talking about? I bought these myself."
No you didn't. Yes I did. No you didn't. Yes I did.
Oh yeah. He did.
I should have dropped it there - but I said, "Yeah you did, after I influenced you."
"No you didn't."
"Sure." I said. "It had nothing to do with me. You picked them out all on your own."
"It had nothing at all to do with me suggesting it and then telling you how good they look every time you wear them. Yep, I never asked Paul how to get you to buy dark denim jeans."
The light bulb flicked on in his head and I saw on his face he was irritated. Irritated because a minor manipulation had just been revealed. I could almost see the words working through the gears in his head. "I've been bamboozeled! Damn. I thought I would never let a woman get the best of me."
He did not say this - but I saw it on his face.
Then a similar palor drew over my face, as I realized I should never have revealed that I have the keys to manipulate him, even if in a small and harmless way. Oh Damn!
Then I blurted out, "Oh. I shouldn't have told you that. Damn Mojito!"
At that, Mr. Burns laughed. "Truth serum! It finally got you!"
Then he said he's going to wear light jeans from now on just to bug me.