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A Feather In Her Cap

When does a girl become a woman? Develop those fabled feminine wiles? Is itΒ during wide-eyed, chub-cheeked infanthood? Her inaugural surf ofΒ the red wave? Maybe it happens the first time she, um………..logs her First Time. Or maybe it’s the first time she enjoys it.

Whatever the provenance of True Womanhood, some girls have it.

And I.

Do not.

July found me. Sitting on an ancient velveteen sofa. At the wrong end of a pointy tool. Two minutes later, my red hair was spangled with a lime green feather, affixed at the root.

I looked at Cayleigh.

She’s eleven.

“Go over there to MTM and tell him he needs to get a hair feather, too.”


The modernist-minimalist-all-black-and-weird-glasses-wearing-architect.

Cayleigh rocked back and forth, unsure of her feminine wiles. “Why should I do it?’

“Because. He won’t be able to say no to you.”

When she waved a feather of indigo blue, it floated through the air.

And affixed itself.

To MTM’s hair.

He wore it for twenty-four hours.

Because that’s what feminine wiles force men to do.


If you look closely at the photo, you can see the feather in his hair.


When do feminine wiles begin, Dear Reader?


the ask

52 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jen #

    I have, if nothing else, feminine wiles, and no one to practice on. (Okay that’s an exaggeration. Let’s just say I am filled with wiles and not enough outlets for the wiling.)

    I think you’re born with it, like many personality traits, and then it’s nurtured or not through the years. I’ve been wiling away since I was 5 or 6.

    July 21, 2014
    • I read something you wrote recently about listening. In some ways, it was honestly wily, if that makes sense. πŸ™‚

      July 21, 2014
  2. Emily Guess #

    Cayleigh definitely has it. Joey was willing to get a feather also.

    July 21, 2014
  3. wonderful move mtm. and you are born with those wiles.

    July 21, 2014
  4. Alice #

    Ha. Ha. You totally have those wiles my dear. MTM is hopelessly devoted, I think the feather thing only works coming from an 11 year old.

    July 21, 2014
  5. I have no idea but…I know it when I see it…

    July 21, 2014
  6. That’s an even better answer than I planned

    July 21, 2014
  7. I think before birth, Andra. Yep.

    July 21, 2014
  8. Feminine wiles have no effect on me. Nope. None at all… I am immune to women.

    July 21, 2014
  9. I think sometimes you women underestimate us men. Sometimes it gives us a chuckle to do things like this, and we get to challenge ourselves and others’ definitions of us by doing something a little capricious in nature.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly “wiles-affected” behavior that I have seen, and I would reckon that a high percentage of it is, but as one of the other more capricious in nature types I think I could see where MTM’s head was at during The Feathering.

    July 21, 2014
    • I wore my feather until last week. Even to presentations and stuff. I was sorry to take it out, but getting my hair re-reded would’ve ruined it.

      It was definitely a challenge for MTM. He wore it handsomely.

      July 21, 2014
      • did you take any pictures before you took it out?

        “Well, my boyfriend’s in a band
        He plays guitar while I sing Lou Reed
        I’ve got feathers in my hair
        I get down to Beat poetry
        And my jazz collection’s rare
        I can play most anything
        I’m a Brooklyn baby
        I’m a Brooklyn baby”

        July 21, 2014
      • I meant yours!

        July 22, 2014
    • MTM wouldn’t let me record anything for posterity. The closest I got was the picture I posted, where you can barely see it sticking out of his hair.

      July 22, 2014
  10. Feminine wiles are always at least one day ahead of any guys abilty to see them coming. We bascially are born with no chance.

    July 21, 2014
    • You’re pretty wily, too, Lou. Surprising the lovely Miss TK with that cruise.

      July 21, 2014
  11. Great story! This gives new meaning to “put a feather in your cap!” As for feminine wiles, you were born with them. Ever since our daughter could talk all she needs to do is simply look at her Dad ‘that way’ and say Daddy. Done. All the best. ~Karen~

    July 21, 2014
    • Daughters have that knack with Dads, don’t they? πŸ™‚

      July 22, 2014
  12. tarakianwarrior #

    I learned at a very, very young age. πŸ˜‰

    July 21, 2014
    • I think I had more confidence when I was three than I do now. Ha.

      July 22, 2014
  13. We’re probably all born with them, but I’m of the opinion that they must be encouraged, or else they will be smothered or totally extinguished.

    Good for MTM to have given encouragement.

    July 21, 2014
  14. Feminine wiles? Hmmmmm…I don’t have that gene. I’m not always sure I always have the feminine gene either since I’d rather spray deet on myself and smell like campfire than spray myself with perfume and paint my nails. No wiles here, Andra. Probably wouldn’t know how to use it if I did.

    July 21, 2014
    • I liked your pink hat, though…….

      July 22, 2014
      • That was my girlfriend, not me (I don’t usually wear hats). I’ll see if she wants to borrow it to you πŸ™‚

        July 22, 2014
      • Hard to tell in the shot. It was very pretty.

        July 22, 2014
      • Thanks Andra! πŸ™‚

        July 22, 2014
  15. I’m still waiting for my persuasive wiles to kick in. And my come hither stare needs work. Good on Cayleigh for getting MTM to wear a feather! πŸ™‚

    July 21, 2014
    • My come hither scare always frightened men…….I still don’t know how I managed to land MTM.

      July 22, 2014
  16. I credit much of my career success to those wiles. πŸ˜‰
    As for when they came…I think I realized I had ’em at around 13 years old.

    July 21, 2014
  17. I definitely think it is something we are born with. I know my youngest is filled with it…Just ask her daddy πŸ™‚

    July 21, 2014
    • Hee hee. My dad always said no to me before I could even ask him a question.

      July 22, 2014
  18. For me, they started the first time I held their minutes old bodies and they looked up at me. Boom gone!!!!!!

    July 21, 2014
  19. Lance #

    This is o a post for the 4 women I live with. It seems they’ve all become women and I don’t know what each of their moments were.

    July 22, 2014
  20. My feminine wiles are heavily steeped in intelligence and knowing how to get what I want with clear headed thinking. LOL! When I try the “other” ones I just feel silly. I was with a friend the other day who can charm any man, of any age, and I sat there in awe! My “wiles” come out all awkward. πŸ™‚ I do feel a little sorry that I honestly think this true! But Go Cayleigh! What a gem of a photo, Andra.

    July 23, 2014

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