Sure, you’ve got the perfect shade of lipstick and the little black dress... but is that all you need? Hardly.
1. A fabulous photo of yourself
We all have that photo: The one where your smile, hair, and (let’s be honest) bod all come together in one attractive package, whether it’s that snapshot from your hike in the Grand Canyon or that party photo where you’re dressed to kill. Post that sucker at eye level on your fridge so your male guest can’t help but notice it as he checks out if you have anything to drink (see #5). What he says: “Is that you?” What he means: “Daa-aang, girl, you’re hotter than I realized!” Keep a digital version handy so you can email it to online suitors or blind dates who want a glimpse of the goods beforehand. And never, ever throw it away — when you’re 80-something it’ll serve as an instant reminder that back in the day, you were a total dish!
2. A pretty pair of heels
Admit it. You feel like Maria from West Side Story
(You feel pretty, oh so pretty…) when you slip on a pair of nice heels. The good news is that these days, you can transform virtually any outfit to make it on-the-town ready by adding heels to a skirt, jeans, leggings, whatever. And no, they don’t have to be towering stilettos; even a pair of one-inch kitten heels will make you stride a little more confidently. (Added bonus: The taller you are, the more cute men you’ll be able to see around the room.)
3. A Jay-Z CD
What’s one of the first places a guy peruses when he walks into a woman’s home? Her music collection. Good for you if you have an extensive one. But if all he sees is a stack of girl bands (say, the Veronicas, the Pussycat Dolls, Taylor Swift and the Twilight
soundtrack), he’s going to panic. Balance out your collection with one CD, any CD, by Jay-Z and you have no idea how relieved he’ll be. It shows you have an open mind and aren’t easily offended — and that’s music to any man’s ears.
4. A great pick-up line... and a way to blow ‘em off
In this post-chivalrous period, we can’t always depend on guys to initiate contact, so prepare thyself with one simple, non-cheesy icebreaker to lay on that cutie who’s making his way to your area of the bar. Our favorite: “Hi. Having fun?” (Though a friend of mine has recently taken to asking well-dressed men, “Hetero, homo or metro?”) And in cases when a guy initiates contact and you’re not interested, better have a more effective blow-off ready than “Ummmm, no...” and staring at the ground. Our suggestion: “Sorry, I don’t think the guy I’m seeing would appreciate it.” Sure, it’s a lie, but it’ll let him down easy — without destroying his ego or making him think you’re a jerk.
5. A selection of cold drinks
A prepared single girl is ready to host and serve guests at any time. If you want to make a male guest feel at home and your girlfriends feel special, skip the lonely water pitcher and diet sodas for a selection of sparkling waters, organic bottled teas, healthy juices and cocktail mixers for impromptu get-togethers.
6. Bathroom reading material
What man doesn’t appreciate finding interesting reading in his sweetie’s bathroom? So instead of tossing out your magazines when you’re done reading them, toss them into a basket by the toilet. No need to go overboard with a stack of Sports Illustrated
back issues (if you don’t follow sports, that would just be weird), but consider Newsweek
or even Cosmopolitan
(hey, this may be the only time he’s a captive audience and can learn a few things). Or, just buy a book that’s made for the bathroom, like Schott’s Original Miscellany by Ben Schott
so he can learn a few things about shoelace lengths and sign language while he passes the, uh, time.
7. A business card
After the age of 18, it’s no longer cute to scrawl your first name and phone number on a napkin and hand it to a man who wants to call you. So if your job doesn’t provide a card or you’d prefer one with your personal email address and phone number on it, then have some made at your local print shop or online. The thrifty shopper can get 250 full-color business cards for free from vistaprint.com if you don’t mind the company’s logo on the backside of the card. Hey, it’s better than nothing. A napkin he can lose. A card he’ll file and keep.
Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than a man who wants to cuddle up with you in bed for a long night’s sleep. Unless — SNZZGGHGHRRJJZZZ! — he snores so loudly you can’t get any sleep. Prepare thyself for surprise snorers with a pair of earplugs stashed in your nightstand.
9. A straight male friend on your speed-dial
Every girl knows she needs a gay male friend she can go to for fashion advice, but when it comes to relationship advice, you need another source. While your female friends may have good intentions, if you really want to know if you should call that guy, save the guesswork and go to someone who’s been there, done that.
Hey ladies, you know the drill by now. If you want to be able to have spontaneous fun of the bodily kind, you have to prepare for it yourself. You can’t always count on him to have something in his back pocket — or a 24-hour drugstore on the route home. (Your new mantra: If you don’t want to worry about it, you buy it.)
Amy Spencer writes relationship and lifestyle stories for
Glamour, Maxim, Real Simple and other publications. She would like to thank her straight male friend for advising her on some of the essential items she was missing. For the other side of the story, read 10 things every single man must own