|Jackie Kennedy - Queen of Mystique|
'For some reason she particularly wanted to impress that Tess O’Leary. Cecilia had an illogical attraction to enigmatic, elegant people like Tess. Most of Cecilia’s friends were talkers. Their voices overlapped in their desperation to tell their stories. You had to jump right in without waiting for a pause in the conversation because otherwise you’d never get your turn. But women like Tess didn’t seem to have the same need to share the ordinary facts of their lives and that made Cecilia desperate to know them.’
- Liane Moriarty, The Husband’s Secret
I love this quote from ‘The Husband’s Secret’ which I read a while back (such a good read it was too). It reminded me to covet mystique. I forget sometimes you see and need reminding.
Author Anne Barone (‘Chic and Slim’) speaks of it, as does the Jennifer L. Scott in ‘Lessons from Madame Chic’. In fact I’m sure I’ve seen in all the French Chic books I’ve read that mystique is one of the French woman’s greatest weapons.
But why is mystique such a drawcard? Why is not doing something more powerful than doing it?
I’m sure you can think of times when you’ve magically possessed mystique and how good it felt. Not blabbing out everything that came into your mind, asking questions and answering them, ducking uncomfortable ones expertly and leaving somewhere knowing you left a good impression.
You probably can also recall occasions where you have been the complete opposite. I know I can, and I still can remember the awful feeling afterwards of knowing that I talked too much, gave away information that was not necessary or too personal.
Granted, they’re probably not thinking too much (I hope), as most people are more worried about what others are thinking of them instead. Still, I’d rather be the type that people think of as friendly yet reserved, self-assured but caring, and someone they can rely upon to keep their confidence.
In one of Anne Barone’s books she wrote of a woman who was on the same airplane as her, and during the flight Anne heard every one of the woman’s words about her health complaints and many other unsavoury and boring topics. I’m pretty sure I remember correctly that the woman might not have even have been talking directly to Anne, but someone else. Her voice was so loud Anne couldn’t help overhearing.
Firstly, how annoying would that be for other passengers, and secondly, I never want to be that person! In public places, the first thing I do when I am talking with another person is to not talk too loudly. Part of it is politeness, and part of it is my wish to be private. Let’s add mystique to our list of motivations shall we?
I’ve written about mystique before in a couple of other posts here and here. Obviously I am still coveting that mysterious enigma mystique, and one day I might even achieve it!