Style: The Art of Conversation–Your Key to Unlock a Rainbeau World

Picture this. You’re at a cocktail party, grooving to Sinatra about to eat that olive out of your martini. Scan the room and there he is–Mr. Rainbeau–looking at you, checking you out because you look fly. He smiles; you smile back with that sexy “come hither” smile you do. He walks over and says hello.


Right now, you got him. He likes what he sees, he finds you attractive, and he EVEN has the courage to walk ALL THE WAY across the room to speak to you.

And the only thing that could mess this up is what comes out of your mouth next.

Mr. Rainbeau: “Hi, how are you?’

Here’s you: “I’m alright, except these CAFM heels are kickin my ass! Hold on a sec so I can take them off.”

Do that and you'll come off like this chick

Rule One: Keep mum on the TMI or leave the CAFM shoes at home. Your answer, according to Sarah Tomczak, author of How to Live Like a Lady: Lessons in Life, Manners, and Style, should always be “Fine, thank you.”

Now that’s out of the way, what the heck should you talk about? This can be a bit of a sticky situation for girls new to the rainbeau world and who might feel a bit awkward at first about how to interact in a flirtatious way with a non-black man.

We’ve talked about this before, and it bears repeating: Most non-black men express their interest in a much less overt manner that you might not be used to. AND conversely, Mr. Rainbeau might be just as nervous about getting rejected fearing you’re a NOTHING BUT A BROTHA!!!! kind of black chick.

But the key to success in this conversation and everyone else that you might meet–the president, the janitor, Robert DeNiro, that old lady in her rose garden, or that nerd at FedEx Kinkos–is to put that person at ease. The best way to do that is A) to smile; B) talk less about yourself and ask more questions about your subject; C) be an active listener.

“The secret to your success is to discover something in which the other person is interested and to show a fascination in it yourself,” says Tomczak.

I just can’t help it, but I have to make a joke.

Mr. Rainbeau: “I like to pluck the gray out of my chest a pubic hair.”

Here’s you: “Oh me too! Especially those really looong ones! I use Revlon tweezers work best–and you?”

Here’s a hint, if Mr. Rainbeau wants to talk about gray-haired pubs, you should probably excuse yourself.

Kick-arse Small Talk Subjects

  • Favorite vacation spots
  • The latest human interest news–no politics. Now is not the time to discuss whether or not Mr. Rainbeau is a birther.
  • Sports (Ummm, yeah, sports. Since I know nothing about this oddity, I’d just have to skip it)
  • The latest outrage on Real Housewives of Atlanta/Orange County/Beverly Hills
  • Classic bands and favorite types of music
  • And if all else fails, talk about the weather.
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