Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Make People Think You're Immortal

As a human, you are most definitely mortal. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to change the fact that your body will some day grow old and die. However, that doesn't mean that you can't give the impression that your longevity is somewhat greater than that of your fellow mortals.

With a bit of mystery, maturity, and reliance on the things that give an impression of a lengthy life, you may succeed in convincing the less skeptical around you that you are truly able to live forever and for everyone else, you can at least present the aura of being timeless. If you're interested in creating a romanticized Victorian-era style of immortality, read on!

   1.  An example of a Victorian classic waistcoat
      Dress in old-fashioned clothing. The exact era does not matter, but the quality is very important, and a subtle Victorian fashion is ideal for giving the impression that you've already been around for some time. You can find little pieces of Victorian style garb at thrift stores like Goodwill, or you could always buy online. Don't forget to use your creativity to vamp up clothing in the Victorian style – think lace, brooches, brocade, velvet, etc.

            A skirt should at least come close to touching your knees.

            Don't forget your old-fashioned modesty! People of your time didn't wear super-tight tank tops or skimpy little cut-off shorts. Why, back in previous centuries, baring your ankles was unheard of! Of course, after living through different eras, you've probably modernized a bit, so it's no big deal to wear a skirt that reaches your knees rather than your ankles, or to wear a top that doesn't touch your collarbones; just remember to dress somewhat modestly.

   2. Become familiar with classical music. Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Chopin, Bach... all the greats. It's impressive and unusual when a young person has an intimate familiarity with music from eras passed long before his or her own, so people will most likely pay quite a bit of notice to your extensive (and uncommon) interest.

          * Couple this interest with clear and verifiable knowledge about the composers. Depending on how good you are at storytelling, you might even like to sprinkle your conversation with anecdotes about "the time that Beethoven did X", or "the time that Mozart really moved me most was when...".

   3. Take up hobbies from eras long past. Hobbies that have less appeal today but were once thriving are excellent ones to take up and learn, and the more intricate and labor-intensive, the more likely that your skills will astonish people. Think about hobbies such as lace-making, tatting, building exquisite wooden toys in the Victorian style, embroidering wall tapestries, etc. In addition, a number of hobbies that have a fresh revival can also be relied upon but take an old-fashioned slant on them rather than the more modern versions, with such hobbies as knitting, taxidermy, and tatting.

          * An old-fashioned tennis costume
            Sports hobbies that were once very popular but are less so now include badminton, croquet, and side-saddle riding. For sports such as tennis, resort to wearing older style fashions and playing only on grass courts. Hold garden parties with badminton and croquet as major forms of entertainment; movies like Merchant Ivory's "Room with a View" will help give you a good sense of such events in the past.

          * Chess is a good old-fashioned boredom buster!

            Prefer card and board games over video and electronic games. Hunt through antique or secondhand stores and look for original versions of board games (with wooden, bakelite, and glass pieces), chess sets, and cards, etc.

   4. Read classic novels from different historical eras. Some favorites include Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Letter, Little Women, Wuthering Heights, Leviathan and Rebecca. Vampire fiction is a very Victorian romantic choice, but avoid Twilight and all of the recent vampire novels written especially for teenage girls; instead, opt for vivid, horrifying vampire fiction like Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. And any Shakespearean literature will do.

          * Line the walls of your shelves with old, dog-earred books. Many old books are sold very cheaply or even tossed away at auctions, antique stores, and used book stores. They look amazing when filling a bookshelf and will definitely give the impression you've been around for a time. Funk it up with a mixture of books in between the beautiful of old books, such as interestingly covered books from the 30s, 50s, 60s, 80s, and now, to give the impression you've been an avid reader for decade after decade after century...

   5. Take up calligraphy. Fancy penmanship is generally associated with past eras, when people were taught to write in elegant scrolls using quills. Learn a penmanship suited to your style and personalize it with little loops here, and dashes there. This might require some practice on your behalf before you settle on a style that works best for you.

   6. The fleur-de-lis makes a lovely envelope seal, as shown here.
      Write letters by hand. Letter writing, in lieu of text messaging or emailing, is a very immortal-like pastime. You can put your newly learned penmanship to good use too! To really enhance the immortal effect, you can even seal your envelopes with red wax seals and write with a feather quill, as many people did in past eras.

          *      Be sure to use very formal forms of address. This links back to an era when formality and manners were deeply observed. Read an old etiquette book, such as an early version by Emily Post, to get a good idea of the more formal types of salutations and content.

   7. Develop a profound fascination with art and architecture from across all different ages. An eye for true art is a skill that many young people do not yet have, and so, your maturity of taste will most likely strike others as odd but intensely fascinating.

          * Borrow books on art and architecture from the library. Study as many images as possible and become familiar with the terms associated with specific eras of art and architecture so that you can use them with ease. This can be great when traveling through Europe and you can point out the architectural styles effortlessly!

   8. Develop an accent. As an immortal, you may very well be an immigrant; a subtle 'accent' will show this. If you're American, try to add a slight British or French speech pattern to your pronunciation. Pronounce your vowels slightly differently and try your best to subtly imitate an aristocrat in your speech. Alternatively, use the next step to make your English sound old-fashioned.

   9. William Shakespeare's works greatly enriched the English language.
      Improve your vocabulary. As an immortal who has seen much of the world, you most likely know and use a lot of uncommon words and phrases. Reading Shakespeare or Jane Austen will help you to become familiar with terms that are less common in modern speech. Shakespeare coined words like "ghastly" and "tongue-tied", and phrases like "All that glitters is not gold." Incorporating obscure, complicated words and phrases into your speech will make you seem wiser and, therefore, older, depending on where you live.

          * Consider studying Old and Middle English. These originating forms of modern English contain wonderful words and phrases that you can add knowingly to your everyday conversations. They're fun to learn, they increase your understanding of English grammar and they're historically useful, enabling you to read old English texts such as Beowulf in the original English.

  10. Be mature. If you want it to seem that you have lived through many ages, behaving in a mature fashion is a must. You have seen many things and learned a great deal, so aim to present an aura of wisdom without being arrogant or know-it-all. The longer you live, the more you learn how little you know!

          * Be thoughtful of others and listen to them with attentiveness.

          * Offer advice only when it is asked for; avoid bossing people around.

          * Be generous; someone who has lived a long time would know the value of giving back to others in order to lead a fulfilling life.

  11. Seem to have been there. Try working extra hard for a history test that is about the place and time you were born. Try hard in history class to answer questions your teacher asks you, and if you really don't know the answer, pretend that you know what happened. Act slightly confused when the teacher corrects you.

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