Okay. So let me start by saying this. Men are not treasure. They aren’t some gift from God that women need to vie for. And they sure as hell do not deserve to be put on a pedestal and treated like kings. That being said, I find it highly entertaining when women proceed to do exactly that. To be honest, I might be guilty of doing the same thing on occasion. Like, I’d be a billionaire if I could get a dollar for every time a woman wondered how another woman managed to phasaofy or bag the man she was with (granted that the man in question comes with the riches and clout of a Lahori tycoon, of course). In fact, I’d be richer than Elon Musk if I could also get a penny for every time a woman derived most of her pride from her husband’s social standing in this world. Now, I’m not trying to say that this is true for all women. But it’s prominent enough in the One Percent to be brought to notice.
Anger aside, I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole concept of phasaofying the man. So, I decided to do a little social experiment of my own to figure out exactly what women think other women might do to bag a great catch (ahem ahem). I started my research by attending a bunch of parties these past few weekends (after all, no case study is legit unless you do the fieldwork). My primary sources of data included semi-structured interviews, which I conducted by approaching all the girls at the party and asking them this one question: what does a girl have to do to phasaofy an eligible bachelor? I then corroborated the answers with secondary data that I had collected by endlessly reading weekly fashion magazines and stalking their feeds on Instagram. During the last phase of my research, I verified my findings by attending a few kitty parties and noting down how the ever-so-wise aunties of Lahore thought their daughters-in-law had managed to keep their sons in check. Below you will find my results. Please proceed with caution.
I verified my findings by noting down how the ever-so-wise aunties of Lahore thought their daughters-in-law managed to keep their sons in check
“Oh my God, who’s that guy on your Instagram?” Bano inquired as soon as I got in her car. We were on our way to get coffee, but clearly Bano had an ulterior motive to this late afternoon date.
“Oh, he’s just a friend,” I answered nonchalantly, hoping she’d take it as a sign that I wasn’t going to talk.
“Hmm…man I wish I was clever like you. For some reason, I can’t seem to hold on to a guy for too long…” she said, clearly showing that he was upset about this whole situation.
“Dude, I just met him. There’s nothing going on. I’m not holding on to anything!” I replied, slightly annoyed and not afraid to show it.
“Yes, that’s what they all say before they run off and get married. Anyway, how did you phasaofy him?”
Dress to impress: Bring your A-game wherever you go. Oh, and don’t forget to wear your designer garb so that you aren’t confused with a gold digger (after all, a woman who has it all cannot possibly want more, right?)
Be semi-confident: Have some pride in yourself, but not enough to scare away your crush. The last thing you want is your love interest to think you’re too fast.
Stop partying: If you’re single, go out to parties and meet people. Just don’t be seen with a drink or your love interest might not consider you to be marriage material. Also, in the event that you and your love interest hit it off and start dating, you should probably stop going to parties so that his parents think you’re the serious sort (i.e. conservative enough to be brought inside their home).
Chill out: If you see your love interest getting comfortable with other women, pretend to be super cool with it. After all, you want him to think that you’re not like those other Pakistani women – you know, the kind who get upset if their man isn’t one hundred percent faithful to them?
Be a taker, not a giver: As one of my respondents so aptly noted, “You don’t get respect by treating someone like the baby, you earn your respect by being the baby.”
“Dude, what is that even supposed to mean? I didn’t phasaofy anyone. You meet more men than I do!” I snapped back, hoping she’d drop the topic.
“Oh, come on. Girls like you just know how to keep a man around. I’m not jealous or anything…just curious as to how you manage to do it,” she continued. Bano was always open about her jealousy, and she considered it her right to express it in whatever way she pleased.
“What is that supposed to mean? I met some guy three days ago and took a picture with him. How does that make me clever?”
“Relax! I’m just joking. And anyway, marking your territory on social media isn’t a bad thing. I meant it as a compliment of sorts.”
Zara C. Churri lives in Lahore