Something Ive noticed recently is that as we mature, we like to appear more cultured. I remember a conversation I had with a housemate in my final year of university, in which she expressed just such a desire. But how do we give others the impression of being learned, sophisticated individuals? My opinion is that unless you actually are, you wont be able to appear so. In terms of knowledge, its quite easy to spot a fake.
To be cultured, you dont have to go overboard. Cultured and pretentious are not the same thing. Here are a few tips on how to improve your learned self without looking like youve tried too hard. All it takes is an open mind!
1. Dont leave a book about the theories of Nietzsche on your oak coffee table if you have no idea who he was or what his theories were. Just adding a bookcase to your lounge furniture and having a diverse range of books (that youve read, of course) will show youre well-read.
2. Book a ticket to the Globe one summer and go to see a Shakespeare play. A standing ticket is only 5 and if you dont fancy anything heavy choose a comedy. You can always read a plot summary before you go so you know whats happening!
3. Invest in a couple of more expensive bottles of wine for dinner parties. Something between 10 and 20 will show off your excellent taste, but dont buy without professional advice or itll look even worse than serving cheap wine! Any good wine retailer will be able to tell you what dish the wine will work with, so ask for help.
4. Go to a concert. Being cultured isnt about only going to the opera or listening to Mozart. A trip to a rock or pop concert is just as valid it shows an interest in music.
5. Take some dancing classes. There is a staggering variety of dance style out there today from Ballroom to Jazz to Salsa. Youll meet new people, have fun and learn a new skill. If dancing isnt your thing, how about photography? Or a foreign language course?
It's not all about cheese and port evenings or an interest in ballet. Just be open minded and rediscover your sense of adventure!