The Rules co-authors Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider are big fans of Carrie Underwood. They cheered as Underwood's career took off - yet cringed as the diva's dating life floundered. News of Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) dumping Underwood via text in April of 2008 was the last straw: The authors sent her a copy of The Rules.
Ellen & Sherrie told me: "We don't know if she read it but lo and behold, she's been acting like a Rules Girl ever since!" Indeed, it seemed like someone flipped a switch: practically overnight, Underwood (27) went from wearing her heart on her sleeve and being taken for granted to being more elusive, harder-to-get, but easy to be with. Her wedding to hockey hunk Mike Fisher (30) was celebrated on a recent cover of People.
Just a coincidence? Let's compare the record "before" and "after" - you can draw your own conclusions.
BTR - Before The Rules:
After dating Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo for only a couple of months, she pressed him for commitment -- he used the work card to break up with her in June 2007. At that time she lamented, "I don't know if it's that I'm not quite his type or whatever, but I don't think he's at the point in his life where he would be willing to sacrifice football." Well, football didn't seem to stop him from moving on to Jessica Simpson soon thereafter.
Two months later she rebounded with Chace Crawford. "He's really cute," she gushed to People. "He's got cool hair, he's a nice height and he just has beautiful blue eyes." Yikes! Echoes of TMI Megan Fox.
She tells Ellen DeGeneres that she would "cook for anyone that would like me to cook for them." She fell for the myth I discussed in "More Lies Women Tell Themselves," namely the belief that "demonstrating your culinary skills will give him yet one more incentive to date or marry you, but in fact it may backfire. He may savor every crumb of your amazing rugelach, but he'll also know you like him, think you're trying too hard, see you as less of a challenge, and thus unconsciously downgrade your dating market value."
She goes on record saying she wasn't good at dating, telling Cosmoshe's "horrible around guys."
ATR: After The Rules
When introduced to Mike Fisher backstage at one of her concerts back in October 2008 (NB: her turf, not his) she was less than open to the prospect of a long distance relationship (his hockey home is Ottawa). Ellen & Sherrie believe "her lack of initial interest may explain why Fisher fell so hard for her the day they met." It's true, men really do know when they meet the woman they want to marry. Looking back, Fisher says: "I was thanking God for her, for that moment. It's something I'll never forget."
Underwood refused to even contemplate the idea of moving in with him: "Call me old-fashioned," she told DeGeneres in November 2009, "The next guy I move in with will be my hubby. Whoever that is."
She was much less loquacious in sharing any details of her relationship with Fisher with the press - almost as if she'd read Chapter 13 in Rules II, "Don't Tell the Media About Your Love Life and Other Rules for Celebrities: Talking openly about your relationship will only embarrass him and scare him away. Let him talk about you when he's interviewed. Better to do The Rules quietly and show up at the Oscars with an engagement ring than to talk for an hour about a man who hasn't proposed to you yet on a daytime talk show!"
She also seems wise to the chapter that follows, "Don't Be a Groupie..." insofar as she never boned up on hockey just to please him. Instead, she says "Mike enjoys my lack of hockey knowledge...I'm just supportive and he's the same way."
Underwood "felt like a princess" at the couple's July 10th wedding in Georgia - and who wouldn't wearing a tiara with 40 carats of diamonds from her husband-to-be. After a Rulesy-pink-pink-pink celebration, the Fishers (she'll still use Underwood professionally) left for a honeymoon he had entirely planned, telling her only it would be warm (Tahiti turns out).
Did The Rules inspire Underwood's about-face in dating behavior? We may never know - celebs are loathe to admit any artifice (none of them have extensions, or implants, or have used botox, right?). On the other hand, should Underwood choose to share her Rules success story, she could help the millions of women who admire her avoid needless heartache, and find their own Mr. Right. Beyonce, who wrote, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" said The Rules is her "fave book." Why not spread the word?
Follow Jag Carrao on Twitter: www.twitter.com/maliburulesgirl