The joys and perils of flirting

people and relationships, society

I’m an unrepentant flirt. There, I admitted it.

But boy, it’s hard to shift gears!

When I’m on the (Lindy Hop) dance floor, it’s all about flirting (in a non-sleazy way). My partner is — as the famous Frankie Manning always reminds us — my QUEEN. I bow to her, smile for her, basically cherish her joyfully for at least the three-and-a-half minutes that the song lasts.

I love it πŸ™‚

There’s a wonderful sense and expectation of playfulness, connection, focused interest. The follow generally wants to be noticed, appreciated, addressed.

Compare this with life off the dance floor.

When I’m at the gym, even smiling and making eye contact with an attractive woman working out next to me seemingly exposes me to the risk of sexual harrassment. Women at the gym, as my female friends sternly remind me, are not there to be flirted with or even noticed. They’re hot and sweaty (my friends describe, with a crinkled face) and only there to work out, dammit.

This brings two questions to mind, though:

  1. Why are they wearing makeup and designer outfits? This does undeniably contrast stunningly with my typical grubby attire and unshaven visage.
  2. There are hot, sweaty, and athletic women huffing and puffing next to me, and I’m somehow not supposed to notice?!?

Of course, I remind myself to be good. The last time I asked out my kickboxing instructor, she moved to Arizona after our first date. I’m not kidding.

And it’s not just the gym where I have to disable my flirting mode. Yesterday when I treated myself to a late afternoon coffee, I couldn’t help but notice that the girls behind the counter — excuse me, baristas — were much more attractive than the coffee menu.

But then I reminded myself that:
– They’re probably sick and tired of being appreciated for things other than their java brewing abilities.
– They’re about ten years too young for me.
– There’s not much more cliche’d than hitting on waitresses or baristas.

This made my coffee purchase much less fun.

And I thought, dang, it’d sure be nice if I could just let go and flirt without the baggage of worrying whether the object(s) of my flirtation automatically assume I’m just trying to “get some.”

I’m a guy. Of course I’m not averse to “getting some.” But, contrary to the assertions of militant feminists, frustratingly stupid womens’ magazines, and pathetic radio call-in shows, the horizontal hula is not the singular motivating goal in guys’ behavior.

Hey, quit laughing! Yeah, you…!

[sigh] I bet Frankie Manning never had it so rough.

2 comments… add one
  • Alison Aug 13, 2002

    β€œThe last time I asked out my kickboxing instructor, she moved to Arizona after our first date. I’m not kidding.”

    Too funnny πŸ™‚

  • Harald Aug 20, 2002

    Warning; political correctness can seriously damage your quality of life.

What do you think?