Getting ready for the music event (details later), my girlfriend and I discuss the art of flirting.
Friend: “You’re so good at it, you have to show me what to do.”
We’re both single.
I reply, “It’s easy—make eye contact and laugh a lot.”
Friend: “Okay, well, show me anyway.”
She’s gorgeous and doesn’t even have to follow the two-step protocol I’ve just given her. She just needs to show up, but somehow she can’t see it.
I say, “You need to learn to love yourself! Look at you. I love me. I think I’m amazing! In a non-narcissistic way, of course. And you’re way hotter than me.”
“How do you do that? Teach me.”
“It took me a long time to get here, and I’m not perfect and I still want to ‘polish the stone’ and ‘fix’ physical ‘flaws,’ but I’ve even accepted that about myself. I’m quirky!”
“I’m quirky, too! Teach me teach me teach me.”
“Okay, we’ll practice flirting tonight!”
We get ready, do our hair, put on dresses, put on too much make-up, change out of dresses, discuss flirting and men and self-esteem and relationships and aging and accepting and life changes and—an hour later—we’re ready to go. She’s in jeans and casual heels, and I’m in a silky maxi dress and flip flops.
“We look hot!” We nod affirmatively to each other.
Flirting Tip #1:
No matter how hot—or not—you are: Pick a BFF who helps pump you up. Confidence is a must! (Know the difference between confidence and arrogance.)
We head over to where a group of us will be indulging in some liquid mood-lighteners à la patio. After a thorough discussion of grooming habits for the private parts whilst lapping up Jell-O shots (see “Bush Waxing” blog), our group of 11 limo-rides to the music event in the nearby Village of Cumberland, whereby a block of the main street will be closed off and groovy bands will lend lyrics to our planned bumping and grinding and batting of eyelashes.
The sober four of us drive to the event, the rest walk the (six-foot long) red carpet (nice touch) to the limousine procured to deposit our vodka-gelatin consumed asses to the other side of town, where there will be babes (us) and bands (The Boom Booms, and others).
In the limo, we have me, my GF, ‘Jessica Biel’, the host/hostess, and the couple who includes For My Birthday (see “Bush Waxing” blog) as well as a cooler of dry cider and beer.
I think, “I could be driving. I’ve only had half a drink plus two red Jell-O shots, but this is way more fun.” And, in reality, all memory of conversation in the seemingly 3-second, 10-mile drive to the event eludes me now.
We arrive, enter and disperse. There are about 100 people, which for a village, is a good turn out. The age range is 19 to 60, but the fashion range is redneck to hippy. My GF and I retrieve beverages (hers alcohol, mine water) and scope out the crowd. Since it’s a small town, there are a few familiar faces, some from Facebook. (Interesting note: People look different in person than on social media.)
GF: “Okay, show me how to flirt. Do that guy.”
She points to an unsuspecting 20-something (maybe), ball-cap wearing, red-plastic-cup-holding trio of babes in woods.
I cough, “No way, so not right. Or ripe. Hmm, okay, come on.”
I lead her through the crowd looking for an appropriate target. I have no idea what an appropriate target looks like, but I figure wandering around will distract her and buy me some time to develop some sense of what—or who—I’m looking for.
We run into our patio posse and squeal like we haven’t seen them in 20 years. Dancing diverts GF’s flirtatious intentions for a while, but then we’re back to weaving through the swaying crowd.
She points at a young hippy man in sweatshirt, bandana and hoodie pulled up. Even though he sports a whisper of facial hair, I can tell he’s of the lower end of the age range.
I sigh, “Okay.”
She says, “So, show me what to do.”
“Okay, I’ll do it on you and then you do it on him. Okay?”
She nods vigorously, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
I give her a coy look, then (demurely) look down and take a sip of my drink (through a straw of course, with fingers delicately placed). I look away innocent-eyed, oblivious and indifferent and finish with a quick glance back at her. I top it with a shy smile not directed at her. All highly exaggerated, of course.
She says, “Oh, do that again. That was gooood.”
Flirting Tip #2:
Eye contact is the easiest, best, most obvious way of communicating interest. If your lips don’t smile, make it as obvious as need be with your eyes. It doesn’t take much!
Meanwhile, Hippy is smirking while watching this show not five feet away. (You underestimate me.)
I say, “Okay, now your turn. Do it on him.” I point at Hippy not so subtly, “Oh, screw it. Let’s go talk to him.”
We approach the target. He’s a handsome young devil, as I’ve already noticed.
I ask him, “So, we’re practicing flirting [flutter], and we thought we’d try it on you. I say eye contact and a smile is all you need, wouldn’t you agree?”
Him, “Well, you ladies aren’t very good—you walked by me three times and didn’t look at me once.”
We look at each other, “We did?”
I say, “Well, we’re here talking to you now, aren’t we?” (Cute-as-ever sideways glance.)
He chuckles again, “True.”
We discuss the most important considerations in flirting: eye contact and authenticity.
Flirting Tip #3
Always be yourself! Be your sexy, funny, charming self—but be yourself!
(No one likes a fraud and, at some point, you’ll have to fess up or follow through forever. No damn good.)
Women carry the magic wand between their legs. Most (single, straight) guys are ready, willing and able to be flirted with and engaged in conversation, but they have to know that you’ve noticed them and that you’re inviting them in. Remember, guys have tender egos.
Hippy tells me I’m very good with my eyes (thank you) and demonstrates the male version of ‘I’m interested’ eye contact. Oh, he’s good, too. Touché! GF takes her turn: she backs up into him with a dirty dancing booty bumping routine.
I interject, “We’re still on the eye contact lesson! You do that too soon, and it sends the message ‘Fuck me’ not ‘Flirt with me’.”
Hippy nods agreement, “That works, don’t get me wrong [raised eyebrow], but you might be sending the wrong message.”
She asks him, “How old are you?”
He replies, “Twenty-four. And you two ladies are forty-two, I’ll bet.”
I immediately know I’ve put too much make-up on. I know I still look 39 sans plaster, damn it. Meanwhile, he’s rambling on about 2-4 and 4-2 and that there’s balance at the age we’re at … or something esoteric and deep. But I’m stuck in my mind at how he guessed my age bang on and how there will be no banging for me tonight.
I bore of the conversation, “I have to pee. You two chat.”
I leave them and go get another glass of water (at least I’m well-hydrated if not age-defied) and stand by the sidelines watching the intoxicating crowd. Soon a mysterious, artistic acquaintance slides in beside me, and we ensue with ping-pong seductive prose, cheeky grins and with understated hand grazing and whispers close to necks well into a this-is-over-the-top-might-be-moving-into-teasing territory—but the art of flirting is the topic after all. In the end, we call it a draw. We’re both very good.
Flirting Tip #4:
There’s a fine line between flirting, teasing and take-me-home-now. Decide your ‘flirtention’ in advance: friendly, flirty or fuck me.
(There is no wrong answer, but know what you want or risk being an ass.)
But now I’m tired, so I exit stage left and find a quiet corner to wait it out until our red carpet ride arrives to take us home.
Pens down. Test over.
What have I (re)learned?
Flirting makes people feel special and that’s okay. Be careful of going too far, though, no one likes to be misled and feel the fool.
Homework for singles: laugh, make eye contact, smile (in that order). Couples: practice flirting with each other, especially in public places. It keeps the spice alive. Watch the short video with Marni Battista, Life Coach & Relationship Advisor, on Why You Act Crazy When You Really Like a Guy!—And How to Stop! (which I watched after I wrote this but contains affirming information—Yay me!) My homework: Watch rest of Marni videos!