Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!



flirt (flûrt) v. flirted, flirting, flirts. -intr. 1. To amuse oneself in playful amorousness; play mockingly at courtship. (The New College Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 1975)

I was thinking about flirting earlier this week. Never you mind why - I'll get to that! Anyway, I was thinking about flirting and what people used to say about me. They might still say it, I don't know, but they used to say I was a tremendous flirt.

This bothered more than I let on, mainly because I was married and didn't want people to think I was looking for something else. I don't really care what people think of me all that much, but everyone does to a certain extent, and it bothered me when people thought I was out there flirting with every woman I met while my poor wife was oblivious to my raffish ways. Krys didn't care anyway - when people told her I flirted, she said something to the effect of "I know, but who cares?" and we moved on. But still.

Another reason why I didn't like people saying that about me was that I didn't think I was flirting. I have always been more comfortable talking to women than men - I'm not entirely sure why, and I have plenty of male friends with whom I love conversing, but for some reason, I like talking to women more. It's strange. When I talk to women, I like to think I do it as a person-to-person kind of thing, instead of man-looking-for-a-conquest kind of thing. In the past twelve years or so, this is because I'm madly in love with my wife, but even before I met her, I was good at talking to women, and I think it's because I didn't talk as a prelude to trying to get them into bed. Unlike Harry Burns, I fully believe men and women can be good friends, because I like to give men more credit for more control over their libidos than other men are, I guess. I have many female friends, and even those I met before I was married, I rarely (if ever) thought of putting the moves on them. Not that they're not attractive and fun, but it's not something I think about when I meet a woman.

As you might guess from that sentence, I've never been much of a ladies' man, which might explain why I'm good at talking to women or, if you must, flirting with them. Even back in the day when I first got interested in chicks, I was terrified of rejection. Therefore, even when I was interested in a girl, it took me forever to get up the nerve to ask her out. So I would just talk to them, sometimes endlessly, until I was comfortable enough to make a move. I have never simply gone up to a girl and chat her up with the expressed goal of getting a date or something romantic. I just don't have the nerve. So that might explain why I'm good at "flirting" - talking to girls, in my definition. I talk to them as people, without guile, and I think they recognize that I'm not interested in them sexually - first, like I said, because I'm happily married, but also because even if I weren't, I would be too scared to be open about it.

Men are weird (as are women, to be sure, but differently). Men are taught, subtly, that any close contact with a woman eventually leads to sex. Movies tell us this, television shows tell us this, older liars who don't score with as many women as they say they do tell us this. I know plenty of men who have escaped this stereotype, but it's still pretty prevalent. As much as I like sex (who doesn't?), it's never been a driving force in how I approach women and form relationships. It bothers me when I see men and women in entertainment having sex just because they happen to be a man and woman. I have never met people like that (well, maybe I have, but I don't know about it), and it annoys me, because I have been in situations where, afterward, I think that I could have gotten laid if I wanted to - and this is even after I married Krys. But I'm just not interested in that. I have too much respect for my marriage and, as I've said, it's not something I look for. When I see men and women on television and in movies "succumbing to temptation," I recognize that it's simply for dramatic purposes, but it still pisses me off.

That's why it bugs me when people think I flirt. I take relationships very seriously, and that not only means my marriage, but relationships with women I consider friends and with whom I would never consider anything else. It seems horribly disrespectful to approach women as sexual conquests and everything you say or do becomes a means to that end. Maybe that makes me a wuss, but I don't care. Flirting might be harmless, and to a large extent I think it is, but it still has this undercurrent of sexuality. Krys has said she doesn't mind if I flirt, although I'm sure she would get peeved if I did it while we were out together somewhere and I ignored her, and I feel the same way. But we both recognize that we get along well with the opposite sex, and although I don't know if women feel the same way about talking to men - with an eye toward getting that person into bed - I wonder if the women I talk to are thinking that I'm flirting with them in order to score with them. Again, that bugs me. It gets worse when you consider the profession I've been in. High school teachers have to be so careful with what they say, and I think I've done a good job at reining in my natural friendliness with my students. I don't think it's a radical thing to say that girls mature faster than boys, and many of my female students were much more willing to talk than the boys were. So while I talked to the boys, I often became closer to the girls, and still stay in touch with a few. The appearance of impropriety is so dangerous in high school, so I was very conscious of how I acted. It was difficult, however, because I am so friendly. These students (boy or girl) think that friendliness makes you "friends," so when you have to be the teacher and do something they don't like, they feel that it's a betrayal of your "friendship." So that adds another layer of annoyance to what I consider my natural openness and friendliness.

The reason I thought of this is because of my haircut. The girl who cut my hair was very nice, and we talked about my kids, and I would not say I was flirting with her (others might, but that's their problem). I had, after all, just met her, and I still have that trepidation about talking to new people - I didn't talk much to the guy shaving me on Saturday, and when I did, I don't think it was flirtatious, either. However, she reminded me of the only person I am willing to admit flirting with over the past twelve years - since I met Krys. She was a girl who worked at the comic book store in Portland I used to visit, and she wasn't my type at all - she was tiny and gothic, with dyed black hair with blue streaks in it - but she was kind of cute and funny and she knew a lot about comics. We didn't have a lot in common, but I used to chat with her a lot when I bought comics, more so than a customer ought to when he's just buying books. One day I went home and told Krys, "I think I was flirting with the girl at the comic book store today." She just laughed (at least, that's how I remember it). Maybe she knew I'm too much of a wuss to do anything about it. Maybe she realized how much I love her. At least that's what I hope.

It depresses me that it appears our society cannot recognize that men and women can get along without sex entering the equation. I love my good female friends, just as I love my good male friends. Why do we have to be so obsessed with sex? I know I'm not perfect, but I like to think I am not a slobbering troglodyte who is picturing every woman I speak to naked. Well, I know I'm not, but why do so many people think that about all men? Is it experience? Beats me.

I don't know many women who read this blog (of my huge audience of ten, maybe three are women) but I wonder, you and you (and any of my friends who happen to stop by) - am I a flirt?

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Blogger Roger Owen Green said...

Flirting is good. I've been accused of it in the past, and it was probably true. Like you, I find the (platonic) companny of women just more compatible with my Pisces self. That's why I liked library school, at least in part - it had a bit of a female ethos, cooperative rather than competitive.

So since you have nothing to feel guilty about, don't worry about what other people think.

I'm betting your female friends will say you ARE a flirt.

17/3/06 7:59 PM  
Blogger Nik said...

I've felt hit on by you for years.

18/3/06 7:05 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm sure I had you at "hello," Nik.

18/3/06 9:20 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

That day in the comic book shop... your eyes melted my soul...

19/3/06 2:54 PM  
Blogger ymelendez said...

I don't think you are a flirt but, I know some girls at school who did think you were. I told them they didn't really know you and that they are not use to talking or being around decent men.

19/3/06 11:45 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for sticking up for me, Yazil. It's sad that those girls (and I know who at least one of them was) have never spoken to a guy who just likes to talk to them. I often tried to be aloof, but that's not really my style. I'm glad you tried to set them straight.

20/3/06 11:05 AM  

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