flotsam, there is something wrong with me

No flirting zone

The Flirtation
Yeah, I so can't do the whole flirtation thing. I really REALLY shouldn't even try. (Image via Wikipedia)

So now we’ve established that I am dismal at flirting, and more generally at using body language to send signals that anyone could be reasonably expected to understand.

Having already hidden from any new man I’m interested in, and attracted the ones I’m afraid of, now let’s rachet up the failure by sending false signals to men I’m friends with, too.

Apparently there’s something weird that I do with my eyebrows. A look that I know (because I’m the one inside my head) means I am sharing a sense of amused disbelief.

And apparently it means something else entirely on the recipient’s end. Something very… come-hither-y.

Case in point: one day at work they were pumping some horrible cheesy 70’s or 80’s tune through the office and when I noticed it, I looked up at one of my colleagues (who is roughly my age ergo likely to be familiar with the musical tragedy in question… and incidentally really very married). When he looked up too, I smiled and did the eyebrows thing. Whatever it is. Because I was thinking, “Do you remember this song and can you believe it’s on the air at all and that they are playing it in the office no less?

See that? No come-hither intentions. None at all. But he looked sort of… shocked. And he did a double-take. And glanced around like who-just-saw-her-do-that? And then told me very quietly but pointedly not to do that again, in his very firm no-nonsense voice while talking with his hands more than usual. Which I happen to know is what he instinctively does with simpleton girls who have failed to notice or managed to forget the ring on his finger.

(So apparently my amusement looks just like sexual harassment. Perfect. Just what I needed.  Also, it’s kind of too bad I can’t figure out exactly what that look is, so that I could somehow harness it for an appropriate situation. In case there is such a thing. As if I would know it if I saw it.)

So… sorry man. I don’t know exactly what it is I am not supposed to do again, but whatever it was, I totally did not mean it like that.  Trust me, if I were *trying* to flirt with you, it would have been obvious and bumbling and awkward and embarrassing (and maybe even frightening) for both of us. It would probably walk just over the line into harassment, and you’d have to decide I’m cuter and funnier than I actually am, in order not to be outright offended and possibly consider having me written up. Trust me on this, because I went all crazy and spastic and (yeah, I don’t know what possessed me, either) flirted with someone just this week and it came this close to being just that humiliating.

Seriously. It was horrible. He’s probably scarred for life.  I should have to wear a sign or something, to warn people.

And then, even if someone is willing to totally overlook what a spaz I am flirtationally, I am totally unprepared for someone to flirt back.

Like, completely and totally unprepared.
Like, I don’t know what to do with that, at all.

I mean, if I wasn’t into the guy in the first place, then I’m going to be walking the edge of terrified by this new turn of events. After all, that means Mister Wrong is now paying active and unwanted attention to me that I don’t know what to do with. Did I mention that I felt threatened by him before?

And if I actually was flirting – or trying to flirt rather, and almost certainly doing it badly – it’s sure to be a trainwreck…

Um, whatnow? Wait, what? Are you — are you flirting with me too? Wow. Um, just wow. I did not see that coming. Does… does that mean… something? Is something happening here? Are we supposed to do … something … else, because I… I’m not sure how this works. Are we – ? Or no? Wait. Oh. Are you just naturally flirtatious? Because some people are. But I’m not. I’m actually, like, a no flirting zone. Which is why I’m so bad at this, and why I’m over-thinking it, and why I don’t know what — … Oh, OK, you were just being nice about what an idiot I was being. Thanks… I guess. You thought I was having a seizure or something? Gotcha. Sorry, sorry.

So yeah. Disaster. Flirting back at me just takes it to a whole new level of uncomfortable.

And after all, why just be a normal level of awkward, when you can raise it to an art form? Live in fear, ladies and gentlemen, because I’m out here in the world, sending all the wrong signals at all the wrong times.

For one final example, one of my girlfriends recently let me know that I flirt with her husband. Apparently, with some frequency. Except I don’t. Because as we’ve established, if I were flirting with him, I would be way, way too aware of it. We would all be way too uncomfortably aware of it.

So I started to freak out at this news, and she was all, “No, no, Don’t worry. I trust you both, and I know it doesn’t mean anything.” And I was all, “I don’t flirt with your husband!” and she said, “Oh, I know you don’t mean to do it. It just comes naturally,” and I was like, “Um, no, you don’t understand. Flirting does not ‘come naturally to me’ and I don’t flirt with your husband. Ever. I like him and all, but, NO. No no no. So that means I’m doing something that looks like flirting-with-your-husband to you (I’m so sorry), and apparently to him (oh my goodness, how embarrassing), and probably to the whole world, but I don’t mean it that way, and I don’t even know what it is I’m doing! And God only knows who else I’m walking around the world doing that to!”

But of course she couldn’t articulate what it is I supposedly do that looks all flirtatious to the outside world. So I made her promise that if she saw me doing something flirty she would tell me, because, you know, I really shouldn’t be walking around the world blithely sending the wrong signals to unsuspecting people.

Or, you know. I need to be more awkwardly aware of when I’m doing it. Because I’m just not awkward enough now.

4 thoughts on “No flirting zone”

  1. You just need to play that cheesy-tragedy-of-a-70s song while staring at yourself in the mirror. Problem solved! 🙂

    And I tend to be a natural flirt…which is great when I’m between relationships, but not so much when I’m in them. I’ve been practicing on toning it down because, you know, I’m all in love and stuff these days!


    1. You think I didn’t TRY that eyebrows-in-the-mirror thing? 😉 Either I *also* don’t recognize the look when I see it, or I can’t give myself a look of amused disbelief. Maybe along the same lines of how it’s not possible to tickle oneself?


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