Saturday, March 26, 2005

Flirting 101

The Wiz has an expose on men in the flirting world - see here. I, for one, will put forth some thoughts on such a fascinating subject! I grew up in a very conservative, near-zealotry/religious home, and attended religious schools for the better part of my education (I attended 10 different schools and 6 different colleges). At religious schools, ya ain't taught to flirt. No, indeed. We weren't allowed to ride on the same buses for a while, and then when we were, we were not to be seated near each other (boys in the back, girls in the front). We never had dances ('til this day, I be white girl with no rhythm - I couldn't dance if you paid me) and rarely had "banquets" which you could attend with a "friend." So how did I learn to use my fiesty, feminine wiles? Six years as a waitress cured my introverted tendencies and encouraged my playful persona to come out of hiding. Since then, I've been a flirting fool. In fact, being married was the hardest thing for me, because I was married to a very jealous man. I had to avoid my male friends completely, because after all, what do men and women do except flirt with each other? I'm not talking sexual come-ons....I'm talking about innocent flirting. I have discovered over the years that many women don't know the difference, and many men don't see the warning signs. Sexual harrassment has become the talking point of the work place, and men better run scared. As some may recall, I work in a male-dominated environment - and have for the better part of my career - where it is not uncommon to be flirted with. I've been informed that should something inappropriate or uncomfortable occur, I can have it "taken care of." I figure it this way - I can handle just about anything as long as it is in play. The minute someone becomes threatening or cruel, I will be trotting my tush into HR. I dish it out - and I'm prepared to take it. And I also take into account that everyone needs some space and room to vent. If I'm not strong enough to handle it, then I should go work in a daycare. I thoroughly enjoyed The Wiz's post on this topic, and think he offers some excellent advise to those flirting novices out there. Some suggestions for those novices from the female persuasion when it comes to warning signals: 1. Those who seem emotionally unstable are not wise to flirt with - they are likely to make good whistle-blowers. 2. When they eyes start to flash, that is not flirtation - she is determining how you would like losing your job. 3. Woman with a large husband/significant other: avoid at all costs. My work is done here.