#ThrowbackThursday — Flirt

This piece was originally posted as a Facebook note on July 13, 2011.

Something I realized about myself today that somehow escaped my notice until now: I am a flirt. A shameless flirt. Not just with boys — no, if what I’m doing is flirting, I am a total equal opportunist. Doesn’t matter if I have any romantic interest or even possibility; I just can’t seem to stop myself from saying ridiculously cheesy things that in most romantic comedies would pass as flirting, or at least fail!flirting.


See, this morning I was on the phone with my friend Jess, trying to hammer out the details of our schedules so that we could get together when I finish working, and as we’re ending the conversation, I find myself saying, “Well, I hope you have a good day until we meet up — I mean, I know that once you meet me, that part of the day will be awesome, but I’m not so sure about the part before . . .”


Jess, bless her, is a lovely girl, pretty and witty and bright and all that, but alas, I am straight and she is taken. There’s no romance here, just friendship and, apparently, shameless, shameless cheesy flirting. Or is it not even flirting? I’m pretty sure that if I said that to a guy, it would be construed as flirting, especially if I said it with a big silly grin on my face like I did when I was talking to Jess, even though she was on the other end of the phone and couldn’t see.


Why do I talk like that? I brag about myself a lot — not about anything I’ve done, just about what I am, e.g. the merciful good fairy who will save Jess from a less than stellar day with my mere presence, because I am just that awesome. Am I covering my insecurities by building myself up like that? Am I just having fun? Why is it fun to act all overconfident and cocky and silly and flirty, bantering back and forth about nothing to see if my sarcasm and what passes for wit will fail me?


I have a theory on this.


I think it does stem from the insecurities. But not like that. Not the obvious overcompensation that so clichéd and overdone. I think it stems from the insecurities that used to be there, but aren’t anymore. I look back, and never in a million years would my self-loathing adolescent self have been able to answer a question like, “Why do you know everything about baseball?” with a “Because I’m awesome!” I wouldn’t have set myself up like that, set myself up for another round of misery because the face I was putting on was so far from what I felt inside that it made me sick. I could never say things like that then, and it kind of blows my mind that I can say them now, and mean them. I believe these silly cheesy things I say about myself. So I say them a lot, and I grin like a moron, because it makes me giddy just to say them.


So my apologies if I ever accidentally flirt with you. I’m a terribly self-centered person and I’m probably just flirting with myself.



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