Thursday 23 July 2009

The Flirt

When I was young free and single I often wondered why women used to punch me in the face.

Now, however, I know why: I think I may be a flirt.

Being a flirt is big trouble particularly if, like me, you have a face like that of an exceptionally ugly baboon (though some would say that I am more like the rear end).

I have always envied those handsome guys who can walk up to a woman, flash their most striking smile and capture her heart without saying a word. I’m more likely to make her flee the vicinity as fast as she can, screaming at the monster who has just leered at her.

Life has been difficult for me with women: I’ve had to overcome shyness, having crazy hair and a face that could scare elephants. As a young man, when I approached women and smiled, they usually passed out in pure terror. It was soul-destroying.

Yet despite this, I’ve managed to at least become friends with members of the fairer sex and have been in two long term relationships since my early 20’s.

Before that, however, when a woman talked to me, I assumed that she fancied me. This would inevitably lead me to subconsciously start flirting with her and, fuelled by her kindness or by too much alcohol, I would overstep the mark. Some women simply walked away, others refused to speak to me again. I imagine that being groped by a drunken orang-utan isn’t the most pleasant experience. Others turned to violence and battered me with the nearest blunt object.

I could never get the balance right and I never understood why. You see, I never thought I was a flirt, even when a woman was pounding my face with a cricket bat screaming “STOP FLIRTING WITH ME YOU GROTESQUE GORILLA”.

And of course the beatings have made my situation worse. Every time a woman kicked my face in, I acquired a higher degree of repulsiveness – it was as if I was being hit repeatedly with an ugly stick. My face mutated into a something horrific; I would catch a sight of myself in the mirror the next morning and frighten myself half to death before I realised that the reflection was me having been savaged by an irate victim of my flirtatious nature.

Over the years, I have become older (obviously) and wiser (less obvious). Having a steady girlfriend helped, of course, and since then I have reacted to women in a different way. I still try to make them laugh and ask probing questions in an attempt to understand them but I certainly don’t overstep the mark. Thankfully the beatings have effectively been reduced to zero and until fairly recently I believed this was due to my devotion to my partner. You see I didn’t think I was a flirt.

That all changed a few years ago when I was told by a female friend that I am definitely a flirt. We were talking about astrology and I said “I’m a Libran. I’m supposed to be indecisive and balanced.”

“Librans are also flirts,” she said. “And you flirt all the time.”

“Me? A flirt?” I said incredulously. “I am the opposite of a flirt.”

She then told me that I had basically flirted with her a number of times over the years I had known her. I was speechless and horrified.

“When? When exactly did I flirt with you? Name one single occasion!”

She told me that she had lost count. I was mortified.

“You don’t do it so much now,” she said quickly, trying to make me feel better. It didn’t work. I recalled those awful slaps and beatings that I had received as a young goon and it all began to make a weird kind of sense.

But am I a flirt? What are the signs of flirting for a man like me? Does my body language change? Here are a couple of ways that a man might flirt:

(1) Eye contact - staring into the eyes of a woman while having a conversation. I am shy but when I get to know a person I tend to do this, particularly with women.

(2) Touching – looking back, this is probably the reason I was frequently beaten up by women. I’ve always had the tendency to put my arm around female friends, touch them briefly on the shoulder or arm. This is not intentional; this is who I am. Even today after a few beers I will put my arm around mates, both female and male.

(3) Show that I am an alpha male – I am definitely not an alpha male; however, I have noticed this behaviour in others, particularly in pubs or social occasions when there are women involved. If a man fancies a women he will subconsciously make himself seem to be bigger and stronger than he is. I can’t see me ever being guilty of that – maybe I’m wrong.

(4) Complements – I see nothing wrong with complementing a woman but on occasion I have gone way over the top. For example I once said: “I’m not coming on to you but you are absolutely gorgeous.” I had had a couple of beers and she was a friend of a friend and about half my age. She thanked me politely and then turned away, much to the amusement of my mates. I have to say in my defence that it was a genuine complement and I definitely was not trying to chat her up. Had I been fully compis mentis I wouldn’t have said a word.

So am I really a flirt? I could try asking a female friend I suppose: “Am I flirting with you?”

The only problem is that she might say “YES YOU ARE!” and then slap my face.

So how about you, dear reader? Do you flirt? Have you been the target of a baboon-like flirt?

As for me, I’ve now decided to stop that nonsense; the self-examination I mean. If I flirt then so be it. I’ve just got to make sure that I wear full protection when I am out with female friends.


Kath Lockett said...

Nah, I'm utter crap. In my single days, a guy would have to assume the complete opposite of my demonstrated behaviour to understand that I liked him: "Oh, she's spoken to everyone at the party except me - I'm IN!"

I long for the school days of punching a boy in the arm and getting him riled up enough to chase you - far simpler!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Kath,

Girls used to punch me in the arm, but not for the same reason.




Lilize said...

don't talk like that about yourself :)

i too am a libra, indecisive, balanced and a flirt. but i too do not realize when i do it, i have friends telling me i do it.

i guess we suffer from the same evil, only i am lucky to be a gal, men have never slapped me for being a flirt lol.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lilize,

I may be a flirt, but I wouldn't know if a girl was flirting with me to be honest. That's typical of me.

By the way - are you really indecisive? My missus (Mrs PM) tells everybody that I am and picks me up on it all the time. Maybe there is some truth in this nonsense...




bingkee said...

Is this reallly true? This post is so funny....and I could not believe you could say you have a face that could scare elephants away....LOL!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Bingkee,

Yes - most if not all of it is true. Granted, my face isn't quite as horrific as I make out but I have been a victim of violence when I have unwittingly over-stepped the mark when flirting with women - though I do hasten to add that we are talking about 25 years ago. I am much more sensible now (though I do still flirt)