Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Art of Flirting

A friend recently saw me talking to a guy I have a big crush on (we'll call him Impossible, because it's never gonna happen). She said I put out exactly zero signals that I liked him that way. Impossible isn't someone I have felt comfortable enough to flirt with, for several reasons I won't go into, and I don't run into him often enough to consider him more than an acquaintance, so in his case, it isn't a big deal.

The incident did get me thinking. I consider myself fairly competent when it comes to flirting, but sometimes I play it on the aloof side of the spectrum. Or I'll tease a guy or get into arguments with him instead of being touchy-feely, looking up at him through my lashes, and whatever other crap girls do to entice a guy. I suppose it's the adult equivalent of hair-pulling on the playground, except I'm the one that does the pulling. This technique has worked for me, too, especially on males that have an arrogant streak.

However, not all men might respond to the subtlety involved in playful arguing. Men and subtlety is usually a tricky combination; when in doubt, being straightforward is the way to go. Unfortunately, this contradicts the very nature of flirting.

Flirting isn't about being blunt. Flirting is about giving enough hints that the guy gets it. Not all of them do. How many times have you had to point out to a male that a girl was obviously interested in him, only to get a bewildered, "she was?" in reply? Granted, I have misread signals, too. Girls tend to be a lot more analytical and observant about male behavior, though, or we wouldn't have endless conversations along the lines of, "what do you think he meant when he said/did this?"

Last night, I was in a bar in Chelsea with a couple of friends. The atmosphere was friendly and upbeat, and the three of us were happily tipsy. A couple of men came in and I noticed them right away, because:

a) They were older than most of the other patrons (I pegged them in their late 30's/early 40's) and

b) One of them was really attractive (we're going to call him Clooney, because he is a hot older bachelor).

I positioned myself near Clooney and his friend, and ended up standing between them. His friend started asking me questions, and I was polite to him, but I engaged Clooney in conversation at the first possible chance, before he stepped aside to let his friend flirt with me (I know some men have a code about these things).

Clooney and I started talking about music, because he wasn't familiar with one of the songs playing in the bar. I told him who the singer was, and he had heard of her, just not that song. He seemed impressed that I knew so much about the singer, and that was my first cue that he might be attracted to me (because, really, who cares about this singer? We were just using her as a vehicle to flirt).

I asked how old he was (39) then asked,

"So when did you stop listening to music?"

He laughed.

We kept talking and moved over to a nearby small table, which was nice, because we were able to create our own personal space.

Sometimes I get psychic impressions of people, and looking at Clooney, there were certain things I sensed. I don't know why, but for some reason I knew he lived on the Upper East Side, which he confirmed. I asked,

"You don't work in advertising, do you?"

He didn't seem to hear me, so I asked what he did for a living (I hate asking that question, because it's so boring, but I needed to know if my hunch was right).

"I work in advertising... wait a second, did you just ask me if I worked in advertising? How did you know that?"

"I just knew."

"What else do you know? Can you tell me where I'm from?"

"No. It doesn't work like that. I can tell you you're not a native New Yorker."

"Do you mean Manhattan?"

"The five boroughs, yes."

He named a town he grew up in, outside of NYC.

Granted, most of the people in that bar were probably not native New Yorkers, so I wasn't exactly being Kreskin there.

Clooney kept trying to get me to tell him more things about himself, and I said I needed to get things wrong, too, or else it spooked me too much. Then I jokingly said,

"I'll talk to you as long as you're not a Leo."

He looked shocked.

I sighed with great exasperation. "PLEASE tell me you aren't a Leo."

He took out his license and showed me the date of birth.


"You guys have been plaguing me for the last year."

[To offer a few examples... The guy who courted me for a couple of weeks like I was Queen of the World, then dumped me for an ex? Leo. The pretentious artgeek that I have great sex with but could never date? Leo. Pussy, the cute guy from work? Leo! I think even Jon, the recent bad lay, was a Leo. Not to mention various other Leos I had brief encounters last year that I have probably blocked out of my mind.]

He asked me to tell him about his sign and I went into the usual: charming, arrogant, likes everyone to bask in their glow, etc.

"That doesn't sound very positive."

I put my hand on his arm. "Ah, but don't forget the charming part. You know how to draw people to you."

Clooney seemed to like that.

We talked a bit more, and in my tipsy state it was easy to be flirtatious and touchy-feely, though he kept his hands to himself (which was gentlemanly but confused me as to whether the interest was mutual).

Clooney and his friend needed to meet some friends for drinks and said good-bye. I started to get disappointed that he didn't ask for my number, but then, just before he left, he said,

"Would it be okay for me to give you my card? Or I don't know if you have a card..."

"I have a card." I went to find one.

"See, chivalry is not dead," he said, in reference to getting in touch with me rather than vice versa.

When he said that, I knew he was unlike the man-boys that I've had dealings with in this city. This was a man that knew how to make a move on a woman while being a gentleman. Go Clooney!

I really hope he gets in touch. I would love to go on a date with him.

Those damn charming Leos...


Vespertine said...

Hi Dolly-
Great blog. And, btw, I recently crossed out of the boy-zone and started dating men. I can`t begin to tell you what a pleasure this is. And, while putting out the first night is certainly not outside the scope of my experience (and sometimes is just really good fun), there is something very sexy about being courted rather than pawed.

I hope he calls!

Dolly said...

Hi Vespertine,

I can't agree with you more. Being courted is spectacular, it's how things should be in the Big Bad World of Dating. If a man proves himself to be relationship fodder, I will not fall right into bed with him, either. I know how to be a lady when the situation demands it. ;)

I hope I hear from Clooney. And if I don't, there will be plenty of other Clooneys.

Damn It Anyway said...

Crap..that explains why I'm a single Libra.

Manic Mom said...

Ooh, I can't wait to hear if Clooney calls you. Question, in regards to the gentleman on top of me right now and his blog --

Were you not a good conversationalist at all when you met Clooney because you were distracted by the "enormous bulge in his pants?"

Just trying to prove a theory here.

NewYorkMoments said...

I need someone to help me out here....You've been having issues w/ Leos & I've been having issues with men who are 39. ALL of them. What is it about that age & men? Fuck.

Dolly said...

Damnitanyway, I haven't had much experiences with Libras, but I wonder how much initiative you take with a woman you like. I think there is a return to the old school type of courtship and most of the single women I know want a guy to make a first move, ask the girl out, etc.

Dolly said...

Newyorkmoments, I can see how with the big 4-0 looming, 39-year-olds could potentially be trouble. This must be a time of major reflection and major freaking out for them. I expect it to be a pretty turbulent age for myself, too.

Manic Mom, I actually didn't look at Clooney's bulge at all, but if I have the good fortune of going on a date with him, I will be sure to investigate!

Vespertine said...

Not to hi-jack the blog here into the land of astrology and age parsing, but....

I`ve had no problems with Leos myself. However, I do presently have a libra at bat...

I guess my point is (to Dammit) that Libras aren`t repugnant, and thus, you aren`t literally star-crossed.

Dolly said...


Feel free to hijack my blog with astrology talk any old time. After all, that sort of thing is "chick crack", right?

I have known some wonderful female libras, so I'm willing to give the males ones the benefit of the doubt. I mean, if we're going to judge by the zodiac or the bulge in the pants, I'll choose the latter.

Donovan said...

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