Monday, July 11, 2011

Flirting And Jealousy (or Be Careful, You Might Poke An Eye Out)

Barbara: Before I write my post for today, just a quick catch-up on what's what. Yes, I was on vacay last week. I didn't advertise it like I did last time because, you know, they say you shouldn't make a big point of advertising that you’re not home because there are all these burglar types lurking the Internet looking for empty homes they can burglar. Really??? Anyway, if you're out there, burglars, we have a really good alarm system and usually use our trusty house/dog sitter. I did think I would be able to check in here at the blog throughout the week more than I did, but the Internet was really sketchy and downloading emails was excruciatingly slow. I decided I’d rather sip piƱa coladas than watch the “loading” icon twirl for endless minutes, so that's what I did. Besides Deb was so on it, and you guys were so AWESOME!!! What comments. What discussion. Thanks for being there (here).

Okay, so I'm writing this entry from the beach still (yesterday morning for you now) because we only arrive home late tonight (Sunday) and Deb still needs a chance to reply. And while there are a million wonderful things I could write about, the one topic that keeps swirling in my brain is the whole flirting on the beach thing. Now flirting on the beach probably happens a lot at resorts, but I only became hyper-aware of it this trip because my husband and I were traveling with our beautiful daughter and, well, you know the saying "like flies to honey".

The fun for me was that I could get to know some very wonderful local people while enjoying some overflow flirting myself. Me, running back to my husband: "He called me a very cute lady! He called me a very cute lady!" And while my husband was cool and calm in the face of my "exploits", it very suddenly occurred to me: if we were on an island and all the local women were hitting on him, I would not be cool and calm. I would be off that island so fast, Phil's hand firmly in mine, you could surf the waves in our wake.

I sooooo want to be that cool chick who waves stuff like that off because I'm so confident … but it didn't take much soul-searching to realize, I am most decidedly not.

Deb: It's funny the "flirt and be flirted with" thing. I am not a flirt. I was when I was younger. Loved the flirting. Now? No. I can be coy with the best of them, but let's face it, coy is hard to pull off after 30, so I have stretched it well past its due date. But I still do the "set flirt" which amounts to being charming and chatty on the set because it is part of the fun that gets you through. I have seen my husband as "set flirt" too and it is harmless and cute. But really flirting? No. This may sound old fashioned, but I would find it insulting to our marriage. Plus, being happily married and older, I don't have the maj flirt vibe in me anymore.

BUT. And this is a big but ... I am always shocked, flattered and amazed when I realize someone is flirting with me. Or when someone gives me a real compliment of the "you are sexy" variety. Makes my day, I won't lie to ya. I have had to over these last years endure women flirting with my husband all the time. I think it comes with the “famous” territory. I find it harmless and it never bugs me. Until a couple of weeks ago when we were at an event and a woman was blatantly coming on to him right in front of me. At first I couldn't believe it. Then when she persisted, I went all Laura Petrie on her ass and found a way to mention that we were married. Didn't phase her one bit. When she left I said to my husband, "Wow, that was rude. She was totally coming on to you right in front of me!" And he looked at me with that honest clueless look men get and said, "What? No! What?” Ahhh, the poor simple little darlings.

Barbara: That’s so true, Deb—Phil almost never gets a flirt when it’s coming his way. And just for the record—not for Deb because she knows me so well and for so long, but for anyone who might get the wrong impression: I did NOT reciprocate the flirting! No, no. I bypassed the flirting and ended up getting to know some really special people I might not otherwise have met. Who, ironically it turns out, are all looking for love. Really. Simply that: love.

Anyway, I’m a terrible flirt. Don't even remember how to do it. Yeah, the last time I flirted I ended up marrying the guy, so…


  1. Yaay! I'm the first comment! hahaha. Hope you have a nice vacation, Barb. would love to be at the beach, but I'll take Scotland!!! :] and for the record, i'm a terrible flirt as well.

  2. It's so interesting how all this affects people so differently. My college relationship didn't work out largely because he was so jealous. I have several male friendships that include some level of innuendo--the closest of these, we've actually thoroughly discussed the line and don't cross it--we don't want the other ever to think it is more than a close friendship that dances near the line. But I am a person who had 4 exes at my wedding. I KEEP people. And if my husband can handle me flirting with people who will stay in my life, he certainly can handle the strangers. And... here is where I am possibly unusual... I believe so strongly that I'd be a big giant hypocrite to expect this calm approach and not give it in return, that I mastered this... I had to work at it, but I did it. I am flattered when women flirt with him (because he's mine) and he only flirts back is a teasing way, which i can handle.

  3. This subject is completely alien to me. I never get flirted with, and I have no clue how to flirt.

    But, Barbara, I've got to ask: Which beach?!?!? *whimpering jealously*

  4. Kelly I'll take Scotland with you. Are you there now or going? I hear you Hart, I am very dear friends with all my exes and a few of them are big parts of our lives. We don't possess that kind of jealousy, but it's just rude when someone is so forceful and pushy about their flirting. But we are both pretty cool. Rigel I bet if you were open to it, you'd notice a flirt here and there. :-)

  5. Deb, I love you with all my heart, but you are deluded. Were you not wearing your glasses when you clicked through Thursday night's pictures?!? Honestly, if I were skinny and had perky tits and were flirtworthy, it'd probably scare me to death. I'd scurry away from any man who blatantly flirted. I don't know how to cope with that weirdness. But, obviously, I don't have to bother with all that.

    Hart - Fun phone calls with don't-cross-the-line men! Yes! One of my dearest, for the longest times beloveds is my best friend from university. I've known him since I was 17 and he was 19. (I have a great deal of fun telling his wife really awesome and incriminating stories about the mischief he, I, and our mutual close friend got up to. LOL He, in turn, complains that she and I gang up on him. Well, of course we do! LOL) Anyway, to this day, phone conversations with him are a hoot and a half because of the word play. We play off each other very well because a) we share so much history in common (I cannot comment any further on this because I don't think the statute of limitations has run out, yet, on everything. LOL), b) we have remarkably similar tastes in things like movies, Britcoms, music, etc. and crack a lot of the same pop culture/geek references (Oh heavens, he and I can go back and forth doing lines upon lines, scene after scene, quoting Real Genius. When we were young, he nicknamed me Jordan because he said I reminded him of the Michelle Meyrink character. But, that's OK, because I have very incriminating Rocky Horror Picture Show stories about him so it evens out. LOL), c) we have remarkably similar religious views and a comparable irreverence about having grown up in the Bible Belt, d) he and I are both extreme word nerds, e) he and I did have a small, brief, illusory (but, omigosh, AWESOME) more-than-friends interlude about which we both have fond memories and about which we still tease each other and make fun of and f) off all the people on the planet, he's in my top 3 list of people I completely trust -- I don't edit with him at all. I will bust jokes and make references and play with words with him in a way that I would never, ever expose myself with others. Phone conversations with him are a parade of double and triple entendres, inuendo, obscure references, geekery, and bawdy humor with a Shakespearean twist. This is a guy who got his MFA from Ole Miss years ago and had trouble getting his thesis title through committee because it was a triple entendre ("Mounting the Butterfly").

    So, Hart, yup! Yeah for fun communication with not-crossing-the-line close male friends!

  6. Ok,so I do have to admit that before I started dating my boyfriend that I did actually use to be the flirt of the two of us. I couldn't help, I just like to flirt,at the time it was just my thing,I was free and able to look at anyone that I wanted to. You have to remember that this was middle school too,so not much to look at as it was. Not that I am in vere deep relactioship I can honstly say that I will never flirt again.

    As with my boyfriend,he did not flirt much,that I knew of. I always tell him even now that it's fine if he is talking to another women even when I am not there, but He can look, Just not touch because if he touched it was be a whole different post.

  7. Mounting the butterfly?!!! Awesome! Oh, to master a triple entendre!

    Actually, it seems to me that flirting is kinda like that. It can be dealt and received in several different ways. And even then, can change for the giver/receiver in mid-flutter!

  8. I like to chat it up but not flirt. I will sit next to complete strangers and get involved in their conversations if they are interested. Just very social. I haven't flirted in years. Been in an on and off relationship for 10 years and he is a flirter with me and anyone else who comes into his view. He is the type of person who follows women with his eyes. I am used to it and as long as we are not married (which we never will be) he and I do what we want. Like friends with benefits. Works most of the time.

  9. I met my husband when I was 19 and we got married in 1997. God help me if anything happens to us and I have to go back to flirting - I'd probably die surrounded by 100 cats...

  10. I never think I flirt. I think I don't know how. I think I'm being nice, being kind and charming, maybe even making the man I'm talking to feel like a million dollars; my husband thinks I'm flirting. What the ...? I also don't notice when someone is flirting with me; I think they're just nice, just charming.
    You made me laugh out loud when you said Colin didn't realize the gal was flirting with him. It's not only men who don't "get it!"

  11. I don't think I flirt. I know no one has flirted with me in many, many years, but I guess part of that is that's because of the gaggle of kids that are always by my side. Last year, as I was leaving the post office and a man was walking in, he tipped his hat at me. It's not flirting, but I was quite giddy about it. No one had ever tipped their hat at me before and I don't expect it will happen again. I guess I want to live in a 1950's musical movie, but I love the manners that the gentlemen showed to ladies, but that's a whole other post.
    No, I don't think I've ever been much of a flirt. I remember in high school watching the girls flirt and thinking they looked silly, so I didn't do that. I guess that's why I didn't get any dates in high school, but was friends with all the guys because I enjoyed sharing a good laugh with them rather than flirting. I don't think I could really flirt again if I had too. I don't think I would care to find out if I could or not either.

  12. In response to Deb, I'm there now! Just got here yesterday morning, and I'm in LOVE!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, this has nothing pertaining to the comment, but I just wanted the question answered. haha :D

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  14. Not a flirt, but I do like talking and making small talk if it's someone I don't know. But that's basically all the farther it goes. Glad you had a lovely vacation, Barb! :)

  15. Madge, I think whatever arrangement works is the one to follow ... until it doesn't work anymore :)

    Erica, yup, I'm with you! Would not know what to do (although from this latest experience, it seems that you can let the other person do all the work, lol!)

    Kate, that's so funny that your husband thinks you're flirting every time you're nice to a man. If that was me, I'd be in huge trouble!!

    Molly, I LOVE the hat tip!!! Let's bring it back!

    Kelly, yay!!!! In love with Scotland???! Life? either way, yay!!!

  16. Thanks, Holly! And I think the small talk is win-win. If they're flirting, you can see if you like them, OR you can just get to know someone without getting all "get your flirty eyes off me, dude!"

  17. So, Barb, is this your way of telling me that you weren't coming on to me last week?

  18. Oh, I'm a terrible flirt... not in that I'm terrible at flirting, but that I do it all the time, intentionally and otherwise. Part of it is something I think the actors in here will understand, in that I have a persona that clicks "on" when I get on a stage or in front of a classroom (sidenote: improv? best preparation for teaching EVER), and that particular personality is outgoing, cheerful, and flirty and slightly risque. This personality comes out at parties, too.

    But I also love innuendo and word play, and so even when I don't have my sparkling "on" personality going, I do often end up flirting without necessarily intending to.

    There are, however, rules. I absolutely positively will NOT flirt with someone if their spouse or partner is aghast or against it, and I am an equal opportunity flirter - I'd be just as likely to flirt with Barb as I would with her husband. ;-) (And MUCH more likely to flirt with Deb, as if you got me around her husband I would probably turn into a shrinking violet.)

    I think there's also a big difference between flirting and throwing yourself at someone. I've never done the latter... I'm not even sure I would know how.

  19. I was always "one of the guys" and, to be honest, I was never flirting material so on the very few occasions that I've actually been flirted with, my friends would tell me(always when it was too late) what was going on.

    I don't know how to flirt either, so I believe that both my ex and my husband must have fallen for my charming personality :-)

  20. No, Anonymous, YOU I was coming on to (don't tell Phil).

    Kelly! So excited to hear it... was too shy to ask if you meant love ;)

    Kelly2, I love people like you -- you guys light up a room and almost never incite jealousy because you aren't COMING ON TO people! Big difference.

    Helle, charming personality is keeper material :)

  21. I still think my motto is " you can look , you just can't touch. But maby thats just me.

  22. While my girls were on the receiving end of all this flirting, the only thing hitting on me were the Antigua Stingrays...and only because I had been feeding them...and still smelled of squid. sigh...

  23. love for me. Remember...terrible flirt. haha!!

  24. it is amazing to listen to you guys talk about flirting . i never knew what it is nor was i ever aware of doing it . i am a tom boy who always feel more comfortable with men then i do with women , even to this day the majority of my friends are male , couple that with the fact i i have a large personality and i love to talk to people this can cause misunderstanding of my actions when i talk to men ( espeically ones i have just met for the first time , my friends are used to me !) i been accused of flirting a few times but never done it on purpose . i always thought i was making small talk . most of the time i have been talking about english football , mechanics , photogrpahy or some innocent subject like that nothing in my mind flirt worthy !

  25. The funniest thing just happened as I was reading all the comments and Barb's responses. I thought "would other people say that I was not a flirt?". I had at that moment, a "how am I perceived?" thought. I have been noodling on it for a few minutes now.

  26. Hey pongobaz (aka my husband), at least those stingrays were super-cute :)

    Deb and Linda, definitely definitely the perceived and the intended can be different. That's when we have to stand by what we meant and not let others bully us into questioning our motives (Deb is one of my mantra-heroes on that one: when upset by someone's actions, go with how it was intended.) And Deb, I can assure you that you always come across as charming, interested, engaged and delighted and not as a reckless seducer! Anon, I'd wager the same goes for you despite the feedback (PS: they sound jealous)

  27. Oh, Helle. *clinks glasses* Here's a toast to you, me, and all the other "one of the guys" girls out there! Until I got married (and most of the people in my world were married or marrying), almost all my friends were guys. Chris, Andy, Trey, Sam, Turtle, Randy... *happy sigh* My guys. Love, love, love, love, love them. Once I was married, external forces made it hard for me to have male friends. It wasn't me! Either the guys were weirded out by being friends with a married woman. OR, the guys' wives were weirded out about their husbands befriending a woman. Once I was divorced, one day I realized how weird it was that almost all of my local friends are women. Funny thing I realized, though, is that neither I nor any of my female friends are typical girlie girls. We're all on the outside in some way.

    I don't have patience or tolerance for girlie girl game playing. It's always struck me as stupid, superficial, and demeaning. Even if I were a size 6 and a bombshell, I could never bring myself to play all those stupid girlie games. *rolls eyes* And, I'd have no desire for any man who would fall for those stupid girlie games. He would just strike me as shallow and not that bright if he went for all that nonsense. I find the behavior of most women insufferable. And, the cattiness between women! Yeesh. I'd rather hang out with guys and keep it real.

    Helle, I was always a maths, sciences, martial arts, emergency medicine chic. I was always surrounded by men who were older than me. I was always either the "smart girl", "the girl who would grapple with men on the mats", or the "kid sister." Lots and lots of the kid sister. *sigh* It also counted against me that I didn't sleep around. My guy friends all knew I'd never let them insert tab A into slot B so I guess I wasn't worth flirting with.

    I once had an argument with one of my dear friends at university. At the time of the conversation, I was 21 and graduating, and he was 25 and in grad school. I told him, "Over the past few of years, I've watched you sleep with half the women on campus. From hippie chics to sorority girls, I am constantly watching you hit on anything that has a vagina. I know your likes and dislikes and that kinky fetish you have about shaving a woman's legs. I've listened to you wax rhapsodic about women's breasts. You always talk to me like I'm Sam. It kind of hurts my feelings that you've never once looked at me like I'm a girl. You've never even once kissed me." His reply, "Oh God, Rigel, no! I could never hit on you! You're one of my closest friends! You're too special to me to think of that way. I love you too much to have sex with you! But, you do have great boobies."

    *bangs head on desk*

  28. Rigel, what a wonderful toast - you've summed it up very nicely :-)

  29. " . . . I went all Laura Petrie on her ass . . . "

    Possibly the best thing I have read all day!

    Laura in ATL

  30. Barb, glad to hear you had fun at the beach!

  31. Glad to hear you had a nice vacation, Barb!
    I would say that I'm not a flirt. I'm a shy person, and always have been. And I'm not a girl that guys flirt with. I wager that is why I'm single at 26, with no boyfriends in sight. :(
    Deb, I CANNOT believe that someone flirted with your hubby right in front of you! I mean, yeah, he's hilarious and adorable, but I'm jut saying that as a fan. If I were you, I would've gone ape---- on her, too!

  32. Oh, Rigel! That's a classic. But you are too dear to risk losing, so I get that too. Anon, that was my fave line too! Thanks, April! And Beth, I know you're not asking for this, but: you never know what might come along when you least expect it. And flirting is NOT a necessary "evil" or "talent" for that to happen :)

  33. I am a flirt - not in the coy (or vapid), bat your eyelashes, come-hither way, but in the I've known you for ages and since we both know we mean nothing by it let's enjoy some banter way (and now that I think of it, none of the guys I "flirt" with are married, and none of the girls I "flirt" with are married either).

    Hubby is not threatened in the least (maybe if I weighed about 30 pounds less and actually had boobs, that might be different), but he feels quite secure in our 21+ year marriage.

    It doesn't bug me if the ladies get a wee bit over zealous with hubby (bless his heart, he just doesn't realize when they are fawning all over him). He is just one of those big teddy bears with a rich Southern accent and absolutely no guile whatsoever.

    No, the flirting that bugs me is when it is overtly sexual from a stranger - and ESPECIALLY when directed at my daughter

    *Laura Petrie comment was PRICELESS!!!!


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