Gather round. I have something to tell you. Don’t let anyone else hear. Are you ready? I am a flirt!
There! I said it. So now you know! It’s ok! You can let your husband back out of the cupboard. I am a flirt. Not a voracious, man-eating, husband stealing, life-wrecking, horribly promiscuous, despicable bitch. My heart was captured a very long time ago, and I have no desire to ever claim it back. But flirting?!! That is a whole different ballgame!!
I inherited the gene from my father. Along with my knock knees, hairy legs, terminal acne, and HUGE head. (You could quite easily land a small aircraft on my forehead!!) He was not a pleasant man, small, stocky, and brutally violent. But maaan, did he have the flirt switch!! It was instantaneous, he could flip from psychotic to charming with a click of a finger. My bestest friend ever in the universe was once witness to this, and it traumatises her still.
Beauty is not a prerequisite of the successful flirt. Lets face it, if you are beautiful, you need only sit and wait for admirers to approach. I am not beautiful. See all of the above!! Oh, and throw in a nose that has been broken four times. My aforementioned bestest friend once announced that she was going to the loo to powder my nose, and that it would take a while!! My mother once described me as handsome, which has scarred me ever since.
I finely honed my flirting gift as a hairdresser. Hairdressing is one of the most poorly paid professions in the world (I am standing by my use of the word profession, we go to college, sit exams, and are therapists, not just of the beauty persuasion!), and as a result, we rely heavily on our tips. I realised very early into my career that excellent skill in my craft was no guarantee of hefty remuneration. And so I became an outrageous flirt. And thus the tipmeister. Every Christmas, my colleagues would suggest we pool our tips, hoping to benefit from my efforts. I never agreed. I was a single mother, and that money fed us.
There is a time and a place for outrageous flirting. And indeed, an etiquette that must be followed. It is never acceptable to indulge with your friend’s husband, or your teenager’s friends. Nor should you partake if you know it upsets your own partner. And you should be aware that there may be unexpected consequences to your actions. As I found out.
My ex husband never really understood the concept of flirting. Scarily possessive, he would become enraged if I so much as made eye contact with another male. As a result, I only ever indulged my love of this art at work after our relationship commenced. The salon that I owned when we first met was on a military base, and subsequently, a large proportion of my clients were forces personnel. On one particular occasion, my junior and I had a ridiculously daft conversation with a guy, temporarily stationed in the garrison, who was bemoaning his lack of success in attracting women. A fact we didn’t believe, given that he was extremely attractive, and a rival for my crown in the flirtation stakes! The three of us spent a gloriously mad half hour suggesting ridiculously cheesy chat up lines that might be effective, and laughing until we cried. He paid his bill, gave us both a generous tip, and left.
A week later, and I was perched on a stool in my local bar, chatting to a friend. My not yet husband (this was only about a month into our relationship) was standing on the opposite side of the room, with some of his work colleagues. Suddenly, the guy who had needed chat up lines appeared in front of me. He kissed me full on the lips, and then uttered these immortal lines.
“Hi! I’m feeling horny! Fancy rubbing groins?!!”
And then walked out. Leaving me desperately suppressing giggles, as I tried to explain to a very angry not yet husband!