Friday, August 20, 2010


There I go, that's absolutely the wrong question to ask.

Flirting is a delicate art. Like the art of making the fluffiest and lightest pastry or cupcake or gelatto, flirting requires a light hand. Make that a light heart. And a glad eye. And a lightly raised eyebrow. And the lightest, most coquettish fluttering of eyelashes. Accomplished flirts can flit - like butterflies - from here to there, bestowing a smile, a wink, a flattering comparison, a risque compliment, even a suggestive proposition. All this without getting enmeshed or entangled in anything heavy or sordid like a relationship. Flirting is like those 100% fat-free gelattos, they are frothy, dainty, gossamer, and 100% commitment-free.

Flirting is the art of the indirect.

Unfortunately, I am a rather direct sort of person. A bumblebee who blunders straight into trees, rather than a butterfly.

If somebody pays me a compliment, I always wonder, "Really?" and often say aloud, "Why?". I raise my eyebrows rather than flutter my eyelashes.

Maybe because of my contact lenses, it is easier to raise eyebrows than it is to flutter eyelashes. Whatever, I am really really heavy-handed and get all hot and bothered by any kind of flirtatious contact.

Which is a pity, because flirting can make your life really easy. You can jump queues, get small favours done, get the best products on offer, get extra discounts, get better service, get away with late-coming/bunking/shirking-work/not-meeting-deadlines/making-1001-mistakes/murder. Anything, actually.

Flirts can pirouette and escape the consequences of their inaction. Whereas blunderbusses like me have to prove myself with every action.

So, let me be direct, and ask you, "Can you flirt?"

Because, to my ever-lasting regret, I CAN NOT.