Saturday, October 27, 2012

Project Fear Less: Flirt Back, i.e. The Origami Whale Story

So as you might have noticed if you keep up with this blog, I'm fairly recently single. I'm not about to get into the shitstorm that is discussing exactly why that happened, but it suffices to say for now that I've got a lot of reconfiguration to do in the manner that I interact with people. Specifically, I need to retrain myself to know that it's ok to engage people (especially attractive people) in conversation without a specific work- or school-based reason to do so. And it's ok to smile at people who smile at me, and laugh at their jokes and make jokes of my own. And, basically, it's ok to FLIRT.

Flirting always used to scare the crap out of me. Before I was in the two serious relationships that took up the past 5-and-a-bit years of my life (whiskey tango foxtrot), I'd always resort to the tomboy-joking-with-the-guys style of flirting. Which is to say, I swaggered and made dirty jokes and displayed my apparently uncommon interest in watching other people play video games (I honestly like it, I swear!) to the max. And also sometimes wore tight shirts. Sorry, Mama. But yeah. I never seemed to get the hang of the giggling and the cuteness and the outright flirtation that other girls had all perfected in high school, when I was busy making A-pluses on everything and running around in the woods lighting fires and not having any friends. But I digress.

So even now, when I'm completely allowed and even expected to play up the fact that I am a cute girl from whom people should feel lucky to receive even just a smile, it's hard to do anything but either stammer away all hopes of interest or play up my macho side (as I heard a couple of my fellow cooks discussing in Spanish the other day. Apparently the butcher doesn't care but for the grill cook, who's shorter than me, it's too big a deal). I'd been pondering this fact, but not acting to change it – lately midterms and moving and general craziness have coincided to declare that my normal uniform is a teeshirt, sweats or leggings, my omnipresent hoodie and no makeup; my manner is brusque and my gait is speedy. All of this means that I don't really have to deal with the question of whether or not to flirt back.


When I do.

The scene: I'm walking back from class. Hoodie is on in full force because it's cold. Books are heavy and cumbersome. I'm feeling pretty meh, and sure that 's bleeding into my outer aspect.

As I cross the street, I catch sight of this guy on the other side, spinning a binder on one finger, like you (maybe you; I know I couldn't) might do with a basketball. He's really really good. I know it's a silly thing to be impressed by, but he's good enough that spinning a binder becomes an impressive act. He catches my eye, and holds it.

As I reach the other side, he approaches, and says something – exact wording lost to history – about how I look so shy with my hood up around my face. At that point the meh-ness of a day suddenly becomes a thing to be railed against. With a quick motion, I toss back the hood and reveal my shorn head in an “oh really now?” gesture. I might have actually said “oh really now?” The chin comes up.

Now, I'm no good at writing dialogue. Amy, if I keep up this dating nonsense I'm gon' have to borrow a few pages from your book. But...he flirts with me. Compliments my hair. Asks what I do and is sufficiently impressed. And...I flirt back. I smile. I laugh at his jokes. We talk about where we both are from, and about beer (he lived in Wisconsin, I work in a brewery), and various other things that are lost in the giddy memory of smiling at someone who obviously found me attractive enough to smile at first.

So I have to give the caveat that he was canvassing for Greenpeace. And I signed up for it. But I'm pretty sure that if there's a minimum amount of conversation that they're required to make, he way surpassed it. And...this is particularly evidenced by the fact that when I had to leave, he folded me an origami whale (AN ORIGAMI WHALE) and wrote his number on it.

So, to recap:
  • Greenpeace rep
  • Tall, blond, fit
  • Good at conversation
  • Likes good beer
  • Origami whale
[I'm tired of waiting for the picture of the ORIGAMI WHALE to upload and just going ahead and posting this already.  It will be updated later.  Stay tuned.]

More later.


Spoiler: I called him.

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