Flirting 101, or How I Learned to Not Like Dating So Much
I’m a flirt. Shamelessly so. Some might go so far as to say I’m an attention seeking freak really. I’ve been known to flirt with man, woman, animal, vegetable…I refuse to differentiate. No one, it seems, is off limits. I charm waitresses and bartenders into serving me first, I’m known as the dog whisperer as my canine friends come running, tails a-waggin’, through Point Pleasant Park, and it’s ridiculous the things I can make ‘pasghetti and meatballs do. And trust me, these suave, sophisticated ways are not new. In fact, for me, I think they practically date back to infancy. Now, bear with me a minute…I grew up with four siblings, one of which is a mere 14 months younger then me. It’s hard to get any undivided attention from anywhere with all that noise. Now, imagine being a toddler with messy hair and drool on my t-shirt and a smelly and likely way too full diaper, and THEN having to compete with a helpless tiny newborn baby girl all swaddled in pink. I remember my great aunt Jessie telling me about how, when my sister was born, I’d sit in the corner all doe eyed while all the well wishers paraded past me while I went unnoticed, eager to see the new bundle of joy, and then she, feeling sorry for me, would scoop me up and swing me in the air, and before you knew it was laughing and clapping my hands, with a roomful of rapt followers all of my own. So nowadays it’s a mischievous smile and a twinkle in my eyes, instead of giggles and clapping, but it all translates to that same attention seeking behaviour. Now, that’s not to say these um…skills have made my entire dating life easy. Quite the contrary. Remember, I said I was as good at attracting ’em, I didn’t say I was necessarily as good at keeping ’em. And keep in mind when the time came that I was finally comfortable with my sexuality, openly gay and actively dating and all that, I was left with, statistically speaking, under 10 percent of the male population – that’s technically not a whole heck of a lot to work with, people! And so, my dating life was still full of highs and lows, of learning experiences and horror stories, of guys just “kinda curious” or so deep in the closet you’d need GPS and a really big spotlight to locate ’em. And you know what else? It was a LOT of work. Having to put yourself “out there” meant BEING out there…and having to socialize. A lot. Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, weekend parties with friends of friends you barely know. That stuff gets expensive! And then there’s looking the part. Making sure you’re dressed well and smelling pretty just in case you happen to meet the ONE in the grocery store line. Or say working out on a treadmill when you’d rather be sucking back beer and pizza. And then there’s dating THE ONE and finding out, once the honeymooners over around day 3, that the love of your life is actually a stark raving mad lunatic, who thinks they’re part werewolf or a Martian in witness protection….and so then you decide not to date for awhile, maybe stay in and date “yourself”, which then turns into you watching all the seasons of Friends consecutively while binging on jellybeans and having deep conversations with your cat. Now none of that was me EXACTLY, but you get my point. You see, it’s true, my “powers” didn’t seem to work so well for me in the lucky in love department, that gift to attract attention, that boyish charm to keep it…. So instead, for a time, I decided to play matchmaker for my friends. To help them find the ONE. Because I do believe, for everyone, the ONE is out there. And so as far as that goes, my track record’s stellar.