In my previous post “Reading and Flirting with Fakename”, I mentioned that a guy at work loaned me a book, which I thought might be flirting–but maybe not. I also mentioned that if you were flirting with me, you needed to bring a Flash Card that says so. I would also recommend bringing a set of Flash Cards that say “Here’s what I’m saying, but here’s what I really mean”.
Really, my cluelessness stems from the inability to believe that anybody would ever want to flirt with me. I guess that beats the belief that everybody wants to. There is a lot more humility in the former than in the latter, and humility, as they say, is a virtue. The unintended consequence of my attitude is that men have to escalate what they say until it becomes perfectly obvious to me. Which is just fine with me. As soon as we get to the point, or more accurately, the sooner I know what the point is, the better I am able to say yes or no. Or at least continue the dance, once I know we’re dancing.
So Tuesday morning, I was in a meeting with Book Loaner, who for the purposes of this blog we’ll call “Brian”. The meeting consisted of me and Brian, and ten other men. That isn’t all that uncommon for me in my business. Maybe it isn’t that uncommon in business, period. Brian is giving a presentation to explain his preparations for an upcoming phase of the construction project he’s overseeing. This is called “keeping everyone in the loop”. (Side note: it’s a wonder that anyone in the business world, or anyone in government, ever gets anything done, for having meetings to talk about doing things. The “loop” is so big that you could hang yourself with it, but God forbid you leave anyone out of it.) So at the end of his presentation, Brian says, I welcome any suggestions, but understand that I only take instructions from Fakename. Which is totally untrue, but Whoa. See ten pairs of eyes turn in my direction. See Brian grin. See Fakename get the point. And also, see Fakename keep a neutral expression, while failing to come up with a witty response until an hour after the meeting is over.
Fast forward to Thursday morning. Brian arrives in my office and says that that day he’ll be running some elevations, and can he count on me to be his stick man? See what I mean about escalation? With a perfectly straight face I said, “I’m good at that”. I wish you could have seen his face. First he blushed to the tips of his hair (and what did Fakename tell you about blushing?) He grinned again and looked like he was about to respond with something I imagine would have been “I’ll bet you are…”, but before he could embarass himself, I explained that I took a course in surveying in college. I can use a transit, and I can for damn sure hold a stick. Which led us into a discussion of why I took a course in surveying, etc. He should thank me. I saved him from himself. And got him back for embarassing me in a meeting.
But stay tuned. Since nothing else worked so far, my guess is that his next step will be to ask me out for a drink after work. Men are in such a bind. On one hand, they can’t be too forward because it may turn you off. On the other hand, they can’t be too timid either. So they throw out floaters, trying to get a feel for whether or not you would be receptive if they actually committed themselves to doing something. And they say women can’t handle rejection. Speaking simplistically, my experience is that men will usually never make an offer unless they know your answer is going to be yes, in advance. Personified by the high school experience where they always ask your best friend if you like them. Unfortunately, now we’re grownups and asking the best friend is no longer an option, so men occasionally have to take the plunge and just ask.
And that’s the purpose of flirting.
I would bet money on that drink offer. Will I go? The odds he will ask are, I think, 60-40. The odds that I will go are 50-50. Place your bets now.