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July 31, 2006 | by  | in Opinion |
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how not to… Flirt

Now, I will have read about a thousand issues of Cosmopolitan in my short existence, and I’m still in debate with myself about whether or not they have done me a great deal of good, or nothing but a disservice. I mean sure, such magazines promote unhealthy body images in women etc., but if it weren’t for them, would any of us know where the perineum is, let alone that it even exists? Whether you put their a dance, when a man and a woman float around each other, boding just enough interest to keep the other spirited, but detracting away often enough to keep them on their toes. In this dance, one might want to sashay over to someone and comment on their smell. But the same person should avoid stumbling so far into the other person’s personal bubble that it introduces them to the fresh bouquet of whiskey and kebab on their breath. Ralph Lauren plus Calvin Klein equals sexy; Hadi Gari plus Johnny Walker equals repulsive.

The best flirts are those that leave the other person guessing somewhat – not those that scream desperation and restraining orders. Pick up lines for instance should be a no go area for most – unless you’re as smooth as Antonio Banderas in his years pre-Melanie Griffith, the pick up line will, as a general rule, bomb.

Here is an example of a devastatingly failed attempt at pick up line usage: a friend and I were standing at the bar of Hope Bros. waiting on some drinks. My friend had a bit of a crush on one of the bartenders so we had to strategically stand there and avert our eyes whenever another bartender looked like they were about to serve us. Anywho, this turned out to be quite a lengthy process, during which a young computer programmer had managed to spy us and deemed us a worthy target for his gentlemanly affections. I spied the said man out of the corner of my eye spying us and had to break Maddy out of her dreamybartender haze (we’ve all been there girls – what is it about the men that pour our drinks?) to warn her that there was a prime time weirdo circling. This guy resembled that fellah from Little Britain who yells out “bitty” when hungry and proceeds to feed from his mother. Mr. Hope Bros. was trying really hard, but just wasn’t hitting the mark.

So, once we’d noticed him, Maddy and my purpose in life switched from ‘Operation Target Bartender’ to ‘Operation Avoid Psycho’. Such a covert maneuver involves the loss of all peripheral vision when the guy tries to catch your attention from the side, moving into a corner where you can be approached from only one angle, and desperately trying to find some guy mates to pretend to be your boyfriends. Warning though, don’t get so into the role-play that you end up scoring them.

After about fifteen minutes of avoidance, Maddy and I thought we had managed to lose our friend’s attention, and we got slack. Fatal mistake: let your guard down, and it’s all over. We were outside trying to scope the action walking past, leaning against the balcony, when I felt someone grappling at my neck trying to feel down the back of my top. At first I thought it was a moth flying around my neck so I swatted away, until I turned around and saw Mr. Bitty having a go at my neck. So I shouted at him: ‘What the freak are you doing man?’ To which he replied “Umm, well, just trying to check your tag, umm, you know the one on the back of your top, umm, just to see if you actually came from heaven.”

At this point, the world went into slow motion, and I couldn’t really hear a lot – and not in a Wayne’s World Dreamweaver moment way, but just at the sheer awkwardness of the situation. Maddy’s jaw was agape and she just stood there staring, immobile. What do I say I thought? How do I shoot the poor guy down without ruining him forever? So, in true Marty style, I just started giggling awkwardly and pretending that I couldn’t really hear him and backed away. I know it sounds mean, but what else do you do in such a situation.

Now, if Mr. Bitty had approached Maddy and me in a normal fashion, without assaulting my nape, we would have talked to him, and you never know, if he’d been an awesome guy, we might have seen past the polyester and the predatory nature. Tips on flirting? This is going to sound paradoxical, but in order to flirt well, I suggest that you don’t flirt at all. Treat people that you fancy like you would any other person. The more natural and at ease you are, the more attractive. So put down your Cosmopolitans ladies, and ditch the bad pick up lines boys (and preferably your polyester) and when trying to spade, instead of making sure you puff up your chest enough, or flick your eyelashes excessively, have a try at actually talking to the person – funny that, but it might actually get you somewhere.

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