There was a time, not so long ago, that my response to even the slightest sign of flirtation would have been a fierce scratching of the ears, an extended incoherent mumble followed by an exceptionally and terribly inappropriate laugh (hyhena-style). Followed, no doubt, by a snort. And an urgent silent prayer, "Open the effing ground and allow my entire effing personage to be swallowed whole. Thanks. PS You're very cool."
(See Roadtripping In The New SA. I was all kinds of bad at flirting back then.)
I've grown in leaps and bounds since those days, and so I thought I'd share The Pant's Directory To Mastering The Flirt. (It's a work in progress, mind you.)
1). Always, in conversation, drop in the word 'lesbian':
So I took a call from a Friday Night Hottie-Hot-Pants yesterday. I wondered how he got my number but then realised that I'd used my (favourite) lip-stick to scrawl on his (very nice and now totally ruined) white shirt - at his insistence, I might add - the message: The Pant 555-CALLME. He then offered me a tequila for my real number which he typed into his cell-phone (total waste of perfectly good lipstick, never mind the shirt).
Friday Night Hottie-Hot-Pants: Is it true what you said the other night?
(Oh no, I wasn't using my ever-so-poor British accent to try and convince people I am a Doctor Without Borders and am on a plight to cover every child under the age of - how old was he? - 20 with a mosquito net, was I? Was I offering free trial runs at my place?)
The Pant: What did I say?
FNHHP: You said you...um ... used to be a ... you know.
(Oh no. What did I say? Crikey. Should not be let out in public. Ever.)
TP: I don't know. Help me along here, soldier. (I actually used that particular term of endearment. Priceless.)
FNHHP: A ... um ... a lesbian.
(I battled to suppress the guffaws that desired expulsion from my mouth.).
It worked. Tell them what they want to hear and they'll be calling.
2). If You're Going To Eat, Choose A Sensual Item:
Yesterday was hot, right? Not made any more comfortable by the fact that I chose to wear top-to-toe black including a synthetic top. (By hot I mean pouring entire rivers of human sweat.)
And so The Daughter and I decided that the only way to combat the heat would be to buy ice-creams and ingest them with alacrity. The thing is, see, even though I possibly have the biggest mouth known to man, it was just so hot yesterday that even I wasn't able to eat my ice-cream fast enough.
And before I'd reached my car, I was having to shove fairly whole ice-creams into the depths of my throat, and then remove them again to prevent exceptionally sticky goo from trickling down my own arms, never mind The Daughter's entire body. For a by-stander, I guess, it would not have been dissimilar to watching to soft porn.
But I made Checked-Shirt-Man-Thing trip. And I thought, "At least he's paying attention."
3) Try And Play Things Down:
This technique, although I've learned, is not one I am very good at. Let me illustrate how not to do this one:
The Pant: You're very good looking.
Random White Shirt Boy (different from Friday Night Hottie Hot Pants): You're a bit of alright yourself.
TP: Thanks. What is your position on the creation of more human children? You see, I'm in the Breeding Phase.
Random White Shirt Boy then offered me a drink. And left for the bar. And did not return.
Subtle does it, girls. Subtle does it.