A to Z April Challenge
I love to watch animals flirt. I love how they just go at it. They flap their wings at each other, kick, climb and even bite at each other. They growl and scratch and wrestle. They’re just like: “I like you, let’s play.”
Maybe that’s why I’m so terrible at it; I think my actions will resemble that of animals looking to mate for survival and turn into beautiful, agile, happy-go-lucky creatures for that purpose. When I like someone I don’t get cute, large eyes; my hair doesn’t soften, my cheeks don’t flush and my eyelashes don’t grow so thick and long that when I bat them at whomever I’m eyeballing, they receive large gusts of my admiration. No, instead I become this aggressive, in-your-face, please see that I like you creep. I’m not graceful like birds flirt flying or cute like polar bears wrestling in the snow and I definitely can’t sing, roar, or coo to save the human race from extinction. It’s like I take the principle and remove the most essential gear [fun] and replace it with one more rugged and primitive [raw impulsivity].
When I met Kasper, he practically ignored me. I noticed him the second I walked into that store. I kept my distance because I didn’t feel like making a fool of myself twice in one day. I knew I was likely to yell at whichever associate would be given the unfortunate task of dealing with me; I didn’t want to add a man to this predictably horrible visit. We were called to neighboring counters where I began nice and polite only to turn infuriated and profane minutes later.
Eventually we were at our counters alone, waiting for our associates to return with options. He finally turned to me and said in a thick and deep southern accent:
Are they poking you too?
Ha! I think about it now, knowing my husband’s character, and I get more enjoyment from the memory. I wouldn’t shut up from then on. I liked this guy. Already he heard me yelling at a stranger for reaching the limits of his abilities within his job and he still talked to me. Even better, I came straight from work so the strong scent of red onion was fresh on my white undershirt and black slacks. My bun, messy from removing my black cap with the big red Q on its front, did not turn him off but I could tell he felt awkward. So I kind of forced myself on him.
I’m just not good at flirting. I talk very loudly, always have, and I talk fast. And this was before my stroke which slowed me verbally due to less-than-quick thought processes so I was going pretty fast at that time. I noticed earlier he stepped out to smoke a cigarette so I set him up to follow me out for a smoke while we waited for updates from the associates working with us. He didn’t come. I tried to flirt when I returned, thinking maybe my signal was weak but he flinched at my laughter. I followed him to his motorcycle when he finally stepped out for a smoke. I asked questions I never asked anyone before. I was severely interested in this guy and he was kind of cold shouldering me. It made me press harder. He participated in the conversation but he wasn’t flirting back. Eventually I asked him if he was gay and told him very bluntly that I was interested in him (I was tired of failing with my frenzied flirting) but he didn’t seem interested in the same way.
He said I am very intimidating. He said at first it was my looks. Then he said I’m aggressive (which I already knew) and that was intimidating also. Then he said I’m high energy which made him unsure if I’d mind him following me out to the parking lot since he’s a pretty mellow guy (and he totally is…was, before kids).
My ride pulled up later; and as Stilla tried to holler at me to hurry, I stalled, hoping he would ask for my number. When he didn’t, I demanded he ask for it. We moved in together two weeks later and just had our tenth anniversary last September.
While I’m terrible at flirting and am so not cute while doing it (being socially awkward makes flirting a nightmare) unlike animals who grow beautiful coats of fur, extravagant plumes of feathers or can play fight without injuring their partner, I find my other instinctive, animalistic desires to mate acceptably reliable. My honesty, forthrightness, and aggressive tendencies helped me snag a pretty awesome partner. The most ironic part of this whole post, as I reread it:
My loud voice and aggressive personality are two aspects of my character Kasper dislikes most but without them we wouldn’t be together.