Saturday, May 14, 2005

Flirting with Robert the Pale

All right... true confession time. Yesterday, I was a flirt. There now, I've said it. Feels better, having it out in the open like this. It's strange, the dance we humans do when we're trying to express our attraction for one another. Men try to be impressive, to stand out from the crowd.... usually they wind up making fools of themselves, but that's beside the point. Women, on the other hand, typically go the coy route. Nothing so obvious as actually saying "Hey, I like you; wanna hook up?" but we do try to give out hints, drop subtle clues (which men usually don't 'get' anyway... sigh), anything to let him know that we're interested without actually SAYING that we're interested. Nope, can't do that, heaven forbid that we actually be direct with someone!

So.... what is one to do to garner the attention of a member of the opposite gender? You might guess that my answer is "we flirt." However, I'll bet that you would not have guessed that I, happy wife & mother of one--not the same one, granted , devoted a considerable amount of time today honing my flirting skills with a guy I'll call "Robert the Pale." It all began innocently enough. He whistled at me! I was a bit surprised as it's been a while since I was last whistled at. Nevertheless, I whistled back "just to see what he would do." To his credit he waited a bit before whistling at me again... maybe he knew I was married & was waiting to see if I'd really meant to return his whistle.

It was funny really, the little game we played. He'd whistle, I'd whistle back.... We had quite the exchange. He really seemed "into" our little dance 'til for some reason he quit whistling, apparently having lost interest in me. Now I could have acted like a typical female & rung my hands trying to figure out what went wrong or why he'd gone, but I've never been one to cry over lost chances...besides, I'm happily married, remember?!

So I ask you, did I do something wrong to flirt with this guy today? Whether your answer is 'yes' or 'no' I have another question to pose to you. Does anyone know what you're *really* saying to a bird when you mimic its call back to it?? Yes, I know, what the heck does that have to do with flirting?? Before you go calling my husband to tell him I was cheating on him today, or to tell him he needs to have me carried off in a straight-jacket; let me explain.

Robert the Pale is known to most of you as a bob-white. You know, the bird who whistles “bob-white”?? (Actually, he says “bob, bob-white.”) I had quite the “conversation” with one today while I was hanging out the laundry (nothing like the crisp fresh smell of laundry dried outside in the sunshine). He had to have known that I wasn’t really his type, no feathers, no wings, no beak (though my husband may differ on the ‘no beak’—I might hen-peck at him just a little). I don’t think it’s possible for a bird to be fooled by a human whistling at it—he HAD to have known I wasn’t really a bird. So, assuming that he did know I’m not a bird, why did he keep answering me?? I guess I just got wondering about that this afternoon as I repeatedly whistled “bob, bob-white” back to him. If he knew I wasn’t another bird, why’d he bother? And another thing, what was I saying to him??? Was I flirting? Proposing marriage? Advertising an empty nest? Marking my territory? Telling him off? What did I say? What did I say??????????????

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