Can we talk about something that’s sort of difficult to talk about?
I promise it’s not about my period or something. (Although if you want to talk about that, I’m sure I can come up with something.)(Hmm? No? Okay, moving on.)
I want to talk about getting hit on. Or, I guess, more generally, flirting.
First, why is this such a difficult topic to really discuss? Because admitting that you got hit on is often a cloaked way of saying, “OMG, it’s, like, such a burden to be this beautiful.” Which is a humblebrag way of telling the world you think you are beautiful. Which, in our society, is largely frowned upon. Because it means you are self-centered, stuck-up, and generally shallow. BECAUSE WE SHOULDN’T CARE WHAT WE LOOK LIKE EVER OR THINK WE MIGHT LOOK NICE, YOU GUYS.
Obviously, I have feelings. But the point is, that particular pachyderm is in the room for this whole conversation. And lest one want to be deemed self-centered, stuck-up, and generally shallow, the conversation is usually avoided.
But I kind of want to talk about it, so for the rest of this post, I’m instating a parallel universe where it is not a personality flaw to NOT think that you’re ugly. Okay? We’ll call it Floyd Universe. Welcome to my parallel universe. Welcome to Floyd.
Personally, I love a good hit-on story. I really, truly do. I love when someone is really good at hitting on someone else, and I love when they are really bad at it. (I guess I’m neutral about the people who are just so-so.)
Despite my penchant for a good story, though, I want to talk about the side of things I don’t like.
Getting hit on when you’re entirely unavailable and uninterested is such an awkward experience. On one hand, sure, it’s very nice to be noticed in a positive way, and it’s flattering that someone worked up the gumption to actually do something about their attraction to you. Which is probably why it’s so awkward to have to turn someone down. In general, I try to be friendly but business-like about it. I’m flattered, but I’m married. Sorry I’m not sorry.
The situation is only compounded, though, when you’re not even sure if you’re being hit on. Are you being paranoid? (AND GOD FORBID SELF-CENTERED, STUCK-UP AND GENERALLY SHALLOW FOR EVEN THINKING SOMEONE COULD POSSIBLY LIKE YOU AT ALL?) Or are you being, you know, perceptive?
It’s especially difficult when you’re in a serious, committed relationship. Because, here’s the deal folks: I don’t even think flirting with someone besides that person you’re committed to is appropriate. Flirting is advertising. Why would you advertise something that isn’t for sale?
For me, if I can’t quickly shut something like that down, I end up with an eternally icky feeling about the whole exchange. So if I go on thinking a conversation is innocent, only to find out later that the other person thought otherwise, does that mean I’ve accidentally done something bad?
Side note: There’s a really adorable scene in an episode of Gilmore Girls where Sookie (after marrying Jackson) runs into a guy she knew in cooking school. After catching up, he asks her out. She panics and turns him down, but then she is riddled with guilt that she may have accidentally flirted with him to make this happen. THAT IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. And I wish some kind soul had put this clip on YouTube, but I’ve searched and searched and all I can find is this compilation of funny Sookie moments, and at second 3:44, Sookie is just realizing that she flirted and calls herself a whore (it’s actually hilarious to just watch those three seconds):
Obviously this isn’t really as bad as if I were intentionally flirting with other people, but I would rather avoid the icky feeling if possible.
So I guess what I’m asking (because, let’s face it, I know I have attractive readers and just about everyone has been hit on in their lives whether they realized it or not) is how you handle that? Whether you’re in a relationship or not, what is your response to unwelcome advances? Especially if you have no desire to hurt the other person’s feelings?
Actually, especially if you’re not even sure the other person is coming on to you. Because, honestly, there is nothing worse than trying to save someone else hurt feelings, only for them to be like, “Dude, I was just wondering what time it is.” Because then, guess what? YOU’RE SELF-CENTERED, STUCK-UP, AND GENERALLY A SHALLOW IDIOT.
So…what do you do? Just tell yourself that you’re being paranoid and move on? Or pay attention to your instincts (you know, like EVERY other animal on Earth would)?
You are now departing Floyd; population: me.