Sunday, January 4, 2015

File this under "Personal"

 By Anci CL

I'm at.. where else? Another starbucks. And  I feel strangely light, after exchanging a few harmless flirtations with the barista. (Okay, I know its his job to be friendly, but he was really cute, really black, and really charming and nobody got hurt)

The thing about harmless flirtations is that they keep you going during the day-- they're like this tiny bit of validation wrapped up in dazzling warmth, that remind you how sexy and interesting you are.

The word flirtation has such a weird connotation--We all know it can sometimes be the start of infidelities, or sexual addiction... but 99% of the time it lives in it's own moment in time.  You never have to know the other person's name, never have to feel disappointed, never have to be disenchanted, never have to see them again, really. In your mind, this person exists just to smile and remind you that people are sweet, and want to make you happy.  They're like a mint on your pillow-- unnecessary, but also delightful in small, unobtrusive bites.

Growing up, I used to flirt with guys (way too obviously), and part of the allure of those exchanges lay in the fact that I believed (incorrectly) that expressing interest in men, in any way other than demure, backhanded glances, was slutty. That making bedroom eyes at a stranger I never intended to see again made me a big, 'ol skank. I thought it meant I was a "bad girl." 
There's something powerful about taking control of your personal interactions, and saying "no, this is how far I want to take this," and then walking away at the right moment. Men do it all the time.
There's even a term for it... "catch and release?"

It means engaging with something, until you're satisfied (until you feel warm and tingly, and giggly) and then saying "byyyyye" 

If both parties are game, and neither feels used, then why the fuck shouldn't we validate each other, when the mood catches us?

 If I ever have a daughter, i'm going to tell her to flirt to her heart's content. Get out your stupid impulses when you're 16. Cultivate that slutty reputation, wear scandalously short skirts, let yourself laugh too loudly at his juvenile jokes, and then come straight home. Then when you're in in your 20s, you'll be more selective, and wiser.
It's what I did. The only difference is, my kid won't carry the extra heaping of guilt.

sweet 16..

I'm going to tell my future daughter that it's okay to be giddily aware of the shirtless Italian boys' eyes lingering on you,  that it's okay to play along, and put on a little show for him. It's okay to flip your hair, and pretend not to notice, and take your time applying your cheap lip gloss, between bending over casually, to retrieve your scattered beach items.  And then, it's okay to go home, feeling smug. (conversely, it's also okay to scream "don't fucking look at me," if you DON'T like it. We have every right to dictate who gets access to those parts of us. And just because we want some men to look at us, doesn't mean we want ALL men to look at us.)

 Man, I got a lot of mileage out of that barista. i'm grateful. I wasn't sure what I was going to write about, when I sat down. 

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