As I waited at the airport, I replayed the three most recent conversations I’d had. Each had the same underlying message. I repelled overtures. Was it true? I had always assumed that I just did not attract attention that way… that no one would give me a second look as I passed them and that it wasn’t because of anything I did or did not do. It was just the way that cookie crumbled. But the last three conversations told me different. Was my stern, no-nonsense expression a potential deterrent to any likely new association? Was my love for music via my earphones the main villain in any love story I might have been a part of? I was aware that it was the habit that got me branded as a snoot in college. Was I too detached when it came to strangers? Well, I wondered, all that was in my hands. If I wanted, I could control and change all of these behaviors. But would it help?
‘No time like the present!’ read the title of what I assume was a self-help book in the hands of a geeky looking, thin, short man in faded orange sweatshirt. ‘No time like the present’ said my head to my heart… I could already see my naughty avatar get warmed up to do something obnoxious.
My flight was boarding. A lot depended on who I would be seated with. I had the last seat in the airbus, and by the look of the crowd, air-bus was completely apt nomenclature for this flight. I decidedly put my i-pod away shook myself out of my usual expression and plastered a social disposition to my entire character. Bold, flirtatious Me was ready for her first bold, flirtatious move… should she find a worthy subject.
Last seats mean your style is cramped up and you have no space in the overhead bin for your stuff. It was, hence a given that I’d look around for an airhostess to help me out. Only, I was faced with a gorgeous air-host! He sort of just ‘appeared’ out of thin air with a professional, courteous smile… and me? Well, I was already in character. Here’s the low down on how different my reaction to everything was.
|The Scenario||What I would have usually done||What I ended up doing|
|A good looking guy magically appears to help you with your stuff||Smile politely and say thank you. Put earphones on and read a novel.||Grin from ear to ear on meeting my first subject. Made eye contact. Ask his name and thank him by name. Did I mention eye contact and grinning?|
|The guy moves about in the aisle||Not notice. Or Notice covertly. Ears and eyes busy with earphones and novel.||Overt noticing. Novel just a stop gap solution between the appearances of the magic boy. Eye contact and blushing. The blushing here was inadvertent though.|
|The guy gives you additional bottles of water and juice without you asking for it||Smile politely and say, “No, thank you” so as to discourage any potential issues later. Put earphones on and read a novel.||Laugh at the second glass of juice magically appearing. Enjoy the special attention. Say, “I’m sure I’m not entitled for this.” Get a wink in return. Realize that never has a guy winked at you and that you don’t particularly like the freedom this strange guy is enjoying with you.|
|During snack time||NA||Get another wink. Stay undecided whether you want to laugh at the boldness of the guy or rip his head off.|
|While disembarking||NA||Be told by the guy that you have a pretty smile. Laugh wholeheartedly because you just can’t believe a stranger has finally said something like that to you. That first is finally here. And realize in hindsight, that your friends were probably on to something.|
… but though my friends may be on to something, another thing came to my notice in sharp contrast. ‘Flirtatious, Bold Me’ will always just be a character… a mask I put on when I am bored and need entertainment. It isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and frankly it isn’t something that I could do frequently. I finally know that I can flirt… that if it came to down to dirty, I could make a few moves of my own… question just is- how frequently would I put the knowledge and art to practice. And if I don’t would I still be considered snooty and unworthy of attention.