There's a new love in my life.
I've admired him from afar for years.
He's large, well built and washes all my clothes. Here's a picture of him and his brother.
Aren't they beautiful? If I could just get them to fold and put away the clothes, they'd be the perfect pair.
But that's not really the point of my post.
A week or so ago Hubby, the kids and I went shopping for these guys, as the old ones were on their last leg. Hubby had been shopping for months, actually, but he wanted to take me along to see what I liked. So we headed to a large home improvement chain to look at the choices. Our helpful sales associate that day was Joe, (we'll call him Joe, because I really don't remember his name, and it's not at all important to the story) who was average in height and skinny as a rail. In fact, the term "squirrely" comes to mind. Joe was a nice enough guy. He made eye contact, cracked the occasional joke and was all to eager to show us his vast knowledge of washing machines. He directed several questions at me, since I am the "little lady" who would, he assumed, be doing the majority of the laundry. I answered a few and redirected some of them to Hubby who will be doing his fair share of laundry once I return to school next week. I was nice. I was friendly. I even cracked a few jokes of my own. We made our selections, arranged for delivery and went home to happily await the new arrivals.
The next morning Hubby said in passing, "You were flirting with that guy."
"What guy?" I asked.
"The guy who sold us the washing machine."
At first, I thought he was just giving me a hard time. That's kinda his way. "Oh, yeah," I retorted. "He was hot."
Sensing my sarcasm, Hubby tried to drive his point home. "You were."
"You can't be serious." Joe was certainly not the kind of guy I would call "flirtable". His butt was smaller than mine. That's a biggie (no pun intended). Not that I was looking at his butt, but judging from his very thin frame, I'm making an assumption.
"It's okay," he replied. "I'm not mad, I'm just saying..."
"I was NOT flirting. How was I flirting?"
"I don't know. You just were."
This conversation went back and forth, though Hubby could never give me any sort of concrete example of exactly what it was I did that he considered flirting.
A couple of days later, I was at the bookstore with a friend. She was reading a how-to book and I was flipping through a photography book. A couple of chairs away sat a young man doing the same thing. A Joan Baez-ish female was singing along with her acoustic guitar over the speakers:
I snickered and looked up at my friend. "I thought she was going to say 'pants on fire'." We got a good chuckle from that one, as did the young man next to us. I looked over at him and said, "Didn't you?"
From there he proceeded to play off my joke and we laughed and talked for a bit, just seeing how far we could stretch that funny line. Pretty soon we returned to our books, the bookstore announced they were closing and my friend and I left.
Once in the car she said, "I think that guy was flirting with you."
Feeling a bit defensive from my husband's observations earlier that week, I said, "I WASN'T FLIRTING! I WAS JUST BEING FRIENDLY!"
"I'm not saying you were flirting. I'm saying, he was flirting with you."
Do I know the difference?
Truth is, I like being center of attention. I'm just being honest. Perhaps it comes from being the baby of four children and always feeling like I had to fight for it. I don't know. But I do try to temper it. Perhaps there is a really deep-seeded need in me to be noticed. As much as I hate to say that.
Another thing, I just like people. I like watching them. I like meeting new ones. I like talking to them. I find people fascinating. I see an opportunity to talk to someone and I will more than likely take it. But I'm not singling out men. I do the same with the stressed out mom in Wal-Mart or the receptionist at the pediatrician's office. I seek connections.
What's the verdict? When is friendly really flirting?