I had this window open, and was actually planning on a totally different topic, when I took a glance at Facebook and saw this picture:
Now I find this idea so interesting because as a man, the minute you talk to a woman, you’re obviously flirting. Now, allow me to admit, I am a naturally flirtatious person. Not in the “ooh baby, I wanna get in your pants” way though. At least that’s not my thinking when I interact with women…well, all women.
When it came to women, my father was a true gentleman in his interactions. I can’t recall a time when I introduced my father to a female friend of mine in which he didn’t say “Aren’t you the pretties thing.” I recall sometimes thinking to myself
Which one is really the prettiest? They really can’t all be.”
but that’s just how he was. He always greeted women with a smile and a soft voice. I remember working with my dad (he ran his own moving business) and in his interactions particularly with female clients, I’d sometime think
He’s flirting. The old man must be trying to get a fat tip!
but as I got older, we’d sometimes talk about women, marriage, love, sex…and he definitely left upon me the idea that generally speaking…you should treat women differently than men.
You should be nice to them. Sweet. Ultimately, you should charm them. Why? I’m not sure, but if you ever met my dad, it didn’t take long to see that he was a charmer. A smile, a compliment…that’s all it took. Women would be blushing, smiling, flirting back.
But to him…it wasn’t flirting. I mean, it didn’t matter if the female was 12, or 92…it was the same. He wasn’t flirting. He was being polite. One thing I can say about my dad is that in day to day interactions, he left you feeling better…sometimes about yourself, sometimes about him, and sometimes about life in general. He had a charm and life that exuded from him, and emanated in the politeness in which he interacted with people.
Now, I don’t kid myself in believing I have my father’s charm. I do however have a different outlook on women, and life in general that he impressed upon me. Some of my female friends and acquaintances will often comment on the fact that I call most women “madam.” Some of them don’t like it…but once upon a time, that was the customary label in which we addressed women. Miss, madam, mademoiselle…it’s polite. Dare I say even a little old fashioned…but that’s part of what I like about it.
It’s a wee bit better than:
- Thot (My students use this one pretty liberally. A Definition Of Thot: Is Worse Than Being A Hoe. Its Not A Strag Or A Slut, Just The Next Level Of Hoeing, Thats All.)
- A Strag?
- woman (as in “Hey woman, what’s your name?)
- chicken head
- pink toe
Please feel free to add any I missed ( I know that’s a lot) in the comments.
But I like the old fashioned way of socially interacting with women. Offering your arm, practicing traditional etiquette
- Men walk street side
- Men open and hold doors
- Women go first through said doors, with the exception of revolving doors, men go first to push
- Men go second up stairs in the event the woman should loose her footing
- and inversely, men go first down stairs.
- Offer your arm for the woman to hold.
I don’t really think of those things as flirting..they’re polite etiquette. As well as smiling, etc. It’s just…pleasant.
Now case in point. I was riding the bus the other night. I was sitting next to a woman. We both got off the bus at the same stop, and began waiting for the same bus. At that point we incidentally ended up sitting directly across from each other.
So, after a few moments, and occasionally catching each others glance, I said
How was your day?
to which she replied
Fine and yours?
and we started on a conversation that went for a few stops.
Now many would interpret this as flirting.
Why would you talk to her if you’re not flirting?
Because it just seems odd to me to be near someone in close proximity for an extended period of time, and not talk. Just strikes me as hella rude. I’m a firm believer that public transportation is a social experiment gone awry. For the money we spend on it, we could subsidize everyone having their own personal conveyance I’m pretty sure.
But to make a long story short
Ladies: Not every man who talks to you is flirting with you. In some cases, I’m absolutely appalled that some women actually think I’m flirting with them.
No ma’am, you are a hot mess of Jersey Shore goodness, but I do believe in being polite. Excuse me!
Tomorrow is MLK Day…let’s all try to make politeness a little less rarer.