I can still remember when I first committed the sixth of Pope Gregory I’s seven deadly sins. I was in Mrs. Heath’s sixth grade class at Charlotte Elementary School in what is still a two red-light town. At this age I had began noticing the opposite sex, which prompted a new outlook about girls as something other than contagious. Midway through the school year Tammy Moneypenny transferred to Podunkville from somewhere up north, but to me she was sent special delivery from heaven. It was love at first sight and Farrah Faucet had now been replaced. As if only yesterday I can clearly remember my elation after discovering her desk would be across from my own.
Target acquired. Locked and loaded.
If my future plans included Tammy and I living together on jellybeans, chocolate milk, and puppy love she apparently had other plans. As I dreamed about her she was fantasizing over my good buddy Steve. With a determination never before witnessed in our parts, Tammy proceeded to win his heart while showing a total disregard for my feeble advances. Cold even by today’s chilly standards the Human League’s just released hit “Don’t you want me baby” was my love scorn theme song.
My envy ran forest green which led to the occasional pout and whine along with desires for Steve’s demise via Holstein cattle stampede. Eventually my covetousness subsided after they broke up on the playground and we moved into junior high the following year.
Jealousy can be an occupational hazard if one’s going to be in any type of romantic relationship. I’ve dated and been married enough to be on a first name basis with the green eyed monster. And while there are people who claim not to be jealous, they’re lying. That or they don’t care about the person in the first place. Ugly as it may be, jealousy is a basic human character trait in all of us with some controlling the beast better than others.
Before the Internet jealousy was primarily an in-person problem. She sees him making eyes with the blonde in the corner or she’s talking to the stud while flicking her hair like she’s swatting a fly. But with the likes of Facebook jealousy has taken on a whole new dynamic. And it seems, in the past few months, the Queen and I have heard story after story of this boyfriend, that girlfriend, husband or wife getting caught chatting it up with or commenting on the wrong thing with the wrong person.
The interesting thing about flirting is you know when it’s happening but it’s almost impossible to prove. All the person has to do is play stupid and say something like “I was jut being nice”. Not to mention the mere act of bringing it up and making a big deal about something so seemingly trivial makes you look like a psychopath control freak. I mean it’s JUST flirting, right?
Let’s look at a few examples. Let’s say I put a comment on a female friends FB page about her new profile picture using something like “OMG!!!”, “WOW!”, or “that dress gives me naughty thoughts!”. Now society would say I didn’t do anything wrong, I was simply being a good friend remarking on her appearance. Or what if the Queen and I go out for dinner and drinks and in the middle of my screwdriver I step away to the little boy’s room only to return and find her complimenting the eyes of the cute guy next to her and the way his Seven Diamonds shirt accentuates his pectorals. Has she REALLY done anything wrong? Crossed a line? Gone too far? And if either of us say anything aren’t we just being overly sensitive?
Here’s something I’ve come to learn about people – everything has become relative. That means we now rationalize our way into or out of almost every situation. Most argue that flirting is little more than being friendly. But if that’s the case why does most of it occur between opposite sexes and why don’t we flirt with ugly people? Like it or not, flirting is teasing with the only unknown being the objective. While one claims it’s all in harmless fun how can that person be sure the other feels the same? The thing about flirting is that our perceived interest opens a door to the other person allowing hope to step in. Maybe it’s the possibility she’ll have another drink, or he’ll ask for her phone number, or perhaps we’ll go home together. Regardless, when we flirt we crack the lid on a Pandora’s box of “what if?”
But the real question shouldn’t be what is or isn’t flirting and why should we care, instead it ought to be why is it necessary? If I’m in a committed relationship (if you’re single knock yourself out) what do I gain in writing about another woman’s appearance and where’s value in the Queen expressing her admiration for another man, other than forcing each of us to question the other’s commitment?
In my mind the most serious consequences from my actions are more than just rudeness or thoughtlessness, it’s that I’ve exhibited a complete disregard for the Queen and her feelings plus I’ve shamefully dishonored our relationship and have given her an ever so small reason to doubt the security she has in us. Not only will she likely be embarrassed she’ll understandably begin to question my motives, which left unchecked, will result in a total lack of trust. You tell me, is ‘just being nice’ worth that?
I’ll let someone else flirt with strangers, as for me, I’ll be flirting with the Queen.