The Asshole flirted with any woman who spoke to him. He did it in a lecherous way. He didn’t intend for it to be lecherous, but it was. Some women did not react well to his flirting. He tried, on multiple occasions, to tell me it was just his personality to “talk” to everyone. He was right about that. He is/was a salesman, first and foremost. He talked to everyone. People either loved him or hated him, there was no gray area.
I tried on numerous occasions to explain to him, after a woman would react badly to something he let come out of his mouth, that she thought he was flirting with her and crude, sophomoric comments obviously didn’t sit well with her. He never got that, because nothing ever changed. I quit trying to school him after a while because I just didn’t care that much. Instead I would just enjoy watching him offend women on a regular basis, thereby building up my “you’re such an asshole” talk that seemed to go on in my head for pretty much the whole last 3 to 5 years of our marriage.
While I could, and did, watch him flirt on a daily basis, I was not allowed to flirt. There were multiple double standards in my marriage, this was a very small one. I was not allowed to do anything that pissed him off. If I spoke to another man, I was flirting, even though when he spoke to another woman, he was just talking. My flirting pissed him off.
This created a fear of talking to men — even outside of my husband’s presence. Lord help me if I slipped later and said “John, at the grocery store, told me the spinach was going to be on sale next week.” What the hell was I doing talking to John in the first place? What else did he say, that I wasn’t telling. What were we planning?! I had those conversations. Really. So I quit talking to men.
I met B through work. He was a client, in a round about way. What’s significant is that my first conversation with B was 3 days after I told my husband I wanted a divorce. That’s significant because had it been 3 days before the divorce talk there would have been no chit-chat with B. No laughing, no pleasantries, nothing — just the information necessary to do my job. And when he came into my office the next day I would have barely made eye contact with him. My vibe would have been clear. Don’t talk to me. I could not have risked coming home and, in the course of reporting the entirety of my day, saying something about a conversation with an unknown man.
Since I no longer had to report anything to my husband I was free to chat at will, with whoever I wanted to chat with about whatever I chose. B walked right into that. Thankfully.
B flirted with me from day 1. Although I can’t say I recognized it right away. As a matter of fact, when he called me at work about a month after our initial conversation/meeting and in the course of the conversation said “Can I call you later?” I didn’t get what he meant. My response was “yea, sure. I’m here til 5.” “No,” he said patiently, “I meant after work.” Silly girl.
Over the the next 2+ years I learned two things. How to talk to men without fear of repercussions, and how to flirt. I found it incredibly enjoyable to flirt shamelessly with the man I was in love with. Who knew that could be so rewarding? Certainly not me. While the Asshole flirted with every other woman on the planet, he did not flirt with his wife.
Flirting with a man who made my heart skip when he looked at me was priceless. Catching him off guard with a sexually suggestive comment in the midst of a conversation about anything (dirt, bills, popcorn, music . . . anything) and making him blush was what I lived for. And I never used crude, sophomoric comments to make my point. We had a banter between us that made the simplest conversation private, even in a group of people. I miss that. One of many things I miss about B.
He returned my text tonight, by the way. That’s why I’m up at this ridiculous hour. His response was simple. “Thanks for the information.” No teasing, no banter, no flirting.
While I’m not sure I’ll ever get married again, I am quite sure any man I become involved with on a deep level will have to be adept at flirting with me.
I like to flirt. No, scratch that. I love to flirt.