Saturday, March 17, 2012
Rules of flirtation
To keep things uncomplicated, this post is about heterosexual man-to-woman flirting only.
In Honduras men ALWAYS flirt with ANY woman. Whether it is a serious attempt to get into her panties or a half-assed effort to get her attention, Man will hit on Woman, Always and Anywhere. It doesn’t matter how old or attractive the woman in question is, or whether she’s obviously already in the company of a male member of humankind. Man plus Woman equals: let’s give it a try.
I don’t know what kind of unwritten machismo rule states that this needs to be the case (I’ve even seen gay guys hitting on women, just for the heck of it), just that it can lead to very uncomfortable situations. For women, that is. In their defence, men in Honduras are not touchy-touchy, so usually a “No, gracias” is sufficient to keep men at bay.
What I don’t understand is why men flirt the way they do. I mean, I know the objective, but don’t they know there are better ways to get a woman into their bed? Do they really think we like to hear tsssschuh- tsssschuh- tsssschuh on the street, or being whistled at?
Do obese men think that leaning against a wall, one leg bent, T-shirt folded upward over the chest, one hand rubbing a fat belly while groping their balls with the other, IS A PRETTY SIGHT TO WOMEN?????
Do men really think it’s attractive when they noisily clear their throat of phlegm and then spit the slimy stuff out on the street right in front of you, before they address you with a sexy “Hi baby…”?
Isn’t the officer aware that when I go to the police station to report a robbery, I’m not quite in the mood for flirtation?
Why doesn’t the kid at the market understand I’m much more interested in him putting bananas in my bag, then the banana in his pants?
Why keep on hitting on me when I have just lied that I am married and have a ring to prove it? (Most alarming answer: “That’s okay… I can come by when your husband is at work!”)
Another thing that baffles me is that apparently flirting doesn’t have to be age appropriate. Me myself, I’m not that young anymore, but regularly get whistled at or commented upon by old guys, obviously, but also by young men that could be my kids, age-wise. My grandchildren, even, if we take in account the young age women here usually have their first child. I find that quite disconcerting, especially if it goes beyond flirting. Not once but twice in the last few years, love was declared to me by a fifteen-year old and that completely freaked me out. In both cases I did my very best to tell the guy off without hurting his feelings too much (it was a brave thing to confess after all, if not illegal!). “Oh, okay”, each one of them said and that was the end of it, for them. I guess they just had to try and to be rejected was no big deal. However, the whole thing left me deeply disturbed.
I also find it troubling to meet ex-students of mine in a bar who start to flirt with me. Ex students from when I was a kindergarten teacher!!! That was fifteen years ago, so those kids are about twenty know, at least legally adults, but since I’m also fifteen years older than I was then, I guess you can see why this is slightly upsetting. Especially if they come up to you with a seductive smile and call me “Miss”.
Yesterday I saw that old man again who once offered to visit me while my husband is at work. He’s been flirting with me forever (“to” would be a better preposition in this case than “with”), but you’ve got to give him credit: the guy is old (could be my great-grandfather!), toothless, unshaven and he stinks, but never gives up. But yesterday for once he actually didn’t flirt with me, but said:
“I see married life has been good to you!”
Puzzled, I asked him why.
“Because you look fat!”
I felt like killing him after all.