Register Friday | March 23 | 2018

Flirting or Friendly?

How to tell the difference

Some men seem to interpret any friendliness with a female as flirting. In the interest of clarity, here are a few guidelines to help distinguish between the two.

1 If I frequently place my hand on your arm while we’re talking, I’m just being friendly. If I lick the side of your face when you lean across me to pick up your drink, I’m flirting with you.

2 If you’re the cute kid at the grocery store who makes fun of my groceries every Friday, I’m just being friendly. You’re twenty, for crying out loud! TWENTY! Yes, you do seem much older, I’ll give you that, but that’s really beside the point, no?

3 If your name is on the following list, I’m flirting with you:

• Benicio;

• Uma;

• Johnny;

• Philip Seymour Hoffman.

4 If you’re any one of my ex-boyfriends, I’m just being friendly. If your name is Ryan Marzetti, and, at one of Steve Carr’s parties our senior year, you led me from the barn into the house, and we danced to “Every Breath You Take” in the kitchen and then made out in someone’s bed upstairs before you passed out, and then, Monday at school, you pretended nothing ever happened, and you never called me or asked me to the prom or anything, I’m flirting with you, but only enough to make you realize that, if you hadn’t fucked it up, you could be with me now instead of Cindy Hoffman, who, I can’t help but notice, has turned into quite a cow. I bet she’s not doing any splits for you these days, huh, Ryan?

5 If you ask me what I’d like to drink and I reply, “Diet Pepsi,” I’m just being friendly. If I say, “I’d love some tequila, but every time I drink it, I end up doing something craaazy!” then lower my chin, look up at you through the wisps of hair that have fallen in my face and purr in the best Lauren Bacall voice I can muster, “What the hell. Give me the tequila,” I’m flirting with you.

6 If you stop by to fix my computer and I’m wearing my oldest flannel jammies and drinking hot tea while listening to NPR, I’m just being friendly. If I answer the door in my boxers and a tank top, with a glass of wine in my hand and Jay-Z blaring from the speakers, I’m flirting with you. Bounce with me.

7 Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, if my boyfriend’s standing next to me, I’m just being friendly. If he’s in the next room, getting yet another beer and talking to that skank Jenna AGAIN, I’m flirting with you. Put your arm around me. Tighter. No really, tighter.