You might think I am kidding.
But I am dead serious.
I do not know how to flirt.
Some of my friends give me flirty pointers.
“A lot of men like long hair,” one friend said. ‘Just flip your hair.”
“My hair is plastered with hair spray,” I whined. “It moves as one unit, which is kind of creepy. The last time you told me to toss my hair I pulled a neck muscle.”
“Just bat your eyelashes,” she said.
“For some reason I have shed mine. I have four lashes on each eye. It must be an over-50 surprise.”
“My advice is to show some cleavage,” another know-it-all said.
“That is gross,” I snapped. “I wouldn’t flash the girls even if I still had them. But I don’t. Breast cancer took them.”
She looked mortified but she didn’t know me well. She didn’t know that I am boobless.
Unfortunately, my flirting failures mix with my trust issues and turn into semi-friendly interrogation.
For example, I recently met a nice guy for a drink. But suddenly I found myself conducting an alcohol assessment.
“How often do you drink? Have you ever blacked out? Do you drink alone? Have you been arrested for drinking? What is your drug abuse history?”
Then I throw in some character evaluation.
“Have you ever cheated? How about domestic violence? Do you have a healthy relationship with your children? If your ex was here, how would she describe you?”
Since I’m already knee-deep in every wrong decision involved with getting to know someone, I just go ahead and stomp on any little spark of potential romance.
“What is your political affiliation?”
In general I don’t care who votes for who.
But if I am thinking about dating someone, that means I will hear his political opinions. And that means that our political parties must match or I will quickly hate that man’s guts as much as he will hate mine.
If a miracle has occurred and the guy happens to still be in my presence, I move on to some relationship questions. Of course I need to know if he is a Neanderthal.
Should men do their equal share of housekeeping? Can you work a washer and dryer? If I am in your presence, would you refrain from watching ultimate cage fighting?
Just when the potential boyfriend looks like he might be sneakily intoxicated, I pop the more important question of all.
“Can you cook?”
If the guy nods and turns the tables on me with a question of his own, my neck and face will catch fire with embarrassment.
“Sherri, if I asked your ex about your cooking skills, what would he say?”
“He might bring up when I poisoned him,” I would say it in a low voice with no eye contact.
“Poisoned?” the man’s eyebrows would wiggle and then freeze in a high arch. “You poisoned your ex?”
“Well yes,” I will be forced to answer truthfully. “It was accidental. Well in a way it was an accident.”
Chances are high that my new love interest would abruptly jump out of his chair. “I think we’re finished here.”
If he is extra cute, I might throw out a, “Wait! Don’t be so afraid.”
But if the guy has any sense at all, he will shake his head and walk toward the door.
If I can keep from cracking up with laughter, I will shout after him, “I wasn’t done flirting!”
Sherri Coner is an award-winning journalist and humor writer who speaks to women’s groups. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com.