I just got flirted at.
When I say flirted “at,” I mean that it is different than being flirted “with.” You see, with “with,” it implies both people are actively engaged in the flirtation (like in a Cary Grant or Hugh Grant movie. Ulysses S. Grant… Not so much.) With “at,” it means only one person is doing the flirting. The other one might as well be a wall.
Hello, my name is Sheetrock.
At the commissary (i.e. lunch room) at the Disney Studios the other day, I arrived just before the mid-day crush. Instead of taking the more appropriate “loser who eats with no friends” 2-person table, I rather insensitively sit at a “Yay! My Co-Workers Actually Like Me!” 4-person table. The Happiest Lunch Room on Earth…. Whatever.
The place fills up quickly.
Just as I begin to dig into my savory Philly Cheese Steak sub, a lovely young woman approaches.
She: Would you mind if I sat here. All the other tables are full.
Me: No. Please, go right ahead.
I look around to see that most, but not all, of the tables are taken. I pay no never mind.
We begin a very polite conversation (it is Disney, after all. I’m expected, but not necessarily “required” to do so.) She tells me her name is Judy, and she is graduating with a degree in merchandising (or something like that) from some college in the mid-west. She’s visiting with her Disney-employed aunt for Spring Break here in Burbank.
I smile. I pepper her with a couple of questions and am generally (and genuinely) interested in our discussion, but I really need to get through my Philly Cheese so I can get back to the office.
Then she asks with a smile, as she pushes her elbows forward on the table:
“So what do you do here at the ‘world famous’ Walt Disney Studio lot?”
Word to the wise… Please don’t ever ask me about what I do. Because, I’ll start talking, and I have no clue as to when to shut the hell up. And, the more interested you appear to be, the more I’ll ramble and ramble. That’s just the Performer in me. (In the end, though, I will not have enlightened you one little bit.)
Judy, with her green eyes and knee-high boots and dangly ear rings seemed completely enthralled. In fact, she seemed overly interested. Especially for a non-musician.
I waxed philosophical on the meaning of Music, and the importance of the Arts in our everyday lives and in our schools. She was just drinking it up, laughing a girlie laugh at all of my (many) punchlines.
The more I talked, the more intense her eyes got.
I thought: Damn, I know what I’m talking about! And, I have an audience!
Suddenly, I realize that I have finished off the Philly, chomped on my last fry, and chugged the rest of my Diet Coke.
I said, “Well, it has been great talking to you. But, I have to get back.”
She said, “Oh, thank you. It was great. Totally my pleasure.”
I stood up. She stood up. We shook hands. Then…She squeezed my shoulder and patted and rubbed my back.
That’s a bit out of the norm for first-time meeters. Even in Hollywood.
On the walk back to the office, I passed the Seven Dwarfs (yes, there is a building with Snow White’s buddies forming the columns that support the roof.)
And I pondered: That seemed unusual. Hmmm…..
Holy crap! She was flirting with me! That’s why she kept stroking her hair.
Now, for most of my professional life, I have worked very closely with women. (Mostly because I am also undervalued and underpaid.) Many of my best friends are my wife’s women friends. And, even going back to high school: I always seemed to do better with my dates’ mothers than I did with the girls I was going out with. (But, not in some sort of icky ‘Cougar Town’ way. Ewww.)
While I have enjoyed the witty banter, double entendres and occasional wickedly inappropriately comments with the women I have come in contact with over the years, the Truth is: I have been off the market since 1987. So, the idea of actually flirting with a complete stranger is pretty low on my radar.
So, to all the Judys in the world. I had a wonderful lunch with you. Now, move along.