July 30, 2002


Flirting's one of those odd things that, for the longest time and for a variety of reasons, I never quite got the hang of. Heck, for the longest time I didn't even notice. (Assuming, of course, that there was at least some flirting going on around me. I can be phenomenally dense, but I'm not generally a social leper)

This all comes up because of OSCON/TPC 6.

At this point, I can manage women who flirt. Either they're people I don't know, and thus get gently dissuaded, or they're friends of one sort or another (including the sort I've just met. That's one of the nice things about cons and such--you meet really cool people all the time) and it's just friendly, and it's safe to play with it since there's no way it's going anywhere. And, it turns out, it's fun to flirt when it's safe. I don't do it much, since it's not really my style--I've been old for ages and prefer trading cynical remarks and double entendres around--but it can be fun. Either way, and since going anywhere's just not an option, it's safe and can be fun.

Guys, though, are a different matter.

First, there's the issue of whether there's flirting going on in the first place. My Obliviousness Field tends to kick in really hard here, and generally guys don't flirt with other guys, as that's a bit of a dicey thing. Certainly not a problem at something like OSCON (We're all reasonably cool adults, and certainly capable of saying "No thanks" without a problem if the issue arises) but still not particularly common. And I just don't expect people to flirt with me anyway. All that makes me really likely to completely miss it if someone is.

Then there's the "Are they serious?" question. Which is a good one to ask, as the answer's more important. Are they? Aren't they? If they're serious it definitely falls well out of the "safe" category.

Anyway, I think (but I'm not sure) that at least one guy was flirting at the conference. Maybe not--probably not--but maybe so. It was a bit of a dilemma, as it hit me that we were flirting (maybe) after we were in the middle of things. There was that momentary shock of realization there, then a quick "fuck it" as I decided to leave caution on the winds to which I'd thrown it days earlier. I wasn't going anywhere with anything, so there wasn't a reason to not keep going. (Odd though that might seem)

And... it was fun. Different, but fun. Still, I wonder if I was right or way off-base. Be interesting to know.

Posted by Dan at July 30, 2002 01:03 AM