Thursday, August 04, 2005

On being wooed and the joys of flirtation

Being wooed, like wooing, is an art that must be learned, practiced, celebrated.

And, speaking as a woman, I believe it might be even more difficult a task than that of courting itself. It requires patience, discretion, strength and an absolutely unshakable faith in one’s own glory.

One caveat – I’m speaking of men and women, but, as I noted in a Comment, the paths I envisage are less gender related than they are role related. Same sex lovers will choose the path that suits them, and I know they do. But as for ladies and gentlemen, I truly believe that there are reasons for these paths and that we ignore them at our own peril. Or misery.

Now, why would a lady wish to be courted, to be pursued? Because this is the process by which her lover learns her. Learns her mind, her heart, her soul, her body. Her name. And this is how he proves that he’s worthy of her love, by taking the time and the terrible risks to do all of this. Suitor tasks.

And what would happen if the lady didn’t understand this and attempted the wooing herself, sigh? Most of us have, at one time or fifty others, done just that, and I think we know the consequences. We have attempted to “prove” our own worthiness and impress the boy with our credentials [note to Miguel: exactly], show him how much we understand him, how good we are at knowing him, caring for him, adoring him.

There were long years when I was convinced that other girls knew something, from their infancy, that I did not. Not that I was ever at a loss for lovers, but something was wrong. No matter how hard I tried, I felt negligible, unknown, not, somehow, valued properly.

And what boy in his right mind wouldn’t smile and adore being adored and cared for? What could be better, or easier, than sitting back and just being loved, without ever having to go to the trouble of learning – and wooing – the woman in question?

The consequence, of course, is that then the gentleman most probably will never go to that particular trouble, and the woman will end up wondering why.

Why, for example, she feels unknown, unloved, alone. Perhaps they both write, and he sends her chapters of his novel, but he’s never bothered to read one of her words. Perhaps they have both done astonishing things, but only his history matters.

Perhaps they sit through an entire meal never exchanging a glance, let alone a sentence.

And how could he even understand that there might be a problem? After all, he never had to slay a dragon or spend hours in a dusty bookshop thinking only of her, learning her, learning how to love the woman he loved.

All he ever had to do was show up, and there she was…courting him.

I have been a middle sister to two brothers, the mother of a son, raised another woman’s male child. I do, in fact, adore boys, beyond all measure. And, as anachronistic as it might sound, I love caring for them, playing with them, delighting them, reveling in their company.

But it took me a lifetime to learn to be wooed.

So what is a girl to do? Everything.

She goes out into the world and fights astonishing battles. She studies, learns, reads, dances, sings, paints, fixes cars or computers or countries. She jumps rope, plays chess, collects stamps, organizes unions, paints her toenails. Anything. And everything. Glorying in her own wondrous self.

So when the proper - or improper, or both, we hope - suitor comes along, he’s going to have one hell of a lot of work to do. And, until he does, we have one hell of a life.

But, also, in the meantime, she should be flirting like mad. Endlessly.

Flirting is NOT courting. It’s playing, dancing, giggling, batting eyelashes, the grown up version of hide and seek or dress-up games. I have been accused of flirting with anything that moves, and I do. I flirt with babies and the postman, with the old lady at the bakery and the tech support guy in India, with dogs and cats and that very cute boy who lives upstairs.

But it is not pursuit.

And, once upon a time, just a few years ago, when I was living in Savannah, I had a reverse Cinderella ball [note to spark: yes!]. All my girlfriends, ranging in age from 16 to many decades past that, were to invite a boy – one whom they didn’t really know, or to whom they hadn’t been formally introduced. The subtext was, of course, to improve the pool of fanciable gentlemen in our midst. And also, I might add, to teach them how to flirt.

Invitations were etched so they could be handed to the gentlemen with the caveat that this was not a date, merely an invitation. Nooks and crannies were arranged in the house and in the garden. Flowers were scooped out of dumpsters behind florist shops on Friday evening [if you are unaware of this mother lode, here it is – many shops dispose of much treasure prior to closing for the weekend]. All guests were informed that flirting was mandatory.

The wine flowed, there was much more dancing than I might have expected, more giggling and silliness, and, given the boys in question, more civility than I had dreamt possible. Case in point, the constabulary didn’t even arrive until 4:30 in the morning.

Because flirting can be so very much more than celebrating the glories and wonders of everything that moves. It’s also the first dance step, indicating interest, hinting at availability, whispering possibilities. And unbelievable fun.


Spark said...

I love reading your thoughts.

Today by chance while attending to duties I wandered past a magical Venetian mask shop. Wow.

Have some thoughts of my own to share re wooing and flirting but have no time right now - off to campaign, make a flag etc at the Big Green Gathering.. what a joy

And then Sunday in the Square at Westmonster..!

Back for more next week.
In the meantime, a quick blessing to you all:

May a Jackfruit never fall on you head

[If you have ever seen one - say on a tree in South India, you will know why this is important - they are extremely enormous, heavily spiky and they hang way, way up high. They are both deadly and delicious]

And, in response to some recent comments, I have to say that I think George Galloway, for all his polished word smithery, is not much more than a bit of an opportunistic plonker - but I am nevertheless glad - as glad as a g(l)adfly - that he exists.

Could say the same about The Sun Newspaper, Zawahiri, Bin Laden etc I suppose. If it wasn't all so deadly, that is.

Unfortunately all now subsumed in the violence and evil rhetoric of their own struggle - from where I am standing it looks more and more like the beginnings of a race war

But this cannot be allowed to happen. Not here, not now. Surely the point is to get beyond our "own" struggle and get in touch with THE struggle - beyond race, nationality, religion, caste or creed.

We need to do a kind of judo throw on the system - look it in the eye, use its own strength against it, turn it upside down and lay it's poor deluded head gently down on the floor, face up, all the time with our eyes soft and open, with only love and peace in our hearts.

Make it work for the good of all, and not just the few. A new global tax and currency - dinars? - as with the Medicis only this time without their corruptedness - a global renaissance of art, religion, and, yes damn it, LOVE

we must embody the Midde Way and so answer the reactionary Al Qaeda AND the reactionary West at the same time - with our postmodern synthesis - the pursuit of an ideological and unprecedentedly practical velvet revolution!

The Middle Way [one of the many true meanings of the cross] that builds a bridge between all (seeming) opposites, between The West and Islam, between self and world, between self and God

and between Capitalist Democracy and a deeper, spiritual version -

Democratic Communism!

After 911 [Islam= I-Slam!] I had a dream, and it went a bit like this:

Bush, Blair, Osama Bin Laden, I saw you naked in my garden

So, si companeros and companeras, I say unto you: Please dear One God of All*, Now and Forever,

Help us to do Your Work

Love, Sparkles and (I hope and trust) a really good pint of Guinness coming my way in the not too distant future)

All Ah


TripleJ said...

Come to think of it, I think Usama Bin Laden has never taken the time to woo. Maybe that's why he is so screwed up :^)

And come to think about it even further, I doubt Bush has ever done it either. To begin with, he hasn't the brains for it. I doubt I've ever seen a dumber person in my life.

I have to admit that each time I think about suicide bombers, a cartoon picture immediately pops into my mind:

It's the suicide bombers' school somewhere in Afghanistan and the instructor, his body entirely covered with sticks of gelignite, is facing his students and addressing them sternly: "Watch carefully! I'll only demonstrate this once!!!"

Which goes to prove I can laugh at anything :^)

Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death". He was probably right, and I for one refuses to relinquish my freedom for the sake of increased safety on public transport. I'd rather risk the bad luck of sitting next to a suicide bomber on a train than to end up living in a police state.

To put things into perspective, i wonder how many people died in car accidents in England last year. 2000? 3000? Cars are far more dangerous than terrorists' bombs. Why aren't they banned?

miguel said...

Perhaps that's why they made car bombs - to combine the best of both.
Kind of makes me think of that Bill Hicks gag:
"Look out, there goes one of them Buick SCUDs!
"Look out!"
".... whoop, in the ocean. You know, those things are so goddamn hard to steer!"

fauxtapatio said...

irl: point taken.


Comrada B said...

I love this place (grins devilishly)...AAAhhh, The Art of wooing, flirtation and romance and the wonderful mysterious winding path it makes (here) the LACK of wooing and flirtation and romance our Pretzel-dent (among notable others) have obviously missed out on completely...
maybe thats why he keeps crashing his bike...he's thinking about wooing...but, alas, the only wooing G.W. is for the Globalists and thats not very romantic!
When friends come over to visit they love tryoing on the various masks I started up making (the mask making started over the wooing of a Moroccan, now in French exile, and old and dear friend but I'll save that mystery for a more intimate place and time.) Maybe they like how the masks take them back to a more romantic time...maybe if only for a moment, they make them feel mysterious. They, (the masks) invariably invoke laughter and mysteriously and deliciously dispose of inhibitions.

Now, for more serious matters...

The chances of a car crash v. a terrorist attack ARE much more likely...I would know, my 16 yr. old daughter was killed in one 3 years ago.

The chances are even GREATER that an ATM macchine WILL FALL OUT OF THE SKY ON MY HEAD (yes folks, real stats) than a suicide bomber next to me on the morning commute.

More of the Art of wooing, flirtation and romance... (and in this womans mind, wooing is a CHERISHED gift) yes, would make the World a gentler place. All this conjures up certain images in my mind...things that flirting with the opposite sex 'produce'(or same sex, as I wouldn't want to exclude "otherly's").....namely, phalic images...It's much too sad and dangerous (sigh) that G.W. has confused his _ _ _ _ with state-of-the-art war weaponry (bigger sigh)Even if the pretzel HAD done irreversible damage, one of his 'ilk' would have stepped up to the plate (sigh)"EH, BATTY-BATTY...."

A much nicer image (than G.W.'s confused _ _ _ _(sigh)... Is one that comes to mind from (in recent weeks)of my numerous trips to Mexico. While walking on a street (city undisclosed)I pass on the sidewalk an old man with more lines on his face than a map, cynical eye's darting, hunched over by many years of an unjust Mexican system. We both pause to take each other in. He's looking at my chest(?) while I am STILL trying to catch his gaze...and as QUICKLY, I imagine (as the faces of the suicide bomber school student body CHANGED at the stern words of their instructor,) the old man' posture becomes straight as a board, eye's widened with pride, brovado even....and with a sweeping gesture, one hand reaches down (towards his belt) as he unbuckles the sheathe of what appears to be an "invisable" machete/sword, the other hand swoops in as quickly to grab it and he stands, machete/sword raised like a revolution ready compensino!
I was certain he was about to make an 'obscene' gesture...(as he reached for his belt) and tried to avert my gaze, lest he embarrass himself in front of a lady. He continues on into the sea of human traffic, reviltalized, more confident, back straight darting in and out of the crowd till he disappears.
I am still bewildered by the sudden change in the old man and am almost walking backwards to look for him still, when I am reminded by the broken up, worn out, in ill-repair sidewalks of this city and I remember to look downward, lest I fall flat on my gaze downward, suddenly I remembered I had worn my Che t-shirt that day...

Smiles, Hug's & Happiest of mask wearing parties....May they be deliciously donned out of romance and flirtation and not just for comouflage.....

Comrada B

Anonymous said...

i have enjoyed very much being wooed. my two serious girlfriends whom i would call 'lovers' both wooed me, and as is natural i adored them in return and found their hearts and minds and, yes, cherished and sought them.

they both filled my life. no other girl has done that.

Anonymous said...

excuse me, they were not girlfriends of mine at the same time.


for serious, there is drastic need for an International Workers union, in response to multinational corporations. it is one step, and will spread information faster than brush fire.

Spark said...

I like this idea of a Workers Union

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Anonymous said...

very true!!!!!!