How many times have you been there…
You’re with a group of friends. You’re out for dinner. Wine (WINE) is flowing, and there are good vibes all round. You’re all laughing and talking and bitching about The Bachelor and how “If I were a contestant I’d totally win that shit – I’ve figured out the perfect strategy”. (RIGHT?).
Then there’s Barry. We all know a Barry. Barry sits at the corner of the table, feigning interest in conversation as it bounces back and forth. Barry puts on his best Blue Steel face… and waits. Have you seen those animal documentaries where the cheetah lies quietly in the grass, ears up, on the lookout for a wildebeest? That’s Barry. #weallknowabarry
The waitress brings the next round of drinks. Barry's eyes narrow.
"Hey love, how you going..."
"Um I'm good. Anyway thanks guys here are your drinks."
"What time do you finish tonight babe (#vom). You should come grab a drink with me."
No Barry. Noooopety nope nope. It's a no from me. Actually it's a collective no from the entire female population.
Flirting is great. It really is. When you dig deep enough, it's the founding bedrock of every marriage, every relationship, and certainly of every one night stand. It's fun and cheeky and gives you that tight-chested-adrenaline-fuelled-tummy-churning feeling that's just the best. But that's flirting. Flirting is consensual. Being hit on is not.
Being hit on is a bit different. It's a snap one-sided judgement that isn't necessarily reciprocated. It's a cheesy and uncomfortable throw away that makes you feel awkward, and to which there is no way to respond.
But hey. It's okay. Because it's harmless right? You can laugh your awkward laugh, politely decline the offer of intercourse, and remove yourself from the situation. Sure, it's slightly less flattering (and far more uncomfortable) than flirting. But even being hit on is okay... if you have an exit.
What's not okay is when you're trapped. When you have no choice but to sit there and endure Barry, and all the verbal flirt he has to throw your way. When you can't walk away.
To the men of the world...repeat after me: