A Flirtatious Cautionary Tale

I end up alone at a party where I don't know a soul and crack a few jokes ... that go over like so many lead balloons. Note to self: Menopause is just not that funny.

My dear readers:

Let me dispense with one quick bit of business. An older post, "Why Women Over 30 Are Sexy" was picked up by MSN today ...which led to a shocking flurry of emails from women who want the number for my friend in Chicago, Johnny Gilbane, whom I quote in the piece! Johnny IS a catch. But I'm not sure he's going to be up for me pimping him out. Let me check into and get back to you. And now ... onward!


I attempted to flirt this holiday weekend. I really tried. I was invited up to Martha Vineyard, to a friend's house, but because I had too much work to do--three stories due June 1!--I decided it'd be better to stick around sticky New York. Because you know how humidity helps the mental wheels turn.

So it was that on Saturday night, I went out to a BBQ in West Chelsea. I'd been invited by a friend; let's call her Monique. But because I'd worked so late into the day--which is what one absolutely has to do after rising at the crack of noon--I didn't get to the BBQ till eleven ... at which point Monique was leaving. I was tempted to skate right back out the door with her, given that I was tired and didn't know a single soul in the group gathered on the dimly-lit building rooftop. Then I felt a sharp sting across my face and when I looked up, I saw a whip-cracking angel on my shoulder. Think of your readers! she implored me. Think of your love-life! Get that sorry butt flirting!

So I stayed. And I latched on to the host, who seemed nice enough, and introduced me to everyone in the small group of people he was talking to. I did not have a crush on said host*. But I, of course, wanted him to have a crush on me. (Is everyone like this? Or am I the only narcissist?)

A crush did not seem forthcoming, however. And perhaps because I was disappointed by that, or perhaps because I just felt awkward being there alone, or perhaps because I was a little punchy, I made a couple of risque wise-cracks.

Here's how the jokes went down. First, some single father in the circle who had been checking his Blackberry announced gleefully, "The sitter just told me I should stay out all night if I want to! Woo hoo!"

To which I responded: "That's probably because she snorted a few lines from that dime bag of coke she brought with her and she's never going to get to sleep now."

Which elicited a few (very nervous) laughs.

Then the father informed me, "She's not some young party animal. She's an older lady who lives across the street from me, in Cobble Hill."

To which I responded: "Oh. Older. So she's menopausal. And she's gonna be up all night anyway, with insomnia and hot flashes. Right?"

At that point, I could almost feel the invisible doors shutting on me. Bang! Closed!

And so, my friends, this is a cautionary tale: If you want someone to have a crush on you, if you want to make friends and flirt successfully at a a party, maybe making weird jokes about babysitters who do recreational drugs, or are going through the cessation of their menses is not the best way to do it?


I also went out on Sunday night in Williamsburg with my wonderful actor friend (whose star is rising!) and we tried to put some of the advice I got from Jena Pincott into play. But I'll report on that later. This post has gone on so long, I should sign off!


*He was a bit short for me.