As a cheerful, born flirt, my rationale is: "Why not leave people feeling a bit bucked up and perky?" I can flirt with anybody: men, women, teenagers, babies, grandparents, dogs, customer service representatives on the phone. It comes from an almost demented joy in being alive.
It’s fun to be in a momentary, twinkly conspiracy ("I like you, and you like me" ), laughing and talking together.
As men know, it is hard to move from lightly flirting to seizing the moment and being vulnerable.
It doesn’t help that my married hiking partner, Karen, critiques my comments to men afterwards. “Oh, Kathleen! I can’t believe you said that."
Occasionally, I run across a fit man my age who is hiking alone. Two years ago, while snowshoeing, a man took a shine to me. With an Italian accent, he was charming. I flirted as hard as I could. But did I set down my pack in the snow, dig out paper and pen, and give him my name and phone number? No. I didn't want to get my pack wet.
“You’ll run into him again,” Karen said consolingly. Fat chance. The chance of our converging on the same trail is miniscule.
A month ago, a handsome, older man – who climbed Mission Peak behind us- stopped his car at the trail head to chat with me. He focused on me, not the other women. Did I ask:
“Are you married?” - or even-
“Why are you hiking alone?”
Then I watched him drive away, kicking myself. I was wearing gloves; he couldn't see if I had a wedding ring.
I regret not being more forward with these two men.
What stops me is handsome, fit, middle aged men are usually married.
Perhaps I should have small cards printed with my name and phone number, like calling cards. I can carry a few in my pocket while hiking. Suave.
I'm bad about not carrying my phone while hiking. Too heavy. My hiking partners always carry phones. This bit me in the butt once, when Karen and I got separated on the trail.
Your thoughts? Do you have any suggestions?
p.s. Thank you @travelerx2 . Great idea!
Just clipped a pen to my hiking hat-band like old reporters, and pinned a folded piece of paper under the perky bow in the back.
Problem solved. Now I need to be more forward.