“Biologically speaking, if something bites you it's more likely to be female.” Desmond Morris
“The power to charm the female has been in some instances more important than the power to conquer other males in battle.” Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man.
You are single and so willing to mingle that it hurts but you know that tonight’s the night because you are one fourth Marilyn Monroe, one fourth Angelina Jolie, half a hank of Mallika Sherawat, whisked together and stir fried with a few pinches of Silk Smita.
(Yeah, the mirror. Well, you’ve politely asked it to shut up and go suck eggs with the Wicked Stepmother.)
Through the mists of cigarette smoke rolling over a sea of Margaritas, you spot him. George Clooney meets Akshay Khanna. Pure dishy-ness. On the rocks.
You give him the works. Zinging come hithers like flashes of liquid lightning from under thick, languorous lashes. (Okay, so they’re false but by the time he knows it will be too late.) Interspersed with smiles so mysteriously seductive that Jezebel would’ve slashed her wrists in jealous despair. All done while throwing your head back so that your hair cascades down your back in voluptuous eddies, showing off the long, lovely line of your neck.
(Shut up, mirror.)
Quick break, pretending to sip drink but actually checking cleavage as you think - should be reeling him in any moment now.
Shocked, you peer across aforementioned Sea of M. No GC-met-AK, instead a Frankenstein-meets-pyorrehea is leering his way over to you. You now feel like one-fourth yesterday’s cat vomit, one-fourth today’s doggy poop, two bags of saggy, stale underwear stir-fried with….
But girls, do not despair.
Because the fault is not in your come-hithers, but in the men.
Apparently the poor dear baa-lambs can’t tell flirting from a boiled egg. So you can flash those come-hithers (and whatever else you’ve got to flash) as much as you want, you can wiggle all your wiggle-ables, you can giggle the sound that’s supposed to turns saints into helpless putty, sinning as if sinning is going out of style. But unless you’ve have also sprayed “Hey, you’re cute! Wanna….?” across your naked breasts in neon pink and have thrust them – jiggling - into his face, he probably thinks you’re asking if you can join his car pool.
Thus spake not I but the findings of a study just conducted by the University of Indiana.
Now, before we all skewer ourselves on our tail combs (not what you’re thinking), let’s take a few deep breaths and mull on the matter.
Maybe there is a reason why men are so confused.
Maybe it’s because in most other parts of the animal kingdom, it’s the males that do all the hard work. For one, it’s they that have to be pretty and titivate (again not what you’re thinking) - all those gaudy colours and stripes and horns and humps and antlers and shiny feathers. Whereas the women mostly slop around in nighties and no make-up. I mean, have you looked at a peahen lately and what do you think the lion gets to have the mane?
For another, the lads that have to do the impressing - flashing and prancing and singing and swelling up and puffing out and generally strutting their stuff while the ladies get to just sit back, languidly sip iced tea, check out the merchandise. And if something catches their eye, then they select. (“You. Yeah, you with the bright green feathers growing out of your butt…”) Naturally, if the bloke’s bump-‘n-grind is not up to snuff, he don’t get any tonight and if it is, he may even be rewarded by becoming a tasty post-coitus snack. Chomp, chomp. I tell ya girls, the women have it good in the jungle.
So, I’m thinking why should it be any different with our boys considering that the genetic distance separating us from the fruit flies is only some 43 and a half DNA helices or something. I mean the poor things have been asked to squash deep-seated primordial urges to paint and pout and flaunt their fishnet stockings. So, naturally they are confused when the women start doing what they should be.
In other words, fellas - there, there.
We understand. Kinda.
And come to think of it, we women shouldn’t really be complaining because there was one other very important finding that popped up in that research. Not only do men not get it when we make sheep’s eyes at them, they often also mistake mere chumminess for the glad eye. Which makes it all very simple now. All we have to do is just walk up to the he-who-we-lusteth-after, give him a sisterly peck on the cheek, maybe arm wrestle for a bit, rain a few hail-fellow-well-met slaps on the back and before we knows what, we’ll have him sucking our toes all night long.
Incidentally, girls, while we’re on the subject, the next time you’re desperately dateless, you might want to try a fruit fly. I’m telling you, these chaps have got their romancing fundamentals down pat. The minute a male fly spots a prospective date, he wastes no time and starts tapping the lady’s abdomen with a foreleg. (The fruit fly equivalent of “haven’t we met before somewhere”.) If she’s interested (he’ll know when she doesn’t slap him and stops yawning and painting her nails), he serenades her by vibrating his wings. (I have it from the best authority that Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful tonight” is a hot favourite.) If she melts, he clinches the whole thingummybaba by licking her…er, well let’s just say that it’s an anatomical region that is a favourite hang out of male fruits flies.
The best part? The lucky (picky?) lil’ lady fruit flies reserve the right to refuse any suitor who do not perform all of the above and in the proper order. (No licking before serenading, no tapping before licking etc., etc.)
But back to humans…
And the question that trembles on our lips is - is it time?
Is it time to retire our Wonder bras? To pack up our Kissable Krimson lip glosses and stopper up our Chanel No.5’s? Is it really time to put away our secrets of lace and satin and silk, to undo the pouts in our lips and admonish our hips not to sway?
If it is, what a pity.
Because flirting is such a blast. We do it for the pure heck pleasure of it. It’s almost as good as shopping, often beats chocolate truffle cake by points. And some of us will tell you it’s even better than sex. (By the way, many a time, we aren’t all that interested in finding out whether you’re as much George-Clooney-meets-Akshaye-Khanna in bed as you look out of it.) And never mind those peacocks, we love dressing up and totting out our best gorgeous-creatures-made-for-love for all the world to see. Because nothing can describe the incredible rush of watching a man’s eyes mouthing the words, “Boy, you’re beautiful.”
Even if we are imagining it and you’re actually saying, “Yeah sure. There’s one seat vacant at the back.”