I can sometimes tell when a guy likes me. It's usually that moment when he looks at me like he won the lottery. I only get this when I'm dressed to the nines - which is on my way to or from work, at work, or on those weekends when I'm up for a night out on the town.
And because my personal style teeters somewhere between the mode marriage of Audrey Hepburn, Jacqui Onassis and Victoria Beckham - with a personalised distinct edge - I only ever attract specific groups of men. Not that it matters at all, what follows is always the same.
Their first instinct is to get my attention - as it would be - and this includes all manner of activity; from suddenly talking really loudly and glancing in my direction, or talking about me to a friend like I'm not standing right there, or even dropping random items in my direction, to be retrieved in an effort to conjure up some kind of conversation.
Some of their efforts, while somewhat earnest, can also border on the absurd when isolated from context. Once not long ago - while waiting for a lift from the train station - a particular guy parked in the lot, who was clearly waiting for someone else, made eye contact with me and then climbed out of his car with a soccer ball that he retrieved from the backseat. He then began playing with it, right there in the parking lot, displaying some of his skills, putting on a show and obviously hoping to impress someone.
I make a point of never mocking anyone though, and my reaction to any and all kind of attention seeking attempts are the same. At first, I can't help laughing to myself because I'm almost always thinking "geez, if this poor sod only knew how fucked up his idea of who I am really is". Thing is, all they see is a perfectly made up flawless facade, with the painted face and immaculate hair and the clothes and the shoes; but no one sees the tiny cracks in the porcelain veneer, the flaws and faults or the person.
And then I smile outwardly, not out of scorn but sincerity, because I know how they feel and I know how difficult it is to try to express that feeling without fear of being ridiculed or judged. This is where I feel truly, genuinely, sorry for men. See the onus is on them (most of the time) to make the first move. But not everyone knows how to go about doing that. And none of us are exempt from that feeling, really.
If I think of what an idiot I am when I meet someone I like, I cringe until I want to DIE from mortification. It's the perfect anti-aging formula actually, because you'll never see a bonafide adult become a six year old kid any faster. What makes it worse is that my psychotic tendencies are also inclined to reveal themselves in such cases, and I'm instantly transformed into someone even I don't recognise:
And of course, this scares off even the most ardent admirers. I remember telling a guy a few years ago that I liked him and that there was nothing he could do about that, and that he had no choice in the matter. In the most subtle terms, I basically told him to shut up and like me back. Turns out that enamoured can be a dangerous emotion - it makes us brazen to the point of being reckless. And it brings out the crazy in even the most cultured and composed people.
Which brings me to wonder if we are all doomed to make eternal fools of ourselves by dancing around these silly emotive rituals - because it doesn't matter who you are, most people have done something in front of their significant other at some point during their courtship that makes them want to hang themselves by their toenails. Or maybe there is something to the whole arranged marriage thing.