Every office has one. That one incredibly friendly guy who’ll do anything and everything to make his female coworkers laugh. It may not be intentional flirting, and nothing truly inappropriate is ever said. But discourse with this particular individual always leaves you with a smile on your face.
And he always, ALWAYS has a girlfriend.
Our office flirt is one of our IT guys. He was assigned to our floor the first year our office moved into this building, and while he has since been reassigned he still checks on us from time to time. But I think it’s mostly to flirt with me and my married-with-kids female officemate. This behavior includes making funny faces at her through the front window, trying to sneak up on me by hiding behind my dual monitors, pretending to confiscate my second monitor, or attempting to make off with my red “Thwingline thtapler”.
(You’d be surprised how many people at work don’t understand why I have a red Swingline stapler.)
I think he just likes the attention. In fact, I think he craves it. That boy is an attention-whore in every sense of the word. But since the longest conversation we’ve had in the last few weeks was about how his girlfriend does yoga, too, but she prefers Bikram yoga and she’s trying to find a good place to do it in town, and where did I get my extra-squishy yoga mat—yeah, attention is all he’s looking for.
And I just can’t help but flirt back. When he admires my swanky water bottle and asks if he can take it, how could I NOT take a coy sip of water from my fancy water bottle and politely inform him that while he cannot have this one, there’s one just like it waiting for him and his ten dollars at Target. When the lid gets stuck on said fancy water bottle and he’s standing up at my coworker’s desk chatting, how could I NOT take my water bottle up front and pout until he opens it for me. It almost seems rude not to.
This friends, is what I call safe flirting: there is no fear of rejection, no potential for heartbreak, because nothing is ever going to happen. It has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s good practice; it makes me smile; it makes me feel good about myself. It is innocent, harmless, and perfectly ridiculous.
Take for example this morning:
I’m staring at my computer, and in an effort to get my attention, IT guy starts leaping down the corridor next to my desk. When I look up, he promptly declares, “Look at me! I’m doing a pirouette!”
“That’s not a pirouette,” I reply, trying really hard not to laugh because that would totally destroy the intent of the stern dance-teacher face I am currently making.
“Then what am I doing?”
“That is called a leap.”
He stops mid leap and scrunches up his face. “So, what’s a pirouette?”
“It’s a type of turn.”
IT guy immediately puts both hands over his head and does what we in the fusion belly dance community fondly refer to as a pee-pee step turn.
“That’s not it either.”
He makes the most adorably confused face (fun fact: the whole office flirt thing works out a lot better if the flirt is really cute), and while I know this is all in an effort to satisfy his inner attention-whore, I walk out into the corridor and demonstrate a real pirouette for him.
He clumsily copies me, I assure him it was beautiful, and he does one more on his way out and proudly proclaims, “I never had one lesson.”
I just laughed and went back to my desk.