Not Really Harmless

A number of years ago I remember being cornered in the bathroom at a venue by The Strumpet. (If you’re new here and need a little backstory – yes, The Strumpet was actually my friend. Or at least masqueraded as one for several years.)

As I was saying, The Strumpet cornered me in the ladies’ room, practically in tears. She was concerned that I would be angry with her because The Douche had been flirtatious with her. She assured me that it meant nothing.

At the time I reassured her. The Douche is a harmless flirt by nature. He doesn’t mean anything by it. Oooops. We all know how that turned out.

In fact he has always been an enormous flirt even when he wasn’t cheating. I’m not sure he knows how to interact with women without a measure of innuendo. At the time I convinced myself it was innocuous. It was flirtation without intent – it wasn’t lewd and never appeared unwelcome. It was friendly and no one got hurt.

Except me.

I tried to convince myself at the time that it didn’t bother me. I didn’t mind that a little harmless flirtation made my friends feel good about themselves. I didn’t want to be painted jealous and possessive. I wasn’t. However, it did make me feel less. Insignificant. Secondary.

Why do I bring this up now? I met a feller. (You saw that coming, didn’t you?) He’s quite cute and funny. The fact that he makes me smile makes him that much more attractive. His coquettish tendencies are clearly targeted at me in particular; he’s not an equal opportunity flirt. He’s significantly younger than me and the thought to pursue him never crossed my mind. However, the attention makes me feel good.

And then I found out he was married. He never hid the fact, however he never mentioned it either. I’ve never met his wife and have no idea what kind of relationship they have.

I’m sort of mad about the whole thing. I don’t think this guy is chasing me ’round the mulberry bush. I don’t think that he has any intention of infidelity. However, I do remember how that “harmless” flirting made me feel when I was the wife. And now I’m participating in the same behavior, albeit unwittingly.

Time to apply the brakes.

Once again this whole merry-go-round of interpersonal relations makes me want to become a hermit.

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