Critical Life Skills, like Flirting

We all have strengths and weaknesses.  All have areas of talent and other areas that just ain’t gonna happen.  For example, at 5’5″ and 30-something years old, I am not counting on my jump shot skills to get me into the WNBA any time soon.  Also my complete lack of knowledge on how to try out for the WNBA and surprise that I even know the words “jump shot” without checking Google aren’t making any more likely.  On the other hand, I feel comfortable and confident in front of a classroom.  I love my students and have developed the experience and knowledge to serve them well.  I’m definitely not perfect every session, but the fails are not too frequent and when they happen, I know how to use them to give us all a learning opportunity.

Somewhere in between my teaching skills and basketball non-skills is a life skill area that I have never mastered: flirting.  You can decide for yourself how important it is to know how to flirt (I’m thinking at least above basketball, but again we can go back to my lack of knowledge about that sport-ball game).  So I was beyond thrilled last weekend when I attempted to flirt with a cute guy and am pretty darn sure he flirted back.  Ah-mazing.

The guy was one a volunteer at the Girls on the Run 5K that I was a coach at.  I love that program so much for what it provides to girls and was thrilled to get to substitute coach with a team of 12 this past month.  Most of the volunteers for this program are women; this was our first season having men involved as Running Buddies for the 5K event.  That meant dads, uncles, brothers, and some general community members sharing a Saturday morning to run 3.1 miles around Portland International Raceway with a glittered-up girl.  Seeing some of those guys in tutus or fairy wings was just adorable.

Our team had one male Running Buddy, a local who decided to volunteer (I found out) because his two nieces are around the same age as our girls but do not live nearby.  He loved running and wanted to be involved in honor of them.  Even without a tutu: adorable.

We visited for just a few minutes before the race, not long since there were a dozen elementary girls that kept trying to wander off among the hundreds of runners in the field.

After the race, he and his team member were among the first ones to finish from our team.  I walked back to our area with a small group of our girls to get them snacks and water as the sun had broken through the morning clouds.  I was trying to be a good coach and focus on my girls.  One of them said that the other coach and I deserved medals just like the runners because of how much work we did.  (Love these girls!)  I responded that it was a sweet idea, but since we hadn’t run the race with them, we didn’t get medals at the finish line.  She repeated that we should have anyways.  So I offered that she could just give me hers.  She smiled at my outstretched hand, and held her medal a little tighter around her neck.  She had rocked that race and totally earned that medal.  There was no way I would have taken it from her (when I saw her four days later at school, it was again around her neck).

While I put down my arm and laughed at the exchange, the guy had stepped up behind me and moved to place his medal over my head.  I’m going to be honest and say how happy I was that I was already rosy-cheeked from the heat and running around finding girls.  He said that the team member was right.  Like my runner, I clutched that medal to my neck with my own beaming smile.  He stepped away again, visiting with another Running Buddy while more of my girls came from the finish line with stories of their adventure and need for rest and water.  The only other interaction “guy” and I had was him confirming there was no need to check out as he walked off with a friend who had volunteered with another team.

So here’s where I’ve landed with my flirting skills: I seriously lack timing and follow-through.  On the bus ride after the race, I had a semi-permanent face palm happening over the fact I hadn’t found out more than his first name and that in the rush of everything that morning, had forgotten that name.  I know what company he works for (which is gigantic and not going to be named here, sorry) and that he has two young nieces.  That’s it!  Fraggle.

The shiny medal that is now hanging on my lamp will get to be a reminder that once upon a time I successfully flirted with a guy.  Now to learn how to date one…

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