So last Friday night the wing ladies assembled again. Preened and ready for the kill (I mean the flirt).
We hit Soho, and after a false start in a very “coupled up” piano bar we decided to begin practising on the patrons pouring out of a bar nearby (and no – it wasn’t a gay bar).
I started early, doing the look into my eyes trick and was having fun locking eyes with a chap across the bar while we were waiting for drinks to be served. He was a good-looking bloke and I was mindful of the Love Coach‘s advice about practising on those that you’re not interested in before being confident enough to try it out on those that you fancy.
So as our drinks were ready and Julia ordered us outside to begin flirting, I led the charge.
Low and behold, Mr Locky Eyes was right outside the door but I stuffed it up. I bottled it because I thought he was too good-looking for me to try my techniques on yet, and I kept walking.
But it was my loss because as wing-woman number 3 made her way out the door she comfortably and effortlessly joined Mr Locky Eyes and his group of friends and struck up a conversation. My loss, her practise session.
So instead I was left deciding which group of men to approach. There was a group of quite pissed up chaps in one group that I was being actively encouraged by Julia to go over to, but I was slightly reluctant because they were so pissed. But I took a breath, went over and struck up a conversation. They had been drinking for several hours and were workmates, in recruitment. One of them had a hilarious habit of referring to everyone by their full name. We had lots of arm touching and eye contact and it was a pleasant encounter. And I even had a brief chat towards the end with another guy in the group who even threw a compliment my way about my eyes. (Go the smokey eyes!)
Anyway, we got invited to join them at another bar, which they freely admitted was a dive but good fun, so we declined and opted to head towards Ronnie Scott’s jazz bar.
The place was rammed but it had an eclectic clientele, including many regulars who happened to be very good dancers! It was going to be a challenge to strike up conversation due to the noise levels. But we split up, I got myself a wine and spotted two chaps watching the music who looked like colleagues.
The shorter chap, who I later discovered was called Andy, was wearing the thickest woollen jacket you could imagine, so my conversation started easily enough about how he must be feeling the cold in a place as rammed as this. We started talking quite effortlessly and I soon learned that Andy was in London on business from Derby, where he runs a wine distribution business. We talked for ages about wine, travelling, rugby and it was nice. I felt like for the first time I was actually enjoying myself in this flirting process. Because the place was so loud we were talking really closely into each others ears (ear flirting, if you will!!!) and I was putting all my skills into practise. And I thought it was going great guns.
But then came the hiccup. Andy had ducked to the bar as he’d been handed the wrong drink from an order his mate had just got at the bar. In that moment coach Julia came over and explained that if I really wanted to make this work that I needed to walk away. She checked if he’d asked if I wanted a drink and I said no, and she said that I needed to move away. Now, I personally felt this was quite rude. I’d been having a really enjoyable conversation but apparently in the rules of flirting you should never be left by yourself, least of all by a man who isn’t popping to the bar to get you a drink.
So I was coerced to walk away and tasked with chatting, apologies, that should be “flirting”, with other random men. And I had no problem practising, but there was a problem.
All I could think of was how tedious this was. I didn’t like any of these other men. I was just striking up conversations, touching their arms and making eyes at them all for practise.
There was the 20 year-old pimple-faced sound engineer who I was instructed to flirt with and find out why he was bored, then a giant of a man walked in and I began shouting up the beanstalk to try and have a conversation, which was rather pointless without a ladder. Then there was the jazz crooner with sore knees who was chair dancing; the most energetic 80 year-old jazz fan in the room, who had every motto about enjoying and living life. The list goes on…..
But as the words of the old man echoed in my ears, the thing that hit home was that I wasn’t enjoying myself. The only thing I felt was tedium. Game playing. Being a fake and fraud and I wasn’t having any fun.
So despite Andy walking past a few times, always when I was mid-way through practising on others, a reunion was never to be. So I decided it was time to take flight. No business card, no drink bought, but a new promise to myself. No more practising. The time has come for this little bird to spread her wings and take action. And by jingo, there will be fun on the horizon, just you wait and see.