|The port of Honfleur|
The meal was delicious.
It’s a game, really. Like chess. (And don’t get me started on the chess game between Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in “The Thomas Crown Affair”. That was another thing altogether.) You do this. I do that. And we both enjoy ourselves.
|Mont Saint Michel|
What is flirting? Maybe it’s a concept young people won’t understand anymore because it’s not Politically Correct in an age of sexual harassment litigation. But I come from the era of Doris Day movies when it was okay to flirt, and even socially admired, provided you did it well. And with class.
Maybe a better question is, “What isn't flirting?” Flirting is not innuendo. Innuendo means, “Well, I wouldn’t say no.” Flirting is innocent. At least on the Continent. And that’s a relief. You can be a woman; he can be a man. (But it’s better if the woman starts, or as the French say, “announces the color”, a reference to bidding in bridge.) Flirting should be harmless. It should be light. It should be appropriate. And the situation should be one where you will probably never see each other again. In fact, some of the most delicious moments are when you know you’ll never see each other again.
Looking over at my passenger, I discovered she was smiling back at him every bit as broadly. She was flirting, too.
That simple exchange of smiles warmed us for the entire day. And that’s what flirting, French-style, is about.
Disclaimer: This was originally written in 1999. Things are changing. Sexual harassment is starting to become a cause célèbre in France as well. So maybe flirting is a dying art. And maybe that's a good thing. But personally, I have enjoyed every moment of it, every single stolen smile.