(About a 5 minute read)
Life can get awfully boring for a sixteen year old woman — or, for that matter, for anyone — without now and then an adventure…
I. Sarah in the Grace of Sixteen Years
Sarah at 16 would skip high school
On the more boring days to find me.
At 16, Sarah much preferred me
To the diagrams in her chemistry class.
She preferred me to the diagrams.
Sarah was rare. Sarah was one six,
Six in one or two hundred
Boys or girls who would looked me up,
Who would skip classes to find me
Sitting usually at a table in our coffee shop.
One of only six
Who really preferred my company.
Who really favored me over the diagrams.
But then came the hour
She educated me in the shocking fact
She did not always enjoy me.
Not always — and that was just a fact.
A much older man, yet still a naive man,
I thought I was only and merely
Showing some respect.
Just respecting her boundaries,
That’s what I thought.
Sarah 16 didn’t read my textbook that way.
Didn’t read my textbook that way at all.
“You’re cool, Paul, but can we be friends?
You’ve made me see so much that was new to me,
But maybe that’s the best you’re capable of.”
“Can we be friends?
Some days I’d rather be in chemistry than with you.
Some days I’d rather eat cafeteria food than be with you.
Some days I’d rather pop a pimple than be with you.
Some days I’d rather date a fence post than be with you.
Some days I’d rather listen to elevator music than be with you.
Um…Sarah, I get it! I get the point!
“Oh, I don’t mean to hurt, Paul! Just inform.
Don’t be hurt, Paul! Don’t be hurt! Just be informed:
You don’t flirt! You never flirt!
“You never flirt. And that makes you the very worse kind,
The very worse kind of Dirty Old Man.
The very worse kind of Dirty Old Man!
“Can I be frank and true?
What’s up with you? I need to know, dear Paul,
I really need to know, which kind of asshole you are.
“Can we be friends?
Are you one of those ‘don’t like Sarah’ assholes?
(How on earth could they not like me, Paul?
What do I ever do to them, Paul? I’m a people person.
I like them, but they don’t like me. How can that be, Paul?
Come on, Paul! It’s your elder’s responsibility
To tell Sarah these things! Am I too sweet, too nice?)
“Can we be friends?
Or are you one of those ‘Sarah is too young’ assholes?
Because if you are, I’m going to bite your balls
Until they bleed red and your dead, dearest Paul.
“Are we still friends?
I’m trying to help you, Paul!
Are we still friends?”
II. The Fine Art of Flirting
Of course, I was exaggerating there. That’s indeed the truth of what happened — but the truth translated and exaggerated into poetry. However — make no mistake about it — on her holy crusade that day to “improve Paul”, the precociously confident, artistic, articulate real Sarah did indeed run an 18 foot long knight’s lance straight through the clown balloon of my ego.
Sarah revealed her motives that day. Older men were the best, most amusing flirts. Hands down, the best most amusing flirts. She learned from them. She gained competence. She gained confidence. And on top of it, they amused her, too. A complete win for Sarah.
Sarah also revealed her rule for flirting with old men. “I know it can’t go anywhere, Paul, but it’s still worth it. I’m young but I already know not everything needs to go somewhere to still be worthwhile. Don’t you agree, Paul? You’re not going anywhere, but you’re still worthwhile. Sorry, Paul, I got that line from Jeff. See! I learn things!”
In case there’s any real doubt left in you, Sarah was precociously confident. I blame her father for that. One of the most encouraging fathers that I ever heard of from a teenage girl. He believed in Sarah, and he believed in both of her sisters too. Sarah didn’t have a daddy issue to speak of, so far as I could see. She just maybe trusted older men a little too much. Jeff was a pretty bad one in my eyes. A sharp wit, but an abusive man.
Not to say she couldn’t handle herself, even with Jeff.
I’ve been looking around for some way of promoting my blog. My poetry prompt is not doing that at all. Bummer. But maybe it’s because I suck at poetry prompts. If so, I’ll survive. There are other ways to be Paul Sunstone. That is, there are other ways to be insufferable. Trust me, I’m good at being insufferable.
Here’s my next trial and error promotion. Flirting! Want an adventure? Come flirt with Paul!
I’m good with flirting now. I’ve reformed (Thank you, Sarah, wherever you are today!). You can trust me. I’m insufferably good with flirting now!
So, here’s the procedure, if you please:
(1) First, Foremost, and Most Important of All: Let’s do this by Sarah’s Inviolate Rule. “It cannot go anywhere!” No matter what the temptation, it cannot go anywhere. This is for fun, not for earnest. “Ernie don’t work here, no more. May I help you plan your next adventure?”
(2) Any adventurous people — and/or them that would be wild things — please kindly contact me through my blog email.
(3) No names and no identifying information will ever be reveled by me. Contact me in confidence that your identity will be held profoundly sacred and secret forever and ever and ever — absolutely no matter how unforgettable you are to me.
(4) Please say something in your email — anything — to give me something to go on. Tell me a bit about yourself. Anything you’re comfortable telling me about yourself. But please do not tell me anything that you are in even the least uncomfortable telling me. Make it up if you must, or stick to facts. Your call. But either open with some “personal information” (real or imagined), or with some snark or wit or a quote or a joke. Give me a direction to go in, give me options, if you would!
(5) No pics, please! Pics might distract me from you. The inner you that I’ll be aiming at with my adventurous and seductive attentions.
(6) I fully reserve the right to decline any offers, at any time, at my sole discretion, and for any reason I deem fit. Remember, your name and information will never be made public, nor will it ever be made public that I wasn’t up to flirting with you for one reason or another. I assume in most every case I feel a need to decline to flirt, it will be me to blame.
(7) You might see your flirts — if they’re really, really, good flirts — shamelessly stolen and used by me in a blog post. Again, nothing will be posted that could possibly identify you.
(8) Unfortunately, this too must be said: If you have strong and firm convictions about what is “proper” and what is “not proper”, please decline this invitation to flirt with me. I’ll miss you! But it will be so much better for both of us if you decline.
That’s about it for now. Obviously this is a new and untried thing. It will most likely fall flat. Most new and untried things do fall flat. But — no risk, no gain. Life is far too short not to even attempt to make life more interesting. Everyone now and then needs an adventure. This one easily could be yours!
Act now! and get two extra flirts just as free as all the rest!
P.S. Please do feel free to reblog this post — Your call, of course.