I don't know what's going on with me here. I can flirt quite a lot at times. I can pick up a suggestive comment and run with it. I did it in class yesterday! I said: "You can ask me questions, I don't bite. Well, maybe I do. But you'll never find out." (Because I've given up on maintaining control and the semester ends tomorrow.) But I can't seem to do the flirting with this guy. We got our flirt on eventually, so we communicated mutual interest in what should have been a playful way. Instead it was painful, I'm usually not this stupid.
Here is a transcript from memory. Interject loaded pauses between each sentence. Imagine them delivered in an uneasy cadence, making the fear loudly audible. I've included ellipses to indicate especially long pauses, and put my thoughts in italics:
Me: My cat's sitting on my lap. [ Am I really this boring?]
Him: Which cat?
Me: The big one
M: But she's old and crotchety and grumpy so this is--
H: That's like me-I'm crotchety and grumpy too.
M: Uh...Yeah. So this is unusual... For her to be cuddly, she must want something.
H: What does she want--How can you tell what she wants?
M: Cats only want a few things. Food, water, clean litter, sleep. So, it's not hard to guess... But she has all of those things.
H: Then what does she want?
M: I don't know. She must be cold so she wants to sit in my lap. Because when she is cold, that way she can get warm... um, She's purring too.
H: ...So I should do that when I get cold? [ Oh!? Did he just say that? He wants to sit in my lap?]
H: So when I'm cold I'll come sit in your lap? [ Yeah, he's flirting. He wants to sit in my lap. This is innuendo.]
M: ... Right, like the cat
H: ...And that should warm me up? [ Now I should respond. He wants me to say yes.]
M: um...There's only one way to find out. [ That's the best I could do?.]
H: ok... So then I'll come sit in your lap when I get cold.
M: uh, yeah,. . .You can do that. [ Oh, smooth one! Kill me now. ]
H: You know when I get cold because I have no sweater.
[Because he loaned me one last weekend.]
At that point he mercifully put us out of our misery and we moved into a discussion about my losing his favorite sweatshirt on the subway. Which was a lie. Which he knew was a lie. Then the talking got easy again. Regardless of the comedic episode, we had a good conversation. Romantic (at least sexual) interest has been made unmistakably explicit.
Having typed out the words, I can see that he fared much better than I did. He could say the flirty lines--he started it! He gave me the bait over and over and I wanted to take it. But I couldn't even make the words come out. He's reduced me to moronic monosyllabilism. I don't know why, I can't explain it. Clearly, we don't grow out of that adolescent awkwardness. No matter how many dates you go on, it's always a new thing. You'd think it would get easier as one goes along, but it doesn't. It just gets harder with each person because the rejection, resentment, and fear grow with every failure.