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    Monday, February 13, 2006

    Teresa Flirts with Disaster

    He leaned across the table toward me, his dark blue eyes sparkling with a come-hither look. With his bad boy grin and lightly tousled hair, I couldn't help but want to take him into my arms. He reached across the table, closing the space between us.

    "You're SO pretty," he whispered, gently stroking my hair.

    Before I could respond, his mom snatched him up into her arms and snapped, "Don't mind him. He's a terrible flirt and he just loves blondes."

    I grinned as she carried the four-year-old across the crowded Pizza Hut. He hung over her shoulder, waving wistfully and still casting me longing glances. So it's true, I thought. Some men really are born flirts!

    I once worked with just such a guy. Based on his numerous and well-documented affairs of the heart, you would have expected him to be a combination of George Clooney and Brad Pitt, with a little Keanu thrown in to spice the mix. Instead he was a stocky, rather ordinary looking fellow with a receding hairline, a slight paunch, and a mischievous twinkle in his eye. I just couldn't figure out what it was about him that made perfectly rational women abandon both their morals and their marriages.

    Then during one slow night on the ward, he offered to teach me how to play Chinese checkers. Since he wasn't exactly inviting me up to his place to see his etchings, I decided I'd be safe.

    That's when I learned his secret. He treated me with perfect respect. (I was HIS supervisor, after all). There wasn't even a hint of inappropriate innuendo, no casual touches or suggestive winks. BUT his focus on me was absolute. During those magic moments, it was as if I was the only woman—perhaps the only human being—on the entire planet.

    Ah ha! That was it, I realized! That was how he convinced women to tug off both their panties and their wedding rings! (Not to worry. I was in no danger of doing either.) But I did feel as if I'd spent an hour in the company of a master flirt. He'd reminded me that women are absolute suckers for attention because let's face it—we deserve so much more of it than we ever get.

    So the next time that cute guy at the theater concession stand gives you an extra squirt of butter on your popcorn or a handsome businessman offers to help you heft your luggage into the overhead bin, it's okay to feel warm and tingly. Just keep your panties—and your wedding ring—on until you get home!