Witty banter not only sometimes gets a person through the day, it is also the cause of a skip in one's step or a half-shy smile or simply that unfamiliar presence which takes one off the beaten path. Just having someone to mouth off to & share short quips with can lighten up any mood. Delightful flirtations that steer clear of angst-ridden emotional ties are maybe non-existent. But in those first few weeks of silly, careful acquaintance, the hope and possibility which awaken the butterflies, who are the outcome of an enlivened ego, engender new thoughts and remind everyone of the constant, elusive existence of possibility.
Skip forward a decade or so past this flirtation and one may have a different outlook on long-term flirtation or the importance of witty banter versus kindness and honesty. Lori Gottlieb's book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough (please look past the title, because she addresses the mistakes & misunderstandings women make with their unbelievably high standards for men & their own careers, etc.) addresses how unimportant, if not detrimental, witty banter really can end up being.
The importance one gives wit and charm in her adventures in love can greatly mislead her into superficial complications and frivolity. In an effort to keep from stigmatazing the fun flirtation, it should be said that whomever engages in said activity has every right to engage. The reason for this article and an entire section of Gottlieb's book is to pinpoint a lack of self-awareness or a misunderstanding amongst women nowadays. There is a missing link between some feminist ideals (the resurgence of not settling when it comes to their careers etc.) and what makes for a wonderful partner/companion/marriage. Depending on what the woman's priorities are, a long-term, superficial flirtation may not be what she is working toward.
With the evolution of texting, the execution of witty banter has become even more supercilious.
When referencing the execution or slaying of witty banter one must recognize the double entendres . If the quick paced, flirty banter can volley between two acquaintances effortlessly, go with it. To send superfluous words through mobile phones is superficially rewarding, like flowers sent to work. There is thought behind it, but it's nothing that lasts & is sort of effortless. Romantic gestures, when consistent & planted in selflessness, are the kinds that support substantial relationships. Witty banter passes the time, but over the years the butterflies get bored & the feelings associated with flirtatious words are like candy coated water drops. They taste sweet just before they evaporate.
This is not a condemnation of flirtation or battles of wit. Who doesn't love a little candy coated something? This is simply commentary written in an effort to promote self-awareness and an intuitive sense for other people's intentions or, at least, the guts to ask your flirting buddy what his or her intentions are. The sure-fire way of getting where you want to go is by being self-aware. What do you want? What are you doing? Where are you going and why? Are you looking for a substantial center in these candy coated water drops?
Now, these existential debates are worthy, but sometimes you just have to bite into these candy coated water drops to see if there's a substantial center. Are the water drop's intentions eluding you? Give it some time. Maybe you'll find that you should let go of the water drop & pursue tootsie roll pops, Laffy Taffy or maybe just real people whom you feel should not be likened to all things edible. Maybe the best test would be to decide which of the people who you have flirted with/dated would be the kind of person you absolutely could not associate with something to nosh on, because you like the person that much.
If you’re interested in books, especially of a feminist variety like Lori Gottlieb’s non-fiction, please visit A Broader Vocabulary Co-op. It’s Milwaukee’s only feminist bookstore. Originally, they resided in Bayview, then, after they shut down, the community brought it back! Now they are located in the basement of People’s Books.
People's Books: 2122 E. Locust, Milwaukee, WI
Check them out on Facebook or go to their annual member meeting to see what they’re all about.
Please feel free to leave comments here or email me: Jessicasolson@gmail.com