Rachel (Ray Ray), Niki (Nipple Niki) and I (Err Bear) have been the walking cliche for a decade, ever since we met working as can-can girls at Rosie O'Grady's in downtown Orlando. (Clearly, that picture to the left is not us, it's from like the early 90's but that's what we wore and did. I don't have my older pictures out here with me in Singa!) For anyone not from Orlando, Rosie O'Grady's was a tourist hot spot that boasted the "Good Time Gang" which consisted of a ragtime band, jazz singer (the "Hot Mama") and a can-can dance on the bar performed by the cocktail waitresses. We would slide down the two story brass fireman's pole in the center of the stage and rouse the crowd with our can-can routine, full of "Wooo's!" and high kicks. It was one of my first jobs, and I can still say to this day, it was the one of the most fun jobs I've ever had! Rachel (the blond), Niki (the brunette) and I (duh) were fast friends and when Rosie O'Grady's closed it's doors, our manager said, "Yeah, you three act like you are inseparable, but I bet you won't keep in touch for more than a year." Famous last words, Jim.
If I were to even try to tell you all the adventures I have had as a part of this threesome friendship, we'd be here all day! The stories from the summer after college when I lived with them, alone, would take a week to regale and they could never compare to the experience. I'm introducing you to these amazing ladies to highlight one of my deep dark secrets. I have never been able to, and fear I will never be able to flirt. And if I didn't learn from these girls (the masters), I doubt there is any one who could teach me! I think I'm just one of those girls who feels more comfortable hanging back and watching in awe as my beautiful friends work their magic. I'm the sarcastically funny one, which I am happy with, but it usually makes you "the buddy" or "wing man" when it comes to the opposite sex.
Now, make no mistake, Niki and Rachel are hilariously funny also! That's what brought us all together. All of my girlfriends from Orlando happen to be the most stunning, humble, and comical people I know.
First let's take Niki, a molecular microbiology major, graduate of UCF, Pilate's instructor, pharmaceutical sales rep and all around generally amazing person. She's the first to throw a get together in her home when I come visit Orlando and always has dozens of guys waiting for her to become single (which she rarely is). Flirting technique? The eyelash bat. Seriously, Niki bats her eyelashes at men like Minnie Mouse and they fall to their knees. It's actually a lethal combination of a giggle and eye lash bat, but I digress. I realized shortly into our friendship that it only shows itself when there are people of the male species within a 6 foot radius. I tried to do it once. I just looked like I had something in my contact or was at the onset of an epileptic seizure.
Next, we have Rachel, a five foot eight or nine blond Cuban model, built like a shit brick house. She is one of those people you hate because she has had a baby and looks better then you ever will pre-baby. This is someone who does not even NEED the skill of flirting, because guys just stop, look and listen when she walks in the door. On top of her looks, she's a spectacular mother, amazing lifelong friend, a top real estate agent, and the first one to cook dinner for me every time I come to town (and an spectacular cook on top of all that). Flirting technique? The Spicy Cuban-ness. She's has no inhibitions whatsoever! She walks into a bar or club and heads right to the dance floor and throws down some wicked moves. If she wants to talk to a guy, there's no hesitation or waiting, she will just go up to him; and I've certainly never seen any guy mind! The funniest thing about it is that she is one of the kindest sweetest people I know, but you don't want to be a girl in a bar giving her the stink eye. She has no problem showing you how she feels about that out back in the alley, walking away from it with a ripped skirt and one shoe on, but always victorious. Clearly, even trying this flirting technique when you are a bony Irish girl would be ludicrous.
And bless their hearts, but Niki and Rachel certainly didn't help my case. I was working at Universal Studios, Orlando as Kimberley Duncan in T2-3D at the time and for some reason they found the opening monologue knee-slappingly hilarious. I had rehearsed in front of them at home when I was training in to the role and that was the start of a never ending barrage of, "Oh! Do the Kimberley monologue!!" at every outting we had. If they had a drink and there were a group of guys talking to us, I knew it was only a matter of time before they would shout, "Oh my gosh, you guys, Erin is so funny! Erin! Do the Kimberley monologue!" Now, the monologue was "cute" on it's best day, but out of the context of the show, in a bar, it was most certainly not funny. In fact, I would describe it more as confusing. But after minutes of, "Oh please! Come on! It's SO FUNNY!" I would give in because otherwise I looked like a jerk. I would always preface it with, "It's really not that funny," then I would watch Niki and Rachel die laughing as I spoke and the guys just stare blankly, wondering when the funny part was coming. I guess, ultimately, this was my flirting technique, albeit something I did repeatedly against my will and to my great discomfort.
Maybe I have a flirting technique that just hasn't quite manifested yet and when it does, it will be spectacular. I certainly don't have trouble making friends with guys but that's pretty much as far as it goes on my end. My relationships have generally come about because the guy has flirted with me. In fact, if I'm attracted to someone, I am much less likely to talk to them or attempt flirting. Obviously, that's a flawless system.
Make no mistake, I'm perfectly content being the audience for these adventures. My friends are the best! We can be completely ridiculous and have a ball. For instance, the picture below is just a regular night in Orlando where we decided it was The Village People Appreciation Day. We started at Cigarz, where we all tended bar (that's the owner and our surrogate pops, Syd) and continued to several bars around downtown in our costumes. I even had caution tape that I put up in various places. Being 22 years old makes these things possible.
I miss these girls terribly and can't wait to get back to Orlando to have more adventures!
But the important question is, What's your flirting technique? Do you have a friend who has that magical, effortless technique as well? Sign up, follow my blog and share! (pretty please!)