Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekly Whine: Flirt

My husband probably won't appreciate this whine, but maybe you can help me settle this once and for all.

He used to have this single female friend from college named Patty who was a few years younger than him. A few years ago, we moved to an area where Patty lived, and he suggested that we all get together.

In the past, he'd suggested that I was jealous when he IMed with Patty. I guess I was a little jealous, but not really. We were mostly just joking around about it. I was entirely on board with having lunch with Patty and getting to know her.

So we arranged for Patty to come over for lunch. She brought a nice present for our daughter, which was nice of her. But the niceness of this gesture was diminished by the fact that when she walked into the living room, she said, "Wow, this place is really messy."

I think I had cleaned the night before, but as we all know, a two year old can create a huge mess in a matter of minutes. So I was caught at a bad moment. In retrospect, in the five minutes before she arrived, I should have quickly swept everything away. But I didn't, mostly because we were going straight out to eat, so I didn't think it mattered.

And she actually managed to comment on it a second time. She said, "It's just really messy. I didn't expect it to be so messy."

Fine though. She was right, to some extent. Although this was the very first time a non family member had criticized my apartment for being messy. Either I managed to clean better in the past, or else the others had a modicum of manners.

Anyway, we went out to lunch. It was going all right, I guess.

Then about midway through the meal, my husband said something to Patty that was somewhat teasing. She giggled, smacked him in the arm, and said, "He's so bad!"

I felt really awkward and definitely pissed off. This was pretty blatant flirting, done right in front of his wife, who she just met. I had been totally open to liking Patty, but I felt like her behavior made me really uncomfortable and I didn't want to see her again.

When I brought it up to my husband later, he admitted he thought it was a little weird, but she's like that with everyone so there's nothing he could do.

What do you think? Was I right to not want to see her again?

49 comments:

  1. You were right. She was inappropriate in too many ways. I'm still stunned by her comment about your apartment being messy! Who says that????

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  2. "Wow, it's really messy in here!"

    "Wow, you're a giant bitch! See you later!"

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    1. that is why I love reading your blog

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  3. Absolutely right! I can't stand people who are inappropriate 1)Keep your mouth shut and 2) Keep your hands to yourself.

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  4. Maybe the flirt wasn't so bad, but the messy remark was uncalled for.

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  5. I could honestly say I would never want to hang out with that person again. Although I don't think it would be fair to demand that your husband do the same. Side note: I'd probably say something snarky back, along the lines of "Thanks! You're welcome to clean it up if it bothers you."

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  6. The flirt I think you are overreacting to. The messy house comment is obnoxious.

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  8. I was in a long distance relationship with my (now) wife when we were both in grad school (we were college sweethearts). Two of my closest friends at my school were women, both single for most of our time in school. We hung out together all the time. Nothing *ever* happened, not even a little bit, not even a moment where something *might* have happened, but didn't. Just nothing. I was the big brother and they were my little sisters - it was that sort of relationship.

    Still, my wife, who knew about them and met them a few times when she came to visit, despised them. Insanely jealous. Her friends back at her school were worse. "Why do you let him hang out with them?" they would ask her. She was smart enough to know that taking that sort of a position would have torpedoed our relationship, but I knew she didn't like them and still doesn't, many years later (although it did get better when we got married and they were there to see the big fancy wedding...). My friends and I now live on opposite coasts, and I see them every couple of years when I travel out there on business, and it still really bothers her when I do.

    I tell that story to give you the context for my comment.

    Bitch was way out of line.

    The "messy" comments just rude for anyone to make (even your best friends).

    The "flirt" was completely inappropriate.

    Here's my suggestion, though: it's OK if you never want to see her or talk to her again, but you have to trust your husband and not demand that he cut off from her completely. Otherwise he'll get bitter, and then you're in a worse position. He's either trustworthy or not. She's no more "available" than the other zillion opportunities out there for a successful guy, so it's not like you're going to stop him from stepping out by insisting that he disconnect from her. My wife doesn't like it (at all) and she makes snarky comments when I see my friends, but she doesn't try to stop me, because she knows deep down that I never have and never would do anything inappropriate.

    It works.

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  9. "Messy" was not-called-for and could be interpreted as calling your failures as a housekeeper to your husband's attention. She gets a -10 on the "potential friend scale" (real friends just pick something up.)
    The flirting was just plain GROSS.
    So yes, you have every right not to include her in your social set. Your husband should not be IMing her unless it is work-related (I said WORK, not flirt). Since your post does not indicate they work together, he should not have contact w/ her.
    The ball is in his court.

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  10. I can't believe she said that about your house the first time meeting you! That is so rude!

    I mean, if she was family, or if you were best friends who went wayyyyy back, then it's fine, but coming over for the first time, keep yo mouth shut lady!

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  11. Do you watch Modern Family? There's an episode where an ex of Phil's (the husband) comes to visit and Claire (the wife) thinks she (the ex) is up to something, which the husband dismisses. It later turns out she (the ex) is after a night alone with Phil in her hotel room and chaos ensues as Phil is once again proved right by his wife and he tries to escape her (the ex's) scary advances. This post just reminded me of that!

    I don't know about the flirting comment, as it's true that you DON'T know how she is with others. And it also depends on the rest of her behaviour towards you as the evening went on, and how she signed off the goodnight.

    But, the apartment being messy was totally uncalled for, and perhaps shows her character if this is the way in which she speaks to (relative) strangers. So on that account alone, totally makes sense why you don't want to see her again.

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  12. I never really felt there was any actual danger of her cheating with him (I don't think my husband would do that), but the flirting just made me feel really uncomfortable. So I didn't have a problem with him talking to her, but I didn't want to spend time with her.

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    1. I'm with you, though I don't know why you felt uncomfortable, except that it is uncomfortable to spend time with rude jerks.

      I bet your husband is now thinking, "So, THIS is the person I was so friendly with? Blech." I would not "forbid" him from staying in touch with her, as that would give their friendship too much power, in a way. I bet his side of the relationship will fizzle (sorry 'bout that) on its own. There are only so many times people can say, "remember when ...?"
      Tricia

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  13. What Fizzy didn't mention is that this girl is a sheltered religious Christian who is saving herself for marriage. (And she's the nice early Ned Flanders type of religious Christian, not the preachy type). For example, in college she loved playing a Pacman game on my computer. It was the original arcade game from the 80s, played through an emulator. When I told her arcade emulators like that are technically illegal, she refused to play it anymore. The girl took a moral stand on freakin' Pacman. You really think she's capable of seduction?

    Believe me, she has zero romantic interest in a married, atheist guy such as myself. She literally acts the same "flirtatious" way with all her friends, both male and female. And while I can see why it would be annoying, I'm certain that she didn't mean to be offensive by the messy comment. She is just a little clueless.

    -Mr. McFizz

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    1. "She literally acts the same "flirtatious" way with all her friends, both male and female."

      Wait, then how come she didn't flirt with ME?

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    2. Now I'm REALLY insulted :P

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    3. "Wait, then how come she didn't flirt with ME?"
      I guess she took one look at your slender body and beautiful hair and decided you were out of her league ;)
      -Mr. McFizz

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    4. aaaaww, it's so cute that he commented! and maybe cos she doesn't know you well enough to flirt with you just yet?

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    5. Well Fizzy, I guess you have a role in "educating" this girl as to how the world works! Don't flirt with married men!!! Especially in front of their wives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      -Grace

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  14. My husband and I have a pretty hard and set rule for our marriage: We don't ever go out with someone of the opposite sex unless we are in a group (my husband works with all women, so he'll go out to lunch with his office and it's him and 6 women). It's not that I don't trust my husband, because I do, but I also know that nobody ever goes out with the intent of having an affair. Even if it's "just" an emotional connection, I want him to have that connection with ME! The same rules apply to me. It has worked out tremendously well for us, and we've been married almost 13 years!

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    1. Agree 100%! Good to have ground rules like that. Then it's never "personal" about someone in particular.

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  15. It sounds like she doesn't have a filter, or very good social skills. Poor dear was maybe too sheltered, that being said it's not your job to teach her either.
    Amanda

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  16. I think you were totally right to listen to your instincts. My husband and I used to spend a lot of time with another couple. Actually, it turned out that my husband and the wife, "Pam" used to hang out a lot because of my work schedule and Pam's husband's work schedule.
    For a while, I noticed Pam giving my husband the eye of love, and I warned him to be careful. He brushed it off because he thought of her only as a friend. Then, she started bashing me whenever I wasn't around. Finally, after several months of this, she confessed to my husband that she was in love with him, and asked him to have an affair. Fortnuately, my husband is a very good man, and he turned her down, amd told me everything she said.
    Of course, I knew what was going on from the beginning. My husband was really surprised because he just wasn't able to see what I was seeing. Anyway- always trust your instinct! You might be wrong, but it is better to be wrong than to be cheated on.

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  17. She needs to stay away. Period. Not only is she rude about your household, she is also inappropriate with your husband.

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  18. Just because she's likely not trying to sleep with your husband, doesn't mean she's not undermining you by calling you messy and flirting with him in front of you. She sounds toxic, even if she is a "sweet Christian girl."

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  19. Was I right to not want to see her again?

    Wants and feelings are not really subject to "right" or "wrong." You can't control how you feel. It's just information.

    The real question should be whether it was reasonable to ask your husband not to see her again. I think that was a reasonable request, because of your husband's reaction.

    When you pointed out Patty's inappropriate behavior, he said "there's nothing he can do," which is a really terrible answer. Of course he can do something about whether he lets another person flirt with him. Regardless of whether she has romantic intentions, your husband certainly is able to tell her to cut out the flirty weirdness. Since he refuses to do that, it's reasonable to ask that he do the next best thing, and not see her at all.

    If he actually were helpless to control his interaction with another person, that would mean he wasn't a functional adult and and should not be trusted out of the house alone. I don't think that was actually the case.

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  20. I was once single and good friends with a married man and one time I touched his arm without thinking the same way I woul with any female friend. At the time, I was mortified that I had done it because I felt it was so inappropriate. I am somewhat surprised that this woman didn't recognize at all that the arm thing was inappropriate.

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  21. Would you have been as jealous if she had not made that comment about your place being messy?

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    1. I didn't like that she made the comment about the apartment, but I wasn't actually upset at her until the flirting took place.

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  22. I don't think it matters if she is flirting with him, he's the one who makes the decision. Let him have his friend, if he's going to cheat (which it doesn't sound like either of them are actually interested in doing), it won't matter whether you were angry about it all along or not. Be happy in the moment, deal with the bad stuff as it comes.

    Also, I think that sometimes there is a cultural difference in what is considered rude, being from NY it wouldn't bother me if someone pointed out my house was messy (if it were true). I would just respond, "Yeah, obviously I am too busy to get my act together."

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  23. I will tell you the truth, no man is just friends with a woman. We will lie and tell you what we think you want to here, be deep down we have plans to get in your pants. So if some guy is your best buddy, you think of him as your big brother / little brother whatever, he has plans to get in your pants, they may be “fall back” plans in case he finds himself single again, but they are there.

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    1. That is totally untrue and actually pretty insulting to women. I am 1000% sure that I have had (and currently have) male friends who do not want to have sex with me.

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    2. not sure how that is insulting to women. Yes they do want to have sex with you, not saying they will act on it.

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    3. Because you're saying that the only reason a man could possibly have interest in spending time with a woman is to fuck her. Like we serve no other purpose and have nothing else of value to contribute to a friendship.

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    4. "Because you're saying that the only reason a man could possibly have interest in spending time with a woman is to fuck her. Like we serve no other purpose and have nothing else of value to contribute to a friendship."

      Men are not wired like Women, men's relationships are activity based. Golf, Fishing, Biking etc. Womens relationships are deeper and more meaningful. Men do not spend time with a woman to just fuck her, but if a man spends any amount of time with a woman, that thought comes up, does not matter if the woman is pretty or ugly, fat or skinny, black, white or green. Any man telling you differnt is lying to you. Is the lie to protect your feelings, to hide something or avoid an argument? who knows.

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    5. Well, it's either very insulting to women for the reasons above. Or else it's very insulting to men, because you're saying that no man can help but want to fuck absolutely anything that has a vagina.

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    6. Well put, Anonymous. It is a biological fact-- we men cannot help but have inappropriate sexual fantasies involving any and all women that cross our paths. For example, I am a single male doctor in my early 30s, so I get plenty of attention from hot young women. Still, after spending the last few weeks helping a cranky octogenarian patient recover from a nasty fall in the bathtub, I simply cannot help but imagine what it would be like to bed that wrinkly old witch. A few months ago, I was constantly daydreaming about sex with the homeless bag lady who I see living on the street a few blocks from my work.. But what man wouldn't wonder what it's like to get head from a woman with no teeth? And last year I was seeing a lot of this morbidly obese woman who had lost a leg to diabetes. Every night I imagined myself naked, tucked into the undulating folds of her girth, and I masturbated furiously. Yes, objectively it is incredibly disgusting, but as a man I just can't help myself. Anyway I can't complain. The guys who work in the morgue have it way worse.

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    7. Anon, that was hilarious :)

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  24. I think you should stay far away from her. I think she wants more from your DH than just to be friends. And, she's rude (forgive me for saying that). The "messy" comment was totally inappropriate. Who does she think she is? Sometimes things are better left unsaid.

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  26. If you worry that your marriage can't survive an occasional ~unchaperoned~ meeting with someone of the opposite sex, I kind of feel pity towards you. You are basically saying that your spouse doesn't love you.
    -Mr. McFizz

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    1. I have to agree with Mr. McFizz. I am a single woman who would never, ever, have a fling with a married man, and don't feel I act inappropriately around them, either. It drives me nuts when I ask occasionally a colleague to grab a quick bite at the local fish fry joint to discuss work or something benign like that (about as much a non-date as you could possibly get) and am told that the wife might get upset. Ummm, ok, I guess.

      And isn't that mistrust you may have insulting to your spouse? It assumes that they are incapable of exercising any measure of self-restraint, and will jump the bones of anyone who's willing to get it on with them. If that's how you view your significant other, then why marry them in the first place?

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    2. I agree with Mr. McFizz too. I never actually asked in my post if I should let him hang out with her, only if *I* should have to.

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  27. My fiance reacted similarly to the way you did once, and I never saw my 'friend' again. Completely understandable. This girl was clearly jealous of you. This is why I don't have female friends I find flirty anymore.

    It's better to have a good relationship, and less drama.

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    1. I genuinely don't think she was jealous of me or wanted to have an affair with my husband. But I think she ought to have known better than to act that way around me. I mean, we can make excuses for her behavior, but she's an adult and need to take some amount of accountability for her actions.

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    2. Well, either way. I don't really know the person. Just my two cents on relationships... Nowadays, I have dude friends and geek out the way I used to when I was 10. So, it worked out :) WARHAMMER!!!

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  28. Hmm... I definitely remarked on a messy home (3 youngsters) but not meanly. Jokingly. Likely "holy cow did a bomb go off in here? Oh, just your kids?" But I don't understand how parents of young kids keep their home standing, so I've a lot of respect for that. Also, we're friends.

    As for sheltered person, I can easily see (with Mr McFizz's clarification) that her version of "oh you're so bad" is equivalent to refusing to play pacman because emulators are illegal. He probably said something like "imagine if this restaurant had forks with three prongs instead of four" or like "this is the reddest ketchup I've ever seen".

    I used the name Natasha in a chat room once and somebody pointed out that it reads AhSatan backwards. So a bunch if religious people refused to talk to me.

    If that's what this girl is like, then I would just ignore her and/or find amusement in her ignorance. That said, I would not hang out with her if I did not find her at least entertaining.

    I'd totally agree with you Fizzy, but Mr McFizz's clarification makes me think she's just one of "those types" that I roll my eyes at and ignore.

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