One of my friends in my department described me the other day as “kippy.” When asked to define her terms, she said “kippy means you,” which I did not find very clarifying. “You’re like Gidget,” she explained, when pressed. (I’m like a blonde teenage girl who attracts boys by surfing… I’ve never surfed and I haven’t been blonde since I was 2. But Ok.)

Cut to a disturbing dream I had soon after: that several members of the English department were sitting around shredding me verbally because I had flirted with too many of them. I awoke, wondering if this was my conscience talking, and decided that no, it could not be, because I do not even know how to flirt. High school, undergrad, post-undergrad, you name it; the only guys who looked at me were weird artistic types who couldn’t get anyone else, or the perverts who wanted anyone.

Cut to this afternoon, as I studied with the abovementioned friend. Naturally, we got off topic, and naturally, the conversation turned to relationships (so much more interesting that even the shining beacon of awesomeness that is linguistics). In passing, this girl mentioned that I flirt with all and sundry. I was appalled. I do not flirt with all and sundry. Arguing is not the same as flirting. Being interested in what you’re saying is not the same as flirting. Lounging around in comfortable fashion is not the same as flirting. Smiling at something you said is not the same as flirting. She did not believe me, but claimed that my naivete was another flirtatious move.

“Look,” I said “you should see me try to flirt. It’s painful. Remember, I was homeschooled.”

I therefore submit a definition of “kippy”: frizzy-haired girl who grew up sheltered and reticent only to become an adventuring, wide-eyed soul stabbed by some sprite with the ability to flirt ceaselessly except when she intends to.

Maybe. Hopefully, upon further examination, this definition will prove false. I really think it’s a bad idea to be a ceaseless flirt, or a flirt at all, really. As a public service announcement to those who may know me only through my blog, I would like to clarify that I am not flirting with you right now.

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