Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Hundred Things My Mother Taught Me A Million Times - Chapter 28

#28 – “Always compliment a man on his tie.  That will start the conversation on him and he will be flattered.”
(Mom - with Bruce Todd - totally busted! Bruce was Mayor of Austin, then County Commissioner and my boss.)

My mother was a shameless flirt, even when she was 85-years-old, even when she was 95! I vividly recall one particular incident at Las Palomas Restaurant in Westlake. We were celebrating her 80-something birthday and she was so “involved” with one of the waiters that we could have left the table, gone shopping, returned an hour later and no one would have noticed. I thought we were going to have to tell them to get a room.

Mother’s flirtations were never ever crude though. You may recall my saying that the naughtiest thing I ever heard come out of my mom’s mouth was “d-e-e-r-n,” which I suppose was a throttled-back damn or dang. Her flirtations were more like a Sally Rand fan dance, no flesh revealed, but plenty of titillation. I cannot tell you how many times I saw some hunk lured into the dance. You could see the evolution of attitude on their faces:
1. Ah, what a sweet old lady. I should be nice.
2. Gaud, is this old bitty flirting with me?
3. OK, so she’s a pretty funny ole’ gal.
4. Un huh, well, I got some stuff too. Take that!
5. Woo hoo, this is fun, but I sure hope that no one I know is watching.
6. OK, I’m blushing. Uncle!
Click on Read More.

When mom found herself particularly well matched intellectually, and paired with a playful gamesman ready to rumble, it was like watching a chess match! It so often began with mom saying, “I love your tie.” And they were never old or unattractive dudes. Mom could spot the best looking, most fertile pray at 40-paces, while carrying on a conversation, and have her stalking plan in place and in motion before anyone had a clue.

Bruce Todd (pictured above) was no mental slouch and a good sport, so he playfully took up the gauntlet with mom on several occasions. Although I suspect he was just being his charming and political self, I also recall him blushing and seeming to genuinely enjoy the game. Of course it always began with, “I love your tie.”

So obviously the line works, if you’re sharp enough to know what to say next of course. Although I’m happily married, the occasion for flirting (fluffing the ego) does come up occasionally, but I just don’t seem to ever be in the room with guys wearing ties. Somehow, “I love your boots,” or “I love your chinos,” just doesn’t seem right. However, I know that some day I’ll walk up to some really hot guy and say, “I love your tie,” and somewhere mom will be smiling.

So mom was right, “Always compliment a man on his tie. That will start the conversation on him and he will be flattered.”



  1. When I contacted Bruce Todd to warn him that I'd posed a photo of him on my blog, his response was,

    "SueAnn, not only do I not mind, I am honored. My only correction to your blog. I recall working for you rather than you working for me. I was so green yet, despite that, you kept me out of trouble. Thanks for all your help so many years ago now.”

    To which I replied, ha ha, very funny. He was being typically generous.

  2. Ever toyed with writing a MomyWade mystery detective story?
    She could disarm the suspect in a detective Columbo-ish manner. 'I love your tie'

  3. I need to learn how to flirt better - thanks for the tip - SueAnn

  4. Dirk - A mystery detective story? Hmmmm, she could be the new Ms. Marple! I like this idea.

    And Randi - I can't believe that you aren't a consummate flirter!

  5. Mommy had a way of making men feel so special, handsome, sexy, and attractive. I had to fight saying "Give me a break!" when she talked to my boyfriend or later my husband like they were someone I should treassure. But to her way of thinking, no matter how imperfect she knew the men were, they were special.