1. a flirtation or flirtatious episode, or an affair
  2. the frivolous or idle wasting of time

For years I had this belief that a wedding or engagement ring was like an electronic yard fence for dogs: as long as it was on, a person could flirt all he or she wanted but would never cross that invisible boundary of propriety.

I didn’t stop being a flirt when I got engaged; I just became an engaged flirt. There are two kinds of flirts: the overt flirt and the inverted flirt. I, for the most post, am an inverted flirt, whose style never evolved from the second grade. If I like a guy, I’ll tease him. While I have ceased from kicking guys in the shin under the lunch table, I still employ the same tactics.

Right around the time I got engaged, I started a new job. I was supposed to join a specific project, for a specific role but because of office politics, I found myself on a different project, in a different role. Several weeks into the project, I was not happy, with the role or the team. I learned years ago that life is too short to not enjoy something to which you devote the majority of your time, so I made the decision to give the project a month’s chance before taking action.

For most of my career, I have worked on male teams. It is just the nature of the business I am in. So me having a friendship with a male member on my team was not unique. Furthermore, me taking on the project of doing an external and internal guy makeover was nothing new either. Billy was the perfect candidate.

He was the kind of big-fish-in-a-small-pond cocky that resulted from a sheltered lifestyle, coddling parents, workplace nepotism, and a lack of world experience. I knew this lack of humility and inflated ego was mostly bravado. I felt compelled to tear it down in order to “rebuild” him.

Methodically I debunked all that he took pride in. And then I offered him an alternative. Had I been engaged and satisfied in my job more, I’m not sure I would have taken the interest I did in him. Had I been engaged and satisfied in my relationship with Dexter, I definitely wouldn’t have.

But I did. And in that process, something happened to me. I started smiling more. I looked forward to seeing my ebullient apprentice. In exchange for the superficialities of showing him how to wear his hair, what products to use, what clothes and cologne to buy, how he should walk, how he should talk – he would shower me with vernal gifts of mixed cd’s, candy and his undivided attention and devotion.

Dexter knew about my young friend but Dexter wasn’t the jealous type. What Dexter didn’t know is I started to feel sexy again around Billy. For the past year, maybe longer, I had lost touch with that side of me. But it is an essential side of me. Billy made me aware of my appeal. I just hadn’t realized how much I missed it.

The project quickly expanded to outside the office. We began going to lunch and going shopping and I would advise him on how to seduce a woman. Billy was wildly unsuccessful with the type of women he desired and it was my goal to lead him to success.

Our outings became more frequent. As my discontent with my job grew, so did my dependence on Billy. I had an unconditionally devoted playmate at work. Whatever I needed, he was there. And I made excuses for certain behaviors, like having explicit conversations about sex, on the grounds that it was part Billy’s “education.”

The hard line was crossed when during one of our shopping excursions, I invited Billy into the dressing room at a prominent department store and undressed in front of him. It was exhilarating. It didn’t help that I had had two glasses of champagne at lunch. But I knew what I doing. In fact, I had planned the moment out, including the part of kissing him. The kiss, after all, was part of the “training.”

I was in a fog. The problem with fogs is that you have no sense of direction and since I had no sense of where I was going, I just continued on the path I was on.