Written by Liv Wright

A friend sent me a Facebook post that was headlined, How to Stay Young & Hot Forever: Advice from a 96-Year Old Grandma. You can read it in its entirety on the Wise Boudoir’s Facebook page. The hot grandma has some great tips and they’re all right there in the article. Her granddaughter wrote the piece and lists “20 Ways to Stay Young and Hot from Someone Who Really Knew How.”
My favorite is #8, Flirt with Life.

At first, I was reminded of the women in their nineties who have flirted with Eric when we were out socially. I’ve written in this blog that I want to be like them when I’m in my nineties. But the granddaughter makes a new distinction about her grandmother’s flirting and writes of it this way:

Flirt with life—not just with men and women, but with all of what life has to offer. This will make you feel young, hopeful and excited to get out of bed every day. My grandma enjoyed flirting with any man in uniform, and I am certain that if she were around today, she would flirt with my boyfriend while also flirting with the idea of buying new shoes.

Flirting with life is a new concept for me, but I get it. I get it that being open to new people, new places, and new experiences will freshen my outlook. I get it that being available to life will make me more interesting to others and bring new energies into my life. I get it that when I’m in my nineties, I want to be a woman who’s fun to be around.

I’m writing about a woman today who is in a generation older than mine. Earlier this week, a woman who is in a generation younger than mine learned about this blog and asked why I hadn’t told her about it. I said that I was writing the blog for baby boomer women and thought she wouldn’t share our concerns. She told me that I was mistaken and that her early-forties sisters are concerned about our issues, too.
Which brings me back to flirting. It doesn’t matter how old you are; it’s a lifelong activity. We may think of it narrowly as a part of romance, courtship, or dating. But it’s broader than that. It’s part of being human.

You may have seen the national TV advertisement currently running that features two older women — identical twins – who are shopping for a new car. They flirt mercilessly with the young salesman during their test drive and the twin sitting in the driver’s seat touches his lips with a finger-kiss as they negotiate the price. Now, that’s flirting!

Men even flirt with me when I’m using my walker. The other day, when I was exiting my local McDonald’s having just used the ladies’ room there, a gentleman complimented me on my hair, helped me with the door, and asked why I was using the walker. When I told him I had MS, he looked sad and nodded understandingly. Later, our paths crossed again and he stopped me to chat enthusiastically about the TV infomercials that demonstrate the wonders of blenders that can grind up the healing foods that will definitely cure me. I believe this gentleman was flirting.
Flirting is a life skill without which our lives would be duller, lonelier, and a lot less fun. So says Elizabeth Clark, the “Flirt Guru,” in Flirting for Dummies. I picked up the book because I wanted to know more about flirting and widen my understanding of how it might help me to stay “young at heart” during my mature years.
Clark is bold in her claims about the essential role of flirting in human life. She introduces her book like this:

If you could learn one skill to improve your self-confidence and your listening skills, help you meet more people and project the right impression, and show you how to read and react to body language, not only would you want to learn it, you’d probably expect it to be on the curriculum in every school. Unfortunately, it isn’t because this particular skill is flirting, and it has bad press.

She says that flirting has bad press because, in addition to making you friends and improving your relationships, people also use it to get dates. Whatever the case might be, flirting is a great life skill.

Clark asserts that flirting is a naturally inherent skill that was given to us by Mother Nature and that all we have to do is follow the major routes that have already been mapped into the human brain: Making eye contact, smiling, touching intentionally, and mirroring body language.

My take-away is that the “art” (can I call it that?) of flirting is what we use to connect with others, and that connecting with others is going to become more and more important as we get older. Our skills at connecting can mean very good health for us or only so-so health, experts say. I want to learn all I can now about anything — including flirting — that will help my “forever” last as long as it can.