(originally published February 18, 2010)
I got a wonderful email from Sylvia, which I want to share with you all: Dr. Laura: This is a lesson my mother taught me, but I thought you would approve of her very good advice. I am a southern “belle.” Though I have lived all over the world and do not possess the characteristic lilting southern drawl, I am, in fact, a belle through and through. When raised as a girl in the south, you learn (amongst other things) a true appreciation of the beauty and power of words. We southern girls are thoroughly schooled in the art and craft of words. We learn, very young, how to paint a picture with words. We learn to exploit the rhythm and cadence of language. We speak softly in order to draw in our listener (thus focusing all attention on ourselves). Really – who doesn’t like a whisper? We speak slowly, because anticipation makes everything more enjoyable. Really – who doesn’t like to be made to wait…just a little? I will often send my husband an email designed to make the air around him stand still. I can still make his mouth water with just words. I can make his mind linger and dwell on me all day, with just a softly spoken sentence as he leaves for work in the morning. Sometimes, in the afternoon, I’ll call him up just to say “I was daydreaming about you just now. I was remembering how sweet you are and how you still make my heart beat faster.” This is not just some idle exercise. This is the ultimate investment in my family. This is what makes my husband anxious to get home to me, even after fifteen years. Through flirting, I reap a harvest of sweetness, kindness, gentleness and playfulness. Flirting is a gift we give to each other. It keeps alive the sweetness and excitement of our early dating days. Flirting is like a gentle touch. It is stroking the ego of the one you love. It is titillation pure and simple. It is foreplay with words and humor. Flirting is the secret that all other women know. Flirting is the difference between “ho-hum” and “hot!” It is something you miss when it’s lacking and you often don’t even realize it. Flirting captures the mind, and where the mind goes, the body soon follows. So ladies, flirt with your husband. Here, let me help you out: send an email to the one you love today and simply say “I thought of you today. I thought that if you were a book, then I would like to read you and re-read you, over and over again.” You see, when you give sweetness, you get so much more back.