When you’ve been single as long as I have, and especially at “this” age, you see men and their signals differently than when you were younger.

First, you SEE the signals in the first place. Younger me: “What?! You like me? I thought we were just friends.” Duh – he hand-delivered flowers, makes you custom mix cassettes and gives you his artwork. I was so dense then.

But now I see differently.

Here are the typical signals when I look at a man or (god forbid) engage one in a non-meaningful, “I’m killin’ time in line” conversation.

It sometimes seems to be interpreted as an “I want you now baby” or “I want to have your baby” look/conversation even though I’m just killing time.

How can I tell?

a. Well, they don’t look at me: “I’m married and not supposed to look at you even though I just want to look.”

b. They talk to you briefly but make it clear in approx. 2 sentences that they are married (apparently never considering the fact that maybe I am not INTERESTED in you; I am just making conversation in a line).

c. Most rare of all: You are interested in them and/or they look at you and/or show interest.

Just to show you how out of practice I am with c. Twice in the past few months I’ve had men express interest and/or give me a longer look that one who’s married would ever do (because they’re so busy averting their glances).

With the presumably-interested ones, I almost ran from the first one and could not meet the other’s eyes.

I run away! Where is my smart ass self when I really need it?!