I got such overwhelming response to my last blog post about grumpy old men (and grumpy mums) so I thought I continue on the same subject…  No, seriously, I got precisely none, so instead I will focus on something more positive.

If grumpy old men manage to make me really grumpy, young flirting guys can make me really happy. A little innocent wink from a young good looking bloke can really brighten up the day for a tired and exhausted mum (in fact, a wink from any old chap would do, as long as he is not grumpy!).

When I was new in Belgium I was amused and surprised with the way men sometimes just wink at you for no apparent reason. It made me feel happy and special, because, believe me, from where I come that would never happen. Men just don’t do that sort of thing in Finland.

I do realize that it is just part of the culture here in Belgium and that the men (and women) who are winking probably do so left and right, with no certain meaning. I know I should not take it personally, but nevertheless I find it hugely charming, it makes me smile and it is good for my self-esteem.

It happened to me a few months ago that somebody gave me a quick one eye wink (pathetic, I know; a few months ago and I still reminisce about it). I was walking in the rain, pushing the pushchair through muddy puddles, getting soaked by passing cars, feeling rather miserable and gloomy. Not the sort of day when you feel good about yourself. And there he was, one of the workmen by the side of the road. He winked at me. Wow, I thought. No make-up, dirty soaking hair, a runny red nose, clothes that had seen better days and a fidgeting baby in the push chair, but I got a wink. It immediately made me feel so much better.

So gentlemen, if there are any reading this, keep winking! And ladies, tell your husbands to wink too. It is just so nice for a tired and low-spirited mum to get the attention for a second from a complete stranger. Or why not ask your husband/partner to wink at you over a (boring family Christmas holiday) dinner. A little flirt with your own husband might do wonders for the seasonal spirit.

Happy Winking New Year everyone!

Annika Eaton