Marriage and Flirting

My husband says I am a flirt, that is, if someone says hi to me, I say hi back, or if someone smiles at me, I smile back. I do this for men, women, children, I don't see it as flirting, but he does. He says I invite people to talk to me, he has learned to accept it over the years, but he doesn't like it. I am friendly with strangers. During a conference I rode our rail system and bus system since the location was so far away, and I hate traffic. I got to know quite a few "regulars" on the bus. If I am bored I will talk to people, but sometimes people just talk to me, and I am usually ok with that. My husband doesn't. For the most part my "flirting" is harmless, but sometimes it does get me into trouble.

Yesterday I went to our local megastore (I am slowly, but surely weening myself off of these places, I just can't break my love of Target) and purchased some groceries. As I was shopping, a nice hispanic man who barely spoke English smiled at me, I smiled back. He took that to mean I was open and willing to obtain some loving from him. He followed me through the store asking for my phone number. I told him I was married, thanks, but no thanks. He felt that was just futile resistance and that he would eventually wear me down. He followed me basically all the way to the checkout, when low and behold his what I can assume is his partner, life mate, or wife came up to him, looking at me crazy, as if I was trying to take her man.

Now note, in my single days, flirting was an art form for me. Even if I wore my jeans, I knew how to wear them, the shirts adequately fit everywhere else but in the chest area, make up and hair on point. If I was flirting, you KNEW I was flirting. I am kind of blunt, not tacky so much, but pretty blunt, if I like you and I know it, I go after you, not in every case, but I swear I would have been dateless if I didn't have that approach in my single days. I never got hit on by men in my single days, it was only when I got a ring on my finger I became remotely attractive to men. Yesterday I looked like a bag lady. Baggy jeans, t-shirt, no make up, and make shift afro pony tail. I was not exactly wooing folks with my look. I don't think I was flirting, I thought I was being nice. In Texas it is normal to wave and say hi to complete strangers, hold open doors for people, say "please" and "thank you". It is normal for people to call you "sweetie", "darling", and "honey." I am guilty of doing this myself to men, women, and children. It is nice Southern Charm.

Let me ask, what constitutes flirting? Is smiling flirting? Holding polite conversation flirting?