Flirting was outlawed along with smoking, and anything as suggestive as a smile could land you in the boss's office these days. So how to explain a long chat (with a member of the opposite sex) at the bar after the conference? Situational Intimacy is the name given to that accidental moment when two people, for reasons beyond their control, end up alone together and start exchanging intimate conversation. Airplane journeys are often conducive to this, as are long car rides with colleagues. The fact that the journey has to end makes the conversation that much more riveting. As it is always better to be diagnosed with something official than caught doing something unofficial, this term is ideal for husbands explaining the scent of perfume on their suits. Short of making the sexes work in separate buildings and communicate only by censored e-mail, there is no way of avoiding it.
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