Archive | November, 2011

Your Father Isn’t… Alex

25 Nov

One of the many prospects in my life this year isn’t from OkCupid at all. Alex came crashing into my life by taking a temp job in the desk next to mine, which he got because of his family’s friendship with my organization’s president.

As so many who use personal connections to get positions they aren’t quite qualified for do, Alex burst into our office oozing undeserved confidence and hair product. To say he has struggled with the work would be a gross understatement, but like a rubber ducky in a flash food nothing seems to dash his spirits. And for some reason, out of all the women in my office, he is focused on me.

Alex’s initial advances are treading that fine line between creepy and illegal. One morning, out of the blue, he asks my middle name. Not one to give out personal information without at least an inkling of how it might be used, I ask why he wants to know. Instead of doing something boring and say, rational, Alex opts not to answer. Instead, he proceeds to Google me for the next hour then he slips into the extra chair in my cubicle to ask why I started an astronomy club my sophomore year at Ramapo high school. Totally normal.

Gradually, though, he’s gotten less creepy. As he’s started to tone his personality down, I’ve started to notice how tall he is… how nice his cologne smells… how intoxicatingly blue his eyes are. I assume that he’s just a flirt by nature and opt for uncomfortably comfortable banter with him as we work. There’s no way he’s into me, or at the very least he wouldn’t be if we didn’t work so closely all day.

So when Alex invites me to grab lunch with him one day, I ask if two other colleagues would like to join us. When he suggests drinks after work, I bring friends. When he sends me an email he admits took the better part of an hour, inviting me to lunch at Smith & Wollensky’s via creative subtitles on Harry Potter movie scenes, I laugh and eat at my desk.

I’m happily putting down roots in a town called Denial when Alex finally asks me to grab a drink, just us two. It’s a Friday afternoon and after so many subtle and not-so-subtle rejections, I agree. What I don’t know is that his boss has found a permanent hire for his position. That isn’t Alex. And they plan to tell him that afternoon.

I’m making unauthorized use of my supervisor’s office to stuff meeting folders with my intern when Alex gets out of his meeting. Without a word, he goes to his desk, grabs his book and walks out, but my intern and I call out to ask how it went. I’m fairly certain it didn’t go well, but Alex can be hard to read.

Standing in the doorway of my boss’ office, with my pale, freckled young intern looking on, Alex tilts his head toward me. We’re inches apart but all he says is that he’s got to go and can we do drinks another day?

~~~~

Sadly, we never got that drink, although truth be told I was probably blinded by his looks and the fact that the cute boy had chosen me. Looking back, I probably could have told you that your father wouldn’t have been fired from a temporary executive assistant position, at least not as the way we met.

Kids, after weeks of build up, of question marks and raised eyebrows, of misinterpretations and misunderstanding, I can confidently say, Alex is not your father.

Advertisements

Your Father Isn’t… Kevin

17 Nov

When Kevin and I finally make plans for our third date, I’m excited but wary since I can’t handle another crazed cycle of waiting, moving on, waiting, and moving on. I’m not good at either of those things at the best of times.  Even so, I can’t help getting all giggly.

We’ve made plans for dinner and a movie on Friday, but on Thursday disaster strikes. Its name is Comcast. The cable in my apartment decides it’s about sick of us and calls it quits, but of course Comcast has nothing open for three weeks… except one cancellation for Friday afternoon between 3pm and 8pm. Surprisingly, the operator doesn’t give a damn that I’ve waited three weeks for this date. Sophie’s choice: Kevin or cable. Whatever I choose, it’ll be three weeks until I see the other.

Anyone who knows me should know how I’d handle a situation like this. Whenever anyone tries to force me to do one thing, I’ll do the opposite. Try to force me to choose between two options, I’ll find a third. Just on principle.

I beat the devil at his game by inviting Kevin to watch a movie at my place (the DVD player still likes us) before going out to dinner once one of my roommates get home. Evil incarnate Comcast admits defeat and shows up promptly at five, but Kevin and I opt to stay in anyway. After four hours, two movies (one good, one not so much), one medium pizza and a bottle of wine, Kevin finally kisses me. I’m so over the moon about the entire evening that I muster the courage to tell him that three weeks between dates is way too long.

As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I panic. That sounds so needy, so demanding! He’s a slow and steady kind of guy and there’s a very good chance I just blew it.

Kevin looks at me in the dark of my living room and says slowly, “What are you doing tomorrow?”

Well that pretty much convinces me that everything is solved and we’re ready to move forward. We’re past the three dates and into the realm of dating.

Within a few weeks, we go on a handful more dates, including a baseball game with my friends. I even meet his mom, although informally as we stop by to pick up a few things from her house.

Even so, each date still feels like one of the first dates and Kevin’s schedule isn’t getting any easier. I find myself secretly hoping his lacrosse team will get knocked from the playoffs so he’ll actually have some free time. Then I feel incredibly guilty and unsupportive for thinking such awful thoughts. And I wonder why I’m single?

His team does lose in the second round of the playoffs, which doesn’t make me happy at all since I figure I’m karmically responsible. And even then, our schedules don’t quite match up.

After an early dinner and movie one Friday (7pm movie… 5pm dinner), Kevin drops me off at home. As I get in bed at 9pm on a Friday, too ashamed to call the friends I turned down because I had a “hot date,” I start to realize the perils of the all-American good guy with his life together: there isn’t much room for a girlfriend.

I text Kevin that night, indulging in a little melodrama, to ask if he thinks this is actually going anywhere. In true Kevin fashion, he doesn’t answer until around noon the next day, at which point I’ve already punched out my frustrations in boxing and eaten my feelings at brunch.

Kevin agrees that things aren’t really taking off, but that he does enjoy spending time together. It takes all my willpower to reply, “Since we’re on the same page, let’s just leave it at that.” I’m still proud of myself for that one.

~~~~

Kids, perfect on paper is so rarely perfect. Exhibit A: Kevin is not your father (although I’d be open to revisiting the matter if it ever came up again).