They say you can never go Home...

Soldiers of Sparta were allowed to return home after lost battles, only if carried dead upon their shields. I'm convinced this is a more practical and time-saving way to go about it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Open Season

On Friday, I received three calls from three separate girls whom I believe would like to have a relationship with me.

This is stunning on a fundamental level, because I really ain't all that special, nor good looking.

Nevertheless, the process of juggling these reminds me of exactly HOW BAD I am at dealing with people.

The most notable of these young ladies seems pretty brave. She works down the hall in an adjacent department here at the lab. I have seen her for months, smiled briefly as I passed her office. She's very cute, and easy to smile at. It wasn't until maybe two weeks ago, when I parked myself to do some work in an adjacent office to use the computer, that she approached me, and we commenced to have our first conversation together.

I recently had another conversation with her, about the gravid importance Jamba Juice plays in my life. I told her that I'd bring her one. (And in my classic nature, I haven't gotten around to that yet. That was last Thursday).

This past Friday, she intimated that she wanted to tell me something. I, naturally, assumed she was in a high-dudgeon and, sensing my ability to listen to anything almost ad nauseum, wished to vent. This would have been our fourth conversation, and this would not be at all an atypical pattern for a vast majority of past acquaintances.

But she didn't have time to tell me then. So, I said goodbye and that we would undoubtedly talk later.


Later that day, as she was leaving, she stands in the doorway of the laboratory until one of my lab colleagues announces her presence to me.

(Prior to this, my colleagues had intimated that she intended to say that she liked me, so at this point, I was a little nervous, and wished fervently that What Was Going To Happen, would happen on a Monday or Tuesday, where I might have had some more wherewithal, or time to think about this.)

Apparently, she may have communicated this directly to my colleagues, as she looked not a little bit peeved that I hadn't met up with her yet. "I told you I had something to tell you, how come you didn't come by?" Rather accusingly, I might add.

"Oh! I thought you were going to tell me when you had time!"

"Oh. Well, then here." hands me a folded note with her number written on it in pencil.

I am, at this point, flustered on a level equivalent to Avogadro's number. I nervously stammer, "Here, I'll walk you to your car." The thought of having an awkward social exchange on a matter that I was not prepared to address seemed really undesirable proximaly to an audience consisting of my coworkers who could, firsthand, witness my ineptitude with girls.

In the elevator, she makes it easy for me. She explains that there's a really good movie coming out this weekend. I take my cue: I express interest, and that I'll call her on Saturday morning.

I leave her at the elevator, excited, exhilarated, embarrassed, nervous, returning to the second floor with a proportionally increasing anxiousness:

I remember that it's my brother's birthday AND I'm supposed to go to an Engagement Party I had known about for months, AND I'd made plans to go to a live concert with my good friend and my boss. These were all scheduled on the same hour. On my Only Day off During the Week.

Shit. Did I just commit to doing something I physically cannot?

I'm so embarrassed. Do I call?

I do not. I am a total, total bastard; the epitome of a Typical Bad Male.

But not to fear, because it is now Monday, and apparently she has been storming the halls, checking in with all my coworkers, letting them know (so that they may let ME know, with the gleeful delight of Someone In the Know) that she's PISSED! I can almost feel the Pist Mist filling the hallway after I stroll in all bleary and irritated, having had the equivalent of 5 hours sleep. I hide; I write an email. I apologize like a madman. I explain what happened, though it's not a good excuse. I suggest lunch the next day--it's a little easier to get to know someone.

I get a response.

Wait...

Oh my God, it's a bit bitchy!

But Lunch would be acceptable.

Am I dating this girl already? Granted, I know I'm a prick, but is this behavior of distinct...put-offedness something I need to tolerate on ANY level at this point? I don't even know her yet! I'm essentially ALLOWED to do whatever the eff I want--at peril to my own reputation, natch...

I am instantly transported to ALL THE REASONS WHY I DECIDED I WOULD NEVER EVER DATE ANYONE I WORK WITH, NEAR, ADJACENT TO, ETC. And I haven't even had the first date with her yet.

The nightmare is replete: coworkers ALL up in my business, can't go down certain halls for fear of getting the mal occhio, can't concentrate, I'm reduced to some nebulous feeling somewhere between self-loathing and volcanic, others-oriented anger.

Here I am, at the goddamn lab at 2:48 am, having already worked an 11 hour day, and I'm going to have a first date lunch with someone whom I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to technically break up with simultaneously, because there's NO WAY that the little time I have will be enough for her. I probably will need to eat, but won't be able to, due to anxiousness, but more in dire need of sleep (before I begin my shift of 8+ hours), and somehow, robbed of a little more free time that is so precious to me--so precious that it distills a self-interest that transcends the expected self-absorption that usually dictates what time I take as Me Time.

I can't believe this is happening.

I am reminded of how I often deal with telemarketers. I usually tell them, politely, "No Thanks," but they stay on the line, or on the doorstep, convincing me how I've just made a bad decision, until finally, for sake of getting back to it, I simply acquiesce and decide to deal with getting out of it later.

I just recently called Citibank, incredulous over some stupid subscription charge for some roadside service--a service, mind you, that I receive(d) gratis via Volvo--that I apparently agreed to a year ago. And then, I remember. The woman--she wouldn't shut up; I felt simultaneously rude and somehow obligated: Fine, I can cancel anytime? Great. Done. Thanks for calling.

That will be 50 dollars, one year later.

I am a sucker; I am a chump; I am a pucillanimous excuse for a man!

I will not be buying Another Workside Relationship, mark my words!