Tuesday, December 9, 2008

avoiding an office romance.

This past Friday was my company Christmas party.

It was the first time I'd ever seen anyone outside of the office and I feared that it was going to be awfully awkward. Surprisingly, I had a good time.

First of all, it's always interesting to finally be able to put a face to a name. At work I am always hearing stories about people's families and/or significant other. I found out that many of my co-workers are gay. Some that I would have never even considered, like the head of my company.

To be honest, I find it much more relaxing to work under a gay man than I do a straight man. Mostly, because I don't have the constant fear that my boss might be checking me out or that their could ever be any sexual tension or awkward accidental flirtations. Despite that fact that society has become much more liberal and accepting of homosexuality, I still think it probably took a lot for him to get into the position that he is in, especially since he is older and probably moving up the ladder during a time that was not so relaxed. I say "Bravo!" to him and to everyone else who is not afraid to be who they are and love who they want.

Other than this small office awakening that I experienced there was a little bit of an issue. I suppose it's not so much of an issue as a complication.

In general, I have made it a point not to drink with my co-workers. However, it was our company Christmas party and so I felt that a glass of wine or two would be appropriate. [Don't worry this isn't a drunken disaster story again] It was one of my co-workers birthday and everyone was invited to a bar down the street after the party. At first I didn't think it was a good idea to go, but I was having such a good time and I really wanted to get to know my co-workers better, so I decided to go after all.

Shortly after we were at the bar and I got to talking with this very attractive man from my office. He and I had only spoken a few times before as we don't really work together that often. Usually, we casually say hello in the kitchen or sometimes we speak on the phone about his client deadlines, but that's about it. Oh and he is gorgeous, but I thought he was married. I'm not sure why. He doesn't wear a wedding band, but he puts up a bit of an "i'm taken" attitude.

A little while later, one of the younger women at the office who is the closest to my age called me over to her. She told me that her and a couple other women saw me talk to Attractive Office Man and thought we would make a cute couple. They went on and on about what a nice guy he is and how he's the typical "nice guy who finishes last." For nearly ten minutes they tried to convince me that I should go for him. I told them that it's never a good idea to go out with someone that you work with; it only causes conflict. Don't get me wrong, he's beautiful to look at and if we didn't work together I would in a second.

It was pretty obvious what these ladies were trying to do. They didn't hide it at all, which made for a very uncomfortable situation. I continued to talk to him anyway, mostly because he was good company and nice on the eyes.

Finally, I got a hold of my roommates who were at a bar not too far from where I was. I invited Attractive Office Man with me to meet them. At first I wasn't sure if I should, but when I mentioned where I was going, he was more than happy to help me get there. He called his cab driver friend and got us there in a gif.

While we were at the second bar he and I got to talking. Mostly he talked to me about work, which was boring, but I'm guessing he wasn't sure what else to talk to me about. Around closing time we had the following conversation:

Attractive Office Man: I think you're really sexy.
Me: Oh, well thank you.
Attractive Office Man: *smile*
Me: Do you mind if I ask how old you are?
Attractive Office Man: I'm 30. How old are you?
Me: You want to guess?
Attractive Office Man: 25?
Me: Lower.
Attractive Office Man: 24??
Me: I'm 22.
[I literally saw his jaw hit the floor, bounce and hit the floor again]
Attractive Office Man: I never would have guess that based on your job and how you carry yourself.
Me: Yeah...

Within minutes of that conversation my roommates and I left the bar.

Yesterday, of course, he was one of the first people I saw when I got to work. We cordially said hello and went on with where we were going. I really hope that no one starts speculation and that those women don't keep encouraging it. Although, today I did get a personal e-mail from him at work. It was very casual. He just wanted to make sure that my roommates and I made it home safely on Friday. I was brief and friendly, but not flirty.

It would never work...

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