Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I didn't know things like that happened in real life...

In my last post, I mentioned an incident wherein a would-be suitor showed up at my workplace four days before my wedding, and asked me to abandon my fiancée and take up with him instead. Truthfully, I hadn't thought about the episode in years, but several commenters indicated that they thought the story needed to be told here in its entirety. JD, suzicate, and Kathy , here ya go.

(Note: Names in this story will be changed to protect, well, me. I don't want the fellow in question to Google himself, find his name on my blog, and track me down.)

"Ben" was a co-worker at a crummy job where I made no money, but had a lot of fun with all of the other broke 20-somethings. He made me laugh, and we became "work friends," but I never considered dating him. After a while, Ben began inviting me to play (ahem) Dungeons & Dragons with him and his friends. When I told him that D&D really wasn't my thing, he set up a couple of group outings with some of our co-workers. Oddly enough, all the other people cancelled at the last minute, leaving me alone with Ben. I was annoyed about the deception, but too polite to just leave. On the second outing, Ben suggested that we walk around a small pond in the shopping center where we were supposed to meet our friends (danger! danger! romantic setting!!). Ben then proceeded to tell me that he was in love with me, while I fervently wished that I could just die on the spot. If you have never been in the position of being the recipient of an "I love you" that you have no intention of returning, consider yourself fortunate, because it is dreadful. I was still praying for death when Ben swooped in for a kiss, and I nearly tumbled into the pond, trying to back away. Most. Awkward. Moment. Ever. (And I have a double-major Awkwardness and Embarrassment, with a specialty in Public Humiliation.) Needless to say, I deployed the "I care about you as a friend" speech, posthaste. Ben told me that he wouldn't give up hope that I would change my mind someday. A couple of months later, he found another job, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Moved on with my life, which included meeting and falling in love with Mr. Nerd.

A little over a year later, Mr. Nerd and I are in the final stages of preparing for our wedding. I was sitting at work, about four days before the wedding, when the receptionist called to say that I had a visitor at the front desk. Not suspecting anything amiss, I opened the door to the reception area and nearly fell out when I saw Ben and Ed waiting. (Why did he bring his friend? That was weird, and I never thought about it until now.) Ed left us alone, and Ben said he had heard that I was getting married in a few days. When I told him that was true, he asked me to reconsider. Ben said that Mr. Nerd was probably a nice guy, but he could make me much happier if I would give him a chance. He also asked me if I was really sure that I was in love with Mr. Nerd.

Stunned? Incredulous? You have no idea. My love life had always been pretty lacking in drama, and now here I was, face-to-face with this odd guy who was asking me to abandon my fiancée DAYS before the wedding, and pick him instead. I think pre-wedding stress was the only thing that kept me from kind of flipping out. Those last couple of weeks before the wedding had been so exhausting that I was just too out of my mind to respond normally. I think all I could say was, "I love him very much, he makes me happy. I appreciate the gesture, but I am getting married this weekend." Turned around, walked back to my desk, explained what had just happened to the dear friend with whom I shared an office. And then freaked out a little.

Looking back on it nearly 14 years later, I guess it was a little flattering to have a guy make a Grand Gesture for my sake. Please don't get the idea that I was some kind of temptress leaving a trail of broken-hearted Bens in my wake, though. He was 26, and probably had not had much attention from girls. I just happened to be the one who was nice to him. Since I had been on the opposite side of many (MANY) such unrequited crushes, I really hated the thought of hurting his feelings. When things like that happen in the movies, it seems all dashing and romantic, but I was kind of mortified by the whole thing. I don't know, maybe it only works if the Grand Gesture is followed by a bus ride with Dustin Hoffman.

(awkward t-shirt comes from here)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A very strange kind of day

Do you ever have days that are just...odd? I'm not talking paranormal-weird or anything, just a little off. Well, I had one of those days today. Here are a few of the episodes that made me feel like I might be stuck in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

The phone calls
Let me begin by noting that I answer the phone all day long, every day, so I am no stranger to weird phone calls. This morning, I spoke to two different callers, about two completely different situations. I did my best to help each caller, so I thought that was the end of that. This afternoon, though, each of those people called me again...and, again, went through their entire spiel, in conversations identical to those we had had this morning. Here's the strange thing: They had no idea that they were speaking to the same person they spoke to earlier in the day. I would be willing to believe that my customer service had been somewhat underwhelming, but I usually try to be helpful and treat callers the way I would like to be treated. (Golden Rule and all, you know.) So, two people just completely forgot me. I watch a lot of science fiction, and I was beginning to wonder about parallel universes and rifts in the space-time continuum and whatnot. Weird.

The elevator
I was on an elevator, going from the 5th floor to the 11th. You know how you forget to push the floor button sometimes? I know I pushed the button, because it lit up. I promise! But the elevator didn't stop on my floor. It went all the way to the top of the building, shimmying and shaking like it was about two seconds away from a reeealllly fast trip to the basement. (My primary thought at that moment? Oh no, I have my new boots on! How's that for having your priorities straight?) Of course, I felt it necessary to explain to the lady who then boarded the elevator that I had actually pushed the button. She gave me one of those "sure, of course you did, dear" kind of looks. Weird, and a tad embarrassing.

The mystery visitor
The organization where I work is spread out over several buildings. This morning, I got a call from the security desk at one of the nearby buildings; a gentleman was there looking for me, and they were going to send him my way. I'm an administrative assistant, so it's pretty unusual for someone to be looking for me specifically. I have to confess to a bit of panic, because the first person who came to mind was one of my former co-workers. He liked me, I didn't feel the same, he left the company, and I thought no more of him. Until he turned up at the reception desk, four days before my wedding, to tell me that he was in love with me and would like for me to call off my wedding and give our relationship a chance. Can you see why I was unnerved? I was on pins and needles for the ten minutes or so that it took my visitor to find me. But it wasn't him after all. It was a perfectly nice and friendly fellow, with a legitimate work question for me. Whew. Could have been weird (boy howdy, could it have been weird), but it wasn't.

After a day like this, it was a great relief to come home, where everything is normal. How about you? Have you had an odd day lately?

photo came from here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Four whole days!

I have a four-day weekend, and I am so excited about it! Here's what I'm going to do:

1. Sleep in
I saw another doctor this week (#3 in the Great Shoulder Adventure, in case you're interested). He noted my bag-eyed state, took pity on me...and prescribed something to help me sleep. I'm trying the new med for the first time tonight. All fingers are crossed.

2. Make a purse
Honestly, I have kind of a love/hate relationship with sewing. You've heard "measure twice, cut once"? I usually measure four or five times, cut wrong, try not to swear, cry for a while, then make sure I have enough fabric to start it all again. Sometimes I have to just scrap the whole thing. But I found some really cool UK fabric on sale, and I hope to make a quilted purse to sell online. I've made several of these purses already, but that's no guarantee I will be able to do do it again.

3. Read 
You probably can't tell from my crummy photo, but this is my favorite reading spot. With my softest, warmest fleece throw, and two excellent Inspector Morse books from the library. I can't wait to curl up here for a few hours.

4. Nap
My favorite reading spot is also a good place to nap--especially if there is a warm puppy to cuddle. Sometimes they get tired of waiting for me, and just take over my napping spot for themselves.

5. Just running a little errand, no big deal
Uh oh. Patches just found out he has to go to the V-E-T tomorrow for some blood work. Looks like he has taken refuge under the bed. Don't worry, little guy! It's just a tiny poke.

So, those are my big plans. There is a chance that numbers 2 and 3 may take a backseat to number 4. How about you? What are you doing this weekend?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Minutes of the previous meeting of the dogs

In attendance: Sebastian, Patches, and Abby
Agenda: Discuss the progress of the new initiatives to drive our mom crazy

Sebastian: Okay, everyone. Thanks for taking the time to meet today.

Patches: As if we would be doing anything else. We can’t drive, after all.

Abby: I think I saw a squirrel. Did you guys see a squirrel?

Sebastian: Let’s try to stay focused, so we can get through the agenda. Abby, how are you doing on your assignment?

Abby: I would say I’m making excellent progress. I don't know if it's the cold weather or what, but poop seems much tastier lately. I’ve been eating some every time I go outside.

Sebastian: Excellent! That definitely drives Mama crazy. She hates it when you eat poop. Patches, how about your assignments?

Patches: Well, I have been trying to rile up the neighbor dogs as much as possible, and they’re responding really well. The melting snow has been an added bonus, since all of our barking areas are super-muddy right now.

Sebastian: Are you making sure to bring in lots of little mud balls on your feet? So that they get ground into the carpet?

Patches: Absolutely. It took Mama 45 minutes to clean up all the mud last night. She had to mop the kitchen floor, too-twice.

Sebastian: Good, good. She should be getting close to the edge by now. For my part, I’ve been attempting to snatch Mama’s food off the table and counter whenever possible—I nearly got those fried pickles last week! I’ve also been contributing to the barking effort as much as I can.

Patches: I almost forgot! Two mornings last week I ate barf out in the yard, and then came inside and immediately yakked up my WHOLE breakfast. That really seemed to make a big impact on our mom—she went nuts.

Abby: Nuts? Did you see the squirrel?!

Sebastian: Mama is right, Abby—you really do have doggie ADD. So, for next week, I think we should all keep working on our current projects. Patches, can you also try to make sure you dump all of our toys out of the basket every day? Mama hates that.

Patches: Yeah, yeah…I’m on it. Can I take a nap now? I haven’t had a nap in at least an hour.

Sebastian: You are truly the laziest dog ever. Abby, be sure to continue with the poop-eating, and watch for birds that you can kill. You’re really good at that, and Mama hates to pick up their little carcasses.

Abby: No problem. I will eat as much poo as possible, and be on the lookout for birds. I love this project!

Sebastian: Okay, remember our primary objective here: If we can drive Mama crazy, she won’t be able to go to that "work" place anymore. Then, she can stay home with us all day! This meeting is adjourned.