Saturday, March 6, 2010

Excuse Me

She was sitting by the bar with nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to talk to. It was relatively quiet when she first walked in, although the regulars that were already there were already well on their way to drunk. She wondered to herself for the millionth time why she thought she would ever find a decent conversation in a bar and then mentally quipped that she should get a prize for crossing that millionth milestone.

The more times the second hand wandered around the clock the more people filed in until there was a multi-pitched humming pulsing around the room punctuated by laughter. The sound itself was pleasant enough but the view left something to be desired. Dim bar lighting was supposed to make the occupants more attractive, but in this area of the midwest it was going to take a bit more than unscrewing a few light bulbs to make the room appealing. Really the only entertainment other than the CD player that occasionally skipped was watching the mating dance of the midwest rednecks. It usually involved quite a bit of staring, several shots of something or other and vague pointing gestures to friends. The laughter was now accompainied by the portly bartender occasionally slapping the CD player whenever he realized the same musical phrase had been repeating for 5 minutes.

It was probably the most boring night out imaginable, but to Sarah it was better than staying home. She'd seen a bit too much of home lately. Just as she was about to give up the unthinkable happened. An attractive man entered the bar. And he wasn't just attractive in comparison to the present inhabitants. His face and frame were enough to be noticed by people with even higher city standards than Sarah's. She felt a small smile twitch the side of her mouth. Perhaps she would stay and watch for all the 5 minutes he would be able to stand being in this atmosphere. At least now there was a view.

He scanned the room for a moment, then took careful study of the bar. Was it possible? He was looking at her. A slow easy smile spread across his face. Sarah felt her stomach turn over. What amazing eyes! He expertly threaded his way across the floor headed straight in her direction. Should she look away and pretend not to notice? Should she continue staring? Why in the world did she have the jitters?

As he drew closer to her bar stool he nodded to the bartender, who grunted in reply and slapped his towel to the bar to clean up a spill. Apparently he'd been here before.

And now he was here, standing in front of her. There was a fainty spicy smell of cologne and his suit jacket was exquisitely tailored. She thought it was odd that he was looking over her head but refused to break tradition and say the first words. She looked up into his beautiful eyes. He looked down with a somewhat perplexed look, perhaps even anxious? Their eyes met.

"Excuse me. You're sitting in front of my cell phone."

Sarah felt the blood drain from her face. "Oh! Sorry!" She slid to the side and he reached past her to collect a distinguished looking PDA from the other side of the bar. Was it an ice breaker? Sarah's mind reeled as she weighed the options for salvaging the unexpected beginning. He slid the phone into his pocket.

He smiled and their eyes met again. "Sorry about that. You have a good night." He turned and expertly threaded his way back to the door.

And that was that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Memory

A small group sprawls across a modest cabin. A fire snaps in the stone fireplace. Heads are bent over work and tankards of this and that sit within easy reach. In one glance you can tell this collection of humanity is simple, earthy and well acquainted with their tasks. One mends with a needle and thread. One cleans the barrel of a gun. Another is lacing a pair of snowshoes.

Outside snow is falling and the wind blows, but inside it is comfortable and warm. As the moon rises and the work progresses at an easy pace snatches of a tune can be heard as someone hums over their progress. The man with the gun glances over his fellow collection of rebels and speaks his thoughts aloud.

"So how is it? Who has a girl back home?"

Ebony arches a dark eyebrow at him and returns to her snowshoes.

"Or a man. How 'bout it? Who's left someone behind?"

No one responds.

"Come on. Somebody's got to have someone to think about! What about you, leMarc? You're a good enough looking fellow! I'll bet you've left more than one to pine!"

leMarc absentmindedly swirled his flagon and took a drought. "None for me. Not this time around." He continued to swirl his brew as he stared into the fire."

"Ebony? What about you?"

Ebony paused over the lacings and contemplated the rough hewn floor. "I've a man back home. We're set to be married when I return."

"Well? Is he tall and handsome or short and fat? Does he have a glass eye? Tell us about him."

Ebony shifted in her seat to gain more light from the fire. "Well, he's tall I suppose. Beautiful dark eyes. He's strong from milling the wood. Not so handy with the women that most would notice him, but he's an honest man and a strong heart. He'll do me just fine coming home. What about you?"

Garrett changed tools and continued his work on the gunbarrel. "There's a girl for me. Pretty eyes. Long curly hair. Likes the finer things. And gentle. Everything the girl back home should be."

"You gonna marry her?"

His hands paused for a moment and he looked into the flames. Then he nodded slowly and met Ebony's eyes. "I think I just might when we get out of this mess."

Ebony nodded and returned to her snowshoes. leMarc slid his tankard to Port for a refill. Everyone knew Port didn't have a woman. His wife had died several years back and he'd been with the band ever since.

Conversation was absent for a long moment. Then Garrett glanced at the small girl opposite him. She was bent over a leather harness, mending a tear.

"You're awful quiet, Sparrow."

She flickered a glance at him, but didn't reply.

"Sparrow's always quiet," a voice drawled from the shadows. Only a boot and the piece of straw the speaker was chewing on was visible, but everyone recognized Shaw's voice.

"Come on, Sparrow. Who's waiting for you at home?" Garrett was coaxing and he knew it was a gamble. Sparrow rarely said anything about herself. As second in command she was well liked and well respected, but no one really knew her.

"Yeah, Sparrow. Tell us about who's at home," a young voice chimed in. His baby face seemed strangely out of place in this rebel crew of tested warriors, but everyone had to start somewhere and the numbers for the cause were getting lower every day. Sparrow looked at him, knowing he had nothing but a mother and sister to go back to, and felt his desire to share in the family of the band. It felt odd to have nothing to share on this point.

"There's no one," she said quietly. Garrett watched her carefully. Her hands looked fully concentrated on their work, but her mind was elsewhere.

"How could there be no one at home for you?" By the look on Bliss' baby face you'd think this was a crime against humanity. He had a lot of admiration for the older girl.

Sparrow sighed and glanced at him again. "Because there isn't."

"But surely there must've been sometime!" Hands around the room had slowed as each tried to watch little Sparrow without staring, afraid that outright curiosity would cause her to lapse into silence.

"There was. Once." Bliss edged toward her, obviously eager for a story. She dropped her head to her work again, but after a moment she told the following tale.

"There was a time once when I was the girl back home."

"No! Not you!" someone exclaimed. Several of the others shushed him.

"He was big and he was strong and when he was around everything was right with the world. There wasn't anything the two of us together couldn't handle. He made me laugh, held me when I cried and he made everything beautiful. We thought to get married someday and were even making plans. Then, one day, I got word that he was coming home, but not to marry me. He'd been gone for a full turn or so and now that he was coming home he wanted nothing to do with me."

Shaw shook his head and spat out his straw. Garrett paused again in cleaning his gun and several others turned to look anywhere but toward Sparrow.

"But what happened?" Bliss urged.

Sparrow looked at him sadly, "I don't know." Bliss looked genuinely confused and shocked at this revelation. "I heard later that I'd done something he thought as betrayal, but I never found out what or why."

The flickering shadows digested that news in the silence. Bliss jumped to her defense:

"But you would never do a thing like that! It must have all been a misunderstanding!"

The faintest of smiles twitched the corner of Sparrow's mouth.

"It is what it is, now and there's nothing can change it. My way is the lone way now and I've come to accept it. It's rare you find 2 champions in this world that will fight to the death by your side and absurd to think that both would love you."

Bliss' dismay touched Sparrow and she managed a small half smile. She reached out and squeezed his wrist. "It really isn't so terrible as that. This is my path and there's no shame in it for me."

Bliss aimed his whirling thoughts at the knotty pine floor and silence again covered the group. Only Sparrow continued in her work until her story no longer hung palpable in the air. Then Ebony returned to her snowshoes and Garret returned to his gun. leMarc let his chair drop back to all four legs with a bang, stood abruptly and went out, slamming the cabin door behind him with a jerk. When the air no longer vibrated the scene returned to its beginning: warm light from the fire, a small lazily industrious gathering, and flagons of this and that sometimes replenished by Port.

Outside the wind gusted, adding showers of ice to the snow already hung in the air. leMarc stood in the clearing, staring toward the stars, and silently cursed the bending minds of men.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Please don't make me sleep while the memory's overwhelming-
I don't want to dream his nightmares anymore.
Let me leave these troubles to the One who understands them.
I don't want his demons breaking down my door.
I don't want to fight here anymore.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Beautiful Mind

I want to write something witty. Something charming. Something that will make my readers laugh. And yet I find myself thoroughly distracted. There is an old thought in my head that manages to prevent me from sleep. I'd like to blame all my insomnia on this particular instance so that I might have a reason for all my midnight ramblings. Then I would be able to find some brilliant coping strategy...some resolution...and I would return to the normal life of one who works and plays during the day and sleeps through the night.

I am afraid to read my emails on Facebook. It's true! I sent out an email the other day that, for me, was of the utmost importance and now I'm petrified of reading my emails. And I'm waiting on a phone call that will never come. I keep trying to explain this to people, but they insist that it is possible. All right. To maintain my facade of an indeterrable realist I will admit it is within the realm of possibility that a phone call might occur. However, it is only within the realm of slight probability. Why should one who has hidden themselves for so long suddenly step from the shadows? In a sense they are probably the only other person in the world more afraid of the ensuing conversation than myself.

But it is a conversation that needs to be had. Such has been the general consensus. Thus far its lack of "hadding" has merely served to leave plenty of loose strings for the kittens of rationale to play with. Now it's all become a tangled mess that will take at least two to unravel. Will the two ever meet long enough to pick away at the knots and tangles until some sense of the mess is made? It all reads like a bad dramatic serial comic strip and I prefer not to subscribe to the Sunday paper.

Imagine, if you will, a pair of bare feet, or perhaps feminine cowboy boots, propped up on a wooden railing. The owner is leaned back in a chair, waiting. The owner of the house returns from work, spies the owner of the feet...and the rest is a mystery that more than slightly resembles a tornado in a trailor park. I have this undying sense that it will not end well. Many enlightened individuals will admit that their karma has run over their dogma. I fear my problem is not the same. I fear my pragmatism has neglected my romanticism to the point that the bloom is off the rose. It now hangs its head in shame while its dried form provides a constant testament to its fate. Water, fertilizing and a good pruning should do the trick, but what would be the point?

Therein lies the crux of the matter. The point. Somehow we were all brainwashed into believing that there was a point to everything...a raison detre. Perhaps there is, but does that necessitate that we understand said point? I am realizing that it doesn't. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." What's more important? Hell or the intentions? Well, obviously the intentions since the accused couldn't possibly have intended to take up lodging in hell while paving the road with good intentions. That logic doesn't hold. We've all heard the cliche, "It's not the destination, it's the journey". If it's really the journey, then why are we all rushing so madly like rats in a maze? Admit it. We were conditioned to believe that the outcome is what is truly important. If you have even a small question in your mind that this may not be the case, merely watch NY commuter traffic for about 5 minutes. My point will be driven home provided the cabbie doesn't wreck.

Control. That is what it takes to sway the outcome in our favor. Those who gamble and are successful can explain to you the process of probability and the necessity of math to garner the desired consequence. Those who create plastic can describe in detail the necessary chemical manipulations and combinations required to achieve the obligatory results. We control. We strive. We regulate, grasp and beat a path to our especial stipulations. At the end of that path, we've been told, is the realization of our dreams...the culmination of our moments...the justification for our blood, sweat and tears. How sad and disappointing to come the the edge of the tall grass and find something else entirely: a corn field. Not only must we cut a swath through yet another indefinable obstacle, but now that which stands in the way has the ability to cut back with its razor sharp greens. And so the cabbie deposits us on the stoop of reality: we are not, in fact, in control.

And so we are frustrated. How else do you explain the tenacious profession of weatherman? He's wrong more than he's right and, oh, do we hate him for it! But he continues his employment because, deep down, we all sympathize with him in that he is attempting to predict that which he cannot control. If we cannot control something we must at least predict the outcome in order to obtain some ability to control our reaction to it. Do you see where I'm headed with this? There is no part of the human condition that allows us to just let go and accept whatever outcome may occur! Even choosing to refuse prediction is, in fact, an effort to control the current situation where a choice is being demanded of one who is disinclined toward the proffered scenario.

So how are we to cope with it all? The reeling, never ending positing of scenarios. The dark cave into which we retreat when the scenarios overcome us. The jubilation of achieving the desired result. The disenchantment of miscalculation. It's exhausting.
And it keeps you up at night.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I didn't even know guys USED that line!

Yup. I had no idea. Unfortunately, for me anyway, this is not going to be a post about bad pick up lines. It is going to be a post about getting jilted.

Yes. I just got the rock star in Colorado...that one I couldn't stop talking about. She's some pretty bottle blonde that happens to be local. I can't compete with local. Haha. My hotness has trouble projecting through the internet ether.

What was the line? "It's one of those things where I was taken by surprise. I didn't expect it to happen. We'd been friends for a while now and just started talking about more. I hope I don't lose my friendship with you. I value it."

Yup. I got the "let's just be friends line". Who knew? The last guy to use that on me was Mr. Good Lovin'! And he was derranged.

By the way. "a while now" = 5 weeks. I've been friends with him for 6 and there's definitely been some hardcore flirting on his part. (We all know I was flirting- that goes unsaid. haha) And he did it as a text message! Friends, you haven't hit the bottom until you get "friended" by text!

So the next time you feel as though "love is a gypsy child, etc", take a moment to have a fond memory of me and this little situation and just be happy it didn't happen to you!

Ah, l'amour!

Monday, January 4, 2010

An old Favorite to Keep My New Readers Up to Speed

Really long and mildly funny story...
names have been changed to protect the guilty

So in the fall of 2006 I was working as a temp and, since I made such a big impression on the Corporate HR president for a medical company, I was apparently requested to sit a position at corporate. When I was introduced to everyone I noticed a slight imbalance in this office building: there are about 15 women and 3 men. One man was the HR VP, married, etc. One was a very attractive recruiter that I'm pretty sure I wasn't his type. The other guy was the Retention Manager (whatever that is) and he had no pictures up in the office that I could see that would indicate any family or significant others. He also gave me that "eh-heh, it's a girl" look when we were introduced. He'd only been there for about a month and no one was really sure what he did....

So I was eating my lunch outside during the first couple of weeks because the weather was nice and I couldn't stand being indoors. He would drive in from wherever he'd been, wander over and strike up a conversation. Then he'd stand there and talk to me for 10 or 15 min until I had to go back to work.

In one of our conversations I discovered that he liked jazz, celtic and other random forms of music, so I invited him to come to my concert (I'm a jazz singer for those not in the know). He said he'd love to come, pulled a no-show, then gave me this horrifically lame excuse. (It was a beautiful day and it was the first time he'd been able to run since injuring his ankle a week or so before. Once he started he was enjoying himself so much that he just didn't stop until 7:30. Since my concert started at 7, well that was that.)

This, however, sparked a series of somewhat flirtatious email conversations. Kind of like im, only with email. Then he asked me if I would teach him ballroom dance. We contracted and set a time. $25/hr and he was to feed me dinner. I had no place big enough to really teach, so we settled on his place, which was rumored to be quite big (and wasn't).

So I pulled in and made friends with the two dogs. He let me in and one of the first things he said to me is that we need to re-negotiate my fee. (Are you joking!?) I wouldn't budge on that one because I'm 1. coming to his house, 2. teaching him alone in his house, and 3. coming straight from work to do it. He then changed the subject and we shot the breeze for a half hour and then had an hour and a half lesson. He and took me out to dinner since there was no food in the house. Good conversation. Relatively good food. (I hate Tex/Mex) Really managed to enjoy myself. Got back to his place and bartered again. Got $20 for the lesson.

Next day I got the "was that a date we went on" email. Oy. So I explained to him that I could lose my job for dating someone in the client company, so I'm gonna go with a no on that one. So then he pushed it and asked if it would have been a date if that weren't a possibility. I fended him off with philosophical questions and forced him to define a date and finally said I hadn't thought about it. (Remember, at this point I still think he's hot.) He finally let it go.

Meanwhile, I noticed that he was splitting his spare time at work (which he seemed to have in spades, even though he told me that he's two to three times more productive than any normal person) between my desk and this other girl's doorframe. Her name [for our purposes] is Courtney. She was the hiring manager for my position. We were the only two young, cute, single females in the building. Since my position was practically Courtney's right hand, it caused some interesting dynamics when they were flirting and I had to get something out of her office because I was actually (eh-hem) doing my job. haha. However, although he flirted and talked to her- he wassn't pursuing that avenue at all. It had even been said at work that she asked him out and he turned her down. (Notice that this situation isn't shaping up so well for me?)

So. Several email conversations and a week or so later, he invited me over to hang out with a bunch of friends who were going to watch a movie, Kylie's choice. Kylie was a co-worker that I knew and admired. She had recently quit our system and started working for another. I appreciated her sense of humor, her style and her intelligence. I wanted to hang out with her and since the Retention Manager (Stephen) was behaving himself and keeping his hands off I figured it'd all be ok...until only he and I showed up. Awkward? Yes. We ate dinner and watched a movie and talked for forever and tried to convince the others to join us but got no takers.

Next morning I was informed by another of the recruiters (AKA: not Courtney) that I was highly qualified for the position and so was this guy they were looking at and they really wished there were two positions so we could both have one, but they had decided that he was the better fit for the job. The HR Pres, however, had requested that a maternity leave position not be filled until the recruiters had made their decision about whether to keep me or not because if I was loose, she wanted me to fill that position until the girl having the baby came back. (I seemed to be making friends in high places.) I was nice about it. I was polite. I thanked them for the opportunity. I didn't cry. I left the office about to kill something cute and fuzzy.

They had no idea that I'd seen Danny's resume. (Yes. They hired a man for a front desk/receptionist position over me.) They had no idea that I knew that Danny had no experience whatsoever and I had 6ish years of office experience and 6mo of recruitment as well as two months of HR experience in their own system (one of those months being in the very position they were hiring for) giving me a total of 8 mo recruitment. Danny didn't even finish his pre-interview paperwork. His background was in retail/fast food. He didn't turn in names and numbers for all of his references.....and he was a better fit!? Yeah. Ok. See. Danny and I worked together at a retail job. I know him. And I know that they lied to my face.

The building was in an uproar. 2 people had made the decision for 17 of them. The other 15 had already made their desire known just about every day since my interview- they wanted me. So they were a little bitter.

I managed to make it through that day and stop by Stephen's office to confirm that we were having our lesson that day. He was tired and had forgotten all about it. I'd turned down being called in at my retail job to do his lesson. He conceeded, but wanted me to come later. I came straight from work because it was halfway between my place and his. What was I supposed to do with myself for an hour and a half while he was sleeping!? He conceeded again and told me he was going home to sleep, but he'd leave the door unlocked and I could just let myself in. We'd do the lesson when he got up. Considering the type of day I was having, I figured curling up on a couch somewhere with Sun Tsu's Art of War wasn't all that bad an idea.

I get there and open my car door and his half grown retriever/lab something is in my lap, butting his nose against me and licking my face. Thanks, Jimbo. Before I get out of the car he manages to slam his muzzle into my nose. Slightly painful since I had just changed my nose ring.

I got into the house without the dog accidentally killing me in his exhuberance and, lo and behold, there's Stephen. He'd gotten the new seat for his racing bike in the mail and couldn't wait to put it together. No nap for him.

So I started dissing him about it and how he shouldn't be this tired, he's young! etc. He told me he had a hard day. Had to face a CEO who was ticked off about him being a half hour late to a meeting and then deal with morons all day on top of a really long drive out to one of the facilities in the middle of nowhere. He said it in that "Well you didn't have to..." way. So I simply responded, "Nope. I lost my job today instead." (Take that, Jerk!)

So then we went through the story- what happened, the explaination, the subtext, the method, the gross lack of proper procedure....and he decided he was tired and we sat on the couch making snide commentary at the political program that was on tv. He finally got up the energy for the lesson, but he had no focus. Ri-frickin-diculous. I got somewhere, but it wasn't impressive progress by any stretch of the imagination.

The evening then degenerated into a game of catch with the medicine balls. So we were talking, horsing around trying to balance on the yoga balls, and he was explaining some of what his degree was in and what you can do with it (not much)- and he gets this brilliant idea in his head. Now, mind you, the whole time this is going on I'm thinking to myself that there's something going on here...something he was headed toward and just hadn't hit his moment yet. Next, he decided to show me this ab work where you're on the yoga ball with your feet anchored under something and playing catch with the medicine ball...only he didn't let me heft it before he threw it to me. All I knew was that it was heavier than the last one we'd been tossing around. I made it through the first two catches and returns. The third one was a bad toss to begin with and I didn't have good enough position to stop the momentum with my hands. I caught it, but ended up guiding it straight into my face. 8lb medicine ball landed right on the curve between my nose and my forehead. (Remember, I'd already been socked in the nose by the dog.)

So I fall off the yoga ball into the floor and I'm sitting there laughing. He comes over and he's laughing too and asking me if I'm all right. Then the man that never touches me reaches down and pulls me to my feet....and collects me into his arms....and gives me a hug....while apologizing....and then...he doesn't let go...haha. Stupid, stupid, stupid. *shakes head* Waaaaaaaay too predictable.

As I rolled my eyes I pulled my head back to look him in the eye and call him on it- and he had that look. You know the look I'm talking about. Why do guys always get the same exact face when they're about to kiss a girl? Do they all take a class somewhere: here- this worked for a guy a really long time ago, so it should work for you? The biggest problem with that is- when I'm not into a guy and he tries to kiss me- kissing face is hysterically funny to me! Poor guy. I was trying so hard not to laugh at him. He wasn't letting me pull away, so I ended up with my head in this really awkward position to keep away from his face, I looked him dead in the eye and said, "hi there".

*Gasp!* I had broken one of the cardinal rules of romance: never EVER speak when a guy gives you kissing face! It seemed no one had ever done that to him before. He smiled at me and said, "Hey. How you doin' today?"
"I'm standin' here wonderin' what you're doin'."

He let go of me like I was hot iron. haha. Then he wandered over to one of the medicine balls and started playing with it as he said, "Yeah. That's right. We talked yesterday about why you and I wouldn't work."

"Yeah. We did. So what was that?" -hint, hint. (He can't have a relationship without sex and I can't have a relationship outside marriage with sex.)

Then he changed the subject and started talking about something completely random. I figured I'd let him have a small bit of his ego since I hadn't had dinner yet and went with it. And then he, out of the blue, inserts some other comment about how the two of us wouldn't work out together, not that he wouldn't be my friend and hang out with me because of it, but we just wouldn't work out together.
"Wasn't thinking we would."

He just looked at me. *blink. blink* Poor guy. It was like he was trying to take control of the situation and make it look like he was rejecting me- when it was entirely the other way around. Poor unfortunate soul.

So the subject changed again for a while and he CAME BACK TO IT AGAIN!!!!!! Oh. My. Gosh. And he said that it wasn't true that I did't want a relationship. I really did! Otherwise I wouldn't be going on all these dates with all these guy! And why would they keep taking me out anyway? So I explained the "free food for me and men are eternally hopeful" logic as well as the fact that I tend to hang out with guys who are like me and want the date with no commitment. He shook his head like he couldn't fathom that.

Then he gets this weird look on his face and says, "No. No way. Don't tell me. You're're really Are you a virgin!?" (that last is more mouthed than said. you couldn't even properly call it a whisper) I could have died laughing! Now this is a dangerous question to answer with a guy I don't know very well. I took a chance and told him the truth. (yes, I am) He told me I was lying. Poor guy. His mind just couldn't wrap around that. So I explained to him that I see it a lot differently than most people- particularly since guys have been trying to get that sort of thing out of me since I was 6. (His daughters are 4 and 5.) That settled him right down for about a minute. Then he said, "Yeah. That would do it." No. Ya think?

Then he recovered and told me that he didn't think I was a virgin though and that I had just had a really bad experience and hadn't had good love yet. If I had had good love it'd be different.(What was that about men being eternally hopeful?)So at several times later in the night he randomly referenced the "good love" idea- always indicating that his was good. I think he was trying to catch me by the drip method. Didn't work.

For dinner I ended up going with him to this pizza place he frequented in college to meet his best friend Casey. Casey was west-coast chill. His excited and animated attitude was about the same level as most people are when they're the rest of the time he's just about half comatose. However, his mind keeps up. He'd dish the sarcasm right back at me and run with any fictious information I decided to assign to him, so it's not like he wasn't paying attention.

Stephen thought that Casey had no game and that's why he couldn't get women. Well, it was true that Casey had no game (it was king of endearing, actually), however Casey had a core goodness that caused him to focus on his patients before himself (he's an RN) which gave him points in my estimation. Stephen was trying to teach Casey game by trying to make him more like himself. All three of us were sitting there text-messaging Kylie to see if she could keep up. At the end of the night- I was the one with a date with her. haha. Take that. (and, yes, I did go!)

So I was sitting there watching this dynamic and realized that Stephen ran Casey down all the time. Casey was head-over-heels for Kylie and Stephen was rubbing it in his face that Kylie was texting him more. He was even checking on what Casey was sending Kylie and telling him he was doing it all wrong. He was running him down for not stopping to eat earlier that day because he ended up in several emergency situations at work that day taking care of patients. He dissed him for using his privileges from being ACLS certified to make higher judgements on patient treatments. (When there's not a primary dr. on the floor, the ACLS guys are allowed to call the shots that save lives.) Stephen made it very apparent that night that he's only out for himself.

After two hours over pizza, it was pretty apparent that Casey was the better man. But Casey seemed unaware of this and was actually listening to Stephen's asessments.

While all this is going on, Stephen was coming back to the "good love" concept and (get this) rubbing it in that I'd lost my job that day over him. It was like it was a trophy to be the cause of such dissention. I got sick of him. He finally made one "good love" comment too many.

"You know what the problem with the whole "good love" thing is?"
"No, what's that?"
"Every guy assumes that his love is the "good love" and they'll all tell a girl that. So how are we really supposed to know?"
"Well with me it's not just assuming."
"Really? You have proof? I've got to hear this one."
"Well, you know. Repeat customers. If they come back then it must be good." This was said with one of those goofy self-assured grins.(I'm not even making this up- he really said that to me.)
"Well maybe they just don't know what good love is either."
*cricket. cricket. Brett looked up from texting Kylie to see what would happen next*

The sick thing is, even though I'd just shot his plane and he's crashing with both engines in flames- he was smiling at me. He LIKED it that I'd just killed his argument. Oy.

Well. The night wasn't a total wash. I got to check out a pizza place I hadn't experienced, meet Casey, set up a night out Kylie, whom I really loved talking to and hanging with, and I made the money on the lesson- no haggling...not to mention I got a really fabulous story out of it. haha.

After hanging with Kylie I realized that she wasn't really at all what I thought she was and I probably wouldn't become super-close with her because sex isn't an all-consuming item with me. However, she did comment that Stephen was an idiot if he wrote me off just because I wouldn't sleep with him (which made me feel good). She confirmed several of my suspicions about Stephen's managerial skills (which he prides himself in)...or lack thereof. And the next day at lunch the ladies let go some more information that was just validating my opinions and conclusions about this guy. Basically, he was a pompous ass trying to get some of mine.

But I still had to work with him- and he was still expecting dance lessons. So I finally ended up mentioning something in an email that made him realize I wasn't "ok" with his performance and we ended up talking about him trying to kiss me. He told me he wasn't trying to kiss me- he was only trying to "comfort" me. (Oh please. Guys trying to comfort me let go when I pull away. I said that.) He said I didn't try to pull away.(in his dreams! hands balled to fists pushing against the chest to give oomph to your back which is pushing against the arms: that'd be pushing away. Good grief!) So I said I wasn't sure I could trust him and he got this trained managerial "I'm now going to convince you of something" where he got totally serious and looked me dead in the eye and told me he'd never make me do anything I didn't want to do.(wow. there's a loaded statement)It was so much like my dad it was freakish! I just sat there. I was stunned that he'd just done that and even more stunned that I believed him even less now for doing it. It was classic handling they teach you in managerial classes and in counseling....but for some reason it made him less credible, not more. Then he made it worse by asking, "Better now?" No. He tried again. Same results. There was just no convincing me. Not his way at least.

So I glossed it and stood to leave and he said something about how he still wanted to be friends. I asked what his thoughts were on a lesson that week. He asked me to do Thurs. I had plans with Mom and couldn't. (Oh darn.) So no lesson that week. He said he was thinking of doing a movie night again. I said to keep me posted. I went back to my desk and a few minutes later I got an email where he explained himself a little better about really wanting to be friends and how I didn't need to be afraid of him because he has two daughters and he expects everyone to treat them with respect, etc.

He never let me know about the movie night...but he did call Kylie. Unbeknownst to him, Kylie and I were calling each other occasionally- usually to catch up on life and to figure out what really happened in relation to something involving Stephen. haha. In his version of the above story- he hit me with a 10lb and I looked like I was about to cry and he was very concerned and he tried to comfort me by holding me, but I didn't seem to like that so he stopped. Then he tried to explain to me gently that things just weren't going to work out between us because he just really needed sex in a dating relationship and he wasn't sure if I'd taken that well. Then I'd talked to him and told him that he'd really freaked me out that night and I was afraid of him and he didn't know what to do because he really was just trying to be a good friend to me...blah, blah, blah. It all sounded a little odd to Kylie, who'd already heard my version. So she called me to check on the details. She also mentioned that he'd tried to get her to come over for a movie on Wed and we both realized that he hadn't called me. And on top of all that, he and Brett have this weird competition thing going on over Kylie that got way out of hand the other night and Kylie's done with both of them. She's not even answering Stephen's calls anymore...supposedly.

What a tangled web of life we weave.

So the final weeks of my employment at this company saw a lot of me trying not to kill Stephen. He began to find things for me to do for him at work...or show up at the oddest times wherever I happen to be. Like his spreadsheet. He came in and interrupted my lunch the other day with a spreadsheet he needed me to fix. Spreadsheets aren't a huge strength of mine, but I get by. So I asked what he wanted it to do. His explaination was clear as mud. I ended up following him back to his office to look at the thing and figure out what he needed it to do. Then I ended up calling in reinforcements because I don't have a clue how to make it do what he wanted it to either. I went to fix the one issue and realize that he'd locked my access to the stupid thing- I could only alter it and save the alterations if I was on his computer. So I had to call him and find out if I can do that because he was off-site at the time. I go back there and fix problem 1. Problem 2 was much more complicated and I had to go back to my desk and work on that for another hour or so. Finally figured out how to do that, tested it in my own spreadsheet and wandered back to his office to finish up. He'd messed with it while I was gone and was off-site again when I came back. So then I have to call him again and find out what he did to it. (he broke it.) He was good with the fact that I'd figured out how to do what he wanted it to do, but since my previous visit he'd done something else with it manually that was kind of messing it all to pieces. He decided he didn't want to fix it that day- he wanted to see my codes the next day and then he'd fix it. Gah!

(Mind you- this whole time he keeps repeating how he took a class on this in grad school and should know how to do this, but he just can't remember. If he said it once, he said it a million times.)

So then I had to deal with him again the next day. I saw him the next morning and asked if he wanted me to fix it then or later. He said to just give him the codes and he'd do it. Well, I wrote my notes for me, not him, so I had to stand there and explain how to do it based on what I'd written down. Checked back with him a couple of hours later to see if the codes had worked or if I needed to adjust them. He hadn't done anything with them. Fine.

He shows up later, while I'm talking to one of the other girls about something personal that I sure didn't want him hearing about and just stood behind me, listening. He wasn't even going to make his presence known. If she hadn't clued me in I never would have known he was there. So I stopped in the middle of that conversation because he can't figure out where to put the codes. As I head back to help him I get hit by two girls turning in their nursing scholarship applications (my job to process them and schedule interviews), then a guy with a pension question (I was currently handling all that too) and then a recruiter with a phone call that had to do with something I worked on...I told Stephen where to put the codes in the spreadsheet and that I'd be there when I was available.

I finally pulled loose and got back there- and he's put in the IF codes, not the AND codes. I specifically reiterated 87 times to use the AND code; that the IF code went to another column in the spreadsheet. Someone wasn't listening and sure doesn't seem to remember anything from his spreadsheet class because on top of the wrong form of code- he'd screwed up all but two elements in the code itself.

I decided he just wanted me to sit in his office chair and make it smell nice.

From the general hillarity of this poor man's audacity and arrogance he has been immortalized by my friends with the monniker: Mr. Good Lovin'

I think that's the longest post I've ever written! LOL

Sunday, January 3, 2010

You asked for it. You got it.

So here's my new, public blog that I set up because Miriam told me to. Not that I do everything Miriam tells me to, but she flattered me by telling me my stories make her laugh out loud. So here's to more horrible tragedies with dating, boxes of bandaids because I was thinking in the shower, and guys named Dave...or Brian. I hope you enjoy it!