The following day at work I found myself distracted – day dreaming… I would catch myself thinking about Alex the Architect – replaying parts of the previous night’s conversation in my head.
I was so incredibly attracted to him… and it was clouding my judgement.
My objective, to have something interesting to answer the dreaded third question with other than “I’m single”, never included actually ‘liking’ someone.
Adam the Accountant continued to text me – although I appreciated the distraction – he irritated me like crazy!
He seemed to love telling me what he was up to, how he was having a crazy day and he was looking forward to running it out on the football field.
Do guys think girls actually like knowing what they get up to every minute of the day?
Or do girls really like these unnecessary daily updates?
I really couldn’t care less what other people get up to unless it directly affects me… Am I too caught up in my own life?
Or is it presumptuous of him to think that he is of that much interest to me so early on? Is it he who is self-absorbed?
In the text, Adam asked when I would be free for dinner.
I threw my phone back on my desk without replying.
I needed to focus – I had a presentation coming up and the damn thing wasn’t going to write itself.
Work was starting to get very stressful – my performance review was fast approaching and in anticipation of the pay increase conversation, my manager had pulled me aside earlier in the week, telling me I had to prove myself more in front of the client.
His great idea was for me to present a competitive analysis at the board meeting that Friday.
All of this was complete bullshit of course. It’s purely about being seen rather than being good at your job. The superficial advertising agency world works by constantly trying to weasel itself into relevance.
In a culture of “whoever yells the loudest gets heard”, I have always preferred to sit in the background and actually do my work. This, I learnt the hard way, does not help you get ahead in this industry.
Looking for another distraction, my heart skipped a beat as I saw Alex the Architect’s name flash up in my inbox.
He emailed just as he said he would the night before.
No pleasantries, which I’d started to understand as his style, rather straight to the point – he asked whether I was free on the weekend.
We arranged to catch up on Sunday.
He ended our email correspondence by wishing me well for my presentation on Friday.
He remembered! And I crumbled a little…
By the time my client presentation came around, I was delirious and sick with nerves.
I somehow got through it and as soon as it was over, I ran straight to the nearest bar. Drowning myself in alcohol along with my stressed out advertising colleagues, the next 24 hours are a bit of a blur…
Then Sunday arrived.
I was excited, with butterflies in my stomach from the moment I woke up – I checked my phone every few minutes and by late afternoon I still hadn’t heard from Alex the Architect.
Had he forgotten?
I texted him: “Hey just wondering if you still want to catch up tonight?”
He quickly replied, telling me he was sick and that we should leave it for mid – week.
My gut dropped. Was this relief or immense disappointment?
“OK”, I replied, “Get well soon”.
As I assessed the situation – like two lawyers battling out in the courtroom of my head – it seemed to once again be entirely on his terms.
Surely he can’t help being sick, I tried to rationalize, but if he was sick and if he was considerate and if I was top of mind, he would have let me know this much earlier.
But mostly I was annoyed at the roller coaster of emotions I allowed this guy to trigger in me…
“No one should have this kind of power over me!” I declared.
I decided it was time to take control. So I arranged a dinner date with Adam the Accountant.