I’ve been single for years. Read that, years.
I’ve been depressed, full of anxiety and excuses. Lately though, my depression seems to have holes through it, like a moth-hole ridden sweater. The sun shines through and my confidence has risen. I walk around imagining guys staring at my ass or stealing peaks at my breasts. I look in the mirror and the vision of my younger, skinner self is met with the obese, while curvy, chunky, awkward body that is reality.
I’ve attracted guys lately, maybe for longer but it’s hard to acknowledge sometimes. Do they see my curves, red lips, blonde hair and confidence as a turn on? I don’t know but something is there and it’s still working. Not as hard as it use to but it’s there. I don’t really get it. I imagine they see me as skinny but I look in the mirror and wonder, what are they seeing? Let’s be honest, while more “plus size” models are getting coverage, they still have a label. There’s still TV shows with waifs of women but a show with an obese woman is comedy relief or plays the role of sad, fat girl. There’s no overly confident obese girl who has it all in the dating world. It’s still labeled a comedy if it is out there.
That self doubt is courtesy of my married friends who hint that I’ve gained too much weight and my ex, basically everything about me couldn’t attract a guy, or him for that matter. I surround myself with lovely people. (That was sarcasm)
First there was electron telling me I was smart and beautiful. Granted all he ever asked was to sleep with me. He promised me a date but we never got that far. This year there was the Canadian sales person from my regional meeting. Hot, well dressed, tall, smothering me with compliments, seeking me out, buying me drinks, asking me to go out dancing with him… I found out later he was married with a small child soooo hmmm. Next we have the finance corporate guy from my company. While I was obviously swept up with the tall Canadian, he stayed later than anyone else, talking about life, our jobs then took me to get a taco. The taco shop was closed, as it was 2 am and we went to our respected homes/hotel. Granted with that he was asking me questions around my job and what I could do to benefit his job. Hmmm
Ok. Perhaps these guys aren’t great examples. Obviously I’m still single and none have actually led to a date or a boyfriend. Is it me though? Electron I told no, though I wanted to say yes badly, mostly because I was intimidated but also because of my job. With him I left it very open, I appreciated the offer but had to turn him down. The Canadian, I wanted to go dancing with him but I had pulled a muscle in my leg and was limping badly. I couldn’t dance. I was thankful Finance guy was there. And Finance guy, well, he lives in Milwaukee. I was only there for that night.
Now, long story short, this finance guy. He’s younger than me, typical good looking mid-western guy, nothing over the top amazing but he is cute; he deals with people above me. I report to them, they report to him, he reports up the chain to someone else. So he’s not my boss or supervisor at all. He just crunches numbers to report to stock holders or whomever. My job, one of a zillion across the US and Canada; well since he met me, any extra dollars I pull in, he has sent an email thanking me. This is not typical. As, the report doesn’t come from me. It comes from my boss, Finance guy just knows it’s my project because we’ve talked about it.
So this month, only the second month since we met, I decide to flirt back. I sent him an email saying I’m still waiting for a taco, (remember we went to grab a taco but the place was closed). It’s not even technically flirting is it? It’s just asking for a taco. I meant it as flirting, but text is all in the way you read it as to the actual inflection that someone intended with it. I wavered for a minute before sending. Could it be harassment, could it be inappropriate, should I not email corporate? Should I steer clear of inter-company… what? What does/could it mean that I’m waiting for a taco. Some sort of sexual innuendo?
Here I am. Putting my career over flirting, or even just initiating friendship or merely the discussion of lunch? I don’t know. Overthinking what rights I have or the lack there of in a man’s work force. Would I be so intimidated in any other career? I dunno. But I work with nothing but men. All of my superiors, anyone up the ladder that I deal with, all men. For that matter almost all people down the ladder from me are men too. In my region I am the only female in my position, in North America there may be 7-10 females in my role compared to 150+ men. I’m assuming these stats but I know in all of Canada there are 3 females in my role.
The only place I meet guys are through work. I’ve always kept this arms distance, flirt then flee. Don’t be caught being human. Live, sweat, cry, loose hair, gain weight and stress the fuck out for your job but lord forbid, find happiness. So, with a confident push of my buttonless phone I hit send on the two sentence email and waited.
I didn’t wait long. My supervisor told me, Mike is visiting the job next week with Gary. My jaw dropped, What?! I brought it up a few times. How? Why? That wasn’t his role. He didn’t visit projects. He crunches numbers at corporate. While I went through in my head the outfits I might wear while he visited and weather or not I should be vigilant about cleaning my house for a sleepover… do you think it would go there? Gosh I don’t know… I got an email back, “That’s Fair! We will have to address that at some point.” Not flirty, or harmful. Just tacos. In the most corporate, politically correct way ever.
We called Gary who said he had word from Mike that he couldn’t come up. Hmmph.
But, there it was. A simple harmless email about tacos. Each of us only wrote two sentences and I was giddy all day.
It’s nothing really. I eat meals with work people when they visit, often. I don’t generally hang out one on one after drinking at 2 am but, it seemed harmless.
I think the point is, I took a chance. A chance I overthought, I debated, I weighed, I finally said fuck it and did. It was two sentences and neither were shocking. But I did it. I got a pleasant, positive, though possibly a interminable response.
These are the things you celebrate when you believe you are incapable of being more than single. Even a date can seem like a fluke. Online dating is a constant let down when you aren’t as attractive as they may have believed you to be. There’s always a hotter picture someone else has out there to ponder over.
So, with another 4 days of failed diet, my friends in town and then a work trip and work people in town, I need to remember this feeling. Remember the urgency of cleaning my house. The motivation to drop some pounds, for health, clothing fitting and yes, for attractiveness.
This is where I’m at. A sun ray of light shining into my shaded room of self doubt, with a simple sentence about a taco.