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Origins #5

2 Jan

I’d just turned 31 and was settling back into life after a big holiday.

Life wasn’t exactly what I’d expected but I thought I was in a fairly good situation given where I’d started. I’ll tell you more about why having a decent job and a shitty little apartment counted as doing pretty well to me when I explain how I grew up, but that can wait for now. Anyway, I’d just hit 31 and started thinking about where my life was at. I’d also just hooked up with an attractive woman who was 9 years older than me and fallen into a friends-with-benefits relationship with her.

Cougar town

It was pretty cruisy. I don’t think we ever even went out for a meal together. Angelica would come around to my place late-night, 2 or 3 times a week. We’d have some fun and that was that. I don’t think either of us were under any illusions that it would go anywhere. From a sexual experience perspective, it was perfect for me. Angelica was experienced enough to know what she was doing and adult enough to not be self-conscious. I was experienced enough to keep up, but I still learned a few new things along the way as well.

I wish there were more women in the world like Angelica.

Gus oozes on

Back on the work front, I was just trying to weather the idiot storm until something or someone brought some change to the situation.

Gus, the project manager who had loaded so much stress on my shoulders in the previous year continued to do a poor job as a manager. We thought Gus was being pressured by Tim Everlong to get our division to be more productive. The impression Gus gave us was that our division was hanging in the balance, potentially ready to be shut down, so we had to work like crazy for a little while (already over a year) to make sure we all kept our jobs.

Unfortunately for those of us who worked below him, we didn’t realise what Gus was really up to.

One of the methods Gus would use to ‘inspire’ us was pinning a printed out image of a flounder (that’s right, the fish) to the desk of whoever he decided had been floundering. Floundering in this case was meant to suggest that you weren’t doing enough work. So you’d come into work, already dejected just to have to be there, and after days of bashing your head against a brick wall in an effort to achieve some ridiculous, pointless, and often impossible work request and discover that fucking printed picture of a flounder on your desk. I don’t think I’m easily affected by things like that but when you’re already stressed and frustrated, copping an insult on your desk for everyone else to see is a pretty gut-wrenching thing. I certainly didn’t like it, but it hit other staff even harder. One lady started speaking very, very loudly about how offensive it was and I’m certain that I saw more than one other staff member cry as a result of seeing that flounder on their desk.

Seriously! Who does this shit? How is that supposed to positively improve an already declining office morale?

Unqualified

I remember going into Gus’ office one time and catching him listening to project management podcasts. I thought he was listening to them to keep himself up-to-date but he proceeds to tell me that he doesn’t have any project management qualifications, and he’s trying to catch up on that.

That explained a few things.

Actually, that explained a lot. An incompetent manager is a very dangerous thing, but Gus wasn’t just incompetent, he was controlling and manipulative. I didn’t realise that at the time because he was so bad at his job. I just thought he was incapable of managing things well. I wish I’d been paying more attention to him and had picked up the fact that he had a little plan of his own that he was slowly implementing.

Time marches on

Work was shit but I was going out for heaps of dinners and innumerable drinking sessions and that was a great way to help me stop thinking about how shit work had become. Angelica was making regular visits at the time as well and what we were getting up to was another good way to just be in the moment.

At the back of my mind, it had dawned on me that I should start thinking a bit more about where I want to be in life, and what I need to do to work towards that. While everything I was doing outside of work was fun, it was temporary. Aside from some happy memories there was nothing left of it afterwards. I think that’s what your 20s is for, and because I’d spent my 20s running my own business, I missed out on a lot of that. I guess I was trying to catch up a bit but it was mostly just a way to distract myself from the difficulties I’d been dealing with at work.

I know it sounds like I’m bitching about the job I had. The job was only shit because of Gus. I really loved working with my colleagues. I loved that I could walk to work from my place and I loved that I got paid a good wage. It really was just how terrible a job Gus was doing that was making the job so unbearable.

A little ray of sunshine

One little ray of light in my workday was chatting with Laura Everlong in the morning everyday. I didn’t know exactly what was happening but I felt like we were becoming closer. There was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but I knew she was being more open with me. I was getting the vibe that Laura wasn’t with her boyfriend anymore, even though she mentioned him often.

It’s difficult to convert that vibe into words. I just knew there was something changing there, and I liked it. I liked Laura a lot. I was pretty good at not allowing myself to get too much of a crush on her but I admired her and thought of her as a rare mix of soft, elegant, strong, and beautiful.

Messages start coming

At the same time, I started receiving text messages from Rene Everlong. I didn’t give her my phone number, so that was a bit interesting in itself, but they were tame little messages so I didn’t think too much of it. She’d tell me how she’s training for a fun-run, or that she saw me crossing at some traffic lights, or whatever.

Whenever a message came through from her, I’d smile and think “She’s such a goofball”. I liked her and I liked that she was messaging me but I didn’t want any trouble so I was always only cautiously courteous in my replies. Rene had also taken to emailing me at my work email address. The emails were getting longer and more friendly as the weeks went by after the work party.

Between the emails, text messages and random facebook stuff I was probably talking to Rene 4 or 5 times a week. On top of that, she’d often stop by at my office building for a chat because she worked so close by and her sister ran our office. Looking back, it’s easy to see there was an escalation of communication between Rene and me. The messages were increasingly friendly and personal. They were coming through more and more often. There were little hints about times and places of where she’d be and what she’d be doing.

Even with all the communication, I still had it in my head that if Rene wanted to go out with me, she could ask, otherwise, nothing was going to happen.

What I wanted at that time

Turning 31 had made me think about things and the most important insight that came out of that was that I didn’t want to waste my time. I was having fun with Angelica and I was having fun in my social life but I was also conscious that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life just drifting around.

I’d always known deep down inside that everything would work out. I’d always had a confidence that I can’t really explain. I just knew I would get what I wanted. After turning 30 and realising that things hadn’t yet panned out however, doubt had started to creep in.

Doubt is an extraordinarily dangerous thing. I’ve always been a ‘go with the flow’ sort of guy but that little bit of doubt had pushed me to decided I better start making things happen. I figured that if I didn’t start pushing for the things I wanted, I might never get them. I was still confident I’d get what I wanted out of life, but I was trying to take on board the sentiment that you don’t get what you want unless you make things happen for yourself.

What making things happen meant to me by that point was finding a nice girl who I had a real connection with, and have some fun going out to dinners and shows with her. To me the long term wasn’t so important, I figured being with a girl who I was really into was the most important part and I could figure the rest of it out later.

I had enough money rolling in that I could afford to show someone a good time and still cover my mortgage, and I wanted to share my time with someone in a more intimate way than what had been happening with Angelica. As fun as that was, I was after an emotional connection.

Passing thoughts

I wasn’t hung up on any of this stuff. It was there in the back of my mind but I wasn’t thinking about it very much. I was more focused on getting by and trying to enjoy life. I still assumed things would work out if I just play it smart and do what I should do.

Despite feeling a bit doubtful about some things, I was feeling very confident about others. I was managing to find ingenious solutions to the ridiculous bullshit Gus was asking for. I was getting a lot of interest from women too, and not just women I knew. Women were flirting with me everywhere I went and I was feeling very, very confident as a result.

I guess the fact that I’d lost 20kg in the previous 2 years was helping, and all the positive attention I’d been getting had given me a bit of a swagger in my step. All I needed to do was to get the situation with Gus sorted out, find a cool girl, and life would be glorious.

And along came September

I mentioned how everything was escalating with Rene. It wasn’t just with her. It was with Laura, with work, with my social life, my self-reflection, it was everything. My whole life was ramping up towards something.

And that leads me to September 2010, the month my boss’s daughter stayed the night at my place. I’ll tell you about that next time.

Crazy bitch tip: Think about what other people are going through before you dump your crazy shit on them and expect them to solve it all for you.

Origins #4

21 Dec

I’d just gotten back from Europe. I didn’t want that party to end. I didn’t want to slot back into the stressful, pressured, mindless existence my life had been before I’d gone away.

I tried to keep the party going by making sure that my friends and I were going out as often as possible, that we weren’t missing any chances to take part in the fun that life has to offer.

shuttingthisbitchdownReally all I was doing was trying to fight off the stress that I knew would take over again and leave me hating waking up, because waking up meant I’d have to go in to work.

Holiday talk

In the first few days back at work, everyone wanted to know all about my trip. I remember that Tim Everlong and his cousin, Jeff (my project manager’s manager), kinda cornered me to get some details out of me about the fun I had. I was trying to keep the various romantic/sexual escapades I’d gotten up to fairly quiet but they both wanted to live vicariously through me and eventually convinced me to give them some of the details. They loved hearing about it and I figured “Who cares? It’s not like they’re going to run into any of the girls I was with.”

It’s not like I went crazy over there anyway. I mean, I hooked up with about 6 girls in the 6 weeks I was there. If anything, that’s probably less than you’d expect given the circumstances.

Christmas in July, in August

I’d only been back a few weeks before it was time for the my work’s mid-year party. The party was August 4th, 2010. I know this because I was double-booked between my work party, and attending my good friend Kym’s 30th birthday.

As with every other work party, Rene Everlong was there. Rene was very keen to talk to me, even more keen than usual. The second I see her she calls out, “Hey, I’ve saved you a seat! Come sit here with me!”Of course I go and sit with her and we’re chatting away. I’m answering all her questions about my trip and somehow we start getting into some other territory. Rene asked me “What are things a girl shouldn’t do on a first date?” and “How is a girl supposed to let a guy know that she likes him?”, and a lot of other things about dating and relationships. My answers were pretty straight forward, “Don’t be rude to your waiter”, “If you like someone, ask them out”.

flirting-hintsI got the vibe that I was supposed to take those questions as hints but I just kept the conversation rolling because I’m not exactly going to get very flirty with my boss’s daughter at a work function, now am I?

The conversation went all over place. Rene mentioned that she has a fear of commitment because she moved to France to be with a guy, and he went and cheated on her. I told her that I have the same issue, but mine comes from the failure of my parents’ relationship, and from the following failure of my mother’s relationship with my stepfather. I explained that I’ve seen the chaos that happens when relationships fall apart, so I’m very careful before I let myself get in involved. It was nice to get into such a personal conversation with Rene and understand her a little better.

I was double booked, so I had to head off but just before I left, I told Rene that the guy in France is a complete idiot for cheating on her. A huge smile took over her face and I realised I might have just let the cat out of the bag a little. I didn’t mind, though. If I hadn’t worked for her father I would have asked her out, hell, I probably would have kissed her, but the situation prohibited such things and I just gave her a little hug and headed off to the other party.

My 31st birthday party

As it happens, my birthday is in August. Just a few days after the work do, it was time to go out and celebrate my 31st tour of the sun, so out went the invites to the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday party. I sent the invite out to everyone I work with and all the rest of my friends. The invite was something along the lines of: “Pub crawl. Starting at Pub A. Proceeding to wherever we end up. Come one, come all!”

I didn’t really think about it, but that invite also went to my manager Laura, and her sister Rene. I was pretty surprised to see them both at pub #5. I try not to drink at all around the higher-ups at work, so seeing my manager at my party was a bit nerve-wracking, especially because the bouncer decided I was too drunk to even be allowed into this particular pub. Being the adventurous and foolhardy bloke that I am, however, I just jumped the little wall and flopped into the party right along side the manager of my building. Hrmm. Hindisght’s an interesting thing, isn’t it?

Anyway, my nerves about running into my manager were quickly squashed when I realised Laura Everlong was at least as drunk as I was!

Rene was stone cold sober as best I can remember, but I was a good 5 pints in by that stage. I remember doing a bit of cheeky flirting with Laura and she was flirting back, which was fun and completely harmless. I know I spoke with Rene a little bit, but the only thing I really remember is that I asked her if she was a lesbian.

I know it was a joke and was some sort of effort to check if she was still single, but geez it seems like a stupid thing to go asking your boss’s daughter when you’re drunk. Whatever, that’s the least of my concerns as you’ll learn from the rest of the story. Anyway, Laura had to be at some event the next morning and the rest of my party brigade were ready to head off to the next pub, so we said our goodbyes to the Everlong girls for the night.

As the night progressed, the group grew smaller and smaller, until eventually there were only a handful of us left. One of these people was a woman named Angelica. Angelica was a friend of a friend, quite beautiful and though you wouldn’t know it to look at her, she was 9 years my senior. Angelica had been quite flirtatious with me through the night but I assumed she had a boyfriend and was just doing that thing that girls do when they go out, y’know, where they act like they’re single but they’re just enjoying the attention? It turned out that Angelica was, in fact, single and her flirtiness was not as toothless as I’d expected. And… well… I spent the later hours of my birthday learning that Angelica had a great apartment right there in the city, and that it had a really comfy bed.

It’s strange, later the next day I noticed some scratches down my back. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn that a cougar had gotten hold of me.

31! What the hell does that mean?

It started to kick in that I was 31, not married, had no kids, was not any sort of world-famous success, and that in general my life had not turned out quite like I had expected.

It’s not like I was desperate to have a wife and kids but I had always liked the idea of meeting the right woman and cranking out some ankle biters. I assumed that would have sorted itself out by the time I hit 30, but there I was at 31 and it was still not even on the horizon. To be fair, I had specifically decided not to get married to my ex even though I know she would have said yes if I’d asked her. We would have had kids and bought a house and all that, but I knew she wasn’t the woman I was supposed to marry, so I didn’t. Instead I ended up 31 with no wife and no kids, sort of by choice.

Career-wise, things were going relatively well. Sure, my job was torturous and soul-destroying, but at the time I thought the higher ups would identify that my project manager, Gus, was an incompetent psycho and give him the boot, or that he’d eventually learn how to do the job properly and stop overloading me, and everyone else, with work. Either way, I figured my job would get back to normal sooner or later. The pay was good and I was a little extra proud that I was making that much despite never getting a degree.

From a wealth perspective, I knew I should have accrued more by that point, but I’d spent my money on experiences and I was ok with that. I had my shitty little apartment and that meant that my money wasn’t entirely going to waste. Over time I knew it’d be worth something, and I’d always have somewhere to live as long as I continued to pay the mortgage.

Hey! wasn’t this a story about you ending up in bed with your boss’s daughter?

Yeah, yeah. I’m getting there.

Tune in next time for origins #5, where I’ll tell you about how my chance run-in with a cougar became a regular mauling.

Crazy bitch tip: If you like a guy, you’ll have more luck with actually asking him out than you will by firing hundreds of carefully planned and targeted facial expressions at him.

Family guy examples

20 Jul

Asking out a 24 year old girl

This seems so exaggerated that it couldn’t possibly be real, right? False. It might be exaggerated but this is exactly what it’s like when you’re a guy trying to ask out a girl like this. I don’t know about other guys but for me, when I was asking a girl out, it wasn’t meant to be a game or deception or anything confusing, I was just asking her if she wanted to spend some time with me. This seemed to be completely lost on some girls though.

If a guy asks you out and you want to go out with him, say “Yes”. If a guy asks you out and you don’t want to go out with him, say “No thanks”. If you’re not sure if you want to go out with the guy, say “Yes” and figure it out by the end of the date.

There’s no reason to turn it into some big confusing pile of horseshit, and here’s some inside info from the guy’s side it pisses us off, confuses us and if you do a bad enough job, it can really hurt our feelings. There’s nothing more humiliating than finding out the girl you though was keen on you was just playing with you for some attention and there’s nothing more frustrating than finding out that the girl you really liked wanted to go out with you but was “playing hard to get”.

Pleas understand this. Men cannot read your mind. You might be playing hard to get while every other girl that guy has asked out was just not interested, how the hell is he supposed to know that when you say “No”, you actually meant “Please ask me again later to confirm for me that you’re really, really interested because I like playing weird little games with people instead of just saying what I actually mean.”?

Men: We don’t know what we did

And that brings me to the fact that us mere males have pretty much no idea what the hell you women are after most of the time.

This is an interesting little bit of animation here because when most guys watch this, they laugh at how crazy the girl is but when most girls watch it, they understand why the girl is upset. In case you didn’t get it, watch it again but keep this in mind… the girl is interested in the guy and she’s hoping that he’ll ask her to walk with him to the next class they both have together, the guy is of course, completely unaware of this and his non-nonchalant “Seeya there” is seen by the girl as a rejection and thus, humiliated, she runs away. Her friend is then furious at Mr Oblivious for hurting the young lady’s feelings.

I’ve been through this one too. Actually, I’ve been through this one a LOT. Let me point out yet again that men have no mind reading super powers, no matter how much you might wish we did. When girls act like this, they expect guys to be paying attention to all their little cues and hints and body language and whatever else but you forget that we might not necessarily be in detective mode every waking second of every day.

There’s a massive crossover between the behaviour of a girl who is legitimately attracted to a guy and a girl who is just being friendly. There are also girls out there who just love to flirt with guys they aren’t interested in, and that looks pretty much identical to when a girl is interested. Guess the wrong way and make a move and the guy can be mockingly rejected, guess the wrong way (or don’t even notice) and the guy runs the risk of massively offending the girl. It’s a minefield.

Interestingly, most women tend to stop playing the confusing games and being indirect as they get older, especially so if they’ve never married.

Going on a blind date with a 37 year old

I don’t have direct experience with dating a 37 year old. I have, however dated some ladies in their early 30s and even some in their mid-to-late 20s who have acted in a slightly less cartoony version of what’s shown in the animation above. The increasingly loud biological clock and other societal pressures tend to mount against women as they get older if they’re still single and childless.

When women let this pressure get to them, a lady’s standards can drop through the floor. Once desperation creeps in, things get pretty full on. To tell you the truth, ladies, it can be flat-out terrifying. As a guy, it can end up feeling like her sole interest in you is for your baby batter and as soon as she’s certain you’re not firing blanks, her focus turns to limiting your opportunities for escape. I’m reminded of episode #12…

and episode #13

What the hell is my point?

We don’t know what you want. We know we want you to have it (unless it means you’re just trying to lock us into a quickfix marriage to beat your biological clock) and we know we don’t want to upset you if we can avoid it, so maybe it’s worth noting that WE CAN’T READ YOUR MINDS. 99% of the problems I’ve run into with girlfriends and potential girlfriends has come down to one simple thing, a lack of clear communication from the woman involved and it drives me round the bend. Why the hell did we put all this time and effort into creating all these different languages with all these beautiful words if you’re still going to try and communicate with your eyelashes and various other silent and generally invisible ‘hints’?

If you ladies are gonna make fun of guys for acting like cave men and being big dumb animals, don’t go getting all shitty at us when we do a piss-poor job of playing super-duper girl move detectives. WE DON’T KNOW THAT LANGUAGE AND THE MOVES MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS DEPENDING ON WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO. So please, stop it.

Crazy bitch tip: if any of the women in these videos remind you of your self, it’s time to do some self reflection and consider if that behaviour is actually helping you towards getting what you want.

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