Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dear Emily Post: WTF?

So tonight I'm at a big work dinner. Nice shindig actually, a much-needed "congratulations and here's some funny slides and free food and booze" affair.

As festivities are ending, I end up running into someone who used to work with me but moved over to Sales last year. Let's call her Wanda. Wanda is a lesbian, and she's not the kind of half-lesbian who's really just afraid of men, she's the kind who loves women. A lot. Basically a dude with a uterus.

Soon after Wanda moved over to Sales we got a new rep in, let's call her Jane. Jane is way hot. She's not exotic-hot, she's "I've got a rockin' bod and a killer front porch and I'm unashamed and unbitchy and I'm normal-pretty and no drama and love my hubby and kids" hot. In short, awesome scenery in an office that is sorely lacking. And it was no surprise to see that Wanda feels the same way, and spends a lot of time with Jane.

Now, Jane & I don't have any real cause to interact, and I'm vaguely conscious of being raised to be a gentleman, so when she happens to walk by my cube every day on her way to wherever I almost always succeed in keeping my gaze averted or at eye level. (Except on blue sweater days. Blue sweater days can make the whole night if you've got anything close to a drop of testosterone in you. Thank you blue sweater days.)

And tonight she was wearing a nice "I'm going out" outfit, not a "I'm going into the office" outfit, so more of the exhibit was open to public viewing.

So all that's set up for the situation tonight:

Wanda is nicely sloshed, comes over, gives me a hug, we chat briefly about working together in "the old days", Jane and her husband walk by to hit the bar, and Wanda conversationally opines that Jane is, and I quote: "so fucking hot". I kind of smile and lend a vague "oh yeah" acknowledgement because frankly, the bar's not that far away, and sloshed-Wanda-voice isn't all that quiet. Wanda repeats her opinion to me and I let go with a hopefully-misdirecting "Oh sure" with a serious nod, because I'm very interested in this part of the conversation being over, seeing as Jane and hubby are coming over to us after their refills.

Not have grown up AS a guy, sloshed-Wanda, after a brief intro, then puts me into one of the weirdest social positions in my life by looking at me and rhetorically asking "Smasher, isn't she just fucking hot?"

This isn't a locker-room whisper. Nor a quiet glance, head-shake and eye-roll between buds. Jane is one foot away, her husband right next to her. Nothing I can say will net me anything outside of the continuum that exists between "Mouthful of Hubby Knuckles <---> Poisoned Relationship with Coworker". And the moment hung there for a second, waiting for me to try to say anything other than "hah hah so I guess you miss us over in Sales, huh Wanda?" while manfully chortling and moving my eyeline politely in her direction.

Which is what I did. And everyone walked away happy and relieved.

I'll close with a prayer.

O Great Alcohol, looser of tongues and mores throughout time and space, I beseech Thee to make forth a lesson on drunken lesbians everywhere wordeth thus: O drunken lesbian, know you that it is not thee who will be punch-ed in the face by angry Husband, or slapp-ed by embarrassed Wife, or writteneth-up by screeching harpies of HR when you challenge a man his thought on the wife of another man, in whose close companies thoust both art.

I'm hoping Monday will be a blue sweater day.


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