Well, that just sucks. Karen didn’t e-mail me about lunch today, and I thought it might be because she didn’t want to have lunch with me anymore. I did write to her that I could meet her to share a Bento some evening or weekend afternoon; that way it wouldn’t be so much like a date. I confessed that I was always thinking about some way to spend time with someone I like so much. I was afraid that might have annoyed her. I think it did. I went to the cafeteria at the regular time, and she was just getting there. She didn’t say anything. I said hello, and that was that. I asked if she had been busy today, and she sighed “Yes,” she had. She got her food and sat down while I was still waiting on a grilled cheese with green chile. I was afraid she might leave – she had a huge book with her, and that usually means she would prefer to be reading. However, I took my plate and asked her if I could join her, and she said, “Yes,” after a short pause, so I sat down. I don’t eat the pickle that comes with sandwiches, and usually give it to Karen, but I didn’t offer it to her this time.
She cut her hair really short. It looks nice. She said it helped elongate her round face. I said she looked great, but that it didn’t really matter when someone is so beautiful anyway. That pissed her off. She said she really didn’t like it when I said stuff like that, that it overstepped the boundaries, or something to that effect. The look on her face and the tone of her voice made me feel like I’d been slapped! How do women do that? I said I didn’t understand, that I thought that had just been when I had been married. She wouldn’t say anymore. It made me angry briefly. It shouldn’t have. I know that I’m not that attractive to her, by either looks or age. Still, I would think it would be OK to compliment her?
I can see now, after reflecting on it awhile, and considering how defensive she became when I said it, that she’s talking about sexual harassment. Now I understand better. It was never about having been married, and not directly about my age either. She’s just not attracted to me, and probably wouldn’t be even if we were the same age or closer in age, where I didn’t look so fucking old. It must just be my overinflated male ego that dared to presume such a pretty young woman could ever be attracted to me.
Who knows? Maybe she was at one time, but not any more. It’s not her fault that I assumed a woman that made special trips from home in to where I worked just to have lunch with me had more than a passing interest in me as just a work buddy. We used to take a bus to the other side of campus together to eat at an off-campus restaurant, but then we started walking together. (Got a thing between us)
It was so nice. I enjoyed those walks sooo much. Talking with her, or just enjoying the company. Sometimes we got sandwiches and walked to the big pond on main campus. So beautiful there with the pond, fountain, waterfalls, and grass, in the middle of a desert on a large campus in a big city. We had to stop doing all that when she started working full time. I miss those times, and while I appreciate the joy those times gave me, I see it will never happen again.
So now, anything I say or do is potentially bad. I was going to write ‘love’ in my Xmas card to her this year, but I can see now that would be a baaaaad idea. I gave her some $ for her birthday last month, to help with her savings towards a new tattoo and for getting her own apartment. (Odd that a 27-year-old woman would still be living with her parents, but she had been trying for a long time to get through college until it just became too expensive, even living at home.) She told me that she told her family not to give her any things anymore; that what she really needed was money. She looked shocked at my gift, and I thought she might refuse it, but she just looked at it, said, “It’s a lot,” and put it away. It’s not a lot really; it’s about what dinner out costs these days. I had previously offered to take her to lunch on her birthday, but she said she was already leaving early to meet her parents for that very reason, and wouldn’t be eating lunch that day at all. She did, however, thank me for offering.
>>> 11/6/2007 7:14 AM >>>
Good morning Karen!and a very Happy Birthday to you! May I treat you to lunch? Cafeteria? or I could run over to Frontier? or if you can take a longer lunch we could go somewhere? Up to you – it’s your day! If not, I hope someone has plans to treat you special today. – T.<<<
I am leaving early today to go to a late lunch/early dinner with my parents. So I probably won’t be eating lunch today. Thanks though.
She looks damn good to me, and I’m still in love with her. Well, I’ve had plenty of time to anticipate this. I’ve even said it before, but it is an absolute certainty now. I must kill this fantasy. I’m driving myself crazy thinking about her. I will eventually say the wrong thing again, or touch her hair or hand. I was almost going to openly confess my love for her. Ha, ha! I can see the restraining order now! She wouldn’t even need that though. The University is a state institution, and both the state and the University have a zero tolerance for harassment, which includes the idea of making anyone uncomfortable in the workplace. I could not only make Karen mad at me, but lose my job, and damage the union’s reputation. I don’t really care about the job, and I could quit the union before any great damage to its reputation, but being treated like that by Karen would really, really, suck.
I’ve decided. Next week, and from now on, I am not going to the cafeteria at that time. If Karen doesn’t send me any more e-mails about lunch, she won’t ever see me again, except in passing. Since she never says much when I run into her, or stops to chat, it won’t be all that different. She can be so eloquent and happy talking about things at lunch, but if I run into her and say hi, she might say, “Oh. Hello,” without even pausing her stride. It sounds like she’s saying “Hi” to an old acquaintance that she’s a little surprised to see, but not interested in talking to. I thought it might come to that, to us not having lunch anymore, and then she’ll be like that anyway. Man! the graphic I used before that shows a female carny backing away from a guy, saying “No, get away!” was actually a very accurate depiction of the actual dynamic between us. Fuck it all.