I am 24 and I have had a few boyfriends. I think this happens after Friends' Boss, but I can't remember. I remember these events by where I was living at the time. Friends' Boss and The Broker Who Kissed Me both happen while I am living in the apartment off Steck Ave in Austin.
I date the Turkish guy when I rent the house on Indian Trail with my friend Rebecca.
The Dentist happens when I am in the duplex on Stamford.
Nobody while I am in the duplex on Windsor.
I am 24 and I dated my college boyfriend - Calvin, the one I almost married, and a sweet, sweet man for about six months in Houston before I move to Austin.
And maybe Friends' Boss or maybe he is after.
I can't remember.
I work for an insurance company. We work with brokers. The brokers bring us the requests for proposal. I am paid a salary, but I get a bonus for every new account I sell. It is in my financial interests to develop and maintain good relationships with my brokers.
A broker comes to us for a bid. My boss tells me to work with him. So I do.
I like Broker. He is funny and nice.
He is also old. So so old. He must be at least 50. Like - he is my dad's age.
Ancient and married and someone from work which, I have learned, is not a good idea, as sweet, sweet man in Houston works for the same company I do and working with someone I date was not the problem. It was working with someone I used to date that was not so great.
Don't get your honey where you get your money. I learned that lesson and have abided (abode?) by it since.
Let's list the facts again:
- It's WORK
- He's OLD
- He's MARRIED
- It's WORK
But I have fun with broker. I like talking to him.
If you talk to a man and you laugh at his jokes, does that mean you want him to kiss you?
What is the standard of behavior a woman must maintain to make it clear that no advances, verbal or physical, are welcome?
How must a woman dress? What must she say? What must she do? How must she look?
Are my navy blue Joseph Banks suits with the starched white blouses and those stupid bow ties too provocative?
Is it that I have conversations with Broker?
Surely I do something.
For when he kisses me - which he does when I see him on my way home from the grocery store and pull the car over to say hi at the soccer field where he is coaching a kids' team - and when I tell my boss I no longer want to work with him because he kissed me, my boss tells me that I must have done something to invite that behavior.
In my world, a kiss on the lips is not usual in professional relationships. A kiss on the cheek is not even usual in professional relationships. I will hug some of my corporate HQ co-workers I see only twice a year, but - I initiate the hug.
I have never thought I should kiss them, even on the cheek, and have never thought such a thing would be appropriate.
But in my boss's mind, I have done something to make Broker think I want him to kiss me on the lips and that such behavior would be welcome.
It was my fault. I asked for it.