The problem with starting a new job is that new colleagues want to know all about you. We’re an office of women (bar the uber-boss and a couple of roving reporters) and, well, discussions on education and previous employment can only stretch so far before the conversations turns to significant others.
Current and past.
Which is cool I guess – stories and sharing are fun – but then people expect me to share right back at them. I’m not a fan of the randomly sharing in person as, irrational blogging of intimate secrets to complete strangers aside, I like to build up a friendship with someone first.
But I realised lately that a lot of my anecdotes contain the Cute Canadian.
[THEM] When/where was your last holiday Cas?
[ME] Oh back in April, to Toronto/Brampton/Kingston to see J.
[THEM] You’re other half lives in another country?!
[ME] No, he’s no longer my other half.
[THEM] But still, how did you meet?!
[ME] We were on the same post-grad course.
[THEM] Ah… Then why did he go to, Canada, was it?
[ME] He couldn’t find a good enough job, his visa ran out, he had to go back.
[THEM] … (it’s clear they want more of the story)
[ME] We tried the distance thing for several months but by the end of May it was over.
[THEM] It must have been awful!
[ME] It was moderately horrendous, yes, but not as bad as it could have been. We’ve both still got our health, sanity, and were at least reasonably amicable. Put it this way, I wasn’t at the stage where I downed three bottles of rose and ended up setting fire to his belongings.
[THEM] You poor, poor thing! Then, they do always say distance is hard…
[ME] (when I get my hands on that mythical ‘they’, I swear I’m gonna have words) yes, distance is crappy but I have seen first hand how it can work. He was my Cute Canadian, and I had a blast and don’t regret a thing, but it wasn’t to be. I expect even without the distance it wouldn’t have worked.
[THEM] You’re so brave…
[ME] (I’m sorry, I’m meant to be breaking down at this point?) Yeah…
Silence falls on the office.
[THEM] So have you ever been on the London Eye?
[ME] Um, yes in fact, several times. It’s very beautiful if you go at dusk – the sunset can be very romantic (oh bollocks! I think to myself. I didn’t mean to let that slip…)
[THEM] Romantic?! At sunset!? That’s a brilliant idea Cas!
[ME] Not mine actually, my ex’s… *sigh* Yes, the Canadian one.
Again, silence. I tell myself to keep schtum. Then we start talking about the various men in our lives and those that have and haven’t cooked. I mention that the only time J ever cooked, I ended up in hospital (almost certainly unrelated).
Damn it! Every bloody anecdote they seem to hear out of me at work comes wiggling it’s way back to my past. I don’t want to be one of those women who is only capable of defining herself through her man (or previous men). That’s not me.
It’s just than in an office of slightly more mature women, I’m an oddity – footloose and fancy free with my own take on life. It seems to fascinate them.
I’m just waiting for the time to come when I can tell them about the two before that I met through the internet… *snigger* How many points do I get if I can get my manager to fall off her chair?