Fearing Aggression

I’ve mentioned the girl I like in my office in a handful of posts so far and I think it’s time for a quick update.  Unfortunately, the update isn’t really about progress, it’s more about my own trepidation.  As I’ve mentioned before, the last time we went out, she ended the night by instigating a kiss.  It seemed at the time that there might have been something there.  But now I’m worried that maybe one too many glasses of wine may have been behind that kiss.

We left that night similar to the first night we went out.  It was a late Friday night and as I was leaving her I asked, “When can I see you again?” hoping that maybe she would be free on Saturday night.  Both times she replied, “Monday.”  Of course, Monday means “some time next week” as I it’s rare I would see her in the office on Monday and if I did see her, I would most likely just say a professional “Hi, how’s it going?” before receiving a one word response and moving on.  Fast forward to that Friday — I was hoping to hang out with her again, but she was busy.  I gave her a simple, “cool, well have a good Friday.  Let me know if you want to hang out on Saturday or if you friend ditches you tonight.”  No big deal.

The next Friday I was hoping to catch her after an early evening work party maybe to meet up for a drink or a bite to eat.  I actually had a handful of opportunities to grab her attention.  In fact, she spent a good 30 minutes or so working at a table near my desk — which she rarely, if ever does — and I wonder to this day if she was hanging out close to me hoping I might drop by and ask her out.  Though, I could be reading too much into it, so I opted not to approach her until later in the evening.  Unfortunately, by the time I worked up the gumption to ask her out, she had already left for the night.  I caught her on work Instant Message and she was already home.  Before I could see if she was up for grabbing a drink or something, she mentioned she was already lying in bed at 8 pm and was absolutely exhausted.  That was okay too.  She works very hard, which I admire, and I wasn’t about to be upset if she needed a Friday night for herself.  I signed off the chat with a similar, “Get some sleep! Let me know if you want to grab a drink or a bite to eat on Saturday or something.”  “Will do” she replied.  Of course, she never reached out.

Jump to the Friday of last week.  I was working a little bit late and was surprised to see her roaming around the area around my desk.  She didn’t drop by my desk at first, rather she sat down and talked with a co-worker for a bit.  Again, I could be reading too much into this, but it’s very unusual for her to be hanging around my area of the office.  After a while, she passed by desk and stopped in quickly to say hi.  Granted, I made eye contact with her as she was passing, so it’s possible she felt obligated to say hi.  I asked what she was up to this weekend and she said her good friend was in town visiting over the weekend.  Obviously I wasn’t about to ask her to ditch her friend to hang out with me and she didn’t seem to be inclined to invite me along to her St. Paddy’s Day plans.  She never inquired as to my plans.  I later found out a different co-worker was at the same party as her on Saturday night and he almost called me to come drop by, but he didn’t.  For those of you who read my post last week, I was considering asking her over on Saturday night and I would cook her dinner, but I wasn’t about to ask her that if she had a friend in town visiting from the East Coast.

In between these Fridays, we occasionally talk online, usually for 30 minutes or so right before signing off Instant Messenger and going to bed.  Often she instigates the conversations, which gives me signs of hope.  But, again, I could be reading too much into it.

A week ago, we had out annual sexual harassment seminar and the lawyer who came in to outline policy had a whole slew of examples of what constitutes harassment and what does not, often with real world stories.  A funny story he told was about a client who was accused of sexual harassment after he asked out a girl in his office 9 or 10 times and he “couldn’t take no for answer.”  Basically, the girl always had a lame excuse (“I’m washing my hair” … “my mom is in town” … “I’m meeting friends for dinner” etc) and the guy couldn’t take a hint.  Long story short, the charges were dropped when it became evident that she never actually said “no” to his advances, but was being polite white the guy was just oblivious to the fact that she wasn’t interested.

I wonder if maybe I’m like that guy.  That maybe the girl in my obvious isn’t actually interested and the two times we kissed were just because she was a little tipsy and not thinking straight at the time.  But then why is she chatting with me online? Maybe she’s just being nice.  Maybe she chats with a lot of co-workers.  So today, I’m afraid to ever be aggressive again.  I don’t want to be the idiot who can’t take a hint.  Over the past 5 weeks, I’ve gone out with her twice and “sort of” asked her out two other times, though they weren’t direct invitations to specific dates.  I really like this girl, I thought maybe she liked me too.  But maybe I’m reading signs that aren’t actually there.  Because I work with her, dating is a very delicate subject.  I don’t want to cross boundaries and I certainly don’t want her to file harassment charges against me (though I don’t think I’ve been that aggressive).

I think I’m going to tone down my hopes and leave things in her hands.  I hate doing that since I think a lot of girls prefer to let the guy do “the asking” even though they obviously don’t have to in this day and age.  And I generally don’t mind asking a girl who I think is interested in me.  But, again, I don’t want to be the oblivious idiot.  Hopefully I’m not passing up on a real opportunity here.