It’s happened. I didn’t think it was possible that I am this old, but the strangest thing happened, and I wasn’t sure what to do when it did. It kind of freaked me out.
Going back to work after an 18 month break, I was looking forward to the social aspects of my job. There are client lunches, conventions, happy hours, dinners, travel, and parties.
I’ve always navigated these functions with my dignity, and professionalism. Our professional community is very small, and we’ve all been a part of it for a very long time. The average age in our circle is 55 and the average tenure is 22 years. So, if you think about it, we’ve all grown up together professionally. Having any kind of flirtation or dalliance is usually widely broadcast, discussed, snickered at, and frowned upon in a very judge-y way.
No, I didn’t have a dalliance, it wasn’t even a reciprocated flirtation, but I think I got hit on, and there was a very uncomfortable long hug, with lots of big smiles and eyebrows moving up on a forehead that might have indicated a question. I think I might have blushed and stammered like a 12 year old before I walked away.
We took clients to lunch, and I was with 2 of the partners from our firm, and 5 people from the C-Suite of an oil company credit union. The CIO from the credit union and I had met 2 times before, at a lunch and one of their new branch openings. Now I’m his favorite, and he hugged me 3 times at the lunch. At the greeting, after the lunch, and at the door when he said his goodbyes. He kept prolonged eye contact, and would touch my arm whenever he could. I believe he’s married, and I was wearing my wedding ring.
Have you ever been in that position, when your stomach drops when the signals finally get through, and they take you completely by surprise?
I kept shaking my head. Did that just happen? Then I had to laugh, because I started thinking about the Golden Girls. I’m not a Blanche, but she had some great lines.
It’s been a long time since I was the center of attention, or the prettiest. But I didn’t think I was that out of practice not to understand when certain signals were coming my way.
So, in pondering the situation, and realizing that being a fifty-something almost Golden Girl I will have to just put my sense of humor on, and try to be more like Rose than Blanche.