Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our Love Story: Work Friends First

How did this casual work relationship become one of the most meaningful relationships of my life? Casual glances across the cubicles, coffee runs, quick touch base meetings to vent about work and bosses and happy hours all contributed to us talking. We sat behind each other in cubicles at the office. We would say hello to each other everyday, which turned into hugs which then turned into a confidant I could talk to in the office. We felt like Jim and Pam. Now that I think about it we probably acted like Jim and Pam.

I remember after we had started to hang out at work, a coworker in another group asked if we were dating. "Oh no!" I replied "We're just friends." I couldn't even imagine us dating. We were such good friends, came from different cultures, had a nice relationship and I didn't want to ruin that. Future honey, on the other hand, knew differently. Poor guy.

When I think about our time together at work I smile. We seemed to support one another in a professional, caring way. I looked forward to seeing him everyday and was concerned if he was working too hard. When we had group lunches, it didn't seem the same to me if he couldn't make it. We also had a lot of inside jokes and I felt a little pang of jealousy every time he asked me for advice about a girl he was dating. (I know now that I was putting him through the same torment.)

I fondly remember our weekly Coit Tower conference room discussions. We would start off talking about work, our bosses, interview techniques but then our discussions would turn to personal topics. How's the family, friends, people we were seeing, dating advice and life advice. I felt very connected to him and appreciated all of our touch base talks.

I can remember that it was a dark and rainy day when our casual work relationship first changed. I was coming back from a meeting when I noticed that he wasn't sitting at his desk. I looked, casually, around the office for him. I found him all alone in an abandoned office, staring into at a window at the rain. He wasn't moving. He let me know that he had found out that a really good friend of his had been killed by a drunk driver. His friend was only 22.

I asked my future honey, if I could sit with him. He said yes. We both sat there, quiet and staring at the rain. Some of the time he would talk to me, in shock and some of the time nothing. I hugged him and encouraged him to go downstairs with me to the coffee place for some orange juice for his shock.

That was the moment that we turned into good friends.

I also remember another time that hinted there was more between us. I was in charge of throwing get togethers, birthday parties and happy hours at our office. His birthday was coming up and I wanted to throw him an amazing surprise party. I booked the largest conference room, invited a lot of people, decorated the room and got a cake. All I wanted to see was him smiling and surprised. He was shocked and amazed. Can you say giving a guy mixed messages? Sorry honey.

A couple of months later, I got injured. I had an old knee injury that I aggravated and I starting limping at work. Future honey was so concerned about me. He seemed to be the only one in the entire world that cared. I returned from lunch to find, on my desk, supplies from the pharmacy for my knee that I hadn't asked for. Ice packs, Alieve, ace bandages and candy to cheer me up. There was no note. Like the person did a gesture out of the kindness of their heart and there was no need to thank them. I looked up and around at the people in my office and was met my his smile from ear to ear.

Although I was very reluctant at first to let him help me, he started to go with me to my doctors appointments and drove me to my physical therapy appointments. He was there for me to lean on in a way that I had never leaned on anyone before. When I had problems with my health insurance covering my bills he was the one that helped fight for me. When I found out that my knee injury was a lot more serious then we had thought and I needed surgery he was there. When I took leave from my my job, moved home for a couple of months and had to walk away from my life he was still there for me every day.

Our work friendship which had turned into a deep friendship was developing into more. Well at least it was for me.

The way future honey remembers it as is this:

"He had to try for a year and a half for me to realize that we should be together."

If interracial friends are accepted, why can't society accept interracial dating as a norm? Interracial dating: Chapter 3 More then Friends?

1 comment:

Georgie B said...

Who says you can't find true happiness at work?

Sometimes you can click with someone in the most unusual of venues.

BTW: you have a very nice and smooth writing style.