Monday, February 14, 2011

Code Orange

Cupid's arrow
Photo by adactio via Flickr
In honor of Valentine's Day, I'd like to share a cautionary tale of love and woe.  Last week, I caught up with some former coworkers for dinner and drinks.  While we were there, we ran into another former coworker who had a "friend" in tow.  This "friend" had just opened up a business in the area and was looking to do some promotion.  I've long wanted to do some freelance consulting, so I gave him my card.  Little did I know what was to come . . .

The following day, at my desk, I got a phone call from The Friend.  He wanted to set up an appointment to discuss what I could help with.  And then he dropped the other bomb. He really wanted to get the contact information for one of my friends who was at dinner that night "for business purposes."  Since she hadn't specifically given it to him, I said I'd have to ask her first, or he could find it on the organization's website.  I pinged my friend and she said she was fine with me passing along her email . . . but it was a busy week, so I promptly forgot about it . . . until Friday when I received a "WTF" email from her.  It seems The Friend had contacted her.  Rather than explain, I'll share the text (only slightly modified to remove any identifying details) below, because it's simply too good not to share:
Greetings! I hope this finds you well. It was a pleasure meeting you the other evening at [the restaurant], I was the gent sitting with [your colleague]. I write to you with a dual purpose.

On the one hand, I was taken off guard with the light flashing through your eyes. I couldn't help wondering through my meal. Fleeting? Inner radiance? For verification and security reasons in these erstwhile days of code orange, I sauntered back over to your table in the shadow of [your colleague] and sure enough, the light shone through again! [Redacted], you must be a beautiful person inside considering the glow about you, gorgeous allure and beauty notwithstanding. So you'll understand it was with pent up burning poetic fury that I departed the restaurant without being able to speak with you a little. Too many onlookers in too close proximity. For that, I profusely apologize.
In order to capture the spirit of unconditional positive regard, may we meet for lunch or dinner? There is Cuba Libre or Thai something or other in Georgetown or whatever suits you. If that's possible, I'll be in Washington this coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday....have appointments Tuesday AM through around noon, at Congress of all places, for an unrelated matter. And I'm not even sure how people get acquainted these days.

On the other hand, I made inquiry with [your colleague] regarding having [my business] project publicized to all [of your organization's members], those across the nation who may travel to Washington DC. I admit he did not suggest you specifically, but he did suggest I contact someone here in DC [in your office] that may be able to direct me to the right person. Well, in closing, I hope we can talk. Thanks again for your time.
WTF indeed.  My friend was wearing a ring on her finger, so there was to be no doubt about her status -- and we both thought we remembered that he also sported "attachment jewelry."  Her response, ever classy, but also abrupt:
I think brevity is necessary here. I am married, as I believe, so are you. Please do not contact me again
To which The Friend responded:

I'm confused. What would I be contacting you for, again? Read your message. Har har, I gotcha. But you still make a pleasant impression and I hope you're able to smile about this overall!..... Unless, like your friend implied, you prefer that my call represents an augury of harrassment, stalking etc... Writers have been accused of talking too much. Good bye.
My friend and I had a good laugh over this, while still both confused.  Sure, she does have a radiance about her, but our table was hardly lit by the fire in her eyes that evening.  Maybe he was he had one too many caipirinhas or something and imagined that the candle on our table was in fact her eyes.  Either way, he started seeing stars where there were none.  I don't know.  I've taken it as a sign that my freelance career can wait. 
So, whether you're celebrating this Valentine's Day with a loved one or spurning it in a chocolate-induced haze, I hope you enjoy!  And if you happen to see this particular cupid's arrow coming your way -- DUCK!

*And in honor of Valentine's Day, please share any of your disasters from the front lines of looooove . . . I would love to hear them!


  1. For all men who may read your blog...this guy is a turd, no he is the turdiest of turds. I am college educated and been in the work force more years than I care to admit and I know a come on when I see or hear one.

  2. Ben, that might be my favorite comment on the blog EVER. Thanks for weighing in. I think I'm going to have to find a way to work "Turdiest of turds" into my vernacular.

  3. Who are these people? Seriously! And where do they come from? Flabbergasted. Really. But this is priceless. -T.

  4. gaaaaah. creepy! i hate it, hate it, hate it when people are sketchy under the guise of professionalism...

  5. I don't know where the unadulterated "chutzpah" comes from. It's sort of mind boggling.

  6. I was totally on board with this dude being sweet but awkward until I reached the surprise ending. They're both married. Bahh! WTF indeed.

  7. I'm with Jessica...hoping that he was the geek of all geeks. Instead he is icky!

    xo susie

    ps I had so many interesting dating stories someone suggested a book. Alas, I've forgotten many of them...

  8. This is by far one of the creepiest stories that I have read!

    Happy Valentine's Day?

  9. Ahhh! heck no. Jessica is right on. Twas almost movie script cute and awkward until the marriage bit. As my dad would say, he's the scum of the earth.

  10. OOOOHHH! OMG!!! His pent up poetic fury isn't the only thing that's burning! If nothing else he gave you material for a rockin' blog post!