The Nondating Life

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ask Ken, Get Answers

Hello, my little chowderheads. In the immortal words of Jim Anchower, it's been a while since I rapped at ya, but here I am, clattering away at my keyboard and trying to sit straight up to compensate for a herniated disc. This getting old thing is crap, if you ask me. Crap in a bucket.

At any rate, I recently received an email from a reader, so why don't we jump right in.

Hey, Kenny. Today a friend was asking me for endless amounts of romantic advice, and guess what I did? That's right. Like a good pupil, I sent her straight to Kenny's nondatinglife.

Boy, I hope I'm not implicated in any lawsuit that results from sending someone to me for romantic advice.

And as I was perusing, I remembered the good old days when you gave me your infamous romantic advice.

And see where that got you?!? You're now all growed up, living a the life you've always wanted, mature in your relationships and never wanting for love.

I think I needed it more then than i do now. But I'm still disappointed to find that you have still not written a damn thing about "the crush." You know, the obsession. The totally irrational, we-should-never-hook-up-but-good-lord-i-want-to-fuck-you kind of thing.

Actually, I thought that was the subtext of every one of my posts, but looking back on it, I don't think I ever DID address it directly. Typical of me--avoiding the one issue I have the biggest problems with.

Because you see, I need to be bitchslapped.

Self-awareness is hot. Slapping and self-awareness is SUPER hot.

I have a crush on a guy and his baby face and his luscious lips and thick hair and fantastic ass.

Editor's note: The reader was kind enough to attach a photo to her email and I'll admit... that boy got a purty mouth and judging by the sheen of his hair, he's been eating a lot of fish or that cat-food that makes your cat's coat lustrous.

In fact, I spend a good part of every day thinking about the abovementioned things. I've got it worse than I have had it in a long time.

All together now: "I've got it bad ... and that ain't good."

The problem is first, that he's a colleague, and second, while we always find each other at parties and attempt to start a conversation, I don't think we're capable.

Honey, those ain't bugs, thems is features!

We do the awkward cheek kiss and then -- drum roll please -- he asks me if I'm taking the proficiency exam or if I've heard of this random band that's coming to town that he wants to see (which, of course, I have never heard of and would probably hate). Basically, we have nothing in common.... except, perhaps, a burning desire to fuck? And even then, maybe it's just me. It's probably just me. I would say he's out of my league except that I've scored hotter, so maybe I'm just currently batting below average or have hair issues or something. I spent thirty minutes the other night analyzing the fact that when we were at a party, he asked me to sit next to him such that I was practically on top of him BUT he didn't put his arm around me. I might now spend another thirty minutes on the same damn question.

So, Ken dear, I guess here's the question for you, since I could obsess forever but the answer's probably quite simple: Is this sort of awkward thing that we have there because we're just flat-out incompatible in any sense of the word, or could it be an indicator of potentially explosive sex? I really, really need to know.

OK, then. First of all, I'd like to apologize to my emailer for taking so long to reply. I'm sure by now the situation has resolved itself into a half-drunken night of wild monkey sex. Hell, she could even be carrying his child right now!

I kid. I kid.

After reading this email--and I'm sure my readers will agree--it's quite obvious that you two are headed, if not for a date with destiny, then an encounter with tangled sheets, messy hair and scratches and abrasions in places you hadn't even realized were on your body. (This is assuming, of course, that you didn't tailor the email to get the answer you wanted.)

I wouldn't worry about the colleague thing. It's not an issue, and it won't be until after the fact when you can't make eye contact and you're awkward around each other in front of advisors and such. Or, worse still, after you date for a few months then have a horrible break up and you're both too close to graduation to even consider switching schools.

But I'd never let those sorts of repercussions get between me and a night horizontal hotness and I certainly don't see why you should. Oh, sure, so-called mature people will always lecture you about not getting involved in the workplace. And such people who like to pretend they're not boring and lame will phrase it as "Don't shit where you eat." But those people are sad. Sad and jealous. So, so jealous. You dated your classmates in high school. You dated your classmates in undergrad. Suddenly, you're not going to mess around with you grad school comrades? Ha! And work? Double ha? Look, if marriage can't prevent the inevitable end-result of inappropriate sexual tension, work certainly won't do it.

And who says you're incompatible. You? Are you sure? Or are you--slightly off your game, perhaps fearing failure--setting up a pre-emptive excuse for yourself?

And so what if you are? The major issue here is figuring out what you want from Mr. Lips. A roll in the hay? A low-key relationship to occupy your time when you're not studying? A serious relationship? If it's the first, then no worries. Full-speed ahead. But if it's the latter, I'd caution against it. Hell, if you were simply an undergrad or already in the workforce, I'd say go for the low-key relationship as well. But the last thing you want to worry about while writing a dissertation or studying for one of those killer exams is that Mr. Lips might embarrass you at that party this weekend ... or that he won't shut up about that douchebag band he thinks is the greatest thing on earth ... or that he clips his toenails on the carpet.

But I don't have enough info here to know what you're looking for in that regard.

Finally, there's the question of his interest in you. I'd say that he's certainly interested in, to borrow a phrase from Color Me Bad (a band which is probably before your time), sexing you up. Why do I say this? Because I think that if he were interested in a relationship-relationship he would be a little more nervous around you and probably would have made a move by now.

Maybe he, too, is asking one of his friends these same questions. Maybe he's all, "but she's a colleague" and "we might be incompatible." (I'd ask my bitter women readers to keep it down. This could happen.) He's thinking he really, really, really wants "some of that," but he's not sure he could get away with a one-night stand or a booty-call-based relationship that goes sour. If there's one thing guys hate more than a psycho crying chick, it's a psycho crying chick that you have to face at work every day (and hence all the sage advice about not fooling around at work).

You both want to do the "wrong thing," but you're both unsure about how to go about it. But, basically, he's waiting for you to make a move. That would absolve him of at least some of the responsibility if things go wrong. "Hey, I didn't lead her on. I didn't promise her anything."

Now I'll speak from my years of experience. Actually, I'll speak from my one experience of hooking up at the workplace. If you want to move this thing forward, try this simple thing: Get really drunk with this guy and then start a conversation about how disastrous, irresponsible and professionally stupid it would be for two people such as yourselves to hook up.

You'll go from, "God, can you imagine how stupid people can be" to "I mean, look at us. I'd do you in a second, but I'm not the sort to get busy with colleagues" to "Yes, right there. Oh. My. God!" in the space of three beers.

And you can thank me for it.


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