Well, blow me down if I didn't get some great advice from the comments placed at the previous post. Really insightful, warm-hearted and understanding. I was heading towards similar conclusions all on my own, would you believe?
I didn't think so.
But this is what's happening: firstly me;
1) I do like her. Siobhan is graceful. And charming. The whole office seems to think highly of her. I'm drawn to her the way lots of people are. And we have common ground. The music ensemble we're playing in. There is something of an affinity;
2) Alright, yes, she is very attractive. A young 35. Not overly tall, but both slender and curvaceous at the same time and with dark brown hair and big brown eyes;
3) What am I doing? Just two things, I maintain:
a) Her emails get answered first. And I spend more time composing an email reply to her than I would to the CEO. I think he's starting to get jealous;
b) And focusing intently when we talk. She's in vivid technicolour while everyone else languishes in low-contrast black and white. She seems almost equally attentive, but I'm a bit concerned it might also be kind of obvious to eyewitnesses;
4) What aren't I doing? Well, I'm not seeking her out. I just breeze through the lunchroom when she's there and don't hang around if she comes in after me. She's equally perfunctory. But we just bump into each other and have a chat - almost exclusively about the ensemble these days;
5) I'm aware of her. It doesn't matter if we're in the same space with plenty of other people around, everyone heading in different directions, we always seem to greet each other. I quite like that about her. I think anyone would;
Now to Siobhan:
1) See above;
2) She has this almost teenage-girl way about her that shows off a fairly dazzling array of weaponry - head tilted; eyes up through lashes; slight blush; big smile; dimples at full compression; my name elongated, "Hi La-aad." I'm sure it's been used to devastating effect on far better men than I. I've seen this a few times now. And I'm not getting sick of it;
So, ready for some conclusions?
Well, I don't think Siobhan has a crush on me. I believe 2) above is just her way. Part of her charm and means nothing. She might not be fully aware she's doing it. I thought at one stage she might even be making fun of me a little, "Here he comes. Let's see what shade of red I can turn him today. Need to be careful, though. He nearly crossed over into purple on Tuesday. I had to switch all my dimples off!" This is unlikely. But I'd think it was funny, just the same.
She has a knack for making me feel comfortable and appreciated. I'm very lucky in that.
And me? All of the above, really. I don't feel lustful towards her. There's no phwoar. If anything, it feels like one of those pure and noble teenage crushes, the kind you might have had on your older sisters' girlfriends who seemed wonderful to your early teen eyes.
And folks, this has never been a fidelity issue. Most of you would know that I passionately and romantically love TLOML, on all levels. I look at her like she's my exciting new girlfriend. You know, "Wait till my mates see who I'm going out with."
She's fabulous. Wife and mother. Great to watch walking towards you. Great to be with.
On Monday, she delivered one of the eulogies at her cousin's funeral. She was a woman the same age as TLOML, killed in a car accident last Sunday week. They'd been good friends as kids. A terrible loss of a much-loved and striking woman. TLOML would normally be apprehensive about public speaking, and she was nervous. But she looked beautiful and graceful and sounded clear, confident and warm. Got a few laughs too. There are many reasons why she is TLOML.
And so what will I do about Siobhan? Nothing, really. And she won't need to do anything about me. I'll back off on the emails, and try to include others when Siobhan and I do talk. Nothing else needs to change. I can enjoy the friendship and the music for what it is. Shit, it kind of means I'm okay.
And maybe get a little bit of a kick out of it too. I am only a bloke, after all.