23 November, 2008

Either Nothing, Or Nothing At All...

At the risk of labouring a point, I intend to squeeze just one more post out of the situation with Siobhan. Hopefully, before you tire of reading about it. That droning sound you hear is me.

There hasn't been much change in the past couple of weeks. We've practiced with the ensemble twice now and it's slowly starting to come together. The two women who sing are just brilliant. Sandra, at her first session, hit all of the notes and even made it easier to keep time. And she said she was nervous! Yvonne has a lovely voice. Jim knows his way around the fretboard and fitted right in. I'm wading through the songs as if through treacle and I've only completely nailed just Dear Prudence of the five. The others are on the way and I'm hopeful they'll follow suit soon.

Siobhan is coping well with a new type of guitar and new songs. Did I tell you I loaned her my acoustic guitar so it'd be louder than the classical guitar she has? No? Look, it's no big deal, really, not like sharing a toothbrush. I was apprehensive about offering it to her, suspecting she might shoot back with "What's wrong with my guitar?"causing me to beat a hasty retreat. But she was really good about it, thanking me for the opportunity and telling me repeatedly how much she likes my Ovation Celebrity DeLuxe.

Every time I think there might be a problem, there just isn't. When I wanted photos of the band for a slideshow, she came straight over and sat for me so it took only three clicks and I had all I needed. No "How's my hair?" or "Ooh, not today" or anything.

I'm anticipating she'll be well-practiced for tomorrow night's session. Sandra and Yvonne can't make it so I'm hoping like hell Jim doesn't bail out as that will leave us with the two's company dilemma. We really need to get together and play, but Siobhan might be apprehensive about it being just us. I hope not, she's been great about everything else with the band.

Just the other week, she gave me a soft kiss on the cheek and a gentle rub up and down my back to wish me a happy birthday as I was cutting the cake in the lunchroom (49. Shit. I feel 17 but mirrors keep giving me away). In Australia, if the knife touches the dish you don't get your wish and you have to kiss the nearest girl. A colleague called out to Siobhan in a louder-than-she-probably-meant-it voice that this had indeed happened and Siobhan needed to make tracks. Possibly because there's been some talk, or possibly because Siobhan happened to be the closest girl, I don't know.

I ignored it and didn't look left to where Siobhan was standing next to me but I didn't see her move at all, which if I'm correct, was quite lovely of her. Afterwards, we chatted for a few minutes and once again everyone else just faded into the background. Wallpaper, all of them. Can't seem to help doing that. I know I shouldn't but....

On Friday she came over to return my pen-drive again and I got the breathless "See you soon," with the big smile and the dimples. I smiled back but I think what she got was my best Milhous-pathetically-and-vainly-courting-Lisa look.

So I've decided to lay down a few guiding principles to keep things ticking along just as they are. To enable us to keep doing what we're doing. And not doing what we're not doing. To stay as friends. And limit the potential for causing discomfiture or embarassment to either of us.

1) No drinking anything stronger than light beer at work things. Not because I might do anything rash, but in case I say something stupid to Siobhan or let my guard down and enter into discussions about her with anyone else. To date, I've confided in no-one. Just to you invited members of my now-restricted blogosphere, where I'm an entirely separate non-entity. Entirely separate entity, I meant to say;

2) No seeking her out. That means no beating a path to or hanging around the lunchroom if she's there - just breeze on through and if she comes in afterwards, don't linger. Avoid going to her desk to drop disks or things off. I can feel a few eyes on me when I'm talking to her around there. And she tends to turn on the dazzle for me when I go over to her desk;

3) Include others when we talk. I'm far too focused on her. With a little luck, I'll be able to recognize that there actually are other people present. This is going to be difficult. She seems to exert a considerable gravitational pull on all of my attention;

4) Never touch her, not even fumbling for spoons in the drawer;

5) No lingering eye contact. There's also something of a gravitational pull there. Strong too. I'm sure it could dilate time;

6) Definitely no flirting with her - I don't think I have so far - absolutely nothing suggestive or cute. Here are a couple of things I stopped just short of blurting out: when she mentioned for the first time that she had a boyfriend, I nearly asked "So, who is this fellow you've been seeing behind my back?" Funny line maybe, but could easily have come out wrong; and when she gave me the birthday kiss, "Hey, there is a God." Again, overstepping the mark. "Aww, thanks Siobhan," was a better fit;

7) Don't be so quickfire about replying to her emails - shit, we do have to communicate but keep to the point. Don't try to write a cackfest of gags every time. Save something for the blog readership;

8) Don't try too hard to make her laugh, generally; she's got a good sense of humour and she's made me chuckle a few times. Let things flow naturally;

9) Don't be drawn into or initiate serious personal conversations with her about life, relationships, anything. You're bound to say too much;

10) Don't deconstruct your "relationship" with her. Don't talk about how well we get along or re-enact things that have happened. She's shown no inclination towards initiating this sort of thing so far;

11) Just basically, make things as fuck up-proof as possible, I suppose. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? I couldn't possibly be aware of the right thing to do and then not do the right thing, surely?

12) Don't write another blog entry on this topic unless things change. Hopefully, they won't.


Lad Litter said...

I've just learned that none of the three other band people can make it to tonight's rehearsal.

Cynic with Flair said...

Your "rules for engagement" with Siobhan are good ones. I try the same thing with my work crush; in fact, today, I was invited to his bday cake thing and I at first said "no,too busy", then my friend came and physically got me. Hmmm.
Your light beer comment is also a good one; I purposely didn't attend a happy hour b/c I was afraid of letting my guard down. I say crazy stuff when I'm tipsy! Stay strong...

The Exception said...

I think you have good rules and guidelines - definitely worth working on. I notice that if I keep things off the personal stuff, I can flirt etc and no one thinks twice. It just stays at work and it stays light and funny. As soon as the conversation goes more personal, the relationship goes more personal.

In ohter words, there is a married guy at work with whom I ahve great chemistry. We ahve a great time when we talk but we don't talk about personal things. We keep everything light and work or fun related. Neither of us drink, so that is not an issue and we rarely work together. But he is great, my favorite person at work, and he knows it. There is chemistry and then there is acting upon that chemistry. Funny how I can fun flirt and talka bout personal things with the men as long as there is no chemistry. As soon as that is there... if I work with them, the personal stuff stops!

JahTeh said...

While you're keeping to all these rules, who's doing your job? And I'm glad you only told bloggers, all 56 million of us.

miss diarist said...

Did you still go to the rehearsal?

Stay true to yourself and you can't go wrong. But I feel your pain. Or to put it more accurately, I've felt it.

Lad Litter said...

I love your term, Rules of Engagement. It's a bit of a tightrope, isn't it. And would be a lot easier if she didn't even know I was alive.

Flirting is fun. Interesting about the chemistry - is it easier to flirt if there's none? ie you know it isn't serious?

Hahaha! I love the way you cut through the crap. Thanks for reminding me I actually have work to do. The rules help me stick to my job and the blog is restricted. Beautiful people only.

Miss D:
Thanks. Keep me honest. Yes we were there, just the two of us. She hadn't practiced and you know I didn't mind. We went through a couple of songs, working things out as we went, very comfortable with each other. And then talked as we packed up, making each other laugh. She's such good company.

Meghan said...

You only tell us bloggers. Now we feel special. Sounds like you're keeping a level head...so far...

Lad Litter said...

Yeah, just you regulars, and you are special too. I'll return to unfettered public view when this particular series is over and buried deep in the archives.

I haven't experienced anything like this since I've been with TLOML but keeping a level head (thanks for saying so) is something of a brave new world for me.

The Blakkat said...

I like your guiding principles - should keep things on the straight and so forth without causing no harm. Definitely watch the alcohol content, that's a sure fire way to let nature take its course...

Good luck, Lad!

Crushed said...

Oh, don't give up faith!

Faint heart never won fair lady!

Don't make these rules, seriously.
Give it try, push it, make it clear you like her.

What you got to lose?
A bit of dignity?

Lad Litter said...

Thanks, and the Rules of Engagement shouldn't be too hard to stick to. Siobhan isn't pushing anything so I'd have to do something really stupid...nah!

Hahaha! Thanks for being the dissenting voice, the devil perched on my left shoulder. Gotta go now, forty days and forty nights in the desert coming up.

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

the office xmas party will be a trial-by-fire, and fer chrissakes no gifts to her.
and here's advice for free: after 23 flowerless years, my cheating spouse came in at xmas with
3-dozen fabulous cliche roses ... and I KNEW something was up.
He provoked a split by telling me about The Other Person at Easter, and was gone by June.
Do not gobsmack TLOML with anything unusual at xmas.

Lad Litter said...

FG Marshall-Stacks:
Xmas party has been and gone and everything is still in place. It's a friendship, and ticking along nicely. Hell, I've even met the boyfriend! Terrific bloke, too.

Ms Smack said...

Very insightful post mate.

Lad Litter said...

Thanks. Hopefully everything will stay just as is.

anodyne Brownie said...

There could be a guy
at the library,
the supermarket,
the plant nursery,
The State Library,
Huey Dewey and Louie's skool ...
or the shop where she buys all their cricket gear -

and HE has a blog where he describes TLOML as being graceful and vibrant and witty and talented.

hold her hand tonight.
there isn't a woman in the world who doesn't just love having a guy hold her hand.
even Dr Professor Germaine Greer I bet.

Lad Litter said...

Hahahaha! Hang on, I shouldn't be laughing too hard. There's a bit of a parallel universe thing about your comment that isn't all that far-fetched...

And would probably serve me right too!