Occasionally I’m reminded somehow of someone I knew long ago. Sometimes they were good friends, sometimes co-workers or just people I knew. That happened this week. A person from my past popped into my head for no apparent reason.
Before I went into Human Resource work, I supervised a large administrative staff in a company staffed predominantly by engineers. I learned to work with men. Engineering men are a class by themselves.
Most of the employees were youngish (under 40 for sure) and there were a lot of social activities like baseball teams, bowling leagues, and yes, happy hours. It was at one such event that I had this peculiar experience.
There was an engineer who was a hunk. A hottie by any standards. He was about five years younger than me. He had just broken up with his girlfriend of two years and was “dating” again. On one occasion, probably after too many drinks, he told me his story. (Since I don’t really like people, I am always amazed that people want to open up to me. I must feign empathy well!)
He felt that women were using him for his body. I’d guess his age to be upper 20s to low 30s. This is usually a time when men wish women were after their body. He complained about the carnal intentions most women had when it came to dating him.
Yep, almost fell off my stool (or maybe it was a chair?). Never had a guy complain about being a sexual object. I didn’t know what to say so I assured him that I wasn’t after his body. (Truly I wasn’t. Pretty isn’t my type. We were at a group function so I’m not sure why he opened up. Maybe I seemed “safe.”)
Fast forward about three months. He brought a date to a company picnic. She was not at all what I expected. His last girlfriend was a drop-dead gorgeous blond. Very perky and personable. His date was neither attractive nor homely and introverted. She was nice and accomplished in her field (which was financial – maybe a CPA or accountant? Head abacus?)
While sitting with her she talked about her relationship with Mr. Hunk. She had no idea why he was dating her and was fearful that it would end badly for her. (I know. Why do people tell me these things?) I could assure her that he wasn’t looking for a sexual relationship (based on his earlier complaints to me). I suggested she “ride it out” and enjoy herself. After a year or so, they married and moved to the big city for better job prospects. All this happened in the 80s and I’ve often wondered how it worked out for both of them.
I eventually moved into Human Resource work where I encountered a lot seedier stories that made this sound tame.