So, a Hawaiian HR girl, a British software developer and an Iranian artist-mathemetician walk into a bar. The Rabbi says (oh wait, shit, there is no Rabbi – let’s make him a martini) – the Martini says, “how about we have a little fun?”
After all, I have just become engaged to an old friend’s husband on the floor of the parking lot at Bell Square Mall, which isn’t exactly as awful as it sounds. So I may have some issues.
They are going through a divorce and I love them both. I have known them for at least 16 years – ever since I moved to Seattle. They spent a good deal of time in Europe so our time together has been erratic. Or at least sporadic.
The first day or two I moved to Seattle, I met Andy and the Daves at a bar and they have been the core of my of my oldest friend group ever. The Bardo, Intertia Labs, Bloop and my Hawaiians have just as much a place in my heart, but for Seattle, these were my first people. Jess, Jason, Sean, Paigey, Tinaw, Rhy, Andy, Gina, Christian, Sue, Stephanie – all stem from those first few months.
So I had my little mid life crisis, quit my job, think I may have written a book, but was SAVED by my friends and my colleagues from ISB, InDI and Seattle BioMed. Not that I didn’t deserve it – I kick ass at weird employment law stuff, but they saved me. Guided me rather. The only thing I was missing was love.
I have lots of love in my life, which is great because I am an only child. I have an incredible (but very weird family – half from Brooklyn and half from Austin – what are you going to do?), friends I would literally die for, and colleagues and people in my social network I am honored will even speak to me. Because I can count CEOs and “professionals” as my friends and I know felons and governors. I am very fortunate in the people I have in my life.
So I am not going to lie – since Nic and I broke up (you are in my soul and will remain so for the rest of my life and Donna is a goddess, but yall baby that dog a little too much), I have been looking for someone very specific. Must be a software guy (I don’t know why, I just get them – if I could do math, I would be one), close to my age, with some world experience, smart as hell and a complete smart ass.
So when the gods want to punish you, they give you what you want most.
I have known Christian for 15/16 years depending on how you count it (and you all know I always round up)
We started dating a few months ago and have fallen fast. His wife, whom I knew and know, is a beautiful woman. She lives in Europe and it is pretty clear from our conversations over the last few days, she wants to continue her life as it is – without her husband. And yes, it is going to be official, I am not going all LDS on everyone (although for the record, it really doesn’t bother me at all – adults can do what they want).
In order to make sure everything was cool, we went out for drinks Friday night and got on famously. We decided to play a joke on Christian so when he arrived for his birthday dinner, we would be out in the parking lot of the Westin fake fighting and paid the staff to pretend to keep us apart. “Ladies! Please! This is Bellevue!”. It was fucking funny but he was so oblivious that we had to stage the fake fight like 6 times and he was still like “la, la, la, grooving out in his car”. Dude.
So we just started cracking up and going to get dinner. It was so realistic, the Westin staff almost called the police. I still can’t tell you how cool it is to see your fiance’s wife be wiling to stage a fake fight with you. In Bellevue.
But she is smart, beautiful, honest, literate, artistic and can order in binary. I tried to emulate her which means I had an onion ring or something.
So before I bore you with more details, we decided last week to become engaged. And, no, he doesn’t need a Green Card (although that is partially what I do for a living).
He put on my grandmother’s ring Thursday (on me, not on him), we bought his ring Saturday, and committed to each other in the parking lot of BellSquare. Is there anything other to say than “fuck”?
I am 40 – I can’t do this. I have been too scared to commit to anyone for so long. I am too scared to lose my independence, I am too scared to change my life. But I finally met a person I would be honored to marry. And he said I would never have to live in Bellevue. Which is commitment material.
Linda, wedding is at your house or Dave’s, you are catering and NO Two Buck Chuck. I am a klassy lush.
Happy birthday, Christian.
It was my fourth day of my new job. My new job is kind of my old job with special sauce instead of Thousand Island Dressing. By this I mean I am working with a lot of the same people I worked with for the past few years, but it is a spin off company with a for-profit bent. I haven’t had a dot com behind my name since the very early 2000s, but it was time. After spending nearly 10 years in non profit, I had learned to run my organizations with duct tape (don’t you want to say duck tape?) and safety pins. Working for an organization that could actually afford to hire someone to clean the bathrooms (other than me) was a new experience. I love science and this is a diagnostic company. I love scientists and there are millions of them here. I wanted to kick ass, I wanted to impress my new boss. I didn’t.
Starting every new job in HR, there are two things I always do – look at the files and talk to the people. My first HR boss Ann told me, “the history of the people and the company are in those files”. She was right. And, it is often the first thing an auditor or plaintiff’s attorney will look at during discovery. I audited the files and guess what? Humans forget to turn things in. Oh well, no one is going to die, we will just get everything updated. I started making appointments to talk to the people. Things were going well – I had a good rapport with most of the new folks and had been working with the veterans for a few years. I was just about to meet with one of the team members when…..
I fell. Flat on my face. It is every woman’s worst nightmare. It is up there with the nightmare you have of showing up to school naked on the first day of class. (That actually happened to me too, but I am not prepared to discuss it yet – I need more therapy).
I developed a taste for shoes early in life – they are one of my three guilty pleasures. Four. Five. Maybe let’s just call it an even 10. When I turned 38 and my long term relationship unraveled, I learned how to wear heels. I lost about 80 lbs in 2 years and decided to become a foxy 40 year old for the next phase of my life.
As I mentioned, it was my fourth day of work and I was dressed to impress – matching funky suit and heels. My favorite heels – Fleuvog’s with a Mary Jane strap – yum! I tend to walk fast anyway, but I was really booking to make this meeting. My rubber soled shoes caught on the concrete floor and I went in to slooooowwww moooootion. Noooooooo!!!!! I recall thinking as I swam towards the floor. Never underestimate gravity. Or intelligent falling, as I call it.
I fell. On my face. In a skirt. In front of the Chief Medical Officer, Director of IP and Legal and General Counsel. And the employee. And the elevators. While the doors were opening. I wanted, truly, to die.
As I tell employees, scandals last about a week before people switch gears to find the next big thing. It has been a week, so my time in purgatory should be complete and I can talk about it now. The awesome thing is when I told my boss, he high fived me. My other boss said, “please don’t stop face planting, every organization needs a face planter”. They were both serious.
I love these guys which is why I turned down THREE offers for HR Director jobs in the first two days of consulting for them. They know the employee morale impact of the HRD face planting in front of everyone and jumping up to declare victory. They understand that part of what makes a team successful is how they treat each other after not just success, but epic, epic, failure. They get that it takes failure and painful learning to be successful. I love these guys.
Working with these people again feels like I have come home. From war. The most beautiful thing anyone can experience is acceptance – particularly after an epic fail.
I wear my humiliation on my shoulder like an indie rock button. I wear my pride on my face when I tell people what I do for a living. And I will never wear my Fleuvog’s to work again.
On our old HR team, we would pass around really silly videos all day. We worked hard too, but got a giant kick out of dumb animal videos. He told me about this new video they had been schlepping about a woman on a dating site who was really into cats. REALLY INTO CATS. People also think I am REALLY INTO CATS because I have some of them and a tattoo and find them funny, but I don’t cry about them or get cat-themed dinner wear or earrings. I might have an amusing t-shirt, but it was a gift. The woman in the video started crying about how she wanted all the cats in the world in a giant basket on a rainbow. I am terrible at dating, I scare them all away in the first 5 minutes, but I know enough about it to know this – lady, do not bring up cats. Ever.
If I die by Prius, I want to make sure I have at least one dreadlock and am wearing Chuck Taylors just to stick it to the man. And my Sid and Nancy shirt. Feel that knife spin in your trust fund, man?! Yeah, we punks on 8th in our Craftsman houses are really telling you off now. MOSH PIT! (with Nerf guns and protective footwear because we have to go to work on Monday. Explaining the black eye thing every week is getting old and they are starting to not believe us).
For two days, I was the salesperson for a video dating service because I was 21 and had big hair. Aqua Net big.
Then I became a receptionist for 3 hours.
Things are not looking up.
So I got a little sick and screwed up my body and that is probably what happens when you have been a vegetarian for 26 years but think that the four food groups are English muffins, brie, Boca Burgers and wine. That just can’t be a balanced diet. I went and threw my metabolism off really badly. But at least I lost 8 pounds! I know! I see the positive in everything!
I had to make an appointment with an infectious disease specialist to figure out all of the things I needed for my trip to India – malaria meds, typhoid, hep A and hep B, MMR, influenza, tetanus. Tetanus?! Do I look like a loser?