I used small talk to flirt with a colleague

couple flirt in the office
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Monday morning chit-chat is the worst.

All those enquiries and quips about the weekend are a real drag – especially when people joke about having had a boring time. I’ve actually reached a conclusion about this kind of blather. The people who constantly joke about their ‘boring weekends’ are, in fact, pretty boring themselves. Strangely, these people are almost always parents. My colleague Martin is one such parental bore. Every Monday he speaks about his early nights with a knowing roll of the eyes. It’s always the same schtick as he digs into the domestic minutiae for a few dry laughs. He even uses the same closing line every week. After recounting his staid doings he says rock n roll, eh?

The (alleged) joke is that Martin’s weekends are not rock n roll. They are the opposite in fact. Martin is a family man, and his weekends are taken up with chores. Were it not for the kids, Martin would be living la vida loca. That is the joke. A joke that is anathema to me. The way I see it weekends spend on chores (child-related or otherwise) are dull. And I cannot be dull. Dull is death. I am allergic to dull. And therefore my weekends are crammed with urbane activities. My weekends are rock n roll. This is what I told Daisy anyway.

Daisy works in our Marketing team. We seem to get along, she is kooky in a tolerable way. She also has an amazing brain. When recalling cultural figures she uses her actual memory. It’s astounding; she never consults her phone when referencing great art. She is real. She is nerdy. She is hot. Naturally, it is this last fact that has nudged me out of the Friend Zone – and into the Danger Zone. Indeed, I now traverse the Highway to the Danger Zone. There can be no doubt, danger is abroad. But that won’t stop me from falling in love.

“You are so ridiculous,” Daisy said.

We were in a pub after work. The place was full of heaving City suits and monied Americans.

“Oh, am I now?”

“Yes, you are.” She lifted a drink and narrowed her eyes. “Every time I see you on a Monday you go on about your weekend, and how amazing it was…”

I thought of my brother Dan. A suave man of action. He once advised me to remain positive in the presence of ladies. Don’t moan, he said. It’s a turnoff. Make like you’re having a good time, all of the time. I now realised how redundant that particular piece of wisdom was – it was simply the Facebook paradigm played out in the real world.

I said, “Well, I don’t like going on about the rubbish bits of my weekend.”

Daisy sipped her wine. “You know, that actually makes sense.”

I nodded. Curt and Germanic.

“Doesn’t mean you’re not still ridiculous.”

“Ok,” I said. “Tell me about your weekend then, seeing as you’ve got it all nailed.”

“Sure. Let me see. I…well, I didn’t go anywhere, to be honest. My housemate was at her boyfriend’s so I fancied having the place to myself. I finished The Rules of Attraction – I love Bret Easton Ellis, seriously, the man’s a genius. I started the new Houellebecq novel. I made a Bob Dylan playlist for my niece. I went to the National Portrait Gallery on Sunday morning then went home and watched The Walking Dead. So basically, I did nothing, but it was still a great weekend.”

“It sounds it.”

I think I love you. My mind said. Outwardly, I nodded – again, with an abrupt motion.

Daisy said, “Well, whatever. You probably think I’m boring.”

“You’re joking, aren’t you? I think you’re amazing.”

Daisy placed her glass down. The context snapped into focus. We were work colleagues, and this was a mere after-work social. She straightened and, I guessed, considered pretending not to have heard. Eventually, she said:

“Thanks.”

“That’s quite alright.”

“Although now it’s a bit weird.”

“Yes, I’m sorry about that.”

“Shall we start again?” She said.

One of the bustling Americans bumped me as he passed. The pub was crowded – as all pubs are week nights in the City. We were drowning other people’s sorrows.

“Good idea.” I raised my pint. “To new beginnings.”

Daisy laughed and we clinked glasses.

“But my point stands,” she said. “You are ridiculous.”

I couldn’t disagree. But being there with her was worth every ridiculous minute.


Marcello is WeAreTheCity’s male dating blogger. His first novel novel Marcello: Love in the City is out now

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