Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Relationships at Work

First, a new Heartless Bitch classic: "A Girlfriend or Carry-On?"

That link leads to a post about the many ways a relationship status eclipses the individuals involved. It's written from the female perspective, though I suspect guys go through their own form of it. It is particularly fitting because it describes something I went through, and something a friend at work is going through right now.

We'll call her FAWcett, both for Friend At Work and because she's pretty and blonde. She's lovely, a divorcee, and met a rather cute and sweet guy in the company where we work. (He's also divorced.) We started at the same time, so we're both still pretty new, but they've hit it off.

The problem is, everyone knows and everyone has an opinion. Being a sweet guy, Sweet Guy has lots of friends, all of whom fervently diss his ex-wife and feel the need to come up to Fawcett an explain how happy they are that Sweet Guy "finally found someone" and how happy they are that Fawcett seems so nice because Ex-Wife was a bitch and Sweet Guy deserved so much better and they really only pretended to like Ex-Wife because Sweet Guy liked her and on and on and on.... Nearly everyone Fawcett's met since the two of them decided to date has given her some version of this speech.

This blows. First of all, it tells Fawcett that all of these people are firmly in Sweet Guy's camp, and should the two of them not work out, she won't have any kind shoulders here. Secondly, it tells her that they don't really care who she is as long as she is "nice" to Sweet Guy. Thirdly, it means her identity in the company has already become Sweet Guy's Girlfriend. WTF?

Now, the name "Sweet Guy" is not meant to be ironic; he really is pretty cool, if a little- ah- rebound-y acting. I've heard him say that Fawcett is the first really nice woman he's met since the Ex-Wife. And he acts accordingly- as if Fawcett will restore his faith in womankind. So, no pressure.

In any case, I'm rooting for them, but not as much as I am rooting for Fawcett. She deserves to been seen as her own person- and she is fiercely independent, which means the attention and the pigeon-holing is getting to her. She'd like to take things slow, to see how they develop, but everyone already has them married off in their heads and it is making her crazy.

So, to everyone else: back the hell off! Give the kids a chance, for pete's sake.


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