I have had the good fortune to work in several different places. Each place has been an affirmation that, yes, I’m an adult. Recently, though, I’ve come to realize that I’m an adult but I’m no Spring chicken. I’m more like a buzzard.
It has been no secret that I’m pretty flirty. Hell, look at some past posts here. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been able to easily chat up women I work with, women who work for other companies. It’s been pretty simple – look people in the face, smile, be pleasant, have a little small talk and then BAM! Next thing you know you’re good friends with someone of the opposite sex. This leads to coffee, lunches, dinners, hanging out and gabbing about everything under the sun.
Even better is when women become my drinking buddies. Angela knows that I have absolutely no problem striking up a conversation with complete strangers and then somehow adding them to my cabal of seekers of merriment. It also doesn’t hurt that most of the time these women are either 1) pretty good looking or 2) power mad.
That was until I landed here at my current job. Now I work for a university and I pretty much fear the opposite sex.
It used to be so easy working for the private sector. Women in downtown DC or working in offices were already out of college and experienced with the way. Which is funny because you could break down the demographics of the women working in DC as
- Just out of college: Young and wanting to go out and party
- Mid 20’s – Mid 30’s: Young but married and wanting to go out and party; tempted but torn because of her ball and chain
- Late 20’s – late 40’s: Mature and looking to go out and have drinks. Being married or unmarried doesn’t matter because they’re in control of their situation (if they want to suck face with someone they will, if they want to ‘stay true’ to their spouse they won’t)
- 50’s and up: Enjoys the company and being part of the crowd
But that was the beauty of it all! You were all working and for the most part everyone was on a level playing field. The problem with working at a university is that all of a sudden you are fully aware of your age and the age of the people around you. All of the people around look so young. For all intents and purposes they are inexperienced with ‘the real world’ beyond the university (regardless of what any videos of gyrating college aged girls in various forms of undress on the internet portray).
All of a sudden I feel like the old guy with a pony tail at the hip bar or club trying to look cool. It just isn’t working. Trust me when I say that there is an abundance of beautiful women walking across the campus. However, now I feel a little out of place…like Chris Hansen is about to pop out at any time just for even looking at them.
Which is another small problem: working with people in the private sector you become used to adopting an aggressive posture with them – firm handshake, look them in the eyes. It was pretty much the same between men and women. Women would give just as good as the men. Ex-military women? Fearless. They have absolutely no problem looking you in the eyes. University students, on the other hand, tend to look down and avoid eye contact. They almost cower. It makes me feel both bad and creepy at the same time.
Bah. I’m going to have to find a bar around here and become a regular. I swear, though, I’m never growing a pony tail.