...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

with this job, i thee wed...sort of...

it was when we were huddled next to each other behind the customer service counter on a friday night, laughing quietly about a joke only the two of us got that i realized i'd become my manager's 'office wife.'

you've all heard the term 'office wife' (or 'office spouse'), no? it's come into play in the last few years as a way to define the close relationships we may form with coworkers of the opposite sex, be they superiors or just someone we share "god, can you believe he's wearing that?" looks with each other from across the room. kinda like pam and jim, but without the benefit of some cleverly written dialogue and a little less pronounced sexual tension.

so, without a bridal shower where i was bestowed with wonderful gifts, a ceremony with vows i'm compelled to uphold and no honeymoon adventures, my manager and i silently and easily slipped into our roles as platonic husband and wife.

it's easy, this relationship we've formed. a diversion. when we simply must share with someone some silly tale, a customer's comment so beyond the norm, or simply a point in our day no one else would understand, we hunt the other down. we're the first point of contact for the other on the evenings we're scheduled to work together.

maybe it was destined to take place from the beginning (cue the sweeping music and picture two people running through the shelves until we 'meet cute' in the nonfiction section). we're roughly the same age, married with young children outside of work, and share a variety of common interests. unlike the younger staff (who, in essence, could be our children), he understands when i pull out some obscure reference and apply it to my tale, and together, we'll roll our eyes at those who don't.

and while it's all blatantly platonic, it's safe to say he'd probably be someone i'd flirt with outside of the confines mentioned above. cripes, who am i kidding? we're flirty now. there's sometimes a pause from whatever it is we're doing when the other passes by to smile, toss out the casual but interested "how are you? wanna grab some coffee during break?" kind of thing. and when we talk, yes, sometimes the conversation is peppered with as many double entendre as a cheesy aerosmith song (i mean, you, dear reader, have come to love me cause my deuces are wild, right?).

flirting, i think, can't be avoided in an 'office marriage' simply because, if you have the unspoken ground rules in place (it doesn't go beyond the work environment, the occasional mention of 'real life' spouse is made in conversation, no creepy touching, etc.), you can toe that line a bit. when we talk about work issues, it goes without saying the other understands. that isn't necessarily the case with our actual spouses, who may simply not be interested or may require a tremendous amount of backstory to hopefully appreciate our on-the-job issues.

eventually we may 'divorce,' one of us will move onto another job. a void will have to be filled. the way i look at it, i'm a pretty good 'office wife.' because this is a part time gig for me, he's free to see other women when i'm not scheduled to work. i don't hold grudges. i'm filled with witty banter. i possess other wonderful (though as of yet unseen by you) attributes. i'm a pretty damn good wife, real and pretend.

but next time i do this pretend thing, i want a bridal shower. i desperately need new towels.


Blogger Kelly said...

You sound like a real catch! I think you and the office hubby should register. Crate and Barrel, perhaps?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Register, I'll send you a gift :)

My husband works with all males...and I still ask him about his office spouse, he finally found a new workwusband he likes after his old wusband abandoned him for a job in wisconsin...the things we do for love ;)

As for me, the internet is my work spouse :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006 1:11:00 AM  
Blogger The Savage said...

oh hell.. why not go the whole nine and have a bachelorette party too? lol

Thursday, November 02, 2006 4:04:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

Hmm, I used to work with all women and I may have had a rather cute "office spouse," although I never thought of her that way (and I'm sure SHE never thought of me that way). Now it's just about all guys where I work. Bummer.

Maybe that's what blogs are for, to make up for a lack of flirting at work.

Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pretty much have my office to myself (helps with the blogging) and where I was before was male dominated with the only women 25-30 years older than I. My guess is that my inperson flirting would be pretty rusty by now. I would be scared it might just come across as creepy (ala Michael Scott)

Friday, November 03, 2006 9:08:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Kelly & Nanette - What a great idea! Plan to look me up on the registry at Target. I'll be listed under "Kickass Girl." I need new baking sheets, too.

Savage - goodness! I totally forgot about having a bachelorette party! Damn. Screw the bridal showers! I want to be entertained up in that bitch!

FTN - I used to work with all women, all much older than me. Thus, I had a variety of 'Office Moms,' which was actually rather great because they didn't make me feel as guilty as my real mom can.

As for the flirting through the blog world...whatever do you mean? Are you saying people actually flirt via blog? Such an interesting theory...

Finished Last - I want an office to myself, too! Dang! Sadly, being at home, the "office" is really code for "bathroom," where I lock myself away to look in the mirror and wonder "why? why?" about five tiems a day. Then I turn into my own office wife.

Friday, November 03, 2006 9:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny, i just read a story in jane magazine about how this guy had an "work marriage" and ended up getting his heart stomped on because he fell in love with his office wife! ouch.

Friday, November 03, 2006 8:45:00 PM  

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