A Summer Workplace Crush 

If there is one thing I’m not, it’s a career woman. Perhaps it spawns from living in Los Angeles for 16 years and people always leading what, “What do you do?” instead of, “How are you?” It could also very well be that Maddy Perez is a spirit animal of mine as Ru once said Maddy didn’t dream of doing anything. Nevertheless, traditional work has sort of escaped me…from holiday scheduling to commission-based only to freelance to below minimum wage and part-time…yeah, career woman – not me. All of that said, this workplace crush story is about the summer I spent at yet another nontraditional job, as a contract worker for what I am 100% sure was either a shell company or some other kind of scam. The glimmer of hope for three or so months though was well, it was a lot of things like fucking around and playing Apples to Apples and making some friends, but also the cute blonde boy who sat diagonal from me. 

You already know that I’m shy as hell. Must we revisit the college crush? Well, the first half of the summer was spent very much like that – quiet as fuck. It wasn’t until a new guy got hired and brought me out of my shell with talks of teen movies that I started to open up more to the rest of the other 20-somethings just trying to survive in LA, this new crush included. Although, even when we were messing around when no one was watching us – I still didn’t talk much to him. We’d exchange pleasantries and laughs here and there but it was never enough to make a big deal out of. Which, even if it was…this was 2012 and I was still pretty much clueless about what went into actual adult relationships. 

He was nice though and cute with a Midwest charm. I do think he was from somewhere in the middle of America where corn grows, and that was a huge part of the appeal at first because he didn’t have that “I work in the industry” snobbitity about him that made my skin crawl. There was still something sincere about how he approached things – at least the things I saw him approach over those few short months. Alas, when the company eventually went under (which we sort of expected when our last check was delayed), it sort of felt like the end of summer camp. We all went out for one last hoorah someplace in West Hollywood and I even managed to get him to drive me over the hill to the train station. 

For those wondering, well…she had to have made a move then. No. I said thank you and goodbye and held onto that crush for another month or so. Then one day I saw The Killers were going to be on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ I thought, okay, girl…just invite him. We’d since become Facebook friends so I mustered up every ounce of courage in my body and hit send. It was the first time since college that I took a leap of faith on a boy and yeah, time does not make you handle that sort of shit better if you’re a ball of anxiety wrapped in lovely melanated skin. 

He sent back this lengthy excuse about having to work and that was that. I never attempted to ask him to hang out again. I went for it, it didn’t work out, and years later when I did this Adulting Project and approached the topic of crushes when you’re grown, I reached out to see if he had any clue I liked him. He said no. Was he just trying to continue to let me down easy? We’ll never know but all of that said, it was the first and only time I ever had a workplace crush as my resume never provided many opportunities for that, but when it did I fell for the cute boy collecting emails for what was likely a scam but hey, at least they eventually paid us.

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