October 08, 2014 12:00 AM | by Luci
Why So Serious?
Mum: Did you print out your ticket?
Me: I don’t need to, they just take your name at the counter.
Mum: Did you send me the hotel booking?
Me: Yes I did, check your email.
Mum: I think I forgot my password. Do you remember it?
Me: Why would I even remember it mum. Don’t worry I’ll keep you posted. Wish me good luck!
And with that I jumped out of the car, took my bags and headed into the airport. I had this weird feeling in my stomach; somewhere between excitement and scared to death. I was making a huge change in my life and I didn’t even know if I was ready for it or not.
I checked in and spent some time in the business lounge, yes I treated myself this time and booked a business class ticket. Life’s too short, right? Once they called out for my flight, I headed towards the gate and shortly after I was on board.
You know that fantasy everyone has of sitting right next to someone who’s both really good-looking and interesting? Well, I have it too, and whenever a handsome guy walked by, I looked up to see if he’ll be in the seat next to me. It just hit me, I’m single again and I should be ready to mingle. Or is it too soon? Who cares! A casual, fun talk with a good-looking guy won't hurt anyone.
I was checking my Instagram, when I finally looked up and saw a handsome man sitting next to me. I couldn’t help but look at him and smile and he smiled back. Great, this should be fun! Black hair and hazelnut eyes were the perfect combination for me. Now, how do I get a conversation started? I kept on thinking about things I could actually say, but was out of words and whenever something popped into my head, I decided against it, as it sounded kind of silly.
It was only when they served the food that we started talking. He had that serious face on, which made you appreciate his smile.
Him: Let me help you. (He carried my tray until I was done putting my things aside.)
Me: Thank you!
Moment of awkwardness and then I saved it saying: “Hi, I’m Luci!”
Him: Joey! Nice to meet you.
Me: Same here. I’m starving, I hope the food is good.
Joey: Is it ever? You’ll only enjoy it because you’re hungry.
Hmmm, more of the serious face. Was he joking or being serious? He was hard to read. I was thinking of how to keep the conversation alive and looked at him once more for clues. It’s usually easy to decode a person by looking at hints, the way he dresses or anything he carries around. I remembered he had a nice business carry-on with him. Work, I should talk about work!
Me: So what do you do?
Joey: I’m the co-founder of company X. We're responsible for the online presence and strategies of many big companies.
Me: Oh, that’s cool! Is it based in Cairo or Dubai?
He started telling me more about his company, his partners and a lot of other projects he does on the side as well. All of a sudden, his serious face disappeared and I started seeing his passionate side. It was so obvious that he enjoys what he does a lot. I love passionate people! I was very amused while listening to him talk. He seemed like a very interesting person who had so much knowledge and wisdom. Did I mention I like that about a man? It’s obvious I appreciate wisdom, since my last two experiences weren’t that pleasant. They lacked that grown-up perspective to them.
Joey: Are you going to Dubai for fun or business?
Me: A little bit of both!
Joey: How so?
I told him about the interview Giovanni got me, and the career shift or rather the relocation shift I’m trying to take.
Joey: Tell me more about your background.
Me: Oh, so I have to give you all the details of my CV? Haha
Joey: Kind of, I could help you get an even better job.
Me: Really? Where?
Joey: At our company, it’s a really fun environment to work at.
A hot boss again? I don’t think so! He seemed like a pretty cool guy, so I had to be polite and I responded: “I already have a place secured at a great PR company. I really appreciate your offer, but I wouldn’t have much experience to add to your company. I’d rather we be friends though.”
Did I just say that? Social suicide! I seriously need to think before I act. I barely even know the guy, yet I assumed we were going to be friends. In my defense, something about him made me feel like I could trust him.
Joey: So why did you leave your last job? If you don’t mind me asking?
Me: It’s kind of a long story.
Joey: We have so much time to kill, tell me. I’m all ears!
Me: It’s also an awkward one.
Joey: Ok, let’s make a deal. I share with you an awkward story and you tell me yours?
Me: We have a deal!
I told him the whole story, of course I kept some parts out of it because I didn’t want to give out all the details. It’s bad enough that I’m trusting a stranger that I just met, but then again, I don’t have to see him ever again, so it’ll be easy to get rid of that awkwardness.
Once I was done, he looked at me for a while, a bit puzzled and then he said: “Who in their right mind would date their boss?”
What? Did he just say that? Well, at least I appreciate honesty over someone who’s being fake. I had a feeling he actually meant it in a good way.
Me: Obviously me. Usually, I’m much smarter than that, but this time I fell head over heels. It’s not going to happen again though. Now it’s time for your awkward story. Shoot!
Joey: So I have one of my team members, she’s actually a really nice girl, but she’s driving me crazy.
Me: In a good or a bad way?
Joey: Is it ever in a good way? Anyway, for some reason she has this idea that we should be together. I’m an honest person and made it very clear that I’m not even interested one percent and that she needs to keep it professional, yet she doesn't get it.
Me: That’s your awkward story? Come on man, you have to do better than that! Plus you must have given her signals, she can’t be coming up with all of that just in her head.
Joey: I’m not done yet and no, I’m not giving her any signals at all! Signals are things women imagine to make themselves feel better. It’s either you’re in or you’re out, I don’t do half-way through!
Me: I respect that!
Joey: Now to the awkward part. To try and have things go back to normal between us and have her understand I’m not interested, I kind of made up that I have someone else in my life. And next week we have a big gathering where everyone needs to get their significant other with them. Of course I won’t be able to get my imaginary girlfriend, so she’ll certainly know I was making it up and we’ll go back to square one.
Me: Hahahahaha, you deserve that. You know there are different ways of handling such a situation, right?
Joey: Trust me, I tried everything!
We kept on talking for more than an hour and then all of a sudden he told me with his serious face back on: “Okay, let’s stop talking. I need to sleep a bit before we arrive.”
I couldn't stop laughing. People like that are rare, they only say what roams inside of their head without filters (most of the time actually) and they only mean what they say as well.
I watched a movie for the rest of the flight and then right before we got off of the plane we exchanged numbers and I told him: “You know what, I might have someone in mind who would like to play the role of your imaginary girlfriend.”
Joey: Really, who?
Me: Tell me first, is that gathering in Dubai or Cairo?
Me: Perfect! She’s coming in a few days. I’ll text you more details once I talk to her.
His serious face smiled again…