Since Matt, I have tried very hard not to allow my head to be turned by men and their flattery.
I realised a while back that until now, I have let that happen too easily. Someone would start to flirt and I would flirt back and before I knew it I would be in a situation that I didn’t know how to get out of. And so, on three occasions in my married life an affair has started and on numerous other occasions I have just cut off contact with various men in a bid to rid myself of difficulties. That in turn, has caused me all sorts of anxieties about what the other person must think of me, leading me to dislike myself more for getting into that position in the first place.
Oh, I’m so ridiculous.
Anyway, I’ve decided to take more control. Not so difficult now I have to admit, because I notice that as I get older, there is not so much attention. Tracy Emin said it best in a recent interview, when she said women of our age suddenly become invisible and it takes some getting used to !!
However, saying that, Norman has shown an interest !
He is one of our Directors and he has a fearsome reputation. He knows what he wants, he always gets results, he doesn’t tolerate fools and he shouts…. a lot. He has never really been involved with me and my team but whenever we have been at a meeting or in a room together, he has studiously ignored me.
In spite of that, or maybe because of it, I've always been quite fascinated by him.
He’s in his sixties and not an obviously good-looking man but he keeps himself trim and dresses well and actually there is something quite attractive about him. The fact that he’s brusque and seems to get bored easily, seems to add to the appeal.
Anyway, a few months ago, he wandered into my office and threw a folder down on the desk. “I was told you might be interested in this so you are welcome to it as it doesn’t do a thing for me. If you don’t fancy it, find someone else to do it.” And with that he stalked out again.
I looked in the folder and it was a brief to work with a very well known dance company and exactly the sort of thing I love. So, I made a few calls and it wasn’t long before I was on the case. A few weeks later, I got an email from Norman asking how it was going. I told him it was going well and thanked him belatedly for passing the job on to me. I cheekily added that he should have given it a go as it was fun and I had already got a free dance class out of it. He messaged back that dancing wasn’t his idea of a good time and when I asked him what was he told me to take a double expresso into his office and he would tell me. Given that this man had never shown any interest in me until now, I decided to do just that. And actually, that afternoon in his office was very entertaining as he told me a lot about himself and revealed that he had often wanted to talk to me as he was impressed with the way I worked and fascinated by my loud laugh.
The next day he asked me out to lunch and since then, that has been a regular thing and we have become quite good friends.
That whole gruff thing is a bit of a front and actually, I have realised that the people who work with him have a huge amount of respect for him despite the fact that he shouts a lot. He’s very intelligent and is very up on his news and current affairs. In addition, he loves reading, especially anything to do with history and goes to the theatre as often as he can. Trouble is, he has no one to share it with. His wife left him a long time ago as their marriage fell apart when their eldest child died suddenly and he took refuge in his work. From what he says, it seems he doesn’t feel worthy of a partner which is a great shame. He knows women like him but he feels that they are drawn to him because he has money and anyway, the whole business of trying to meet the right person, he says, takes too much energy.
I know he likes me. The old me would, for some reason, have made it easier for him to make a move but I have been very aware that I have kept up a guard to stop him crossing any line. He will often say that he wishes he could meet someone like me who is funny and intelligent and I immediately then talk about Ewan so that he knows I’m not available. Trouble is, I think my natural flirtatiousness sends mixed messages so he doesn’t really know where he stands. I feel quite sorry for him really but I’m trying to behave like an adult so that I don’t have to suddenly stop meeting up with him as I really would miss his company.
It’s hard but I think I’m finally learning !