I had received a text as I was walking into work requesting that I cover a different area. I didn’t think much of the shift change other than I’ve never really spent any time there.
Ritually I stopped at Starbucks, sat there for a minute or two to catch my breath as I had picked that day to start walking to work again. One of my best friends is getting married and I am on a mission to fit into an amazing dress. It is an honour to be her bridesmaid but on her blessed day the bridal party is also marked as a target for the pointed camera lens! Walking to work is part of my current look better and feel better movement.
When I reach the ward, I go through the usual motions. I take my headphones off. I ask who is in charge tonight. Log in to my computer. Put my handbag away. I silenced my phone, put on my glasses…and then he walked by. Tall, too tall for me. Broad shouldered, muscular, built like a tank. Short buzz cut hair mildly specked with distinguished stress highlights. I could almost picture him running a special ops mission with black war paint smeared on his face, dressed all in commando gear….
Once my brain started up again it automatically commenced taking stock of the situation. I walked to work. Shit, I walked to work! Do I smell? I turned away to take a discreet sniff of my pits relieved I smelled ok. Thank Christ. Or do I? Crap on a stick! I could be that painfully unaware person that walks around knocking people out with their pungent odour. You know that they obviously cannot smell themselves because if they did they’d faint or dive head first into a pool of bleach or disinfectant.
He walked past again and I turned around and walked away. Keeping my head low, I berate myself – “Why didn’t I put make up on today? My god I didn’t even give myself a fighting chance – mascara and sunscreen?? I can look better than this!” I screamed inside my head as my unhelpful pep talk continued “You are never leaving the house looking like you don’t care about life. From now on you are going to be one of THOSE girls. Yes, you will take the freaking time to put on a full face of make up even if you are just going to put the bin out. How ridiculous do you think they are now? THOSE girls would be prepared for Gi freaking JOE. Not hiding out with the charts talking to herself!”
There was nothing left to do but accept the situation and get back to work.
I put all my effort and concentrated into the task at hand. I was there to work not to lose my freaking mind. Except every time he walked by, my head would automatically turn in his direction. My treacherous eyes followed his every move. Can a guy be beautiful? Who has a jaw like that? Why did he have to have scruff? I love scruff.
I needed to rant to someone. I could hardly talk to any of the other nurses because A. In my mind I had sufficiently embarrassed myself enough. Not that anyone else had noticed I was drooling over this beast of a human. And B. It’s a well-known fact that there are no secrets on these wards. Nurses are a very open group of people. Word to the wise, any group who conversationally discusses bowel movements or sexual cavities has no shame or secrets. If I mentioned anything, it would likely be openly yelled across the ward and then of course I would surely die.
Thank God or FB for messenger. I picked up my phone and ranted to a group of my friends. They are all well versed in my bizarre daily happenings. Just the other day I shared the horrific moment that a cotton bud got stuck in my ear hole. I pulled the stick out and just like a slasher film my world got dark and muffled. Muffled because I couldn’t hear properly….you know because of the cotton bud in my ear!
Anyway, although that (terrifying) drama is unrelated, (My ear is ok and I threw out all my Q-tips) my point is that when weird/awkward or utterly ridiculous Claudia is on full display, these people are not the slightest bit surprised, afraid or judgemental. This group of friends is a safe place.
I received a ‘Go for it anyway’ response. I scoffed at the ludicrous suggestion and typed back ‘Sure I’ll win him over with my “personality”’ because that’s what Mr All That is looking for – A sweaty average looking short girl with “personality”.
I kept working and once I stopped rolling my eyes at the pitiful one lined advice from my friends I let out a deep sigh and laughed at myself.
What had me all hot and bothered over this guy. I never get like that. Was it just that time in my cycle? I don’t think so…Amazon wasn’t making a small fortune with my rom con book addiction that week.
Go for it anyway. Seriously? That was the kind of advice I would give to them, and it would work for them. They are all beautiful people. Inside and out. I needed real life help here.
My inner insane ramblings was interrupted by Mr Biceps Busting Out Of That Shirt. Leaning over my desk with a devastating smile, he said Hello. A quick glance his way with a small smile I said ‘Hey’. That is all I said. Its like I know no other words. I don’t know why my parents sent me to school. Why did they bother teaching me two languages when I use them so sparingly? Jesus he had a great smile. My mouth opened to say something else but then the phone rang and I pointed at it (like an idiot) and answered it. Have I mentioned I am awkward?
I overheard a few of his conversations and realised he was fluent in smartass. FML I have a weakness for funny smartass’s. We chatted; he asked what my plans were for the weekend and told me about his.
Later that night I found a post it note on my monitor. I read it as I sat back on my chair and he turned to me and said that he had left it there and repeated word for word what was clearly written on the post it note. He gave me a huge smile and waited for a response. I half laughed and held up the note kind of indicating that yeah I got the message. “Ta” I managed to say. A full two-letter word. I know what you are thinking, I am a brilliant woman. The phone rang and again I had to answer it.
We talked a little more and then I noticed he smiled and then turned a deep shade of beet red. I have no idea why or what happened to make him blush but he went straight back to work. I looked down at myself to check I wasn’t accidently flashing him. I looked around to see if there was anyone behind me. I went back through our conversation and came up with zero explanation.
I called my sister in law on my 40 minute walk home. I gave her the play by play. She was perplex as I was about the blush. I am a thinker when I walk so the possible scenarios started coming in. “Maybe he farted? That might have been why he was smiling. Oh my God, I thought he was smiling at me but he was just passing wind. That would explain the red face. It happens to babies all the time. Maybe he thought I could smell it?!” She laughed but didn’t totally rule it out. Men are gassy.
The next day I was relaying the Gi Joe incident to another friend. Yes, I talk through my problems. I talk a lot. You might have noticed that about me. I promise I am finally getting to the point of this mammoth rant.
My friend told me that he thought that there was a possibility that I am suffering a massive head injury. I laughed and ruled that out because no, I had not hit my head.
He then did what friends do best. They put things in perspective and hand you a bit of hope. He raised a valid point. Showed me that my myriad of insecurities would never permit me to consider another version of the same event. His words are why I decided to share more of my embarrassing life with you all.
He said “Claude, this is what I am hearing and what probably actually happened. Imagine you are this guy working on this ward. You notice that the chick that normally sits behind one particular computer isn’t there and in her place is this gorgeous woman. She looks flushed as if she just did some exercise. You think maybe she walked to work? You notice that she has a fresh clean face not like the other girls that are hiding behind a cake of makeup. Guys don’t like that shit and you don’t need it. He smiled at you but you don’t give him the time of day. In fact you walk away every time he tried to go anywhere near you. He decides to bite the bullet and approach your desk to start a conversation but AGAIN you wont give him nothing other than a sideway glance and a Hey. He has got to be thinking he has no chance. When he finally gets talking to you, you cut him off telling him you already read the message – thank you dumb ass. He probably felt like an idiot and walked away”
I told my friend that he was wrong. That he was sweet but dead wrong. That I knew it was his job to make me feel better and that he gave it a good shot. Then he pointed out something I had said to him a while ago.
We are our own worst critics. We see all our bad sides, all the flaws and none of the good.
He is right about that part. He may have been right about the whole thing, I’ll never know because I epically talked myself out of any shot I had at GI Joe and you know what? That is fine, it’s a lesson learned.
Silence the negativity!
I was feeling amazing walking to work listening music. I was in a great mood. Then I robbed myself of those happy vibes by listening to that annoying voice of self-doubt in my head. Its that voice that is continuously sabotaging any shot at happiness that struts my way. Negativity acts like blinkers shielding us from seeing things for what they really are or what they possibly could be.
I constantly shake my head at my friends when they drag themselves down. I always wonder how is it possible that they do not see all the magic I see in them.
That negative voice can be loud and powerful and frankly mean. It can skew how we see ourselves and destructively effect our self-esteem.
I was happy with how I looked heading into work, sure I looked plain but nothing too horrific stared back at me through my bathroom mirror. At the end of the day beauty is in the eye of the beholder right? I am going to work harder on silencing the negativity and you never know maybe next time I will ‘Go for it anyway’ 😉
Make sure your
is not living between
your own two ears.