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Confession Wednesday #28

12.07.2005

babblingdweeb

I am not gay

It’s not a confession if you are saying you’re “not” something…or is it? For your reading pleasure I offer you a funny story about my life and the rude people in it.

For the majority of my working days I am dressed nice, and well groomed. I grew up with the notion of taking pride in my appearance, without being arrogant about it. My working clothes wardrobe goes from conservative to trendy to artsy (maybe just a dash of artsy). I wear a nice watch and one ring…but I have both of my ears pierced. I refuse to work for any company that makes me take out my earrings, unless they ask all the ladies to take them out as well. I’m an ass, but I like my earrings and my rights. :)

So, since I have my ears pierced and I dress nice some people think I’m gay…and the fact that I have a handful of gay friends doesn’t help the argument. Why? Apparently straight people can’t have gay friends. I’m not even going to rant about that. This is all about something else.

[background]
Our office is having two holiday parties this year, one for employees and one for clients, vendors and employees. Spouses and significant others are invited after dinner to our company party, but for the client party everyone can bring a guest. Mind you this party is being billed as a “thank you to our clients” party.

[the situation]
One of my coworkers asked me if I was bringing one of my friends as a date. I had planned on going solo, but after talking to him [coworker] I thought it would be a good idea to bring someone…and since my co-worker’s wife and my friend were good friends everyone “wins”. My friend is female…

[the question]
The woman at our office who is setting up the client party sent out an email asking all of us to let her know if we were bringing a guest or not. I responded with “yes”. Not thinking anything of it at the time, the party organizer called to say she had a question for me, assuming it was computer related (since that’s my job) I called her back…no answer, so I went to find her. She was in someone’s office at the time and said that it was just a small question I could answer right there.

her: Are you bringing a girl date or a boy date to the party?
me: A girl…a friend of mine, actually she works with [co-worker’s wife]
her: okay.
me: … *shrug* (turn to walk out)
her: Well we were looking at getting things to show who was from [company name] and we are getting different things for the guys and girls.
me: okay.

[aftermath]
I thought nothing of it at the time…but an hour later something hit me. “That seems like a weird question.” Later that night the party came up in conversation with my friend and she started laughing, thinking just what I was thinking. The woman at work thinks I am gay and she wanted to know if I was bringing a boy or a girl. I wanted to give this woman the benefit of the doubt, but this just seemed to weird. So I asked the other single people at our office if they were bringing anyone -which they weren’t, so I couldn’t find out if she asked them the same question.

Now this woman is known for having terrible tact and also being quite nosey into other people’s lives…so I figured I would poll three people at our office that can keep their mouth shut, but are also older then I am. So talking to someone in their 30’s 40’s and 50’s -male and female I got the same reaction every time. Tons of laughter right after I say her question. No matter how much credit I give her they all say the same thing “she knew what she was asking because she pulls those questions on everyone here ALL the time.”

[additional thoughts]
– I’m a fairly professional person in my workplace. So if I was gay, I would NOT be broadcasting it around my office, nor would I chose our holiday party for our clients as my “coming out” party.
– guys do not normally take other guys to events like weddings, girls do sometimes take girls. However, for a work party most people bring go solo, bring a spouse or their significant other…and even then they usually go solo because they have to entertain their guest.
– It would have been smarter for her to ask for my guest’s name
– Why are people dumb?
– I’m not interested in suing anyone…but her question borders on harassment and would bring some people to threaten suit

[conclusion]
I looked at the situation as another example of what not to do and how the organizer is unprofessional. However, since one of the co-workers I talked to was harassed by the organizer after they said they were going alone, word has gone up the food chain in the office and I’m sure this will be come an awkward situation for me…all because I’m not gay, but people like to think I am.

The only thing left? Other co-workers are offering money if I tell her my guest’s name is “Fred” or some male associated name. Don’t worry, I won’t do it for anything less than $50! :)

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