Have you ever felt uncomfortable meeting your significant other’s bosses and co-workers? Do you ever feel like you just aren’t quite adult enough to hang out with other people?
I had dinner with Jeremy’s bosses and coworkers again tonight. Last time, I was soooo unprepared. I walked in with this bright-ass shirt on, blue nail polish and my My Little Pony purse. It never occurred to me that I was having dinner with the boss of a multi-million dollar corporation and I did NOT fit in at all.
Look, I’m not ashamed of who I am. But there’s a time and place for everything and sometimes, you just gotta dial it down a notch. I can be me, without being quite so loud about it. But sometimes, I just don’t think about it. I regularly (as in every day) carry a bright pink purse with animated characters on it. I pull out my wallet and it’s covered in an exploding TARDIS. I regularly wear bright nail polish complete with glitter or dots or some other sort of nail art. It’s just who I am.
Last time we went out to dinner, Jeremy was very new to the company. He’s still pretty green, but at least now he looks like a salad. Don’t worry about it. You had to be there, okay? But we had no idea what to expect. How does one casually have dinner with their boss? Where’s the fine line between work and play? And did you seriously just bring your girlfriend in here… looking like that?
Ya know, it all wouldn’t have been a problem. I could have just carried on like it was no big deal. But no. There had to be another woman there. Sure, she wasn’t in some fancy business suit with heels or anything. Her go-to outfit was a nice button up, skinny slacks and work boots. She’s a manager, but clearly she’s gotten her hands dirty at some point in her career. She’s rugged, but very pretty and well put together. She is my polar opposite and her presence made me so incredibly uncomfortable.
This time, I went prepared. I painted my nails a very neutral color followed by some gold sparkles. I toned it down, believe me. But there was no reason to make myself even more uncomfortable by not being myself to some degree. I slipped into some jeans, a faintly sparkled beige shirt and some flip flops while ditching my purse for the evening. Comfortable, casual, me… but not over the top.
I knew what to expect this time. I would be sitting at a table with people infinitely more intelligent than myself (sorry, but… it’s honestly the truth and I’m okay with that) and we would be sharing a bunch of bread, talking in small groups about different topics and eventually, we’d all order dinner and eat. I could do this. I already had met the majority of them once before.
I plopped down right next to Jeremy’s boss. Go big or go home, right? He was much less intimidating this time. He was dressed far more casually for starters and he seemed a lot more relaxed himself. And she wasn’t there… not a woman in sight. I could do this! Except, in she came… and my throat tightened.
I never knew I could be intimidated by any woman until I met her. And it’s stupid because she’s very friendly and clearly accustomed to making small talk with people because we managed to talk a good bit of the time.
I decided to focus my attention on her and another gentleman who was there that didn’t work for Jeremy’s company. He was much more my style. He works for another local company that I have encountered many times. He’s much more casual and there’s a common area to be found.
I eventually ended the night. My introvert was screaming at me. It was time to go home. I’d been charming and funny and cute for long enough. We made our exit and we went home. I feel sort of bad that we left first… just like last time. But I can only handle so much and I’m pretty proud of myself for getting through last night as best I did.