Chapter 18: The Love Square

After starting to work at Encore Boston Harbor, I realized that the pickings were VERY slim if I wanted to meet a guy there. Not that I was only working there to get a boyfriend, but I like to always have “convenience crushes” – someone that might not really catch my eye if I met them at a bar, but they at least motivate me to put a bit more effort into my appearance each day. I quickly realized that simply hoping that some young, attractive, rich Christian Grey type was going to need an in-room check in (and then fall in love with me) was going to have to be my “convenience crush” (despite feeling like an old lady in my awful-fitting skirt and blazer, I managed to look mostly good most days). However, it seems that there were quite a few guys working there who did not have the same problem I did in terms of finding a fellow employee to crush on, and that is how my Love Square fiasco happened.

There are three characters in this, besides me. The security guard, Tomas, Valet #1, Ricco, and Valet #2, Leo. 

Tomas started it all. I met him at lunch one day when going on break with one of my friends, Carol, as the two of them were friends already. I didn’t think much of it other than that he was a friend of a friend, so we talked throughout lunch and overall, he seemed nice. Not my type, but again, I wasn’t thinking of him like that – I had already resorted to holding out for Christian Grey (minus the narcissism and emotional abuse) – so I just kept it friendly. 

We ended up having lunch together a few more times, with Carol and/or other friends, and while he was nice, we just really did not have much in common. So, when a little bit later Carol told me that she knew someone who liked me, and was asking her about me, I didn’t expect it to be him. But, it was. He was asking if she knew if I had a boyfriend, and if she’d tell me that he liked me. 

Now I don’t know about you, but I am NOT attracted to people who are too afraid to tell someone their feelings themselves. This isn’t middle school recess. But I figured he must be insecure, and I didn’t want to be mean. At the same time, though, having done the whole “work people knowing my personal life” thing, I was not too keen on him getting Carol involved. I didn’t want her to get further involved, so I told her I’d handle it. 

I don’t remember how we had each other’s numbers, but we did, so I texted him and let’s just say that throughout our few brief texting conversations, I realized that there was really nothing for us to talk about. When he finally got up the nerve to ask me out, I told him I didn’t want to mix my professional life and my personal life (kind of true), so thanks, but no thanks. I thought that would be it. But it was not.

A little bit after that, I ended up at a volunteering event with Tomas and it was super awkward at first even though I tried to keep things friendly and chill. He was clearly still upset (again, not attractive) and it was becoming pretty obvious, to the point where I just tried to avoid him for the most part. I ended up meeting someone there who had just moved up from Florida who was really nice and offered me a ride home, and I could literally feel the death glare on the back of my head as I got in his car. When I told my new friend about it, he said it was pretty clear to him the whole time we were there that Tomas was jealous that I was talking to other guys. Not cool. 

Around this same time, I began talking to Valets 1 and 2, Ricco and Leo, whenever I was outside waiting to do a meet and greet – or, more likely, just avoiding doing work that didn’t need to be done yet in the back office and taking one of my multiple laps of the day. 

Leo was funny, I don’t really know how to describe him, but he’s just very much a harmless flirt I guess. Comes off a little bit cockier than he deserves to be, but overall not the worst person in the world. Plus, he always talked about how much he loves his family so I thought it was sweet.

Ricco, on the other hand, began to get on my nerves pretty quickly. You know those people who have to give you a lecture for every single thing you say? That’s Ricco. I could go outside and run into him and say something about needing to stop at the store to get milk on the way home, and he’d end up giving me a history lesson on the dairy industry. It was exhausting, and honestly, I usually ended up tuning him out shortly into our mostly one-sided conversations because I could barely get in one word and it would make me so angry that he didn’t realize how much he talks over people. He’s also younger than me, and it shows.

So, those are the players in this story. Now, onto the good stuff.

One day, I was sitting at my desk in the back office when one of my coworkers, Judy, came in and told me that there had been a guy out front asking about me. At first I thought maybe it was a guest (Christian Grey, is that you??), but then she told me that he works here. She said it was someone I’ve talked to before, because he said we had, and that he was asking her what she knew about me, and if I was seeing anyone, and that he had left me a note but she didn’t have it on her at the moment. 

The infamous flower carousel.

My mind immediately went to Tomas. At this point, it had been a little while since I had turned him down the first time, so I thought he was trying again but from a different angle. And let’s just say that I was PISSED.

I went on my lunch shortly after and vented about it to another of my friends, Amanda. While on lunch, I decided that I needed to say something to him. So I pulled out my phone and texted Tomas that I’d already told him no, and to stop asking about me, and that I don’t like him involving my coworkers because I’m a private person (lol), and basically, to leave me alone. It was pretty heated. He didn’t respond.

But then I got back from lunch, and I found something on my desk. It was a note, saying the writer thought I was beautiful and cool and wanted to know if I’d get coffee with him sometime? It was signed by Ric. 

Immediately, I panicked. I realized I’d had the wrong person and I’d just gone off on Tomas for asking about me when it wasn’t even the right person going all middle school on me and my coworkers. I started to get up and find Judy when she walked back in and asked if I saw the note, and I said yes, and asked her if it really came from him. She replied, “Yes! It’s from Ricco, the valet! Everyone calls him Ric but his name is Ricco.” Now I REALLY knew I’d messed up, and the look on my face must have expressed that because she asked me what was wrong. I told her I’d texted the wrong person to yell at him and I needed to apologize.

First, I apologized to Tomas for yelling at him, but I don’t think he appreciated that I had to say, “It was someone else who likes me and was asking about me” and unintentionally rubbing it in that he wasn’t the only person who had a crush on me, and then I had to go outside and talk to Ricco. I gave him more or less the same spiel I’d given Tomas earlier, that I don’t mix personal and professional and I wasn’t interested.

Of course, when I was getting on the T that day to go home, who joined me? Ricco. And, he just made me even more sure that I’d done the right thing by continuing with the unwanted and unnecessary lectures about everything I said and continuing to hint that we should go out sometimes, despite me clearly saying, “no.” 

This is where Leo comes in. After all of this, he was the lesser of the evils so if I went outside to the valet area, I’d try to talk to him to avoid Ricco. I also ran into him in the back hallways quite a bit. So, we’d developed a friendly rapport.

One day, we were talking and somehow he started doing some rapid-fire questioning, asking me things about myself, and at one point, he asked me out. Because of the quick-questioning, I impulsively said, “Yes.” I immediately regretted it because I knew it was going to start stuff, but at the same time, Leo didn’t drive me quite so crazy so I wasn’t completely opposed to getting a drink or something.

I really hoped that nobody else would find out, but he must have said something because for the next day or two, Ricco gave me some serious side eye and death glares whenever he saw me. Then, he got fired so I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Tomas did come by my department every once in a while and still made it so obvious that he was mad at me for turning him down, so he’d ignore me which didn’t really bother me, but it was definitely weird considering we’re all adults. 

I never did go out with Leo, we just never really followed up on making plans, and then I quit and we didn’t have any way to keep in touch. The funny thing is, I worked with some (actually, all) insanely gorgeous girls at Encore, so I have no idea why these three guys all were so focused on me. Other than my theory that kind of weird guys are attracted to me because they know I’m nice and think I’ll be too nice to turn them down, but then again I think Tomas and Ricco learned that is NOT the case with me. 

So, that’s the story of my weird little work love square. I guess, technically, to really be a love “square” at least one of those guys had to be in love with another guy, but it sounded better that way. And, it’s my blog, I can call it what I want, right?

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