Friday, March 7, 2008

Office Dares

I have one of those page a day calendars on my desk at work. Last year's calendar had shots of Paris, the year before had photographs of various islands around the world. This year, a former coworker gave me "Dumb Office Dares." I love it. One of the first things I do during my morning routine is tear off the prior day's page and shout out to the squad what the day's dare is. Today's dare was simple--seductively eat a chocolate bar while looking directly at one of your office mates. No sweat. It was just as easy as the time when we were dared to "during a meeting, announce you have to go number two really bad." Or "when hanging up the phone make kissing sounds after you say goodbye, regardless of who it is." Everyone loves the "what would happen if someone actually did that" discussion, but of course we're way too conservative (read: nerdy) to actually do any of them.

So in talking daily about such craziness, like putting your water bottle in a brown paper bag and carrying it into a meeting, I think my "crazy radar" (craydar?) is being dulled. This is a finely honed skill, created over the past 9 months that I've been working downtown. It's not something that I want to give up, self protection is vital for us young "ladies." But I have to admit that my first thought instead of "crazy person, 3:00," is now "wow, that person must take office dares seriously."

Take for instance the time I almost got taken out by a woman who was walking ALONE down the sidewalk in a full fledged argument with ... herself, apparently. I was so intent on determining if it was a joke that I missed the fact she was pulling off the enormous metal trash can lids from their trash can homes and chucking them like frisbees down the sidewalk. It was a narrow escape.

Or today, when I was walking through the US Bancorp Tower's lobby and a guy with an enormous black eye and about 16 layers of clothing asked me if I could give him "my code" so he could get into the bathroom. My first thought was "there's no way that black eye is real." Second thought of course was "uh, wha?"

See what I mean? I feel like I just moved to the big city from a small town in Kansas.

But the kicker was on my way home tonight while stopped at a stop light I watched a guy walking through the crosswalk. He walked purposfully, strides long, head up, he was focused and obviously on his way to something important. In his right hand was a cigarette and in his left? A brown paper bag that had the not too easily camoflauged profile of a bottle ... of the alcoholic persuasion. First thought? He's obviously going to a meeting.

Is there an AA equivalent for this innocence that seems to be taking over my world? "Hello, my name is Serendipitous Girl and I'm a gulible-aholic." Luckily I won't have to find out. On my way out of the grocery store I got accosted by a Girl Scout selling cookies. I gave her a black eye and made my way home.

(Just kidding. I bought two boxes of thin mints and thanked her profusely. Even if she was six feet tall and had hairy legs, the Girl Scout uniform meant she was okay, right?)