Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I left my black silk underwear at the apartment of a new woman I met. It is my best underwear and I’d like them back, but I don’t really want to see the woman again. I was wondering if it would be bad manners to ask for them back. I asked my best buddy and he laughed his guts out, and called me a cheap bas---d. Should I really just let it go? They cost me $35.
— Not a Cheap B.
Dear Cheap: You may not be cheap with your underwear, but you did spend a sexy night with a lady you never want to see again. Do you really expect her to meet you in her foyer and hand over your underwear? Asking for it back would inspire nothing less than a scornful remark and a hang-up.
Write them off as the price of monkey business.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: There’s a man at work I’m terribly attracted to, and I can’t have him. He’s not married and he’s not my boss, but it’s still not right, because we work closely together. He likes me, too, I can tell — the way a woman just knows.
Sometimes, I get the feeling he leans in close to sniff me. I wear the lightest of perfumes and I sometime hear him inhale when he’s close to me, looking over my shoulder at my computer.
The other night, I stayed late with him to work on a project and he made a funny comment. We were all alone in the office and he said, "Did you know there are cameras watching us?" I said "Who cares?" over my shoulder. He kind of laughed and said quietly as he walked away, "I think I do." That was when it hit me. It’s not just my silly crush; he’s attracted to me too! I turned around and looked at him and he had that "caught" look on his face, with his eyes open and vulnerable. I swear to God, if we were anywhere else but the office, we might have kissed.
I quickly made a little joke about the cleaning staff just arriving, and got up to leave. He also reached for his jacket, hanging over a chair nearby, and I got the smell of him as he shrugged into it.
He walked me to my bus stop, as it was getting dark. He looked me in the eyes for several seconds, said his goodbye and crossed the street to catch his bus. What should we do about this attraction?
— Forbidden Romance, Broadway
Dear Forbidden: Sometimes, fate just rolls a romance right out under your nose (with mutual sniffing and awkward, wide-eyed staring). Believe it, the right smell is a huge attraction between two people, certainly you two. Your skin wants to be close to his skin. Your eyes want to look deeper into his eyes to get deeper into who he is.
This situation is both good and bad. By working together, you have gotten a chance to know each other to a degree before you decide to do anything about it — like seeing each other outside of work.
I have experienced work-related romance several times myself, and noted probably a dozen other couples who started to fall for each other at work. Sometimes, it works out. That’s awkward enough. Sometimes, it’s passionate and then there’s a harsh breakup and that can be nasty for both.
Nobody can tell you not to feel what your heart, mind and body feels. The best advice is to try to keep it outside the office, although sensitive people around the office can often see and feel the vibrations you two give off in each other’s company.
Good luck with this. A betting person would put money on a kiss before Christmas at the bus stop.
Please send your questions and comments to email@example.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.
Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.
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