Just Call Me Grace (re-post)

I'm still buried, so I'm putting up another old post this week. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Just Call Me Grace

The other day at work, I was in the middle of a discussion, holding a cup of coffee I thought I had finished. At one point I got excited and started talking more with my hands - only to end up covered in "Sumatra Blend" and Irish Creamer. Which reminded me of another time when I did something very similar in front of *Joe (name changed to protect the innocent).

Ah Joe.

Joe was a guy I worked with years ago that I had a little crush on. He was a grad student who was interning for the office I was detailed to at the time. This was about a year after 9/11 happened and I was still working at the White House but my boss was asked to go help support the office that was creating the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a few blocks away. She asked me to join her.

And I did, not only because that was a freaking cool thing to be a part of, but also because I loved that lady. After 9/11, the White House staff started getting more security training and at one point my boss and I were both in possession of our very own Gas Masks. And my desk faced out into the hallway where people passed every day. My boss and I joked about how funny (and cruel) it'd be if I just casually wore my gas mask while continuing to type away at my computer, just to freak the crap out of anyone who walked by. The fact that my boss agreed that was a good idea made her alright in my book.

Then she told me "there's a guy in our new office that I think you might like."

I was skeptical. But still kept an eye out for this guy. And things were crazy busy at the time, as you can imagine. This office we were going to was full of people like former CIA directors, heads of government departments, etc. And the office itself had to be put together while these people were, you know, only making the biggest change in the Federal Government since the creation of the Department of Defense in 1947.

No pressure.

So I remember standing in my boss' new office at the other building, surrounded by boxes, in my suit with my shoes kicked off in the corner somewhere. And I'm wondering where to even start when a guy walks in looking for my boss.

Ah. You must be sexy Joe.

I can only imagine how much of a hot mess I appeared to him as I looked up confused and shoe-less.

Our conversation was brief (and I'm sure I was red-faced the whole time) but we actually became pretty good friends throughout our time there. And we also flirted a little, though he had a girlfriend (OF COURSE), so I always wanted to be cute around him.

And I always failed miserably.

And the ridiculous thing is - we only worked together there for a few months. But because of my internal homing device, and because this town is a regurgitating spin cycle of people in various government-related roles, I ended up running into him in two other jobs after that.

Leading to these incidents:

  • While still at that office, I occasionally had to get briefing materials quickly to the west wing -- a few blocks away -- which lead me to just start bringing running shoes to work. So one morning, as Joe was calmly walking down the street towards our office like a normal person, he encounters me running like a crazy person towards him, wearing my suit and sneakers, carrying a binder. Strike two for looking sane to this guy.
  • After DHS was up and running, I went back to my job at the White House and Joe - became a Secret Service Agent. (Because he wasn't already attractive enough....are you kidding me with this?) And one night I was walking down the sidewalk in Chinatown - and I randomly see JoeWith his agent suit and earpiece. Guarding the Bush Twins. Yeah. No big deal. They were apparently inside the restaurant nearby. He and I were both surprised to run into each other and as we give each other a quick hug - HIS EARPIECE GETS STUCK TO MY SHIRT. Yep. Me=Graceful.
  • After that, I was volunteering at the Republican National Convention in Minnesota and see one of the guys with Presidential nominee McCain.....and it's Joe. Seriously, where am Inot going to run into this guy...
  • After that, I was in my current company's headquarters out in Virginia taking training. And during training, I decide to go to a computer lab and check my email. And I KID YOU NOT, as I log out, I look up -

And there's Joe.

He has apparently joined my company. And just happens to also be at our headquarters, in the computer lab, the exact same time I am. (And I am never, ever there, typically.)

And here's where we circle back and have the coffee incident.

1. I look terrible. I resent having to take training that day so I'm wearing whatever I found first in my closet and little makeup.
2. What did I find first in my closet? Pink pants. Slightly too small. With coffee stains on them.
3. I'm so addled at running into him, that I start to gesture towards my training name tag to explain why I'm there -

And I forget I'm HOLDING A COFFEE CUP. And spill coffee on my own shirt.

The last time I saw Joe he had another cool job and had left my company. But I'm sure I'll run into him again in a year or so and I'll probably have toilet paper stuck to my shoe or my pants will spontaneously fall down to my ankles or something. Just another day.....