Yesterday, a couple coworkers were talking about going to see a bar band. I thought it sounded like fun, so I invited myself along. It really didn’t sound like fun, but I decided (because I’m the decider) that I need to make myself go out and mingle. They were meeting at the office at 8pm and then riding to the bar together. But that was completely out of my way, so I just went straight to the bar. The band was supposed to start at 8pm and I arrived about 7:45. That was my first mistake.

While I was waiting for the bartender to notice me, I noticed a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the shelf. I really like Maker’s Mark – it’s smoooooth and just a little sweet. Yes, I know that sounds strange, but ‘sweet’ is the only word I have to describe it. While I like beer, I usually don’t drink it because it gives me an instant headache. Margaritas just seem too complicated, plus they are about 1,000 calories and mixed drinks are a hassle since I want diet 7-up (which they never have) and raspberry vodka (which they only have in the super expensive labels, like Absolut). I’m kind of a McCormick’s girl myself.

Which leaves bourbon. Or whiskey. And don’t ask me the difference because I don’t really know. What I do know is I like Maker’s Mark and Crown Royal.
When I can’t afford Crown Royal, I drink Maker’s Mark. Neat. So when I saw the Maker’s bottle, that’s what I asked for. And then I found a seat at the bar and waited for my friends to show up. Which they finally did … almost an hour later.

And because they were late, I got hit on. Which would have been kind of flattering except he was a very, very drunk 63-year-old widower. I know he was a 63-year-old widower because he told me – four times. I know he was hitting on me because he told me – twice. I tried to be nice. I didn’t punch him in the crotch, even when he kept putting his arm around me.

He told me his wife was murdered by Robert Courtney. Then he told me he had “a lot of money” and asked if that made a difference. Courtney has a $2 billion (with a B) judgment against him, so maybe the guy did have some money – but I smiled and told him that no, it really didn’t make a difference.

Talking about Courtney got him my sympathy vote, but the word “murder” put me off a bit. If you’re too lazy to click the link, Courtney was a pharmacist who pleaded guilty to diluting chemotherapy drugs. In my mind, that makes him a slimeball but not necessarily a murderer. Cancer still wins most of the time – I know. I’ve seen it. My father (who, strangely enough, was a pharmacist) died of cancer. A lot of people on my mother’s side have succumbed to cancer. The chance that I will die of something other than cancer is not great. Robert Courtney deserves the 30 years he received and more. I hope he serves every day of it in abject misery. But I don’t think Courtney ‘murdered’ anyone. I digress.

The mention of money offended me for a minute. Then I realized that this man was just desperate and lonely – and no amount of cash can fix that for long. So, in order to let him down gently and without making him think it was something he was or was not doing – I told him I’m gay.

That was my second mistake. I blame the bourbon.

Then my coworkers showed up … and one of them decided it would be fun to sit with my admirer’s friends. Thanks. Thanks a lot. My admirer (I think his name was Mike but I honestly don’t remember) finally gave up and left. His friend picked up where he left off. And his friend kept saying “Are you sure you’re gay?” in front of my coworkers.

God damn it.

I laughed it off. There really wasn’t much else I could do. I pretended to my coworkers that I told him I was gay so he’d leave me alone. Now I’m wondering if my coworkers are wondering if I told the truth but pretended it was a lie so that they wouldn’t know it was true. See how confusing life can get?

There comes a point where you just have to ask yourself what is important – and why it is important. I don’t even know why it’s important for me that they think I’m straight. It isn’t because I care what they think of me, because I honestly do not – and have never cared, in a personal way. At first, I cared because I was afraid to lose my job (that has happened before, although in an indirect way). I’m not afraid of that with this company.

Lying has become a habit. Maybe it’s time to stop perpetuating that particular lie. It’s not like no one at work knows, because some people do. And they’ve probably told other people. And if some of those people are the ones I was hanging with last night … so what? What difference does it make anymore?

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