So, in the space/time continuum that is known as work relationships, there was a boundary crossed. Yes, that’s right. I became friends with a coworker. How dare I?
I find work relationships an interesting breed; the average person spends more time with co-workers than the folks you know from playgroup/church/college or however normal people find adult friendships. However, though you spend lots o’ time with them and find out all kinds of interesting facts, they generally remain “work friends.” Do you invite them to your kid’s baptism? Birthday parties? Celebratory functions after 6pm on Fridays? It’s awkward like a first kiss when trying to figure out the appropriate margins in which these folk lie.
And then the day comes. You decide to take the relationship to the next level. Beyond work friends. Now, you’re just friends. Whose paychecks happen to come from the same place. And you can gripe about it. Together.
Husband and I have had this very experience (seeing as how we both work at the same place. Sort of). The friendship – especially on his part, as he’s had some sort of bromance with my coworker’s husband – has tipped over the border of work friends, but we still tread lightly as we’re not exactly sure how we fit into friendship space. But this week we took the plunge, bared our soul and said, “you’re important to us.” We do that by the most obvious means: pasta and chocolate.
I’m making light, but I really was a bit skittish about pronouncing such a relationship with edible food product. What if they don’t think us the same way? What if we’re not in that inner circle of trusted people who they want to interact with during a stressful time? What if home and work really do need to be separate for them?And why are adult friendships so difficult to understand? I have more apprehension at showing someone that they’re valued now than I did in middle school.
As adults it’s difficult to really establish deep relationships. It’s like mature dating. In a foursome. Do they like us? Do they think we’re cool? Weird? Well, better yet – are they ok with the fact we’re weird?
Fortunately the story ends well as the couple expressed gratitude (more than once) which made me feel all the better at my follow through. I’m not the weird girl that shows up with food. I’m the weird friend that shows up with food. If they do feel that I’m buying love with carbohydrates, they don’t mind.
Apparently, all it takes is a bit of gastronomical love to cement things in place and know that there is trust and reciprocal care for one another. However, I’m not sure how the rules apply once the relationship has been made known to the public via blog. We didn’t DTR in these terms…
*5 points if you can name this sitcom reference