A few years ago I worked out of a different office at my company. I worked in the field with mostly men. There were quite a few women that worked at my office, but we didn’t really get along.
The women there were older. Serious. Kind of uptight and in my view, not very interesting. They would never talk about their vaginas in the workplace or split their pants and flash everyone their underwear or any of the other things I haven’t even shared with you guys yet.
I mostly avoided them and they mostly avoided me. It was a fine arrangement.
And then one day, there was a new employee, E. She was close to my age and exactly the kind of person I like. She was sarcastic and loud mouthed. She was funny and cool and witty and she laughed a loud infectious laugh that was irresistible. We immediately liked each other.
Every morning I would stop by her desk to talk and crack jokes. She was great.
One day that first week of meeting her, I went to lunch with a group of the guys and I met another new employee, C. He was so cool and funny too. He was a big, burly, biker type, but laid back and sarcastic.
He and I really hit it off and in my head I was totally shipping C and E. By the end of our conversation I was convinced they were soul mates. So I asked him if he had noticed her. He had noticed her. It turned out E was his wife. I secretly take a bit of credit for their marriage, even though they were married before I knew them, because I would have made it happen if they weren’t already married.
Have you ever had a crush on a couple? I had a major one on them. I’d talk to E every morning and have lunch at least once a week with C. They were from New York city and had recently moved down to Florida.
I heard the story of how they met and got engaged (which are my two favorite stories to hear in case anyone wants to share). I heard about how they were trying to have children. We grew fairly close over the period of about six months.
One day I was talking to E and she brushed a strand of hair back off her face. Normally I am hesitant to compliment women. They almost always take it as a come on. Maybe I don’t know how to do it in a way that seems platonic. But I had to tell her.
“Your hair is gorgeous!” She had the kind of hair I always dreamed of having. It was milk chocolate brown. Silky smooth without a hint of frizz. It was was shoulder length with perfect body and shine like something in a hair commercial. If she hadn’t been so cool I would have hated her for her perfect hair alone.
She gave me sort of a bemused at my compliment and I worried I had overstepped my bounds. Or come across as flirting.
She reached up, grabbed a fistful of hair, and yanked the whole thing off her head. She was completely bald underneath.
I have no idea what kind of look I had on my face. It took about 45 seconds for my brain to catch up to what my eyes had seen. I was beyond dumbfounded. I was completely confused and speechless.
My expression must have been good because E laughed for about 5 minutes until her face was red and tears were running down her face. She was gasping for air when she she finally replied.
“For $200, you could have a gorgeous head of hair too!”
I managed to say something totally smooth like “Why…what… It’s a wig?”
She laughed again and told me all about her alopecia. And then she asked, “Haven’t you noticed the days I wear other wigs? Or the days I don’t wear one at all and just do a bandana?”
And do you guys know what? I hadn’t. I don’t know if she had never worn anything other than that wig around me or if I am just the most unobservant human being on earth. But I’d had no fucking clue.
It was a complete mindfuck. E immediately called C and told him all about it. And they never let me live it down.