It seems apt to use what is an old-fashioned term when I say there’s a woman at work who is courting me. It’s not really what I’d call flirtation, though others might. Nor is it wooing (another archaic term), not in my books anyway. It’s slow and steady, a persistent and determined interest that translates into fascinated attention.

I refer to the woman who told me what an interesting CV I had, something she’s repeated about half a dozen times now, among other things.

I’m not sure how I feel about this attention. I never am. I’m a little bemused by it, wondering what the fuss is. These are intangible things, but what is it about me that triggers such interest? Surely it’s more than just a bunch of engaging work experiences? But, perhaps not – who can say? That is to say, this is entirely unexpected – which is odd because I seem to attract passing interest regularly. The difference, perhaps, is that mostly they are transient encounters, a moment or two in time. The difference is precisely in how I described it – courting, rather than chance flirtation.

There’s another aspect I often struggle with. As they say, it’s me. She’s smitten with me, it seems (another lovely phrase), but in my world, I’d generally prefer to be the smitten than the smittee*. The theory is that I can control it if the strong feeling is contained with me. That’s very often an erroneous theory, but it doesn’t stop me from sticking to it. In any case, once the boot’s on the other foot, I have very little chance of controlling it. I’m subject to the feelings of others, and that often makes me feel uncomfortable (that’s a conversation for another day).

The other thing, always relevant, is that I’m wary of becoming intimate with someone I work with.

As it happens, I like her. She’s a lovely, decent and intelligent woman. I’m briefly flattered by her interest, but that fades fast. Luckily, she’s an interesting woman with what appears to be an unusual outlook and back-story. That’s enough for me to be friendly, but no more at this point.

We had coffee yesterday. I suggested it, but only after she had reminded me a couple of times, she would be happy to have coffee with me. It seemed the polite thing to do. It was only 20 minutes, but it was fine. We’ve already got a coffee date arranged for next week. I’ll take it as it comes.

Which prompts me to reference the woman before, the woman I haven’t written of for months. I took the decision to take that offline, but in brief, I can say what had become a delicate relationship has repaired since. I discovered since there were cultural obstacles preventing anything more than that. I’m cool throughout.

*Yes, I know that’s not a real word. If you haven’t noticed already, I’m not above inventing my own words when it feels appropriate.

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