Meeting Bear’s Work People

So remember how Bear got that new job? He’s been working really, really hard since then. Sometimes he’s at the office until 11:30. Sometimes he’s working until 4 am. I don’t know how anyone can work for that long. Actually, I don’t know how anyone can do anything for that long. I don’t think I’d be able to watch TV for that many hours in a row. There’s a slight chance I might be able to cuddle with Bear for that long. But that’s about it.

Anyway, tonight I’m meeting his team.  And I’m really nervous.

(us, before the last work event I attended, when I went so far as to straighten my hair)

Tonight is not really about me meeting his team. It’s about everyone getting together for office solidarity, or something along those lines. Bear set it up. He said, “Are you free Wednesday?”

I was surprised.

And then I was nervous, and it occurred to me that I have nothing to wear, because my dresses are all either too casual or kind of skanky. And it occurred to  me that I might not be as pretty as some of the other wives and girlfriends, and that I might not have anything to say to anyone, and that I might just stand there stupidly, unable to remember what part of the city I live in when someone politely asked me. And then I might suddenly fart.

OK, I probably won’t fart. But I might make Bear look bad in some other way.

This is all very silly, my friends were telling me last night, when we were sitting around the table eating cupcakes from Crumbs (absurdly large, gooey, fancifully flavored things), and talking about writing and sex and what I might wear to this thing tonight.

Sometimes, actually, it feels a little like Sex and the City around my table. Four young Manhattan women, having this very animated talk about what constitutes kinkiness, and then summer fashion, and then the state of online media. We’re cooler than them, though. Our characters aren’t so clear cut and our outfits are better.

But Sex and the City is not the point. My three gorgeous, quick-witted friends were telling me I would, obviously, be fine. Which I, somewhat obviously, guess I might possibly be.

Bear’s world and mine aren’t at all alike. When we hang out with hipsters, he doesn’t tell them what he does for a living. When I’m around people in his field, I feel awkward and a little lame saying, “I’m a writer.” I didn’t mean to imply that hipsters are my people.

If you describe us by our career paths, it might sound like we have absolutely nothing in common. Which is when our allies pipe up encouragingly, “Opposites attract!” But we aren’t opposites at all, because who you are is a lot more complicated than what you do for work. Our senses of humor (with the exception of his appreciation for nearly every episode of South Park) are fantastically well-matched. And then there’s something bigger and vaguer, which is critical but difficult to express: our ways of looking at the world are uncannily similar.

And then there are tiny shared habits and other miscellaneous similarities, and after that, it’s differences all the way out. He isn’t artistic, and practically everything I do is artistic. I still don’t really understand what he does all day. I humiliate myself when someone asks me specific questions about his job, and I can’t answer. I try frantically to remember, but there are so many acronyms, and the whole thing sounds like it’s an unsolvable theoretical equation that a million people are gathered around, constantly erasing and rewriting numbers.

So when I go to meet the people who he sits in an office with all day for the first time, I feel awkward. As though they might wonder why he picked me. And as though they might talk about us, later, in the cab, wondering whether there is some trick to me, some secret, that explains why we are married.

“Maybe she’s incredible in bed…”

*  *  *

Unroast: Today I love the way my hands smell after I’ve been cooking with garlic.

P.S. Post over on Skipping School about fighting with my mom. And how I’m not supposed to, because I was homeschooled.

Important note: You should check out these cupcakes from Crumbs.

This set is called The Ice Cream Collection Taste Pack. Look at the green one! I love how they go all out.

This is called The Cobbler Collection. They actually have strawberry rhubarb, which I think makes them look very savvy. Also, strawberry rhubarb is the best thing ever.

Awesome note: Crumbs gave me a free six-pack of cupcakes for the above mention, which is what my friends and I were eating last night. I think this officially marks my entry into the world of successful writing.


Kate on June 22nd 2011 in food, life, marriage, new york

14 Responses to “Meeting Bear’s Work People”

  1. Becca responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    I often feel the same way when I meet Jason’s work people who (up until this recent round of layoffs) were all hipster music people. I could feign a modicum of artsy-ness when I say I write (on the side) but my clothes/style are always less cool than the hip girlfriends and way less trophy-wife-ish than the trophy wives of the executives. I get nervous and panicked about clothes before we do his work events (there may be a few panicked impulse buys in there). And yet, each and every time I manage to find someone to talk with. Because many of the other girlfriends, partners, etc are trying to navigate the same weirdness too. And because, in the end, I love Jason and really enjoy meeting the work people he feels closest to.

    ps – a box of those little crumbs cupcakes makes a mighty fine hostess gift. So I’ve heard…

  2. Mandy responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 1:52 pm #


    Don’t worry so much about measuring up to the other significant others–just be yourself, and don’t forget to bring your sense of humor.
    And, as Becca pointed out, the other people at this gathering will probably also be as nervous as you are. They might be worrying what Bear’s cool, artistic writer wife will think of them.

    Unroast: I love that I can enjoy my food without feeling the slightest bit guilty–no matter what it is.

  3. Emmi responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    Strawberry rhubarb IS the best thing ever! My absolute favorite.

    In situations like this work-team-meet, I have drawn on my theatre background. I am playing the role of me, but written with more confidence and smoother hair and better skin. No joke, I have terrible skin but when I “play” myself, people see no frizz, see my skin as beautiful. I have experienced this more times than it can be coincidence. My hair and skin are still problematic, but the confidence has become endemic. I really AM that confident now, with a side of menefreghista.

    I think that you are an enviable wife for a businessman to have – lovely, thoughtful, creative. Bear’s work circle will adore you. And I’m sure you will look smashing in whatever you wear – just OWN IT :)

  4. jeanie responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    I feel the same way when I spend time with my boyfriend’s work people. He’s incredibly outgoing and funny, always earning affectionate nicknames and making people feel at ease. I’m much quieter in group settings, and the work I do is also quite different. I get nervous that people are wondering why we’re together. But you nailed it: the reasons we’re together may not be immediately apparent, but they’re strong and real, and other people’s impressions aren’t going to change that.
    Something I tell myself when I go into situations like the one you’re facing tonight is that it is as much my responsibility to get to know other people as it is their responsibility to get to know me. As a kind of shy person I often find myself hanging back and wondering if people like me, and that takes time away from getting to know them. When I do that I’m not really giving them a chance, I’m just assuming they’re judgmental. But no matter what field they’re in, people just want to be known and appreciated. And something tells me you’re great at making people feel that way. I’m sure you’ll do fine tonight–maybe you’ll even have some fun!

  5. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    “our ways of looking at the world are uncannily similar”
    I feel like this is the most important thing in a relationship.
    My husband and I, we have the same morals and the same priorities. I think that’s most important.

  6. Lael responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I had a mini anxiety attack when my husband asked me if I wanted to go to a bbq with a supplier he works with. The owner puts on the huge lovely spread at a lake, everything supplied, everyone welcome…I’ve met these people before,lol and I’m STILL terrified.

  7. Diana responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Who wouldn’t love you? You’ll be great.
    Do I sound like your mom? Wait…I sound like my mom.

  8. Mary responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    oh my goodness. Those cupcakes look amazing, and I’m not exactly a cupcake person, but good lord.

    Also, I know how you feel about your husband’s line of work (well, sortof). If you met me and my husband separately, you wouldn’t picture us together. I’m a writer, yoga teacher and aspiring vegetarian. He’s a computer engineer of the highest caliber and a meat eater. This is among many other major differences. Yet we work well together for some reason. I don’t think you have to worry, though. If your relationship makes you both happy, who cares what anyone else thinks? I’m sure he invited you because he thinks you’re lovely and is excited to have you meet his coworkers. You’ll probably have a great time. GOOD LUCK!

  9. Sari responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    Want. Crumbs. Now.
    I had their red velvet cake for my birthday one year—so good.

    Hope tonight is going well. I can’t imagine it isn’t. It’s Bear who is most important, and he loves you, so the rest of the crew just needs to accept it. ;-) Besides, I’ve found that most people who I would expect to raise their eyebrows at me because of my life choices actually end up expressing their envy that I’ve had the courage to walk down a different path.

    (And even then, I still get nervous going into those situations… so I certainly empathize…)

  10. Joyce responded on 22 Jun 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Yes, I know this post is about meeting the work people, but I was distracted by the mention of strawberry rhubarb. Yum yum yum.

  11. San D responded on 23 Jun 2011 at 1:11 am #

    I know the meeting is over by the time I type this. Just be who you are, and everyone will see why Bear fell in love with you. It’s that simple.

  12. Abby responded on 23 Jun 2011 at 8:27 am #

    I hope you had fun! By the way, you’re at just the right age to not have to worry about sudden farting. Several years younger and it could happen. Several years (maybe a couple decades) older and it will happen. ;)

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