Business Meets Pleasure

Since my last blog post – I have been busy working on the vector character for the guy I met on LinkedIn – Zach. It was a project completely out of my element, as I have never before designed a Dragon Ball Z type character. However, I was excited to take on the challenge.. especially for him! As soon as Zach e-transferred me half of what I quoted him – I got straight to work.

The first few days were frustrating. However, by Day 4 I got to a stage that I was pretty satisfied with. So I sent the initial design to Zach to review. He wrote back saying it was coming along nicely, although it didn’t quite look like him.

I thought… this is a perfect opportunity for me to ask to meet up with him. Why? So I can get a better ‘visual’ of him to translate his features into the character. So I went for it and sure enough – he was open to meeting up. We made plans for tonight, 8pm, at a local coffee shop.

The day had finally arrived, and I was a bundle of nerves. I could barely get through work today as my stomach wouldn’t stop turning and my heart kept racing at the thought of meeting him. I kept saying to myself.. calm down. Don’t get your hopes up. He may be seeing someone / this could just purely be a business meeting and nothing else. Still, I couldn’t help the way I was feeling.

I parked near the coffee shop at 8pm sharp and walked inside. He walked in a few minutes after me, as I was taking my jacket off. I think my nerves tripled, and my heart was literally about to burst out of my chest. He was just as handsome as in his pictures – tall, dark and handsome, with the most gorgeous greenish-blue eyes.

Zach extended his hand to shake mine and afterwards we put our jackets down. He suggested we grab a hot drink to warm up from the incredibly cold weather outside. We walked up to the counter to place our orders. Once I asked for my tea, the woman behind the counter asked if we were paying together – and he said yes.

Me: “No, you don’t have to. I don’t feel right about that.”

Zach: “Don’t worry – it’s all good. You will just have to take me out for a steak dinner next time”.

At that point, I felt like this was certainly more than just a business meeting.

My nerves started calming down once we sat back at our table. Conversation flowed so smoothly, as if we had known each other forever. From what started off as laughing about how this was both our first ‘LinkedIn’ meet up, turned into talking about what videos games we liked, our family backgrounds, places we’ve traveled to and our favourite food items. An hour in and I was pretty infatuated with this guy. I intuitively felt he was reciprocating those feelings towards me.

We started talking about different languages we spoke, and he told me he could also speak Spanish.

Me: “I’ve always wanted to learn Spanish. Maybe you could give me lessons?”

Zach: “Definitely. If you teach me how to use Photoshop.”

Me: “Deal!”

Around 9:30pm, I reminded him about the designs I had brought to show him in the first place.

Zach: “Oh, I almost forgot about that. *checks watch* Wow, it’s already 9:30. That hour and a half went by fast.”

I lit up and tried to hold in my excitement. For the next 20 minutes we went over the designs and we pretty much were on the same page with how it should be finalized.

10pm arrived and the lady who had served us behind the counter came over and said: “Sorry, but we are closing”.

I looked around and noticed that everyone else had left. I didn’t even notice, nor did he. So we packed up our things, and proceeded towards the front door of the coffee shop. He gave me a hug before we went out into the cold, and I held onto it for a solid five seconds. He was a great hugger.

Something tells me this story is not quite over yet…

LinkedIn to Love

Working in the design industry, my profession is all about networking and connecting with others. LinkedIn is a social networking website which has really helped push my career forward… but never did I think it may also be a place where I would find a potential love interest. Although – if you think about it… what girl wouldn’t go a bit gaga over a profile picture of a guy in a sexy business suit? Or browsing a profile of a guy who appears quite career driven?

Back in October I logged onto LinkedIn and was browsing through the ‘People You May Know’ section. I came across a handsome guy who looked around my age. I didn’t know him but I decided to peak at his profile anyway, and discovered he lived in the same city as me and worked in the financial industry. I went ahead and added him as a LinkedIn friend and he accepted my invitation a few hours later!

I figured I had nothing to lose by sending Zach a private message.

“Hey. Thanks for connecting! If you / your company ever needs any design or branding materials developed, let me know. On a side note, you look pretty familiar.. not sure where from though. I’m sure we’ve crossed paths at some point!”

The last line was a lie – although I didn’t think it hurt to add that in since we both lived in a city where a lot of people knew one another.

The next day I got a reply!

“Thanks for letting me know. I actually have a live streaming / gaming TV account that I started and was interested in getting a custom design created for it sometime in the near future. Would your rates be fairly reasonable for a small project like that? Also yeah, your last name seems familiar. Thanks for connecting!”

Even though the design project was completely unrelated to his professional career – that didn’t matter. The fact that he had a project for me meant we would get to talk more. I also found it incredibly attractive that he is a gamer. Growing up – I used to be a huge video game nerd. I’d pretty much crush all of you at any N64 game!

I responded the following day telling him I was somewhat familiar with what he was telling me about and that maybe we should meet up over coffee and discuss the project further. No response. Was a bit disappointed, but I moved on from it and focused on work and my other online prospects.

January 8th – I received a new message alert from Zach in my LinkedIn inbox.

“Hope you had a good holiday! I was wondering if you were familiar with vector imaging. I’m looking for someone that’s able to make a cartoon version of me for a website. (I know… sounds strange) Let me know whenever you get a chance, may have something for you. Thanks!”

I wrote back and told him I’d be up for the challenge. I gave him my email address and from there he sent me a more detailed outline of the intricate character he wanted. I had never designed anything like this before and knew it would be a bit of a learning curve for me – but I was willing to take on the challenge… especially for him!

Today we spoke on the phone for about half an hour and right off the bat I was pretty smitten due to his confident, sexy voice. Soon into the conversation he asked me if I had Facebook – as he said it would be easier to ‘send over links’ through Facebook chat. I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret that one – was he wanting to check me out more? I didn’t know what other reference links he could really send me other than what was sent via email. Not that I was complaining – as I was certainly interesting in learning more about him.

Every now and then we veered slightly off topic but we primarily kept the conversation on a professional level. As the conversation came to an end, he told me to check out his live streams during the week and I said I’d keep him updated with my progress on the design as well.

I can’t tell if he’s single as his Facebook page doesn’t mention his relationship status. Although from looking at his recent pictures – there doesn’t appear to be any other girl.

How do you think I can take this to the next level after the business part of this relationship is over?

Hopeless Romantic or Kinky Ass?

Just over a week ago, I reached out to Aaron on PlentyofFish. On his profile, it said he was looking for a relationship, lived in the same city as me and that he was a hopeless romantic.

We sent several messages back and forth and I learned we had quite a bit in common. Both of us shared a love for music, turns out his sister went to the same art/design University as me (which is rare considering how small my school’s population is), and we lived fairly close by each other.

About two days into our conversation…

Aaron: “So suburbangirl4love…. tell me something about yourself! Something that maybe you’ve never told anyone before…or maybe too embarrassed to tell… lol could be for any reason.”

Me: “Hmmm.. well I’m a pretty open person – I don’t think there is really anything I haven’t told my friends. I can tell you some things about me that I haven’t shared with you yet. I can definitely be a bit of a nerd. Love Mario kart n64 (kind of the champ at that game) and lately I’ve kinda gotten into chess. Too awesome, right? Your turn.”

Aaron: “Ahah thats not embarrassing at all! You’re only the champ because you haven’t faced me yet! I don’t think you get an embarrassing or fun fact about me until you step up the game ;) Chess is fun though. I haven’t played in years.”

Me: “How am I supposed to step up the game, hmm?”

Aaron: “Let’s start with something embarrassing…. of course there’s always the pro move of pulling out the something kinky card, but then this isn’t the majors now ;)”

I had to give this some serious thought. Unfortunately, my mind drew a blank – which was kind of sad. I’ve always been very sweet and mature, so I never got myself into any wild or embarrassing situations that really stood out in my mind. Anyway, of course, the only logical thing to do was to Google search ‘top 50 embarrassing situations to be in’ and on the list – it said ‘your bathing suit falling off in public’. I grinned, as reading this finally triggered a story. I recalled my experience back when I was a counselor at Day Camp. Of course, on the day of the swim test, I wore this flimsy string bikini that I hadn’t worn in forever thinking it’d be cute to show off. Then, about half way through the test I noticed several of the male life guards were staring.. and when I looked back down I notice my top had completely gone loose. I’d say that was pretty embarrassing.

Aaron: “ooo naked camp stories is it. Well in that case I see your couple of guy counselors and raise you your entire cabin full of kids. When I was a CIT, at the dining hall no less, once everyone was seated my buddy comes up from behind me and pantsed me in front of everyone… now that put the ass in embarrassing!”

That put a huge grin on my face. Anyway, we wrote a bit more harmless, flirtatious comments back and forth until he asked if I had WhatsApp on my phone so we could talk through that instead.

5 days ago I checked my phone and saw I got a new Facebook friend request alert from none other than him. I was confused as I never gave him my name on Facebook. I asked him how he found me and all he said was that it took him two tries… first time he added another girl who looked like me, who is apparently my doppelganger.

Anyway, I was fine with it and added him back.

The flirtatious comments from him continued over the next two days – telling me I needed to unwind at the end of a long work day with a nice hot chocolate by the fire, massage and rom com in the background. It was sweet and still it was nothing that made me feel uncomfortable.

This brings us up to three days ago.

Aaron: “You said you like lazy Sundays?”

Me: “For sure! Chilling in my PJ’s all day – the life.”

Aaron: “Hahah. Oh. My lazy Sundays, I prefer naked.”

I waited awhile to respond, meanwhile he wrote again saying I had been quiet.

Me: “To be honest, I was a little taken aback by your last comment. I don’t want you to think I’m just on this site for hooking up.”

Aaron: “Ahaha no, I know you aren’t and to be honest I don’t want you to think I am either. At the same time though, I know there is a sexual side to relationships and having been in one for 4 years I know how important it is to have one where you’re both on the same level physically as well as emotionally.”

Me: “I totally get that – but without having met me, a comment like that could be misinterpreted and may be a bit premature. ;) If you want to get to know me better, it might be best to move this to a phone conversation sometime or meet up for coffee.”

No response. It’s been two days since I sent that.

Do you feel this hopeless romantic went too far? Maybe I should have just gone along with it instead of perhaps scaring him off a bit. I could respond saying, “well, you’ve been quiet”.

However, if he’s only looking to have a sexual conversation online and not have the courage to ask me out on a date, is he really worth it?

Identity Leaked

Apologies for being MIA for such a long period of time. I have been busy completing a summer internship. I would have thought that by now I would have had at least one adventure to report with one of the guys who also work there, but no such luck. However, I have been hired to work full time now at the same company so I’m sure that story will come along soon enough.

What’s consumed my thoughts over the last few days has to do with one of my closest friends. Let’s call him Matt. Matt sent me a lengthy email the other day, and as soon as I opened it my heart sunk. This dear friend of mine, one who has had strong feelings for me for quite some time (which I have been unable to reciprocate) told me he knew about both my blog AND that I was on online dating.

I had wondered why Matt seemed so distant over the last week, and the email pretty much summed up why.

I had mentioned to him several months ago to give online dating a shot, to see who else was out there. I guess he was bound to come across my profile eventually. If Matt had just come across that alone, it wouldn’t have been so upsetting. The fact that he also found out about my blog made me feel horrible… as I was to blame.

Several months ago, I had hinted I had a secret blog to him. I can’t even remember how it came up in conversation, although I said it; and of course, it got him curious. As I’m sure anyone would be, hearing the word ‘secret’ or ‘mysterious’. Matt told me that several times when we were screen-sharing through Skype either my email popped up or I had left a WordPress tab open accidentally. He apologized for invading my privacy (as it wasn’t any of his business) but he couldn’t help but search up the WordPress name that kept popping up and sure enough, he put two and two together.

I was so afraid of the inevitable that Matt would feel completely shattered reading all my stories if he came across this. Finding out I was meeting up with all these different guys to hopefully find my prince charming, when he had hoped that he could be that for me all along.

I told Matt I was proud of him for being so brave and honest. I told him that I care so deeply for him as a friend, but unless he worked through his anxieties and built up more confidence in himself, I could never be with him romantically.

Writing my blog posts have really opened my eyes to the type of guy I need in my life. Ultimately, I need to be true to myself, whether anonymous or real.

My Chocolate was Hot on Easter Sunday

To all my followers that were hopeful Facebook boy would truly be my prince charming: unfortunately I don’t have good news. In fact, I’ve been screaming at myself for being so easily manipulated to think he was actually interested in developing something with me. Instead, he used me for my design skills and once I was of no more use to him, he stopped communicating with me. So it’s time to say goodbye and move on.

Business boy and I had been messaging each other back and forth over the past week on a Jewish online dating site. Even though I’m not very religious, I thought it would be nice to try it out and find some guys who were a bit more serious about looking to find the right girl. After my date with Facebook boy, I was feeling pretty defeated but I figured this would be the last guy I met up with before wrapping up the last few weeks of school.

We decided it’d be great to grab a hot chocolate/coffee over the weekend. Business boy told me he was heading up to his cottage on Saturday (I desperately wanted to ask him to take me with but contained myself). He said he’d call me when he got back Saturday afternoon to arrange plans. Sure enough the next day I heard from him. He sounded very cute on the phone. We talked for a few minutes and decided to meet at a shopping mall the next day that was located between the two of us. I thought this would be a good spot – instead of having to sit down the whole time over a drink, we could walk around a bit.

I woke up Sunday morning when it hit me: the shopping mall is probably closed today, being Easter Sunday! Still lying in bed, I called the shopping mall and sure enough no one was picking up. I sent him a text message saying the mall was most likely closed so would he be open to just going somewhere else to grab a drink. He said he’d be cool to meet me at a coffee shop in my area which was very sweet of him (and refreshing, compared to Facebook boy who made me come to him). So I gave him the name and intersection and we decided to meet at 3:30 pm today.

I got to the coffee shop ten minutes early and found a table for two towards the back. I sat down and threw my coat on the chair. I then started getting a bit fidgety and was looking around the shop which was fairly busy but still comfortable/not too loud. I sent him a text saying I got there and asked how much longer he’d be. I received a message back saying he was a few minutes away.

My heart was leaping back and forth. I saw a guy walk in and he looked at me but he didn’t look at all like Business boy. He sat down at a table towards the front, so I sighed in relief and continued fidgeting. A few minutes later another guy walked in, and as he came closer he totally looked like the guy in the pictures I saw, probably ten times cuter. I got up to hug him. He was very tall (about 6’2), muscular and was wearing a cologne that got me a bit too giddy.

Before we sat down, Business boy offered to buy me a drink (what was I thinking with the last guy?) and so I went up to the counter with him to order a hot chocolate. He also got a drink for himself. Standing there with him I was in awe of how gorgeous he was and was already starting to feel butterflies. I told myself to remain calm and try to not smile so much.

We sat down with our drinks in hand and conversation immediately started flowing naturally. He showed a lot of interest in what I was studying and how my graduate show worked. He told me about how he was working in finance/marketing and continued presenting himself in a very sexy and professional way. As he talked he had a bit of a crooked smile which I found a bit distracting but cute. I’d like to think I did a very good job listening and asking questions in response. Not once did either of us check our cell phones and we pretty much talked about everything from our similar music tastes to how important family was to countries we have/want to travel to. We seemed to have such a similar outlook on life and he just seemed really mature, yet down to earth. Most importantly, I got a sense that he was looking for something more than just hooking up or having a good time. Which is something I’ve learned is what I want at this point in my life.

Two hours later our cups were dry and he told me he had to go home for a family dinner. I found it so attractive that he put the time aside every Sunday to catch up with them. As we were getting ready to leave he asked if I drove here. I had actually been given a lift to the coffee shop so he offered to give me a ride home. I was still feeling so giddy and the butterflies were growing stronger. I was happy he was going to be with his family, but selfishly I would have loved to spend more time with him.

We walked into the parking lot and he told me to stop once we got to the black Mercedes. My jaw dropped. I tried remaining cool and collected. It was so sleek and inside I was screaming: out of happiness this time. I directed him to my house and once arrived we hugged goodbye. Once I got inside my dad was cooking in the kitchen and I told him the guys name (only because Business boy said his parents used to live in the same city as my dad). My dad recognized the last name and sure enough – he had gone to University with both his parents. We couldn’t believe what a small world it is!

If he writes again (let’s keep our fingers crossed), I will have to tell him about that. Maybe it’s a sign? What do you think?

Okay to Mix Work and Pleasure?

Yesterday I had a scheduled meeting with a senior designer at a fairly large advertising agency in Toronto. I had met him about a month ago as part of a design conference and was completely in awe when I first laid eyes on him (as I’m sure a million of the other girls in the room were). I was expecting to meet professionals who were in their mid to late 30s or 40s. Instead, I walk into one of the rooms and there I am standing face to face with a guy who looks to be my age in very casual attire. Gorgeous blue eyes and shaggy brown hair, with a bit of a stubble. Very tall — at least 6 feet, and he was wearing a sports cap. While he was explaining what his agency was all about and some of the work they did, I was blown away, yet at the same time incredibly distracted listening to the words coming out of his mouth. I kept saying to myself… “stop being so unprofessional and FOCUS,” but I just couldn’t get over the fact that he was the senior designer there. Prior to showing us some of the work the ad agency had done, he talked about his past work experiences and I was amazed at some of the big agencies he had worked at prior to his current position.

I thought to myself… he must be incredibly talented having gotten to the level he is currently at, also seemingly no older than 25 or 26. He also appeared almost TOO attractive. One of those guys who I’d most likely be too shy to approach in a bar. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my eyes, he certainly got my attention. Another thought running through my head… “is he gay?” Well you never really know. I decided to keep my fantasy alive of me and him being a power couple in the design industry.

A few days following the conference I wrote to him asking if they were looking for a summer design intern or Junior Graphic Designer. Unfortunately after a few correspondences I found out they had already hired one for the summer. Despite this, he had offered to meet me one-on-one to discuss my portfolio and give me pointers. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and agreed to meet him.

For those of you who haven’t read the novel called ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ I’d say go buy it this instant. It’s part of a trilogy and once you start you really can’t put it down. I’ve listed it under my Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

Quoted from the ever so trusted Wikipedia…

Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback and e-book by E.L. James. Set largely in Seattle, the trilogy traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Ana Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.

Until you read it this association won’t make sense. However, I truly felt like the main character Anastasia Steele prior to meeting this guy similar to the other main character in the novel — Christian Grey. Similarly, I became in awe of someone close in age, who I found incredibly attractive and appeared in my eyes so powerful, smart and sophisticated.

Yesterday was the day. I arrived fifteen minutes early and was greeted 5 minutes later by him. He gave me a gorgeous grin and we said hello to each other. He guided me to a boardroom in the back and again, I was in awe, but tried my best to maintain a mature and professional level of composure. We chatted casually at first about where I went to school, which then led to me taking out my portfolio and I began talking through each of my pieces.

He patiently listened and seemed interested as I was talking. Following this, he gave me his feedback about each of my pieces. One at a time, in great detail. His ideas were brilliant and I was absorbing every word he had to say. I ultimately convinced myself, “he can’t be gay… at least in my mind he wasn’t”. An hour and a half later (which went by too fast) we said goodbye. I told him I would keep in touch and hopefully he would keep me in mind for any new opportunities at the agency.

So to answer my blog title question… is it okay to mix work and pleasure? Well for me it wasn’t so much work as it was gaining real world experience in my profession. Still, I believe it’s okay to mix in a bit of pleasure as long as it’s appropriate and doesn’t distract you from your daily tasks and objectives. I think everyone is entitled to a bit of fantasy… no matter which environment you are in. Thoughts?