Casey was in on Monday, but as soon as we started to chat, one of our co-workers from the third floor stopped by and monopolized the conversation (for a long enough time that Casey insisted that I sit down, because the idea of my standing in high heels was starting to hurt his own back!) and before I knew it, quitting time had rolled around and I had to pick up The Daughter and the Elder Son from school.
Casey was in again today, and I stopped by just before noon, on the off chance that he had not gone out with the other guys (Shel mentioned that she saw "her boys" heading to the elevator while I was in her office moment earlier). And, surprise surprise, he was there working on the computer with his back to the doorway. I sauntered in and rubbed his shoulders to get his attention. We made some small talk about the recent benefits meeting, and how people get worked up about nothing whenever there is talk of changing how the bonus pool is distributed.
"You know me, Dana," Casey sighed, "I don't count on that money no matter what. If you give me a dollar more than what I've got now, I'm happy."
"I understand," I replied. "I mean, I'm happy that I get a bonus, even if it's going to be smaller than what we used to get. The fact that our raises are bigger means more to me anyway." And I saw an opening to change the direction of the conversation.
"Which is more fun anyway?" I asked, "My budgeting the bonus money, or shopping for a new outfit with strappy shoes?"
"Definately the strappy shoes," he smiled, admiring my high heeled sandals and newly painted toenails. "I like the way those pants fit, by the way."
"You missed it yesterday," I pouted. "I had the good underwear and thigh high stockings. But you weren't here to notice. Not that you would have known just by looking..."
"See, you really should go with no underwear at all!"
"Ah, but you can't tell just by seeing me whether I've got a thong on or nothing at all. Besides, I need to wear something when I have a skirt on, since I do have children who might need to climb on me before or after work."
"Alright," he conceded, "I can see your point. But turn around, let me see if I can tell the difference today....hmmmm....nope, I can't actually tell. So, I'll assume you don't have anything on at all."
Just then Shel appeared at the door.
"I'm sorry to interrupt social hour," she broke in, "but do you know where I can find a cart? The meetings room is locked up, so I can't even borrow the ice bucket, and I need to get set up for this meeting..."
"Check with Natalie," I offered, "I think she has a key. Otherwise, I don't know where else to look."
And, despite her contention that she was wicked busy setting up the meeting, Shel proceeded to start a discussion.
"Hey, Casey, I didn't know you had those tattoos! They're awesome."
"Thanks," he replied, pulling up his sleeve a bit more to show the design. "They go all the way across my back. I can't believe you didn't realize that I had them, though."
"Dana told me you had tatoos, but I didn't believe her. After all, there's no reason she would have to see you with your shirt off."
"I've worked down the hall from Casey for almost two years," I smiled. "This isn't the first time he's worn a short sleeved shirt, you know."
"So," Shel turned her attention back to Casey, "didn't it hurt to get that much done? I mean, mine didn't hurt much, but I think that's because I was drunk."
"What do you have?" Casey asked. And suddenly, Shel was anxious to leave.
"I've, uh, gotta set up for this meeting!"
"Seriously," Casey prodded, "what's your tat?"
"It's nothing, no big deal, I'll tell you...at a later date," she stammered. And rushed out of the room.
Shaking our heads, we tried to regroup to our earlier conversation, but the mood had been broken. I left to eat lunch, Casey tied up the last of his work, and perhaps we will try again next time...