I just checked my hotmail account for about the twentieth time today. I feel like I’m a teenager again. A teenager who has harbored a secret crush on the most perfect girl in the world, the girl with the perfect looks, perfect sense of humor, perfect everything. And I just heard from one of her friends that she might be willing to go to prom with me.
Growing up in Utah, asking a girl on a date was fairly simple. You talk to her, on the phone or in person, and make the proper arrangements. Asking a girl to a dance, however, is entirely different. Forms must be followed. Specifically, the person asking is expected to come up with a creative way to ask their intended date to the dance. The more formal the dance, the more elaborate (or at least clever) the question must be. One girl asked me by sending me a flowerpot filled with chocolate pudding, gummy worms, and crushed Oreo cookies cleverly arranged so as to resemble potting soil. Buried in the bottom was her name, along with a note saying, “I’d feel like dirt if you didn’t go with me to Spring Fling.” Others asked by stuffing balloons with words which, properly arranged, would invite the recipient to the dance. (Occasionally, the sender would get so wrapped up in their project that they would fail to identify themselves in the invitation, thus necessitating an awkward conversation between the recipient and several layers of friends and friends-of-friends until the identity of the asker was discovered.)
Responses were, of course, expected to be at least as clever as the invitation. I remember one boy arranging to have the girl who asked him to the Drill Team Formal arrive a few minutes late to choir rehearsal. Upon her entry, the choir immediately began singing the first few measures of the Dies Irae of Mozart’s Requiem. In place of the latin text (Dies irae dies illa/ Solvet saeclum in favilla / Teste David cum Sibylla), however, we sang custom lyrics. “Sarah Boren, Sarah Boren / I will go-o to the dance / To the D-T-F with you!” (I never found out how Sarah felt about Johnny’s inadvertent (?) comparison of his spending an evening with her to the Day of Judgment, at which the world is dissolved in ashes.)
So now, fifteen years later, long after I thought I had left all that behind, I find myself going through the same adolescent feelings. It’s not about a girl this time. It’s about a job. Last week, I was contacted by a recruiter who found my resume online and thought that I might be a good fit for a position her company has open. I would have to relocate, but she explained that the company would be willing to cover all relocation expenses – in addition to providing a unique work environment. As I started researching the company, I realized how much of an understatement “unique work environment” was. Everything indicated that this would be my dream job – from the flat organization chart to the paid sabbaticals to the tree house employees can use to “get away” from the office for a bit.
This company is the perfect girl, and I had just heard – from a friend of a friend – that she *might* be interested in going to Prom – WITH ME!
Now, of course, it’s not really practical for me to send flowers or a giant ball of tape which, when completely unwrapped, contains a message stating my desire to go to the dance. The application process is entirely online (I couldn’t even reply to the recruiter who contacted me in the first place), even if I knew what car the hiring manager drives, it’s halfway across the country and I’m pretty sure that covering the windshield with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in such a way that the negative space spells out my name and the phrase “HIRE ME” would probably come across as creepy.
So instead, I did the next-best thing, submitting my résumé along with a cover letter (which I spent a full TWO HOURS composing) to their website. And now I wait. I wait and check my email several times each day, hoping for something besides spam from Xbox Live. I try to remind myself that I really hadn’t heard from the girl herself, and I’m pretty sure that she likely still doesn’t even know who I am, and I try desperately to remember that we haven’t even spoken to each other in person since, well, ever and that it’s completely ridiculous to spend hours each day thinking about our future and what she’ll look like on our wedding day and how I’ll be there for the birth of each of our children and that this will be a love that lasts through the ages, if only I can just talk to her and show her how witty and clever and talented and creative I am and how I want the chance to show her…
Sigh. I need to check my email again.