I am what you may call an office gossip/wannabe-matchmaker. I have a coworker, let’s call him Tom, who is in desperate need of a girlfriend, and we are all super eager to find someone to fix him up with. I know, I know, we should mind our own business. Actually, my past experiences as a failed matchmaker should have taught me to mind my own business, but I guess I never learn.
There’s one particular experience that takes the cake. Picture this: about 5 years ago -almost exactly-, a fresh-faced MPug was living her first few months in the great U.S. of A. I had just found myself a pretty tight group of friends: a Spanish girl, a Spanish guy (my roommate), a Russian girl (let’s call her Natasha), and a Turkish guy (let’s call him Omar). The 5 of us were a happy little family, and we found solace in the fact of being all foreigners. We understood each other and helped one another overcome the difficulties of being in a new country.
Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?
One beautiful September night, we all went out for drinks and some dancing. I had noticed some sort of chemistry between Natasha and Omar, and my roommate and I were determined to give them a little nudge. So, in the middle of the night, we left them alone in the bar. Okay, I have to admit it was a very immature way to deal with things, but we were young.
The next morning, Natasha calls me and invites me over for coffee and gossip. She tells me that Omar walked her home and they talked outside her apartment until 5am. She tells me all this with stars in her eyes, and adds that she really likes this guy. I go home and, as I was filling my roommate in, Omar texts me. He asks if I want to go to dinner that night, just us. I’m like YAY, this is my purpose in life, I get to talk to Natasha about Omar, and now I’m going to talk to Omar about Natasha, and as soon as I’m done playing matchmaker, they will live happily ever after and I will be their maid of honor AND their best man, omg omg omg. They might even name their first-born MPug.
Yeah. Except that since you are not an idiot like me, you already know this is not how the cookie crumbles.
So, I show up to dinner. I’m SO focused on getting my 2 friends into a committed relationship that I ignore all the signs. I ignore the fact that Omar takes me to the best restaurant in town. I ignore the fact that he picks up the check. I ignore the drinks after dinner. I ignore the ‘I’ll walk you home’ initiative. I basically act like a naive little bitch.
So, he walks me home, and what do you know, before I could see it coming, he KISSES ME. I’m so dumbfounded that I don’t even stop him. I really should have, because he starts biting my lip pretty hard. So hard in fact, that when I walk back upstairs, my roommate asks me if I fell on the ground and busted my lip. Not only do I have a fat lip that would last a couple of days, but I also have an awkward situation on my hands. Instead of being a successful matchmaker, I have become a homewrecker. I have to mourn the idea of being their best man of honor. I can kiss godmother-of-all-their-kids goodbye. So long, little Russian-Turkish kid named MPug. But most importantly, I have to say something to Natasha.
I ask my roommate and my friend Elena for advice. They tell me to come clean asap, and without any sugarcoating. So, I ask Natasha if she wants to grab dinner the next day. I break the news to her, and she takes it in a very weird way. She is obviously upset, but won’t tell me that she is. As a defense mechanism, she refuses to acknowledge that she did, in fact, really like him, and that she is disappointed. Instead, she urges me to date him. But I really don’t want to date him, for a lot of reasons.
This is one of the reasons.
She assures me that she is not upset, but I know better. In fact, she stops speaking to me for a full month. Things got better eventually and we became friends again; but it was definitely the most awkward friendship moment ever.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: kids, be careful when playing matchmaker. You may wind up with a fat lip and a heavy heart.