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Can any of you help me out with a question?

What’s the name of that place you go to reserve tickets for movies? And does it hurt when somebody googles you? I haven’t felt a blitherin’ thing....And, really, if Paris Hilton is getting it more than me, it can’t be all that good of a thing to have happen to a bloke, is it? Maybe my mum shouldn’t be doing that anymore?

Okay, so that was more than one question from me. Now here's a question from one of you this week:

Dear Orlando,

I‘m 24 and I work in a large office. I recently slept with a guy at work, and I've totally fallen for him, but he hasn't paid any attention to me since. We were always friendly before, and have worked together for 3 years. He's a little shy, but not usually like this. Why is he avoiding me?

Confused and Bummed

Dear Bummed,

Let’s evaluate the date first, eh?

Is he used to calm, well-mannered, always organized you, and you gave him a bit of a shock when he rang your bell and the front door opened? You might’ve pulled off wrapping yourself in a box of cling-free kitchen plastic wrap, depending on how shy he is and whether or not his mum drove him over, but wearing wedding attire on the first date’s enough to scare even the randiest bloke away, no matter how smashing it looks on you! It’s even worse if your dad’s standing beside you holding a shotgun.

About the only thing worse than THAT would be if your dad’s holding the shotgun and it’s loaded AND you’re wearing cling-free kitchen plastic wrap. Even if it is the pretty coloured kind.

If that’s not the case of what’s happened, how’s your hygiene? Did you forget to brush the broccoli from your teeth between lunch, afternoon tea, and time for dinner? Cringeworthy, that, and spinach is almost the same. Is that blouse the same one you’ve been wearing since the first time you saw me sailing the Dutchman in the third part of the Pirates trilogy, and now you’ve seen it forty-seven times? Was there enough hair growing on your back to braid a rope long enough to wrangle a pair of sea turtles? Smelling like a Numenorian Ranger who’s been out in the wild for a fortnight really turns a lot of blokes off, too.

(Well, MOST blokes, anyway. A dab of menthol ointment around the nostrils is a big help, and it really IS easier to overlook after being apart for a fortnight’s worth of days, believe me....)

For some guys, it’s all in the chase, y’know? Have you been waving a white flag with stonkin’ big red letters that reads, “Up For It!”? Or do you just have that printed on your t-shirt? If you’ve been hanging around his desk like a personal assistant, organizing his sticky notes and grabbing his telly (amongst other things) before he can answer the bell, he might be feeling a bit smothered. Every bloke needs some space to himself, and it’s guaranteed if he’s had to hire a bodyguard to bar the door to the loo because he’s feeling followed, you probably need to give him a little more breathing room. And maybe one of those environmentally safe, non-aerosol air fresheners too.

There’s only one other thing I can think of for why a guy would ignore someone he’s been friendly with for as long as you. Now that you’ve done the bum-dinky together, your mate’s got nothing new to look forward to. Back off a little bit and re-evaluate what it is that attracted you to each other in the first place. Do you have hobbies alike? Is he interested in something you know nothing about, but you’re willing to learn? If he likes fixing up old cars, maybe you could get one. If he likes chess, maybe you could get him to teach you how to play (don’t forget to let him win if he sucks at it, okay?). If he’s never been surfing and you live near a beach, go rent a board, or if he’s never been snowboarding and you’re near the slopes, get to it. Doing things that don’t require full body contact will help take the pressure off, and then after you can invite him for a latte and see if he sits across from you or snuggles up tight on the same bench in the booth. Hold back on the down and dirty for a time or two, and he’ll be back on his knees begging you to spend the night. Works for me, if you can stand it.

I hope something in all that helps. Man, it sucks that you can’t wave your arms around and type at the same time. This has taken me forever to type because I keep having to stop to move my hands. Sometimes I think relationships are like that, too. You just have to stop sometimes and rest your brain so you can move your hands, and then stop and rest your hands while you move your brain.

Fuck me. Now I’m not making any sense at all.

Wait, there IS one other thing I can think of....

When was your last checkup, luv? There are some things in a relationship that just aren’t things you want to share. If you were dead cert before that you didn’t have the crabs, maybe he’s the one who’s hiding something and counting the days ‘til you find out what it is?

Good luck with that.
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June 2008

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