party animal.

I was only able to set up five interviews by Wednesday morning, but I lied and told Andrew that I had eight. I was still waiting to hear back from some people so I figured he wouldn’t find out. He said, “Great Reese! I can’t wait to hear how they go!”

He didn’t bother giving me an interview guide or any direction really so I guess I have to figure it out on my own. I haven’t talked to Kate because I don’t want to seem like a whiney baby and so far, what Andrew has asked me to do hasn’t interfered with my current job. And like y’all said, it’s good to hire my own people and I’m lucky that Andrew is giving me that opportunity. So I’ll take it.

At the end of our Friday staff meeting, Diana announced that I would be leaving. Everyone seemed surprised and after the meeting Whitney stopped by my office.

“I can’t believe you quit,” she said.

I smiled and nodded.

“What is your new job?”

I knew she just wanted to know so she could judge/talk shit so I was as vague as possible. “It’s with a fashion retailer. It’s a huge salary increase.”

“That’s cool. Does Diana have anyone in mind to replace you?”

I smiled, knowing she was hoping her name was in the running.

“Not yet. She strongly believes in promoting from within but she said there’s no one here she thinks would be cut out to do it,” I said. 

“Oh.”

I guess that was kind of mean, but whatever. I bet Diana will promote her anyway so I don’t feel bad about leading her astray a bit.

After work, I planned on eating something disgustingly good for dinner then spending the evening in bed watching tv, but I got a text from Carly as I was leaving that said, “Are you doing anything tonight?”

And I was like, “Nope, no plans.” Then a few minutes later I added, “Why? Are you?”

She said, “Yeah, we are going to the bar later. Wanna come?”

And I was like, “Okay.”

So that’s how Carly persuaded me into going out on Friday night. I went home and got my things then headed to Brady’s. We ordered pizza, drank wine, then got ready to go out.

We were meeting some of Brady and Chris’s friends at the bar, but I made sure Paul or John wouldn’t be there. Am I hard to get along with? I shouldn’t have to be worried about a confrontation with his friends. But I can’t help that those guys are assholes!

When we got there everyone got beers so I decided against my tequila and Sprite since apparently it wasn’t that kind of night. But then after my beer, I needed some actual liquor. Jacob called me a party animal.

Nothing too crazy really happened at the first bar except when this girl one of Chris’s classmates was talking to just randomly dropped it like it’s hot in front of Brady. Then she turned and gave him what was supposed to be a sexy wink and Brady just looked around with the most hilarious expression on his face. It was like panicked/confused/mortified.

And the girl looked so desp that I couldn’t even be mad at her. I actually laughed out loud. I don’t think she knew Brady and I were together so maybe I wasn’t being all over him like I normally am. Or maybe I was and she just didn’t care? You know how girls can be these days.

A few minutes later, I went to the bathroom with Carly and when we came back out, the dancing girl was making out with Chris’s friend. So good for her.

By the time we made it to the next bar, Carly and I were tipsy and up to our usual shenanigans (running to the bathroom hand in hand, dancing, ordering shots, making new friends). We started talking to these two guys in the Air Force and one of them told us they were stationed in France. Carly actually studied abroad in France and the name of the base didn’t sound familiar to her so she called an emergency bathroom meeting. Then she Googled the base they told her about and found out that they were lying. We avoided them the rest of the night.

The real action happened when the bar closed and everyone was spilling out. Carly and I skipped out ready to take on the after hours bar (hey, we like to party) and the guys followed. I heard some belligerent voice say something like, “This is the douchebag I’ve been looking for.”

I turned and this random man I’ve never seen before in my life lunged at my boyfriend and grabbed him by his Northface! Chris and friends immediately stepped in to help push the maniac off and a big scuffle ensued. The bar bouncers and a cop patrolling the street had to pry the man off Brady and then handcuff him for being a psychopath. It happened so fast. It was all very dramatic.

“What just happened?” I asked.

“Mistaken identity, it seems,” Chris answered.

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that guy, but he said I tried to fight him in the bar,” Brady laughed. “So he tried to kick my ass out here.”

I turned and glared at the man, who was now sitting in the backseat of the police car. How dare he lay his filthy hands on my boyf? The cop wanted to speak with Brady and I was so stressed and shaken up by the drama that I made Carly find us cigs then we walked around the block to smoke them.

“I can’t believe that just happened. Brady would like, never get in a fight,” I said, taking a drag.

“I know!” Carly agreed. “He’s like, the nicest person ever!”

Just then, Brady and Chris rounded the corner and found us.

“That’s fucking disgusting,” Brady kind of yelled, snatching the cigarette out of my mouth and throwing it. Carly threw hers down and smiled innocently.

Oopsies.

We stopped at the late night bar (only because their kitchen was still open and I needed cheese sticks) then headed home.

On Saturday, Brady and I finalized our birthday/Christmas plans. He had trouble getting days off, but was able to snag a few so we are flying to Houston on Tuesday (the 23rd) after he leaves work and coming back on Friday morning (the 26th) so he can still go in for a few hours. Workaholic. After we bought our plane tickets, I was inspired to keep traveling and I told Brady we should go to New York City or Vegas for New Years. He laughed.

“I wish. Even this time off is a bit of a stretch. Unfortunately, my job doesn’t stop for holidays.”

I pouted, but this made sense. And at least he gets those few days and he wants to spend it with me! I have to plan something really amazing for his birthday. Speaking of which, I have absolutely no idea what gift I should get him for his birthday and Christmas. Literally, I’m at a loss. Help? Any ideas?? I always got my ex things like watches, shoes, designer sunglasses, etc, but he was super flashy. Somehow, I don’t think Brady would care for any of that. I would reach out to Hunter and ask, but apparently he’s shunning us or dead (knock on wood). You guys always have amazing ideas though!

I predict this week will be pretty busy. I set up a ton of phone interviews and squeezed them into my lunch breaks, commutes to and from work, and random times throughout the day. I haven’t heard from Andrew since last week, but he’s supposed to call me this morning. And I’m kind of dreading it.

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have i let myself go?

Since the trip to NYC was so last minute, I waited until the last minute to pack. I only packed my interview outfit, travel outfit and of course my entire makeup collection because I wasn’t sure what look I wanted to go for. Brady drove me to the airport and on the plane, I practiced some interview questions/worked on my Pinterest wedding/drank martinis. 

By the time I got to New York and checked into my hotel it was after midnight and I was exhausted. My interview was at 8:00 AM so I quickly showered and then fell sleep right away. 

I set my alarm for 6:00 on Saturday morning so I would have an hour to get ready and an hour to get to my interview. When my alarm went off, I seriously considered snoozing until 8:00 then skipping my interview and exploring the city for a few hours. It’s not like I’m dying for a new job anyway. I could tell Kate that I missed my flight and never made it to NYC, but thanks for the opportunity.

But I’m working on being a more responsible adult so I rolled out of bed, got dressed with my eyes closed and swiped on mascara and concealer. I was out the door by 6:50 so I had time to grab breakfast and a latte. Luckily, Kate was nice enough to book my hotel not far from the building where the headquarters are located and I was able to make it there walking, in less than thirty minutes.

The interview itself was pretty painless. I met with the vp of sales and the director of stores – two girls in their early 30s. One was tall and had on a very New York City outfit: black tights, oversized black tunic, steep black booties and eyeliner. The other woman was tiny and Asian and was the exact opposite of the first woman. She looked like an Easter basket with all her bright colors and jewelry. They asked me a bunch of behavior based questions which I’m super good at. As you guys may or may not know, I’m really good at telling stories. 

The taller woman was trying really hard to be intimidating and refused to smile or acknowledge my answers. The Asian girl was really nice though. After the interview, they took me on a tour of the office and I got to see the design suite and the little test store they use to plan the floorplan for all the other stores. It was all really cool. Then they started telling me about past sales directors who had since been promoted to cool jobs like the new store opening coordinator who travels opening the new stores and buyer who decides what things each store sells. And if you do get promoted they will fund your move to NYC. This got me excited. I could finally fulfill my dream of living in New York! The taller girl even said she used to be a sales director and just worked her way up. You would think that would make her more humble, but I guess not. 

As we were wrapping everything up, the Asian girl said, “It was so nice meeting you, Reese. I think you would be a great fit for our brand.”

I beamed. After visiting the headquarters and talking to them about the possibilities for growth, I could really see myself working for the company. They are so much more in touch with current fashion trends and technology. As much as I try to get my company more on trend, Dave and Diana like to stick to what they know – which is muted colors and bland silhouettes. They don’t even understand why we need an iPhone app.

But then the taller girl decided to piss on my parade. “If we decide to move forward with you, you’ll be contacted by Kate. If not, thanks for your time.”

Bitch.

After the interview I had to run back to the hotel and book it to the airport to make my flight home. I really wished I had time to explore especially because there were so many cute boutiques on the way to my hotel.

I slept the entire flight home and Brady was waiting for me at the airport. It was like back to reality.

“How did it go?” Brady asked on the way home.

“Fine,” I sighed. “One of the interviewers was kind of a bitch so I probably won’t get it.”

He told me not to think negatively and he thinks I probably will get an offer, etc. I didn’t want to tell him how much I was actually hoping for an offer so that way if one didn’t come, I could pretend I didn’t care. 

But whatever. All I really wanted to do was eat and have sex with my boyfriend. We stopped and got food then took it to Brady’s to eat. I asked him what he did Friday night and he told me that he and Chris “stayed home.”

After we ate, I forced Brady into his room and had my way with him. Not that it took much. After that I made Brady come with me shopping. He’s never been shopping with me and I think being a good shopping partner is  a vital relationship requirement. I need a man who will be involved, but not too involved, who will endorse all of my purchases, who will not try to make sense of my shopping strategy and most importantly, who will carry my shopping bags and/or purse.

By the time we made it to Nordy’s, I had accumulated four bags and Brady suggested we stop and put them in the car. I spun around; giving him a pitying smile. What a newb. 

“We can’t drop anything off yet,” I explained, gently. “I might need to match things before I buy them so we have to keep it all with us.”

Brady gave me a weird look, but said okay. I did a quick lap around Nordstrom and picked up a pair of booties, a scarf, a pair of sunglasses, a watch and a dress that I’ll probably return.

After we left Nordstrom, the annual lights parade was happening and I insisted we stay and watch it because sometimes I’m a child. It ended soon after that so I missed the majority of it.

There was a really happy atmosphere in the city on Saturday evening. I don’t know if it was from the parade or all the tourists visiting or the fact that it wasn’t blisteringly cold, but I texted all my friends and insisted we get dressed up and go to the club.

Carly and Kendra came over to pregame and I decided to wear a black dress, So Kates, and red lipstick. We took Uber to the club and Brady and Chris met us there.

When Brady saw me he said, “Wow, you look really beautiful.”

Lol, what a nerd. I feel like he hardly ever compliments me anymore so I took it. Maybe I’ve let myself go since getting in a relationship. Doesn’t that happen to people?

Somehow I got us a complimentary table in VIP by talking to a bartender and the manager told us to order whatever we wanted. Don’t mind if I do. I ordered us a bottle of rosé and bottles of top shelf tequila and vodka.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to get drunk, but I got drunk. Kendra and Carly did too so we ran around and danced. There’s just nothing like drinking on someone else’s tab. While we were down on the main dance floor, we ran into Derrick and another one of our friends from college, Ronnie.

I momentarily forgot about the falling out Derrick and I had and ran over to them and pulled them into hugs.

“Oh my God, Ronnie!” I screamed, using my Sammi Sweetheart accent.

Ronnie used to have house parties almost every single night in college. He was friends with me and also my ex and we would have so many drunk heart to hearts. He was the number one supporter of our relationship. 

“Reese! We were just talking about you!” Ronnie said.

“What did you say?” I asked, glaring at Derrick. 

“I was thinking about texting you and asking you to come out tonight,” Ronnie said. “But you’re here anyway so it worked out.”

I smiled and invited them to our table. On the way there, Derrick fell into step next to me and said, “How have you been?”

I can’t lie, I was impressed that even after the falling out we had, he was still being nice and cordial.

We got to our table and I introduced everyone to Ronnie. I ordered us another bottle meanwhile hoping that “order whatever you want” meant that it was on the house. I never actually clarified that with the manager.

We all sat down and I leaned over to Ronnie to catch up. He lives in LA now and was just visiting Chicago for the weekend. I’m actually kind of offended that he didn’t text me and let me know beforehand because I thought we were friends. But whatever.

We were having a pleasant conversation and then Ronnie said, “You know, [ex whose name I refuse to say, type, or think] has been asking about you lately. He misses you.”

My blood stopped pumping and I’m sure my entire face went white. “What?”

“We see each other two or three times a week because our offices are a block from each other. Don’t you want to talk to him?” Ronnie continued.

I started to say, “Why would I want to talk to him?” but I only got to “Why-” before I started sobbing.

Brady was sitting on the other side of me and immediately put his arm around me and asked what was wrong. When I didn’t answer, he looked at Ronnie and said, “What did you do to her?”

I heard Derrick say, “She’s fine. She’s drunk. She cries about everything when she’s drunk.”

True.

“What did I do?” Ronnie asked, sounding genuinely confused. Poor guy.

“Nothing. She’s being dramatic,” Derrick said.

“Fuck off,” Brady said and my head jerked toward him, shocked. Brady is usually so laidback and non-confrontational.

“It’s fine,” I sniffled, trying to smooth over the situation. I looked around for Kendra and Carly. “I need to go to the bathroom.”

I stood up and grabbed them then forced them to go the bathroom with me. They both started touching up their makeup and hair while I explained to them what Ronnie said.

“Do you think he really misses me?” I asked.

Kendra spun around, slapping Carly in the face with her weave. “Who gives a fuck if he misses you? That piece of trash deserves to be single and miserable forever.”

My eyes grew wide. 

“Seriously, fuck him. I can’t believe you’re even pretending to care. You have an amazing boyfriend who is in love with you.”

I felt more tears forming. Kendra was totally right. Why was I even entertaining the fact that [redacted] claims he misses me? He’s probably just lonely.

I cleaned myself up then skipped back out there. I couldn’t wait to hug my boyfriend and plan our drunk future.

“Hi baaaabe,” I squealed, jumping on Brady’s lap. I planted a kiss on him, leaving my lipstick all over his lips. It was cute.

“You okay?” he asked.

“So I’ve been thinking,” I said excitedly. “I wouldn’t mind moving to Massachusetts. It seems peaceful.”

“Really?”

Brady seemed happy that I am willing to settle down with him in Massachusetts and we were right in the middle of designing our peaceful little cabin in the woods when Ronnie appeared in front of us.

“It was good seeing you, Reese,” he said. “Maybe we can catch up tomorrow or something.” And then he looked at Brady for approval like he’s some sort of controlling boyfriend. Lol! 

I didn’t end up meeting Ronnie before he went home, but I did text him apologizing for my tantrum (if that’s what you want to call it) and assured him that it wasn’t his fault. If anyone kind of understands, it’s Ronnie. He was there for the entire fucked up relationship.

On Monday night, Kate called me.

“Hey, love,” she said in her super cute accent. “How did your interview go?”

“I don’t know,” I said, honestly. “I left feeling really indifferent.”

“They loved you,” she revealed.

“Really?” I asked, surprised. “Even the tall girl?”

“They both did. Josie [the Asian girl] raved about you all day and asked where I found you. Honestly, I think you got it.”

Wow. Even though an offer hadn’t been officially made, I was already feeling nauseous at the thought of having to decide if I was going to take it.

“I know you’re probably so sick of interviews, but there’s one more person I want you to meet,” Kate said.

She explained that she wanted me to meet with the guy who would be my immediate boss. He is in charge of the region I would be taking over and another region. Kate said that it wouldn’t really be a formal interview, but just kind of a casual meeting to make sure that we are on the same wavelength since we would be working together. He will be in Chicago on Friday and she said she gave him my number so he is going to call me to set up a time and place.

After I hung up with Kate, I called my mom. I hadn’t told her about the possible new job at all, but now that an offer might be in the cards, I wanted to know what she thought.

She answered the phone and proceeded to tell me that one of her friends showed her pictures of me on Facebook from over the weekend and she wanted to know how I got my hair like it was. So I had to explain to her that I used a curling wand and that she actually has a curling wand at home that she never uses. My mom is so exhausting. 

Finally, I explained to her the job situation and asked her what I should do.

“If they offer you more money, take it!” she said without missing a beat.

“What about my current job? And Diana?” I asked.

“Oh babe, Diana doesn’t expect you to be there forever. You’re young. This is the time where you can hop from job to job until you find something you like. I had thirty jobs when I was in college.”

“Mom, I’m not in college. I can’t just job hop. And I like my job. That’s the problem. Should I risk leaving the job I like for a job I only think I would like better?”

“I don’t think you should pass up an opportunity like this,” my mom said.

Then she started complaining about how my dad has been spending a lot of time at work lately and in fact, he wasn’t even home yet. Then he came home and she hung up.

So I guess I’ll just meet with the guy on Friday and see what happens. I figured when they wanted to fly me to New York that I probably already had it, but still. You never know.

My parents haven’t mentioned coming for Thanksgiving any more so I’m not counting on it. Everyone is going to be here in the city for the holiday so we’re going to have a big Friendsgiving feast at Brady and Chris’s. Kendra is going to do most of the cooking obviously, but Carly and I will help.

I hope y’all have a happy Thanksgiving! ❤

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sober tears.

On Monday I had my phone interview and it went really well. So well in fact, that not even an hour after it was over Kate texted me saying, “I heard your interview went well!”

She said the execs in the office want to meet me and asked if I could come to New York City early next week. While I was excited that they wanted to meet me, I can’t just take off work and fly to New York City. I told her that I could go, but it would have to be a weekend. I didn’t hear from her for a few hours so I continued working and kind of forgot about it until Kate called me on my cell phone.

I shut my office door and answered it.

“Hey Reese. I know this is kind of last minute, but we were thinking – we could fly you in on a Friday night red eye, then have the interview Saturday morning and you could be on your way back home by Saturday afternoon,” Kate said.

I didn’t say anything right away. It all seemed kind of rushed. Why were they so thirsty to meet me? I mean, not that I’m complaining. It just seems really fast.

“I know this process is moving fast, but we are trying to get this position filled quickly as the holidays are approaching and this new shop opening,” she explained, as if reading my mind.

“Okay… Let me think about it,” I said. I hadn’t spent any time really, really thinking about if this was even a job I wanted. When Kate explained it to me, it did sound interesting, but I didn’t know if that was enough to make me want to travel all the way to New York City for an interview. I told her I would text her later and let her know.

After work, I went to the fitness class with Kendra and Carly. It was a lot less terrible than last time, but I still regretted going after the first ten minutes of being there. I’m never going back.

On Tuesday, Brady and I got dinner then went back to his place afterwards. I hadn’t told Brady about the potential new job at all aside from the initial conversation Kate and I had at his dad’s party and I wanted to get his take on it. I had tentatively told Kate that I would go to NYC, but I told her I would get back to her after I checked my weekend schedule. I obviously don’t have a weekend schedule except to drink.

I told Brady all about it during dinner and he said, “I don’t see anything wrong with exploring other options. As long as it isn’t affecting your current job. It was responsible of you to schedule your interview for a weekend so you won’t cut into your work.”

I didn’t mention to him that my phone interview was two and a half hours during the workday and I took it from my office. Oops.

He said that until I got an offer, I shouldn’t stress about it. Not that I was stressing or anything. I guess if nothing else, it’s a free trip to New York.

When we got to Brady’s house, he got in the shower while I laid on the bed texting Kate and Preston. Preston was telling me a story about how while he was out with Dillon the other night, Mr. Murphy called him and said he was in the neighborhood and wanted to pick Preston up from his apartment. Preston tried to lie and say he was at work and Murph was like, “Your store closes at 8. Why are you still there?”

So Preston made up this elaborate story about how there was a shoplifter and the police had to come and he had to stay and give a statement, etc. I laughed so hard. Couldn’t he just say there was a meeting or something? 

While I was laying there, I noticed Brady’s phone sitting on the nightstand charging. I tried to talk myself out of touching it, but that didn’t work. I don’t know what I was looking for, but I leaned over and took it off the charger. Before when I looked through his phone, all I had to do was slide to unlock it. But apparently he is actually using his touch ID and a passcode so I couldn’t get in. Okay, like I get it. I shouldn’t have been trying to look through his phone, but still. What’s he hiding?

I replaced the phone and minded my own business until he got out of the shower. I waited until he was almost all the way dressed before asking, “What’s your ex-girlfriend’s name?”

Brady’s entire body paused for two or three seconds then he continued pulling his shirt on.

“Anna,” came his muffled voice from under his shirt. Once he got his shirt on he turned his back to me and started touching stuff on his dresser.

“Anna?” I said, almost excitedly. “The same one I saw you talking to at your dad’s party?”

Brady turned around and faced me. “Yeah.” He sounded defensive. 

“Oookay. So it hasn’t been ‘a while’ since you’ve seen your ex then,” I said, trying really hard not to sound accusatory.

Brady shrugged.

“Why did you lie?”

“I don’t see why it even matters. I hardly ever talk to her or see her so you don’t have anything to worry about,” he said, gruffly.

“I’m not worried. I just think it’s weird that you didn’t introduce me to her and failed to mention that she was your ex and then lied about the last time you’ve seen her,” I said.

“Okay.”

Okay?! Is there anything worse than when you’re having a discussion and/or argument with your boyfriend and he says, “Okay.” Like fuck you.

“That’s all you have to say?” I asked. “No explanation?”

“What do you want me to say, Reese? You were going to flip out on me no matter what!” Brady said, raising his voice.

“If you told me the truth from the beginning, why would I flip out on you? Do you really think I’m that ridiculous?”

Brady didn’t say anything so I took that as a yes.

“I couldn’t care any less about Anna. I have no reason to flip out over you just talking to her,” I said calmly.

“Well, you’re pretty unpredictable sometimes,” Brady muttered. I watched as he opened the door and left the room.

Before I could even stop myself, I just started crying. Ugh. Sober tears. I felt like I really approached him calmly and not accusingly, but obviously that didn’t work. I was so frustrated. For once, I felt like I actually wasn’t in the wrong. I didn’t want Brady to see me crying so I quickly locked myself in the bathroom to clean myself up. After ten minutes, I’d pulled myself together and emerged from the bathroom. Brady was sitting on the edge of the bed.

“I think I’m going to go,” I announced.

“I’m sorry,” Brady said.

“Okay…” I said quietly.

He reached out his hand and without even thinking, I took it. He pulled me on the bed next to him.

“I should have introduced you to Anna,” Brady said. “I’ll take full responsibility for that. I guess I just wanted to avoid any awkwardness.”

I nodded.

“You’ve known that she was my ex the whole time, haven’t you?” he asked.

I nodded again, smirking.

“How?”

Oh…shit. 

“Your mom told me,” I blurted out. I was not about to admit to stalking his Facebook.

“Wow, she did?” Brady looked confused.

“Mmhm,” I nodded.

So I’m glad I finally confronted him about Anna and I feel like I got some answers. I’m sure there was a more graceful way to bring the subject up, but I’m anything but graceful. lol. 

Anway, I guess I’m going to New York City for a few hours this weekend. Also, my parents are talking about visiting me for Thanksgiving next week. Maybe they can finally meet Brady! We will see. They claim they’re going to visit all the time and never do. Hmph.

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weekend with the republicans – pt. two.

On Saturday morning I woke up at 7:00 – I think I couldn’t sleep because I was in a strange place. I got out of bed, showered and put on my most Republican outfit (head to toe J. Crew). Then I ventured upstairs to 1. get some cell service and 2. see if anyone else was up.

I heard a commotion in the kitchen so I checked there first. Brady’s mom was standing at the stove and his dad was sitting at the island with an iPad.

“Hello,” Brady’s mom said shortly. “Brady’s in the shower. Are you hungry?”

I wanted to say no and run for the hills, but that would be rude. So I said yes and then sat at the island and waited. They pretty much ignored my entire existence after that and it was awkward so I just played on my phone.

When Brady finally got out of the shower, we all had breakfast in the dining room. The parents questioned Brady about his job and his condo and a bunch of other stuff, but didn’t ask me anything or really talk to me at all. Maybe they decided they wouldn’t ask girlfriends/wives anything anymore.

The car to take us to Boston was supposed to arrive at 5:00 so we had to start getting ready pretty early. In the middle of the day, Brady’s mom confronted me and said, “This party is quite conservative and I just wanted to make sure what you plan on wearing is appropriate.”

Obviously the party was going to be conservative and obviously I brought a dress with sleeves plus tights because it was cold. I don’t appreciate her treating me like I’m some bimbo who doesn’t know how to act in society.

So we all got ready and Hunter and Dom met us at the house so we could all go together. Hunter looked nice in a navy fitted suit, trimmed facial hair and slicked back bun, but Dom looked the exact opposite of conservative so obviously Brady’s mom didn’t have a little talk with her beforehand. She wore a strapless teal tea length dress with a (most likely faux) fur stole and tiny gold heels. Her dreadlocks were pulled into a huge bun on top of her head and it was so fabulous that I wondered if I could pull off white girl dreads. She had colorful tattoos covering her back, shoulders and biceps and I swear Brady’s mom vommed a little when she walked in.

We all packed into the limo and somehow I ended up next to Dom. The parents weren’t really talking to either of us so I decided to try to be nice again.

“I love your hair. It’s so pretty,” I said.

She turned and glowered at me. “Are you trying to be funny?”

What is that, insecurity? Pure bitchiness? I genuinely thought her hair was pretty, but never fucking mind. I spent the rest of the limo ride pretending to be a part of the conversation.

When we were almost to the venue, Brady’s mom turned to Dom and said, “Can you take that out?” hastily.

She was clearly talking about the nose hoop and Dom simply said, “No.” Even though she’s a complete bitch, I definitely admire her for standing up to Brady’s mom. I don’t think I would’ve had the nerve to.

The party wasn’t like any party I’ve ever been to. First of all, there was no music. How can they even call it a party when there isn’t any music playing? So everyone was just kind of sitting around drinking drinks from the open bar and eating. Brady’s parents had to go make their rounds since they were the hosts so Brady, Hunter, Dom, and I went to the bar to get drinks.

The four of us stood around talking for a few minutes then Dom grabbed Hunter and said, “Let’s go.” And even though she’s about the size of one of his legs, she literally dragged him away. 

So Brady and I finally had some kind of alone time. I felt like I hadn’t really talked to him the whole trip.

“She’s kind of rude,” I said once they walked away.

“She feels attacked,” Brady explained.

“I don’t care. I’ve tried making her feel comfortable and she’s been a total bitch. She’s way too defensive,” I said.

We mingled for a little while and then Brady’s mom came over and said she wanted to introduce me to people. So she led me around and introduced me to a bunch of her and Brady’s dad’s coworkers and family friends.

She was like, “This is Brady’s girlfriend,” emphasizing that we aren’t married I guess. It was all obviously just for show because besides introducing me she didn’t say a word to me. I guess she just wanted everyone to know that at least one of her sons is somewhat normal. 

After about a half hour of that, she let me go and I set off to find Brady. I couldn’t find him right away, but I did see Hunter and Dom canoodling in a corner so I asked if they’d seen him.

“Right over there,” Hunter pointed to a general direction and I followed.

I found Brady talking to a little brunette who looked vaguely familiar. Her hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail and she had on chic black glasses and matte red lipstick. Her skin was very, very fair – but it seemed intentional, like she just wanted to look translucent.

“It was great seeing you,” Brady said and turned to me, putting his arm around my waist. “My mom finally let me have you back?”

I nodded trying to place where I’d seen the brunette girl before and it finally hit me like a ton of bricks. It was Anna! His ex-girlfriend!

“Yeah, she introduced me to like everyone in the room,” I said. “Except her.”

Brady followed my index finger to Anna, who was walking away.

“Who is that?” I asked innocently.

“That is Anna,” Brady said and turned back to me.

“Anna,” I repeated. “How do you know her?”

“We attended a college preparatory summer program together,” Brady explained and kind of laughed. “Lame, I know.”

“Hmm, that sounds fun,” I said. So he just wasn’t going to mention that they dated?

“Not really. Should we get another drink?”

I knew that prying would make me look suspicious so I had to drop the subject. But why wouldn’t he introduce me to Anna or at least be honest about who she is? (I already know what y’all are going to say: “because he was afraid you would cause a scene.” I wouldn’t have.)

While Brady and I were standing near the bar, I met a super tall and skinny slightly British girl named Kate. She is a recruiter for an accessory, gift and lifestyle company and we immediately hit it off and started talking about our lives and jobs. She lives in New York City and travels a ton for work so naturally I was completely jealous.

After about twenty minutes of talking and getting to know each other, Kate said, “You know, I have the perfect position for you and it can be based out of Chicago.”

“Thank you, but I’m not really looking for a new job at the moment,” I said politely. I had no idea what position she had in mind, but I feel like I’m a good place at work right now.

“I know, I know,” Kate assured me. “But sometimes the best opportunities fall into your lap when you least expect it.”

She was right so I told her we could at least exchange information. I didn’t have any business cards with me so I put my number in her phone. She said she will actually be in Chicago for a day this week so she wants to get coffee. Even though I kind of toyed with the idea of getting a new job a few weeks ago, I don’t think I could ever do that to Diana.

Brady’s dad ended up getting hilariously drunk and demanded music so we could all dance. We finally left just after midnight and got back in the limo. We were all pretty tired and didn’t say much the entire ride home. Well, except Brady’s dad. He wouldn’t shut up.

When we got back to the house, I went downstairs and showered/washed my hair then got in bed. I laid there for a little while then I got up to go to Brady’s room. I expected the house to be dark and everyone to be sleeping, but as I was creeping up the stairs I saw that there was a light in the dining room on and I could hear voices. I assumed it was Brady’s parents, but when I heard Brady’s voice I stopped and held my breath so I could hear what he was saying.

He was talking low so I could only make out mumbles then his mom said, very sternly, “I don’t. like. her.”

Brady said something else then I heard the dad say, “Honey…” and then more mumbles. It sounded like someone stood up and started walking so I quickly tiptoed back down the stairs and to my dungeon.

At first I was like, “They were obviously talking about Dom,” but then the more I thought about it, the more I thought they were talking about me. Why would Brady’s mom talk so passionately about Dom to Brady? Dom really isn’t his problem. And then it sounded like Brady’s dad was kind of defending whoever they were talking about when he said, “Honey…” And he hates Dom too so I highly doubt he would defend her.

Our flight left Boston at around noon on Sunday and Brady’s parents insisted on taking us to the airport. They even took us brunch when we got to Boston so maybe they are at least semi human. They didn’t talk to me much, but did ask how I liked the party and if I enjoyed the trip. Actually, I’m kind of obsessed with Brady’s parents’ house and how it’s so big and secluded. If I pumped some more life into it (maybe some TVs, more colorful decor, people who aren’t robots) then I could totally see myself living there.

I’m tempted to ask Brady if his mom hates me. How can I ask that and get an honest answer? Also, I need to confront him about Anna. Or should I not? He told me they were serious, but maybe he just doesn’t think she’s that important anymore?

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hot mess in nyc.

I managed to lay low until Thursday and I was happy to be getting out of the city even if it was for business.

Diana treated me to lunch then a car took us to the airport. Things were back to normal between us and neither of us had mentioned the “incident.” I really just want to put it behind me because I’m embarrassed beyond belief and honestly it was not worth it.

When we landed in NYC, we checked into our swanky hotel and changed into nicer clothes because we were meeting some of Diana’s friends for happy hour. We were each booked our own room which was nice, but a little bit unnecessary. Not complaining though.

Happy hour was a few blocks away from our hotel so we walked. Diana’s friends were already there looking like the the cast of the Real Housewives. I just want to be that hot when I get older. I gave myself a two drunk limit because I didn’t need to be a hot mess in NYC and with my boss no less.

Obviously, I surpassed two drinks within the first fifteen minutes. But in my own defense, Diana and her friends (who I found out are her sorority sisters) kept buying me drinks and it would be disrespectful and rude to turn them down, right?

I was tipsy when I received a text from Rob saying, “Hey lady. Heard you’re in my city already. What do you have planned for the evening?”

I grabbed Diana, who was dancing to that “Loyal” song by Chris Brown, and showed her the text. 

“Have fun! Invite him! It looks like he fancies you,” she said. 

“You don’t think that would be like, unprofessional?” I asked. 

Diana narrowed her icy eyes at me. “Are you really trying to convince me that you care about professionalism?” 

Good point.

I quickly sent Rob a text back letting him know where I was and that he was free to stop by.

Diana ended up getting belligerently drunk which is uncharacteristic of her, but very entertaining. One of her sorority sisters took her back to the hotel while the rest of us continued drinking. The girls were so much fun that I started wondering why I never joined a sorority in college (then I remembered that I hated all those try-too-hard bitches).

Rob showed up an hour later. He was cuter than I remember (maybe from all the rum) and greeted me with a hug and kiss on the cheek.

“You’re looking good,” he smiled, revealing a row of blindingly white teeth. 

“So are you. It’s good to see you again,” I replied. 

Rob wore an expensive looking light gray dress shirt, a chic paisley tie complete with a tie clip, slacks, and shoes that probably cost more than my entire outfit.

We walked over to the bar to get drinks. He ordered a whiskey on the rocks which was impressive and made up for the fact that he’s obviously very metrosexual. We began talking, mostly about work and our respective companies. Then he started telling me about some of his previous jobs and college. While listening to his stories I tried to put some pieces together and figure out how old he is. I decided that he’s probably between 32 and 35. He made no mention of a wife, ex wife, girlfriend or fiancée so I assumed he is single and ready to settle down.

We had several more drinks and continuing talking. Well he did. I definitely think of myself as a talkative and outgoing person, but Rob wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. I kept zoning out and people watching and then he would ask questions to make sure I was paying attention.

At some point, all of Diana’s friends had left so I was alone with Rob. It was only 11:00 (8:00 by New York standards) but I knew we had that morning meeting so I told Rob I needed to go. We walked outside and he hailed a cab. 

“My hotel is actually only a few blocks away. I can walk,” I said. 

“Come over for a bit. It is only 11:00,” Rob said. 

“I shouldn’t. I need to go check and make sure my boss is okay,” I protested.

I didn’t notice before, but Rob and I were holding hands. He pulled me closer and grabbed my waist and I felt his cold fingers on the skin between my crop top and skirt. “Come on…”

Even though Rob is hot, I was not about to put myself in that situation. And I didn’t particularly want to hook up with him or anything anyway.

“No, I really can’t. Plus I’m getting tired,” I said. This was actually true and I felt a yawn forming. 

“Are you sure?” he asked. 

“I’m one thousand percent sure.”

Rob looked at me for a few seconds as if he was going to say something and then let me go. “Fine. Enjoy your night.”

He climbed into the cab without saying anything else and slammed the door. 

What a douche. 

The next morning, I woke up feeling fine and called Diana to see if she wanted to grab breakfast before our meeting. She didn’t answer so I showered and got ready. She hadn’t called back by the time I was finished with my makeup which struck me as weird so I decided to go to her suite next door and check on her. 

After I knocked for five minutes, Diana finally answered her hotel room door. She was wearing a robe and what looked like last night’s makeup was running down her face. Her normally stick straight blonde hair was pulled into a knot on top of her head and I can’t guarantee that there wasn’t vomit clumped on the side. Perfect Diana looked like hell. 

“Reese, I’ve been throwing up all night and morning. I couldn’t even sleep. What did you guys make me drink?” she greeted me.

“You had a little bit of everything,” I said. I had to refrain from laughing. I really needed to get a picture of this situation for blackmail.

“I feel like shit,” she said.

“Are you going to make it to the meeting? It starts in an hour.”

“You’re going to have to take over this one, Reese. I’m about to die.”

Before I could object, Diana shut the door in my face. I stood there for a moment waiting for her to come back and when she didn’t, I knocked and waited and knocked again. She refused to answer the door so I had no choice but to go to the meeting by myself.

I met with Martin and Rob at their headquarters along with two men from their sales department. The meeting and everyone was very chill except Rob who kept demanding answers from me, making me elaborate, awkwardly staring at me when I finished talking and saying that he didn’t know if our company was a good fit. It was complete bullshit.

We ended the meeting exactly where we started and accomplished nothing. Martin assured me that he wanted to move forward with us and that he would email the final details to Diana within a week. I wanted to say “fuck you” to Rob on my way out, but decided that wouldn’t help anything.

Diana got a Mighty Kids meal from McDonald’s which is the best hangover cure so she’s going to be fine. Back to Chicago we go.

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i can’t believe i’m getting fired.

I don’t know why I thought BJ wasn’t going to tell anyone about our little tryst. Of course he was going to tell the whole office, this is BJ we’re talking about.

I waltzed into the office on Monday morning and ran into Whitney, who was walking away from the executive office area.

“Morning,” I said.

She looked weirdly surprised to see me.

“Hi, Reese,” she said shortly.

“Good weekend?” I asked.

“It was pleasant.” She continued walking without another word which was rude, but I don’t expect any more from Whitney.

I walked past the interns’ desks and the guys kind of snickered and Amanda gave me an unenthusiastic smile and an eye roll. BJ was nowhere to be found, but had obviously already told everyone about our weekend. Whatever.

I spent the morning replying to emails, and re-uping on tea/avoiding curious looks in the break room. BJ must have decided to play hooky for the day, which was not surprising because he’s a pussy and can’t handle the heat. 

Right before lunch Diana called me into her office. Call me naive, but I thought she was going to ask how the meeting with the magazine publisher went last week so I gathered the notes and walked down to her office.

“Shut the door,” she told me when I walked in. Her reading glasses were perched on her nose about to slip off and she didn’t even bother looking up at me.

I closed the door and sat in the white Hepplewhite chair in front of her desk. “I hope you had a good weekend. I have the notes from my meeting with the publisher from Thursday if you want to look over them. It went really well.”

Diana out her hand up to silence me. She slowly took her glasses off her face and stared at me coldly. “Reese, you may not realize this, but I know everything that goes on around here. Everything.”

I nodded. I knew exactly where this was going. She had obviously caught wind of what was being talked about in the office.

“When you started here, Reese, I saw something in you. You were ambitious, driven, aggressive, passionate. You reminded me a lot of myself.”

I nodded again. 

“And you’ve done some amazing things in your time here – things no one has thought to do. You’ve created valuable relationships and outstanding partnerships.” She turned to her computer. “I just got an email from Martin, requesting we come to New York City on Thursday.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was actually getting fired. How was I going to explain this to my parents? They were going to have to help me with rent until I found another job. I have hardly any money saved. Would I have to move back home?

“You know about our no tolerance non-fraternization policy here, don’t you, Reese?” Diana continued. 

I nodded. I couldn’t even look her in the eye.

“Brandon is an intern and he’s your subordinate. What I’ve been hearing is extremely inappropriate and clearly against policy. I can’t believe that you would even put yourself in a situation to let something like this happen.”

I felt my eyes filling up with tears. This was mortifying. I wanted her to just fire me so I could get out of there and figure out what I was going to do with my life. I would probably have to sell my shoe collection and all my expensive designer furniture. I would actually rather die.

“You’re such a smart girl, Reese. I’m extremely disappointed in you. You are an invaluable asset to this organization.”

She paused for an uncomfortably long time. I thought about asking her not to tell my mom what happened and assuring her that my office would be cleaned out in an hour.

“And for that reason, I’m going to overlook this temporary lapse in judgment,” Diana said. 

I looked up at her, incredulous. I wasn’t fired? “Seriously?”

“You don’t see Tracey here, do you? I am keeping this between us.”

She was right. Normally Tracey would’ve handled a situation like this. 

“But you have to assure me that we won’t ever, ever have to have a conversation like this again.” 

“You won’t, I promise,” I said. 

“To be sure, we have already transferred Brandon to the distribution center to complete the remainder of his internship. This should prevent any further issues.”

Thank goodness. I don’t want to have to avoid him in the office for the rest of the summer. Although it’s going to suck to get my own lattes now. 

I scurried back to my office and took two deep breaths to calm myself. I could not cry at work. I wanted to though. I was so fucking embarrassed. I hid out in my office for the rest of the day. Diana sent me the itinerary for the NYC trip later that afternoon. We would be leaving at 3:00 on Thursday, staying at the W, meeting with Martin’s people then flying home at 1:00 on Friday.

I can’t wait to get out of Chicago.

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need to make him fall in love with me.

I had a lunch meeting with some bigwigs from a flash sale website on Monday and we were going to discuss selling some of our previous lines on their website. It would be an amazing collaboration because not only would we be able to get rid of all the stuff that was just collecting dust but we would also gain a ton of publicity and new customers. They flew in from New York City just to meet me so I knew the meeting had to go well and I had to show them a good time.

I met the Vice President of sales, Martin, the senior marketing manager, Rob, and their executive assistant, Lena, at a steakery two blocks from the office. It was a little bit intimidating and I thought about taking someone along with me, but I wanted to do this on my own.

“So Reese, tell me more about your company. Tell me things I may not know,” Martin said, after we’d make our introductions, got seated and ordered a bottle of wine. He was a heavyset older gentleman who was already drenched in sweat. 

I swallowed, set my wine glass down and gathered my thoughts. 

“Our products are sold in over one hundred and seventy different retailers in twelve countries and we collaborate with artists and designers all over the world. Our latest is with a batiker from Indonesia who I discovered on Pinterest. We make it a point to only source materials from socially and environmentally responsible manufacturers, which is something our consumers love. Last quarter, our net sales were up twenty eight percent,” I said.

“If you guys are doing so well then why do you have a bunch of extra product to sell on our website?” Martin challenged. 

I smiled sweetly. “We don’t have a logistics team. We put all of our effort into product development so yes, we’re definitely lacking in that area.”

“So basically, you have a warehouse full of unsold product and you need to get rid of it,” Martin countered. 

I took another sip of wine. “That too. But mainly I just wanted to increase our online presence. Our websales aren’t where we would like them to be so I want us to explore other virtual avenues. Your company is so reputable that I thought it would be a fantastic place to start.”

“I like you,” Martin said, grinning. “You’re honest.”

I smiled. 

“Let me ask you this,” Rob said, leaning close to me from across the table. He was a thirty something DILF type who looked like he used a ton of high end hair products. “If we come to an agreement and go forward with this, how do you see our professional relationship continuing?” 

“I would love to work out something long term. Maybe quarterly. I know that our products are going to do very well with your client base.”

Two hours later, Martin and I were playfully arguing over who was going to pay the $650 bill. I thought my company should cover it since they’d traveled all the way from NYC but Martin insisted on paying it. Finally, we decided to split it. The meeting had gone really, really well and since their flight didn’t take off for another three hours, they decided to stop by the office and meet Dave and Diana. Nothing was official yet but Martin said that he would love to sit down and look at some numbers and see if we couldn’t get a deal figured out. 

After they left, Diana called me into her office.

“Reese, how did you pull this one off?” she asked. 

I shrugged. “A friend from college works in their sales department and put me in contact with Rob, who then put me in contact with Martin,” I explained. 

Diana nodded. “They seemed to love you. And if this works out, it could be really good for us. It would be a great partnership to have.”

I beamed. “It will definitely work out.”

After I left Diana’s office, I ran into BJ in the hallway.

“Where have you been all day? I missed you,” he said. 

“I had an important lunch meeting,” I told him as I walked into my office. 

He followed me in. “So that’s why those people were here. The girl was hot. She had a nice ass.” 

I shot him a dirty look. 

“Almost as nice as yours,” he added with a smirk.

I ignored him, but silently celebrated the fact that the squat challenge was obviously working. 

On my way home from work, I logged onto Facebook Mobile and saw that Carly and Chris had become friends. I immediately clicked on Chris’s profile. Brady doesn’t seem like the type of guy who uses Facebook, but it was worth a look. I clicked through a few of Chris’s profile pictures and found a group photo with Brady, who was looking just as ravishing as I remember. And alas, Brady was actually tagged. I couldn’t believe my luck. Not only could I go through his entire Facebook page, but I also had a full name for Google research purposes. 

First I went through all sixteen of his profile pictures. They were mostly group shots, but there was also one of him at what appeared to be his white coat ceremony and one of him with a German shepherd. So he’s social and into animals. Precious. I found out that he graduated from high school in 2006 and pharmacy school in 2012 so if my calculations are correct that means he’s only two years older than me. His relationship status said single and there were no random girls commenting on his photos (except a girl named Angelina who said “Looking good buddy!”). So it looks like I don’t have any competition.

When I got home, I opened up his profile on my laptop so I could stalk on a larger platform. I mostly just went through his profile pictures over and over because they were the only ones I could see with his privacy settings.

Next, I Googled his name and found his LinkedIn profile and numerous newspaper articles from sports in high school and his PharmD. graduation announcements. I also read about his parents who are like a power couple in Massachusetts. There was an article about a dinner party they had on a yacht in the Hamptons which is seriously P. Diddy level cool. The conclusion I’ve come to is that Brady and I are getting married, I just need to make him fall in love with me.

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