Monday, May 15, 2006

The Office Season Finale - Parallels & Tangents

(Editor's note: If you don't care a whit about my personal life, skip down to the boldface line below. And you might want to read the very end too -- it's pretty surreal.)

The wonderful thing about The Office is that, in the midst of the absurdity of the situations that make it a sitcom, the relationship between Pam & Jim rings so very true.

I should know -- my marriage is the result of an office romance that began very much like the Jim-Pam one.

Except I was Jim . No, I'm not referring to some surgical sexual reassignment -- I was the single, unattached one, and my husband was the one in a committed relationship.

We were co-workers for about FIVE YEARS before we started dating - although it was only about two years that we actually worked the same hours, with the Jim-Pam major-chemistry dynamic heavily in place for probably about nine months before the actual romance began.

Meanwhile, I spent a lot of time hanging out by his desk...cracking jokes, talking about music...perfectly innocent while the friendship crush on him was a total secret -- I didn't dare let on to anyone because he was unavailable. I knew he liked me, but he was an honorable and sweet guy who was in a long-term relationship and I didn't have any reason to think he had any interest in me beyond the workplace.

Until we had a moment very much like the one of The Office's season finale. I could go into details, but ya know, it is private and all...but very much poignant and intense and unbelievably romantic.

Which leads me to My Probably Way-Off-Base Interpretation of the End of the Episode:

When Pam is on the phone at the end of the show, I imagined that she was telling her mom that she had just broken off her engagement. Partially because she was saying something about it happening 15 minutes ago, which would have given her time to call her fiance and tell him it was off.

The other reason I just assumed that scenario is because that's what my then-co-worker-now-husband did when he confessed his feelings for me. He immediately ended his other relationship. So I'm probably projecting. But...something to consider, y'all.

On further thought, I can't imagine the writers would let things progress so easily (not that these things are ever actually easy and neat in real life.)

But there is plenty of humor to be mined in the working together while in a relationship situation too.

In our real-life case, we had a boss who was just as tactless as The Office boss, but also was probably Satan, or at least a reasonable facsimile.

The three worst things our boss did when he found out we were dating (all of which seem pretty sitcomish -- but all true):

1) He took my new boyfriend (you know, the guy I married later) and an out-of-town upper management guy out to dinner...boss got drunk and went on and on about me and told boyfriend that "she's going to gut you like a fish."All making for a nice impression on the new regional manager.

2) Moved me out of my office-with-a-door to a desk IN THE HALLWAY NEXT TO THE BATHROOM. And it was a small single-toilet bathroom with no fan. Enough said.

3) Brought in a STRIPPER (um, dancer in a "gentleman's club") to train with boyfriend-future- husband, even though she had absolutely no experience in our field. She showed up wearing Daisy Dukes. This is not a joke. Seriously, it happened. Unfortunately it was before sexual harassment lawsuits were in vogue.

Actually, I thought the last one was funny even as it was going down, because the last woman that would ever tempt my husband (or make me jealous) is one in that line of work. He prefers his women to be girl-next-door and his boobs real. (Well, not his boobs, the ones on the girls next door...) That's all I'm saying.

Plus, I had a fine line of vision to the attempted training while sitting at my lovely desk near the bathroom.


At May 15, 2006 8:12 PM, Blogger Spencer said...

Interesting ideas - I think that her fiancee is cheating on her, although that would make things too easy wouldn't it?


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