Friday, April 15, 2011


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Today marks the my first week in my new job. It's been a bit draining as my body adjusted to the cold and to the new work SOPs that I am still learning. The job is draining in a physical way and my muscles are slowly adjusting to the labor that is entailed. Hehe, a professor's body must be retrained to do a lab techs workload. I guess I am really out of shape and it is high time to finally hit a fitness regimen (maybe after winter, hehe).

Anyway, this piece is not about my job. I am still learning the ropes and there are proprietary rights involved so I can't go beyond generalities. This piece is about a humorous encounter at work and my thoughts on it.

As part of the safety protocols, I was required to do a gas mask fitting and since the guy in charge had his equipment set up in another lab, I had to follow him there. In so doing we passed several other labs filled with other departments who, of course had their own lab personnel doing their things. I exchanged a few smiles, nods and the occasional greeting as people here do and didn't really find anything extraordinary. Most of the workers are from South Asia and a large part is Filipino (though sadly, I am not yet able to say that I know them) assimilated already in the Canadian way of life.

Anyway, so here we are entering the last lab where the equipment was set up and there was this person in the middle of a lab setup and my attention was immediately drawn to her. I found myself suddenly straightening, sucking in my midsection and trying to project the best impression. It took me a whole moment before I realized the state I put myself into and I inwardly laughed at myself.

I breathed again and went back to my normal gait while chuckling at my reaction... hehe. It's not that its not normal. A man preens himself in the proximity of a beautiful woman. It's human nature to give your best side when a probable mate is close. What makes me laugh is the fact that I went into that mode. I was quite sure prior to this incident that I have outgrown such impulses. After all, I did promise myself not to compromise or much more entertain the idea of a romantic relationship. Such things are better left to the younger generation or to more mature men who have the capacity to either believe in ideal results or the capacity to adjust accordingly and make such a relationship work. And since I'm neither, I have promised myself to do my best in avoiding such compromising situations.

But I guess I am still a man, after all. The emotional and biological imperative to find a long time partner to share life with is deeply ingrained in my psyche. Like all men, I entertain the fantasy that a beautiful woman would like me (even when statistics point to the fact that the probability is miniscule). The only difference perhaps, is the fact that I recognize that and that I am not looking at that kind of relationship in the first place. I believe that a solitary existence is the best path for me, at least for the moment.

There is one underlying reason for a man for doing what he does day in and day out. That one reason is to get the object of his affection. Without that goal in mind, there is nothing much to life and more often than not, that object is a woman. Not usually specific since tastes do change as time goes on and let's face it, men don't pursue a single woman in the course of their brief lifetime. Everything, from jobs to material acquisition to wardrobe choices is either consciously or unconsciously geared towards that purpose. It is as I've said, human nature. Even when we suppress it, it exists.

Which brings me back to that situation. I guess in a way it's the universe's way of telling me that there are things which cannot be voluntarily suppressed despite one's best intentions. And to be honest, it felt good feeling that way again: to feel the need to puff oneself in front of the fairer sex even when I know that it's an exercise of futility.

And she smiled back... I guess.


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