My favorite time of year has arrived. Late spring. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, the skirts are short and the 2010 Summer Program is around the corner. As we all know, I struggle to resist the temptation of luring a hot female summer back to my lair for a night of meaningless sex.
However, this summer, I’m trying to avoid the temptation entirely.
See, I’m pretty busy at work again, and I’m a year older, which means I’m further away from ever being able to relate to these people on a social level (though I watch Jersey Shore, so I should be okay, right?). A few grays and a sore knee after three hours of pick-up hoops in the park last Sunday have suddenly—nay, painfully reminded me that I’m not in my mid-20s anymore. And just between you and me, it concerns me that my annual Summer-lovin’ skillz could possibly backfire for the first time ever, graduating me from a “Wild & Crazy Male Associate (WCMA)” into creepy mid-level-associate territory.
Let me be clear: I know my demons will come calling at some point. But, in order to best to suppress them as long possible, I’ve drafted an outline—no, COMMANDMENTS—for how I will, for once, survive this summer and actually come out looking better in the eyes of the firm instead of worse. Sort of like the opposite of manifest destiny.
The first step in treating a problem is recognizing a problem.
My problem: I LIKE SUMMERS. A lot.
There, I said it. I like being able to use my summer advantages to get laid—and knowing it’s wrong and that I might get fired only intensifies the orgasm.
Oh, wait. It has almost gotten me fired before.
Last summer’s rendezvous with Wendy back at my apartment was awesome, but thinking back to that feeling of walking on eggshells the rest of the summer has the older, wiser me realizing it wasn’t so awesome. Danny Glover said it best in Lethal Weapon. “I’m too old for this shit!”
Without further ado, here are Matthew Richardson’s Five Commandments for a trouble-free summer:
1. Do NOT Stay Out Late with Summers
This will be the hardest one for me to abide by. As you know, when someone says, “Hey, we’re thinking about going out . . . ” my ears perk up like a dog hearing the word “TREAT!” Actually, I’m foaming at the mouth just talking about it. And once that happens, only tequila and cheap perfume can satiate me.
It’s especially hard knowing that at any point I could easily take a few out, act like a pimp, throw down the corporate card and have the firm reimburse me. But, then again, it’s 2010—and that’s my 2008 self who’s sitting on my shoulder talking that nonsense. Plus, the girl in HR who had it bad for me and would flirtatiously overlook my accounting errors got laid off last November. R.I.P.
2. Do NOT Put Your Firm’s “Wendy” on a Deal with You
Note: “Wendy,” the name of the Summer I banged last year, is a catchall for “above-average Summer.”
Seems innocuous enough to put hot ass on a deal with you, right? WRONG. Next thing you know, you are exchanging blatantly sexual emails under the thin guise of actual work. For example, if I put a New Wendy on a deal, after two weeks, a version of this exchange is bound to ensue:
Me: How’s the checklist coming along?
New Wendy: It would be easier if the other firm actually sent me their changes.
Me: Oh yeah, John is such a moron. Did you eat?
New Wendy: Yeah just had lunch . . . but I could go for some coffee.
Me: Coffee sounds good. Can we make it Irish coffee?
New Wendy: Lol, you’re funny.
Me: Not kidding, let’s blow off work and get some drinks.
Next thing you know, I’ve basically just committed to having a summer-long affair with the New Wendy because I put her on a deal with me. Nope. Once bitten. I’m sticking with all-dude deals, with exception to girls who are heinous workhorses and will therefore not tempt me. (Note: I’m talking especially heinous.)
3. Do NOT Take a Wendy to a Baseball Game
Another one that seems innocent enough, but I have learned from experience that the seemingly innocent events are the ones that end up being the most dangerous. (Use my cooking event last summer with the actual Wendy as a cautionary tale).
If I go to a baseball game, I am invariably going to make sure I sit next to Wendy (lest I end up next to my least favorite type of colleague, Slovenly Associate Who Always Talks About Sports). Then I’m going to make sure we order many beers because everything’s better tipsy. Then I’m going to deliberately make sure one of us spills something on the other one. Then I’m gonna make sure we miss the train or bus back, feeding some random excuse to the rest of the gang. Then I’ll call a car service for the two of us and bill it to a client. Then I’ve past the point of no return.
4. Do NOT Go To ANY Lunches
Yes, I know this sounds insane. For most of us, it’s part of the job. And who can pass up a free lunch at a fancy restaurant? Well, this year, I can.
It’s now my fifth year of these things. I’ve been to every nice joint in the city multiple times. I’ve ended up putting on extra chair-ass just like Summers do, and I’ve gotten mixed up in more of their gossip and inter-Summer dealings than I could ever give a shit about. If I go to even one lunch, I feel like I will be opening Pandora’s back because I’m gonna have a good time, I’m gonna offer to take them out, and then I’m gonna be barraged with offers—and at some point, one of those offers is going to include a Wendy at a lunch…and that’s where it all starts.
5. Do NOT Learn Their Names
Shut the frack up, you stupid-hot bitches. I don’t want to know anything about you . . . . I must treat them the same way I treat girls at a strip club. I want it to be a dehumanizing experience so I feel no connection whatsoever. If we pass each other in the hall, I want it to be a nod. No verbal exchange, no smiling.
In fact, don’t even drop off that book with their pictures to my office this year. I used to relish the summer face book. I used to treat its arrival like the arrival of my dad’s new Playboy when I was a 13. I used to circle the three or four summers I would consider banging and immediately start doing some stalker-ish Internet research. But this year, Nancy has a direct command to shred it on arrival.
Maybe this all sounds a bit extreme—and maybe it sounds like I’m depriving myself of any of the fun of having a big summer program—but like they say in AA: When you have a problem, you gotta quit cold turkey.**
My point is that I have an addiction to hot summers, and the only way to kick it is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. So they’re officially all dead to me. Goodbye, Summer Program!
**I have no idea what they actually say in AA.
PS: The real “Wendy” is coming back to my firm for her second summer. So I think it’s safe to say there will be another run-in with her come fall.