A few months ago, we had a huge event at work. It was a celebration for a new factory we built. At the start of the lunch, which coincided with torrential downpours, I was handing out name badges and table assignments to the 150+ people who were flooding into the tent.
In the midst of the chaos, a man approached me, holding a bundle in his hands. “Do you have some place I can put my jacket?” he asked. I took the folded-up jacket from him and looked around the crowded tent. My first thought was that he should just put it on the back of his chair like any sensible person would do, but not knowing who he was, I didn’t say this out loud. I told him I’d put it in the kitchen, and I fought my way through the gaggle of people, through the rain and back into the building, where I placed the jacket on a chair in the break room and promptly forgot about it.
Hours later, I stood by the gift table as the event drew to a close. A handsome man met my eye from across the room. Once. Twice. Multiple times. This was odd. I know I’m not the most average-looking woman, so I’m used to the stares, though usually people are a bit more subtle. But this guy was imploring with his eyes, his gaze burning into me over his glass of lemonade. What is his deal? I wondered.
Finally he came closer. “Uh, hi,” he said awkwardly, “I gave you my jacket earlier and I’m not sure where you put it….