From The New Yorker:
For years, Sara had gazed at him across the cafeteria with the faint idea of asking him out, but it had just never seemed scalable. Until today.
“Jared,” Sara began, with a quiver in her voice, “I just wanted to reach out and see if you had the capacity to connect with me over drinks tonight.”
Jared did not facilitate a response immediately, and, as she waited, Sara began to wonder whether she’d dropped the ball on this entirely. Should she have added value first, with small talk? Probably, but it was too late now.
“Unfortunately, I can’t,” Jared finally said.
Sara felt her heart break apart, like an animated pie chart in one of her slide decks. I should never have actioned this, she thought.
“But,” Jared pivoted, “I have bandwidth to do Thursday.”
Her heart circled back to a better space. He hadn’t rejected her; they had just hit a roadblock.
“Let me check my calendar,” she said, having learned that appearing to be cool in situations like these can be key.
“Actually, you know what?” Jared said. “Back to your initial proposal of connecting today. What were you thinking in terms of timelines?”
“6:30 p.m.?” she said.
“With some restructuring, I think I will be able to give you some face time then,” he said.
“That’s a good outcome,” Sara said, with a grin. “I’ll see you E.O.D.”
That afternoon, her workflow was significantly compromised. Going forward, there was simply no prospect as exciting as touching base with Jared. She spent the rest of the day overwhelmed by a raft of feelings that she could not unpack, which was strange, because unpacking issues was usually one of her core strengths.
. . . .
“I guess one of us should go up and order drinks,” Sara said, to break the cycle.
“Oh,” Jared said, fumbling for his wallet. “Let me spearhead that.”
After the first couple of margaritas, they began to find some shareable content. And, by the third, they found themselves on a deep dive, deeper than either of them had ever dived before during an initial one-on-one. Midway through the fifth drink, they were holding hands.
“You’re such a thought leader,” Jared whispered in Sara’s ear. The synergy was electric.
Link to the rest at The New Yorker