This morning I had cause to think about how I came to be this way when I recalled the following story from 1981…
I’m a sweet, shapely young thing of about 22, when I take a job as a receptionist in a boutique law firm perched high in a building overlooking Michigan Ave. I’m clearly a theatre nerd, bubbly, outspoken and colorful. I’m also a lousy typist, which I never try to hide. Being able to type is like doing a cartwheel. You either can or can’t. There’s no faking it. So why bother?
I work for two successful attorneys in their early 40’s. The really cute one ignores me. The other one, not so much.
One night before leaving work, Albert (the other one, who BTW has three names, a bit pretentious) asks me to join him for a drink After working late one night. (I spend all my hard earned money on head shots and sheet music) Anything free, food or drink, is always welcome! He’s a nice guy and evidently knows my dad from real estate closings. He’s also the uncle of good friend of mine from University. So I figure it’s cool.
He picks me up, feeling quite pleased with himself, in his shiny, expensive car. (Whenever a man leads with his bankroll, you know he’s compensating for something, usually a personality.)
“Ever been in a Rolls Royce before?” He inquires.
“Nice. Isn’t it?”
“Sure. I don’t know much about cars. I only know them by color. The silver is pretty.”
We have drinks at the Tremont hotel. It’s a boutique hotel frequented by a myriad of celebrities from Mick Jagger to Kate Hepburn.. . I sang for their corporate Christmas party. After the second drink Albert inquires about my career. I went on about my dreams etc.
Afterwards he drives me home. I live on north Lake Shore Drive in a rented condo overlooking the lake. I love it!
“I didn’t realize you lived here!” He said.
“Why is that important?” I ask.
“I jog past here every morning!’
“Really?” I act surprised. Although most joggers run along the lakefront! Duh! “That’s nice. You should stop up and have coffee sometime.”
It’s the next morning. I’m dressing for work when my bell rings. It’s the doorman.
“Ms. Butler, Mr. Albert Brooks Friedman is here to see you.
Really? I tell the doorman to send him up.
I live in a tiny studio overlooking the lake, with huge bay windows, making it appear larger. My bed is a white pullout sofa, which usually remains open unless I’m having friends over for Sunday Brunch. (A ritual I enjoy.)
I open the door to a sweaty, rather ebullient, middle aged attorney with a red face and blond hair that is turning white with age. He looks quite a bit older. Where’s Mr. Rolls Royce?
“This is a surprise! Have a seat. I’m almost ready for work. I’ll put some coffee on!” I sound like Mary Sunshine in the mornings.
My back is to him as I frantically begin tidying up my Pullman style kitchen. I wasn’t expecting company this morning, least of all my boss. I try making small talk.
“Can I make you some eggs?”
“NO thanks. I’m good.”
“Cream or sugar?”
I turn around to see his NAKED BODY LAYING ACROSS MY BED, GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR! WTF!
“What are you doing?” I’m incredulous.
“What do you mean? Take your clothes off and come to bed.” He says, as though I secretly yearn to jump on his sweaty, pasty, saggy skinned, aging bones.
“What??? Are you nuts?” Mind officially BLOWN!. Why do these things happen to me???
“You know my DAD! You’re nephew is a close friend of mine! What are you thinking?”
“You asked me to come over!” He says accusingly. (Like that makes sense? Oh ya! You’re right Albert. Let’s fuck! Shall we?)
“FOR COFFEE!” I can’t help but laugh. I don’t know what’s funnier, his sheer audacity or the thought of me jumping these (to my mind) old bones!
“I was being NICE! I THOUGHT that you were nice. That’s ALL!”
Although I never saw it, thank god, I’m sure I killed whatever boner he may have had…
“Oh for Chrissakes! I should know better than to get involved with someone so young and naive…” He blurts out as he is getting dressed.
“Get involved? Who is involved? I had two drinks with you!!! You’re MARRIED!!” I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all. Perhaps I’ve lived a sheltered life. I’ve never encountered men like this before.
“Can you please step into my office?” He asks very officiously.
“Sure.” Thank god! He’s going to apologize and we can move on as though this never happened. I never laid eyes on his pasty white, loosely fitted body.
“WHAT????? Are you kidding me?”
“No. I’ve had complaints that your typing just isn’t fast enough.
“You knew that when you hired me.”
WHAT A JERK!
And that was the end of that. I was out the door. NO further discussion. There was no such thing as a sexual harassment lawsuit back then.
This jerk is still practicing law. He specializes in…wait for it…FAMILY LAW!!!!!!!!