Wednesday, June 02, 2004

History of Lila, part I

I am getting pretty long-winded on this thing. Let me try and break it down quickly:

It was late autumn, 2003. I was shopping at the Gap. Not shopping, really, looking for girls. The customers are hot; the employees are even better.

Sure enough, I see Lila there, folding sweaters. I was looking for a gift for my mother, see, and I needed a LOT of help.

Got her to open up a little bit. She hated her job, her boss was a slave-driving bitch. She worked every weekend, and only got $7.50 an hour.

"Hmmm," I said, looking like I was trying to solve a calculus problem. "I tell you what. Do you know how to answer a phone?"

"Answer a phone? Yes!"

"If you're interested, I'll hire you as a receptionist for $10 an hour. Here's my card. Call me."

Then I hurried up and got the hell out of there. With no sweater.

Sure enough, she called the next day, and I persuaded my boss that we needed a live person to answer the phone and take care of some filing. He bought into the idea, obviously.

You have to be careful how you hit on an employee. You have to make it look like it's serendipitous, like it is "fate" that is bringing you together.

Once, she asked me to donate to some charity race she was running in. So I donated twice as much as anyone else on the list, and showed up to congratulate her. I brought one of those 10-gallon drink dispensers (filled with Gatorade) and some cookies for the runners....she came up and thanked me for coming, and I thought I could see that certain something in her eye.

Every once in a while, she would complain about her mom working late, and having to bum rides off her friends. I let it go the first few times, not wanting to seem too anxious. Finally, one day I said, "Hey, if it's not too far, I could give you a ride..."

"In the Bimmer!!?" She said.

"Nah, I have the minivan today."


"Just kidding."

After that, I drove her home every once in a while. Never tried anything. By then I kind of had my eye on the Christmas party. Sure enough, she showed up loaded and started talking my ear off about some guy who cheated on her (what kind of idiot was HE, BTW?). I asked her if she needed a ride home. She did.

"You are soo cool," she said. Then she kissed me.

"Hey," I said as she got out of the car.


"I really want to kiss you again. Preferably on Christmas Eve."

And the rest, as they say, is history.