June 2, 2009

Danger Will Robinson

While Beth and I were talking about work last night, she asked a terrible, terrible question to which I desperately struggled to find the appropriate answer.

Who's the hottest woman you work with?

I'm not one for stereotyping, for playing to gender roles and norms but I promise you, guys, there's no appropriate answer to this question. To even attempt an answer is to mambo in a minefield. But, hey, I'm a guy so of course sheer avoidance never occurred to me. Instead, I opened my mouth and started talking. Here are the answers that I thought worked best.

"I just bought a boat."
A boat is probably the single worst investment you can possibly make. Sure, they're fun but you start losing money on them before they're off the boat lot and by the time you get it home, you'll have lost more than you paid. If that's possible. So this is a perfect counterpoint to use with your fiscally-responsible wife, especially since she probably considers such a highly suspicious purchase likely in your case due to your past track record of expensive and questionable purchases.

"Did I ever tell you about the time I fucked three Laotian midgets one of whom was a post-op transsexual?"
How would a question like that not derail the inquisitions of one's spouse, no matter how determined? As it turns out, even the most determined, inquisitive spouse (namely, mine) doesn't flinch at a response such as this. She will, instead, merely laugh, shrug and say something like you and your midgets.

Sure, you can probably anticipate a response like I said woman and your retort will be something witty like well, if I have to explain this, you sure don't know much about Steve yet despite this witticism and forward-thinking, it will not work.

"No hot women work with me."
As you'd expect, this response will not suffice. At all. What you will invariably receive in return is something to the effect of okay, well, if you had to line them all up from hottest to least hot, who would be at the front of the line? This clarification actually makes the question worse because now you are required to mentally order these people into some bizarre, real life bar graph of hotness.

This lack of a response is, in and of itself, a response which till trigger a certain amount of taunting from your lovely spouse. This will, in turn, trigger in you something akin to fear - the fear of never getting laid again.

Instead of trying any of these possible responses, I urge you to do the only sane thing - run screaming from your house into the street. Don't stop until you've thought of an answer that might somehow satisfy both the question and the person asking it. Then duck into a library or internet cafe and drop me a line. Because I'm desperate to know.

Posted by Chris at June 2, 2009 6:30 AM

hey... my wife knows i ain't goin anywhere...BUT
i told her if i ever stop lookin....just put me in the ground cuz i'm dead... and have lost all interest in everything including HER... she gets it... cuz looking doesn't cost... its the test drive that will kill ya! and besides... she is such a FLIRT her own bad self... example... i used to go pick up her check... she works in retail...i cut my hair (remember this is a girl/girl thang)... i reminded her that i "looked different"... and lo and behold...as i approached her counter...i saw her copping the "i gotta get this one and hit on it" attitude... and then i saw the gleam of recognition in her eye... uh oh!!! i told her she just got caught!!! she turned more shades of red than crayola has in any size box!.... just admit a name and say... "as if you don't look" cuz i'm tellin ya...she DOES... and throw it back at her! (ex: what guys that you know do YOU think are hot?)

Posted by: the unicorn at June 2, 2009 7:17 AM

The unicorn may be on to something. While reading, all I could think was that there is no good/approriate answer.

Posted by: MariaV at June 2, 2009 7:41 AM

Reminds me of an episode of "Mad About You." Jamie asks Paul, "Do you think I've lost weight?" He starts to reply, pauses, starts to reply again, pauses, and finally says, "I can't get this one right, can I?"

Posted by: Karen at June 2, 2009 8:00 AM

Well, YOU always have the hotty pediatrician to fall back on...

Posted by: Tera at June 2, 2009 8:07 AM

Assuming you took the option to run screaming, then. :P

Do you actually work with women, considering (I think?) you work in IT?

Posted by: Hannah at June 2, 2009 8:14 AM

LOL sometimes those are loaded questions but sometimes they aren't. You know your wife better than any of us, would she really use this info if you were to be honest with her against you?

Posted by: Dee at June 2, 2009 8:19 AM

As a woman, I think there is an appropriate answer. (Though it IS a weird question--who cares, right?) Anyhow, the unoffensive and honest reply is, "Uh, I guess the woman that men make the most obnoxious comments about is Jane from accounting. Does that make her hottest?" This at once suggests both that "the men" all want to do her, but that it had never even crossed YOUR mind.

Posted by: Sabrina at June 2, 2009 8:40 AM

How about: "I really am a happily married man. I just don't look at the women in my office in that way."
Of course, you could add the cheesy bit about not being able to see anyone but her or you could tell her that none of those women are the mother of your children and therefore, rank just below midgets on your radar or you could just go out and buy the boat.

Posted by: Wack-a-do at June 2, 2009 8:55 AM

Am I the only one around here who would want the real answer? I don't see the point of asking the question if you're expecting ego stroking.

Posted by: tutugirl1345 at June 2, 2009 9:05 AM

I work from home, so I could answer that question, "you honey."

Posted by: COD at June 2, 2009 9:11 AM

She's really asking you if you work hand-in-hand with ANY hot chicks. If the answer is yes, then your best bet is a down-play. "There's not a lot of women and none of them are models, so I guess if I have to pick it'd be the very motherly, married, Janine. We're in a couple of meetings together." If there really aren't any hotties then just deflect easily with a "Geez, that's like picking the most attractive cow in the field. I DO work in I.T. you know. I guess it'd be Janine, because she has the least amount of facial warts."

Posted by: Brad at June 2, 2009 9:16 AM

Does this comment make me look fat?

Posted by: harmzie at June 2, 2009 9:19 AM

The only appropriate answer is something to the effect of "You are so hott I'm blind to everyone else. Hence the midget fiasco."

And then remind her of firemen and the hotty pediatrician. And get a pretend celebrity girlfriend.

Posted by: jessica at June 2, 2009 9:30 AM

really? G and I discuss this ALL the time!! we both think it's totally NORMAL to notice good-looking members of the opposite sex. I mean, I would maybe worry if he didn't notice them. heh.

Posted by: ali at June 2, 2009 9:44 AM

I'd say just tell her who it is. But that's just me.

Posted by: k8 at June 2, 2009 9:50 AM

I can't believe you missed this one.

The best answer is to think of someone at work who is about a 5, and put them at the front of the hotty line.

The wife will look astonished and you need to vehemently defend your answer with plausible excuses like "She has nice hair and a happy smile".

Wife will run this around in her head and conclude (easily) that she is far hotter than the 5, resulting in displaying a smug little smile and her saying "OK."

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at June 2, 2009 10:10 AM

"Hmmm. Sarah, I guess, but none of them are as hot as you."

The "hmmm" is important, as it indicates that you've not given this a lot of thought before.

Posted by: Julie at June 2, 2009 10:16 AM

I work at home, so my universe of correct answers would be thankfully brief compared to others'.

Posted by: robert muller at June 2, 2009 10:29 AM

Hmmm, that's a tough one. I'd go with: "You are, honey. I have your picture on my desk and no other hotness can exist next to that." And then, offer her a great big glass of wine, a massage, a maid service and a 2 hour block to nap child-free.

Posted by: Ms Sassy Pants at June 2, 2009 10:34 AM

My answer is easy. You, of course! It helps when you married your coworker. ;-)

But then again, I haven't had the luxury of having hot dudes in the places I've worked. Heh.

I would've said, nobody. Not in a kissing up "nobody is as hot as you" way. Seriously. Nobody hot. Have you seen my office?

Posted by: oakley at June 2, 2009 10:36 AM

Well at least you know what NOT to say, like "If I tell you, can we all have a threesome," or "Suzy, she reminds me most of you before you gained the weight from the kids." I can think of more...

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2009 10:49 AM

Wow, she really put you in a corner there. Hmm, I think you're right - there really isn't an appropriate response that won't get you in trouble.

Posted by: Dianna at June 2, 2009 12:07 PM

See, I can actually say there are no hot women where I work. And she's seen them all, so she believes me.

Posted by: Chino at June 2, 2009 12:36 PM

Obviously, I don't know your wife and I don't even read her blog, so I can't even guess at her motives. If my husband didn't work at home and if I asked him this question, I guess it would be to see if his hotness scale is anything close to mine. So I could be all, "You think SHE'S hot? Why?" as I dissolve into hysterical laughter. Beth seems like a pretty cool cat though. She doesn't seem like the type to get all insecure about something like this. I'd go with the commenter that said start with "Hmmm..." like you have to think about it.

Posted by: Brooke at June 2, 2009 12:43 PM

I only asked so I could watch him squirm. It worked.

Posted by: Mrs. Cactus at June 2, 2009 12:51 PM

So who is the hottest? Is it Betty in accounting?

Posted by: William at June 2, 2009 2:36 PM

I'd just be honest. There's a difference between finding someone attractive, and being attracted to them.

Posted by: April at June 2, 2009 5:13 PM

Ok, this answer is less fun now I know Mrs Cactus will read it... but anyway...
Say "Drop by Tuesday lunchtime and I'll show you - I'd like your opinion anyway" then on Tuesday, lock your office door, take her hands, look in her eyes and say "It's you - you are all I think about when I'm here" and if you don't know what comes next then there's no hope for you.

Also the answer to "Does my butt look big in this?" is "Hmmmm I'm not sure, I better get a whole lot closer and see if I can work it out" ;)

The subtext to both those questions is "Do you still think I'm hot?" - you answer that one and the other questions aren't important any more.

Posted by: Jo MacD at June 2, 2009 6:03 PM

Ok, so I asked my dude this, just to see what he would say (see how you prod me into conducting sadistic experiments?). It went like this. Me: Who's the hottest woman you work with? Him: GROSS. I think I'm going to barf.

Which, I have to say, satisfied me. Smart man.

Posted by: Librarian Girl at June 4, 2009 1:41 PM

Denise - she looks like a less hot version of you.

Posted by: Hope at June 5, 2009 11:38 AM