Happy Birthday, Mener! (Who has just moved back to the U.S. (again) after returning to the Philippines permanently (for the second time)).

About two weeks ago, a new programmer started work at my company. He doesn't work with me, and he's stuck at a desk sort of in the middle of nowhere/nobody. In addition to finding him rather attractive physically, I got some kind of vibe that he might be a potential friend (based on nothing, because I hadn't said a word to him; but then, maybe because he's clean-cut, and kinda preppy sometimes). So last Friday, motivated by the new me's desire to make a friend or two, and to welcome him to the company, since he's at his desk working all day and I've never seen him have a word with anybody, I asked him if he'd like to join me for lunch. (After having tried on Thursday but, by the time I anted up the cojones to ask him, he'd gone already.) He said Sure!, and we went off and had a nice time. Turns out, his programming language of choice is Python, as is mine; though, unlike mine, the work he's doing now isn't letting him use it.

So that was great, and as is often the case with me, my fantasies raced far ahead of reality. But Monday, I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to ask him again, to avoid overwhelming him, but it seemed like that first hint of a foundation had to be built upon, or it might blow away like sand in the constant breeze of our daily routines.

I also have this asymmetry problem: I tend to think that repeated overtures of friendship might be bothersome to other people, even though I would welcome them. And similarly in many other respects of personal interactions.

Late Monday afternoon, he called me over to show me something he had found which made using SQL*Plus much more convenient. One of the topics at lunch Friday was what a pain in the a** it is to use Oracle's supplied interactive SQL utility.

That evening the CEO suggested I join him for beer and billiards. I invited Edward along; he declined but expressed sincere thanks at being asked. Even so, it was still difficult today when I told him that I and a few others were going to take an evening sail on the Pacific Ocean on the CEO's boat.
    Cool, he said, with a charming smile.
    Would you like to come along?
So off we sailed into the sunset (well, actually, the sunset was off to port as we were returning to the harbor). He enjoyed himself, I think. I hung around him about half of the time, not so much as to smother him. (And not while I was cranking out the mains'l.)

He gave me a ride home, and in his car I found that he speaks Spanish, a quality that a hypothetical ideal friend of mine would have.

I wish I knew how friendships form. The ones I've had in my life mostly took months, slowly accreting familiarity before finally making the quantum leap of an outside-the-workplace activity (since almost all of my friendships have been with coworkers). And yet, I see other people latch on after a day or two. It would certainly be easier if Edward was new to the area in addition to being new to the company, but alas, he's lived in Santa Barbara all his life, and presumably has plenty of friends already and doesn't need new ones.

We shall see.....