You know when people advise you not to date work colleagues? I’d never paid too much attention to that.
After all, it’s where you spend so much of your time; it feels like an easy place to meet someone, especially when you‘re in your 20s and there are nights out every week.
But I learned the hard way what can happen when things don’t go quite to plan – and by plan, I mean not having someone back to stay overnight and waking up to find that they have wet the bed (the bed = my bed).
Ben* was a catch. As soon as I’d started working in the office of the TV production company – 21 years old and fresh out of uni – I’d noticed him. He was in his early thirties, a director, and he always wore lovely, lovely jumpers. So much so, in fact, that my friends even referred to him as ‘jumper guy.’
He had kind eyes, was funny, and we’d often take cigarette breaks at the same time. He made me laugh and liked good music.
When he’d suggested grabbing a drink after work one Friday, over a Marlborough Red out the back, I hadn’t hesitated to say yes. ‘Are you asking me on a date?’ I’d asked, laughing.
‘We can call it whatever you like,’ he answered, smiling back at me. Such kind, kind eyes. I was sold.
From there on, we exchanged constant emails, shared links to bands that we liked, and flirted outrageously with each other. Then, the following Friday, we finished work and snuck off, not telling anyone else our pub plan. They weren’t invited. This, was a date.
We had spoken about going to get some food but, in the end, we decided to get straight on the beers. And the gins. And the tequilas. And the vodkas. You get the idea. We were absolutely hammered within a couple of hours and, mortifyingly, full on kissing each other in the pub.
But it wasn’t all smooching. He told me about his upbringing, I told him about mine. We shared tales of past relationships, and hopes for the future. It was one of the best dates I’ve ever been on.
After hours of dancing, drinking, smoking, and kissing, he came back to mine. We listened to more music, drank lukewarm beers. And he stayed the night which, as I said, was never the plan.
I was left to deal with the aftermath, including a piss stained mattress
I woke up the next morning, groggily opened my eyes and squinted into the light streaming through the blinds in my bedroom window. My head was pounding.
The room smelled different. It smelled of someone else’s body, someone else’s stale alcohol.
There was a body next to me, the duvet rising and falling with each breath they took. For a moment, I had a complete blank. Then, it all came back to me.
I lay there, still and trying not to move. It was never supposed to end up like this but here we were – and I was happy. I liked him and we’d had a good night.
Careful not to wake him up, I moved my body, shifting position to get comfortable. But as I moved, my skin peeled off of the sheet below me, and I felt a sticky, cold, wet sensation.
After a brief analysis of the situation, I realised that Ben must have wet the bed during the night. My bed. And now, he – someone who I worked with every day in the office – was lying there, in his own piss. While I lay next to him, in the periphery of his piss.
I stealthily left the room and snuck to the bathroom. My pyjamas were wet, and my skin was clammy. We’d obviously been lying in it for some time.
It’s not completely unusual. Statistics suggest that 2% of men have this problem – but of course, it’s most likely underreported as it’s an embarrassing topic. And the issue is made much worse by drinking, due to the fact that alcohol suppresses the release of the antidiuretic hormone – which is responsible for preventing the production of urine.
So yeah, it happens – and it wasn’t that I was even disgusted by it, or judging him. I just didn’t know what to do.
Now, comes the weirdest part. As I’ve said, I didn’t know what to do. So, after changing my pyjamas as quietly as a ninja, I got back in my bed, avoiding the large, wet patch on my sheet, obviously.
I lay down and faced away from him.
My logic was, if I got up, he’d know I knew and it would be too much embarrassment for anyone to handle. If I lay there facing away from him, pretending that I had no idea what had happened, it would be up to him to figure out what to say.
After about 15 minutes, he woke up. I felt him stir, and then he said ‘morning.’
And, reader, I kid you not – we lay and chatted in my soaking wet bed for around 20 minutes before he said that he needed to get going. He then got up, pulled on his clothes, and left.
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I was left to deal with the aftermath, including a piss stained mattress. And, on Monday in the office, we just… pretended none of it had ever happened. We barely ever acknowledged the date; we only went for cigarette breaks if other people were going, and the flirting all but stopped.
Looking back, I wish both of us had dealt with the situation better – if nothing else to maintain a friendship, and have a smoking buddy at work. But, we returned to an amicable yet distant state at work, and that was that.
So yes, in future, I would be more inclined to listen to advice and be cautious about dating people who I work with.
So, How Did It Go?
So, How Did It Go? is a weekly Metro.co.uk series that will make you cringe with second-hand embarrassment or ooze with jealousy as people share their worst and best date stories.
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