I am an interior designer. People often misinterpret this statement to mean that I pick paint colours for a living, I am a decorator, or that I stage homes for real-estate agents. These sorts of misconceptions often come up on first dates or during the initial stages of courtship when messaging back and forth with someone. Usually it is a quick part of the conversation and it either leads to a brief correction from my end (which typically does not end well), or a complete dismissal of the topic from theirs. Because of this, I am generally pleasantly surprised when a potential suitor either has a relatively accurate idea of what I do or is at least curious to know more. Afterall, it is nice when a potential date takes an interest in your life, your hobbies, or your career in a manner that doesn’t send “I’m only asking because I feel like I should actually feign interest in you for 5 minutes” kind of vibes.
However, this pleasant feeling starts to fade and becomes more of a red flag when a person then refuses to change the subject and starts asking more invasive questions about it (no matter how many times you attempt to change gears). On one such date the evening was rather slow and appeared to be heading towards a dead end pretty fast. I do not think either of us were particularly interested in the other person upon meeting and I later found out that he had scheduled the date right before planning to get together with friends for dinner. Otherwise I am certain the date would have ended after about 5 minutes (if that). The odd thing about this encounter was that the person was very interested in my job and what I do. In fact, he was a little too interested in that one aspect of my life, especially considering the overall feel of the date coupled with his complete lack of interest in anything else.
As the conversation went on, it came out that his friend was looking for a ‘designer’ to stage homes for him. This then led to a serious of questions where I would have to respond with “well that’s not really what I do” over and over again. You would think that he would eventually tire of this answer and move on, but nevertheless he was persistent! He continued talking about his friend and how, when he told his buddy what I did, he was very interested, even going so far as suggesting that he should bring him along to coffee with me. Thank goodness he didn’t!
It was around this time that I began to realize why they guy sitting across the table insisted on dragging out the date even though we were both very clearly not interested in one another (seriously, if it were not for this one topic of conversation, I think we both would have nodded off despite actively sipping caffeine). It was because I wasn’t on a date, I was actually in an impromptu job interview through a proxy…for the wrong job!