Humor Week

CHARLOTTE HAMILTON
Eulogy to an Office Romance


Thank you all for gathering here today to mourn the loss of something near and dear to our hearts—my six-week relationship with Tony C.
        I know the end came as a shock, particularly to those of you who were close to the relationship and saw it as an ideal of romantic love. It was a shock to me as well. As I look back upon our relationship, I am reminded of the good times: Weeks 1-3. I am reminded of the troubled times: Week 4. And the beginning of the end: Weeks 5-6 (when we didn't talk but I thought we were still dating).
        The relationship had auspicious beginnings. As you know, Tony and I work together, which allowed for the convergence of our mutual interests, as well as opportunities to run into each other through fateful happenstance. For example, his vast knowledge of African drumming coincided perfectly with my sudden interest in learning African drumming. His need for transportation occurred just before I bought a car and began offering rides to coworkers (you know, for the environment). And our backgrounds were remarkably similar; for example, we were the only single people in the office under the age of 50.

Thank you all for gathering here today to mourn the loss of something near and dear to our hearts—my six-week relationship with Tony C.
        I know the end came as a shock, particularly to those of you who were close to the relationship and saw it as an ideal of romantic love. It was a shock to me as well. As I look back upon our relationship, I am reminded of the good times: Weeks 1-3. I am reminded of the troubled times: Week 4. And the beginning of the end: Weeks 5-6 (when we didn't talk but I thought we were still dating).
        The relationship had auspicious beginnings. As you know, Tony and I work together, which allowed for the convergence of our mutual interests, as well as opportunities to run into each other through fateful happenstance. For example, his vast knowledge of African drumming coincided perfectly with my sudden interest in learning African drumming. His need for transportation occurred just before I bought a car and began offering rides to coworkers (you know, for the environment). And our backgrounds were remarkably similar; for example, we were the only single people in the office under the age of 50.
        So, you see, the relationship really blossomed at the workplace. But now during this period of bereavement, otherwise known as Week 7, working together no longer seems like such a plus. The daily reminders of loss can make it difficult to grieve appropriately and move on. This is particularly the case when one gets a haircut to look hot so that the other can know what he is missing and, instead, the hairstylist takes things into her own hands and gives one the haircut featured by that boy on the cover of Mad magazine.
        As we know, the relationship came to a tragic end. I mentioned Weeks 5 and 6, did I not? These were weeks filled with longing and separation. By this, I mean that no texts or calls were returned by Tony C. to yours truly. You may be surprised to hear that the Medical Examiner's Office does not perform autopsies on relationships, no matter how many times you request it. If you find this to be as much of an injustice as I do, please consider protesting at the ME's Office downtown. I will be with you in spirit, if not in person, as I am no longer allowed within 100 feet of their office.
        Thus, the cause of death remains unclear. Many have speculated on the topic. Proposed causes of death include: 1) alleged lack of chemistry; 2) my suggestion to sing Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love" to each other on our third date; 3) that whole "not meant to be" thing.
        Bullshit.
        My analysis of the matter indicates that the true death knell was sounded by the affliction known as Valentine's Day. This horrific blight on modern America has rendered many a fledgling relationship asunder. A relationship in its opening stages cannot be expected to withstand the blows of candy hearts, flower bouquets, and candlelit dinners.
        Or, in this case, the absence of those things.
        Let us not dwell on the past, however, and instead look to the future. Many women saw the relationship as a bastion of hope. Hope for true love, yes, but also hope for women of medium attractiveness who yearn to date men of high attractiveness. For women who have only dated nerds to finally score with someone cool. For women who hate cooking and are looking for men who say they love to cook and will make a homemade meal on the third date only, and from then on after, forget they know how to cook at all. This relationship was all these things, and more.
        To the women out there who would be discouraged by the untimely death of this relationship, I have some words of wisdom for you: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
        I wrote that last night. Like a phoenix rises from its ashes, so did I while writing this eulogy. As I lay on the couch in front of my television, a bowl of mashed potatoes to my left and jug of wine to my right, I bore witness to Diane Lane's redemption in the seminal breakup movie, Under the Tuscan Sun. I wiped the tears from my eyes and the mashed potatoes from my chin and took my pen to paper. I realized that, though these are dark times, we should not fear evil. We will forge ahead with faith that there is a relationship with a tight-pants-wearing, sometimes-cooking, part-time musician with vaguely exotic features out there for each and every one of us!
        Well, your weeping is starting to make me uncomfortable, so I'll wrap this up. Let us take solace in the knowledge that, though this relationship has breathed its last breath, it lives on in our memories. I know, in my heart of hearts, that we will be reunited again, whether it is in heaven, or during this year's office Christmas party after too many tequila shots. Either way, it will be beautiful.
        God bless.

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The Daily Palette: Humor Week

All this week, the Daily Palette will be celebrating some of our most amusing artists and writers! We hope you enjoy this selection of funny, silly, or even outrageous essays, stories, and works of art!


CHARLOTTE HAMILTON

Charlotte Hamilton lives in Chicago, Illinois, where she works as a hospice social worker.  She has participated in the Iowa Summer Writing Festival for the past four years.  Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's Internet Tendency and Chicago Arts Journal and she performs in storytelling events in Chicago.

Eulogy to an Office Romance was previously published by McSweeney's Online.


About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu

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