My wife, Mandi, like me, is a teacher, but for two decades she worked in the insurance industry. In her office there was a guy, Billy, about 10 years her junior who was unmarried and worked in the same department.
He was the epitome of the Beta orbiter. Evidently he spent much of his spare time playing some sort of group game whose name escapes me. At first, she was convinced that he was gay, but he later confessed that he had been engaged and that his fiancé’ had cheated on him.
He always tagged along to lunch with my wife and her friends, lingered around any group she was in and generally just orbited. My wife’s friends then started to joke that Billy’s crush on Mandi was overtly obvious. He often dropped cards on her desk wishing her a happy birthday or just telling her how great she was and how glad that she was his friend.
Mandi is attractive and more than a few co-workers have looked her way, but Billy was just too transparent. He was always sending her texts just to say hello or to show her some meme or video he thought was funny. He even told her about the few dates he went on and how they always ended in failure, and on more than one occasion, remarked how lucky I was to have found a woman like her.
I laughed it off, and didn’t even ask what he looked like. I finally met him at a company Christmas party and was not surprised to find that he was straight out of central casting as the stock character representation of a modern emasculated male.
He sat at the table with us and tried to hide his social anxiety. He seemed to find it impossible to make small talk with me. Mandi leaned over the table to pick up something and I smacked her ass hard, right in his face: he looked like he wanted to vomit.
Mandi and I danced a slow dance or two. When we went to sit down, I put her hand on his and told him, “here, take her for a spin.” Mandi rolled her eyes at me, but took his hand and said “come on Billy.”
They did one dance and I thought he might pass out. He came back to the table, looking pale and then made some excuse to leave early.
Mandi hasn’t worked for that company in 5 years, but Billy still texts her almost every day. He’s still single and still, according to him ... lonely.
Don’t be Billy.