OMG scummmmmm. Really, you don't need to know more. But okay, Marlie and Paul work together. At a law firm, natch. She got this email yesterday afternoon after saying that she wouldn't be averse to going on a date with Paul, if that was what he was hinting around about — because that was obviously what he was hinting around about. Sounds like harmless workplace flirting, no? Watch Paul till the situation into his personal breeding ground for the ultimate neg! Oh Paul, any girl who gives credence to your wild delusions of studliness is only doing so because you make it impossible for any of them to actually care about you to a sufficient degree that they'd have enough interest in your long-term emotional strength to set you right. And I have a feeling that includes Jennifer.

————— Forwarded message ————— From: "Paul" Date: Feb 5, 2008 5:25 PM Subject: To: "Marlie"

Hey I'm trying to do this professionally, but because I'm a huge pussy, as you know, I have to write an email. I was flattered that you asked me out on a date. You do indeed have big balls and that's why we call you Big Balls Marlie. But the bottom line is that we can't date because we crossed into the friendship zone. This is a frequent occurrence, and before you start getting all pissy-poo about this, I would say the exact same thing to Erin, Lydia, Stephanie, Caroline or any other girl in your class or mine (say, Meghan, Katie, Sandrine, Beth, Julie N., Julie B.) who asked me on a date. I consider myself friends with all of the above, including you, but don't really think of them as datable, which is why I was partly shocked when you asked me out. I mean we can joke around about sex-dreams and masturbation, but I didn't think you would actually ask me out on a date.

That's not to say I'm not impressed, and even a bit envious of the size of your balls. But it won't work because it would be awkward. Here's another reason it won't work. On some day, a while ago, you said something that caused me to want to make a blowjob joke. I withheld making it because I didn't want to send any mixed-signals to you that I was somehow interested in obtaining a blowjob. The problem is that I DON'T WANT to hold back making that joke—especially around you—because we should be able to joke about that kind of stuff as friends.

This afternoon was another good example. I am in a pissy mood because I didn't get much sleep last night, I'm behind in my classes, and I had just received a snarky email from someone. I was pissed at everyone in the world, but I saw a look on your face like, "oh no, he doesn't like me" or something like that. That wasn't it at all. I do like you, but I should be able to get pissed off and not feel guilty about it around you. You know what I mean?

I do hope so, because it has been a shit-ton of fun getting to know you and I like feeling comfortable, as opposed to uncomfortable, around you.

As for Jennifer, that's an entirely different story. We are not dating. I don't really know what we're doing, but its not exactly boning either.