I look up from the tv and see two different colored button down shirts on hangers before me. "You're not seriously asking me?" Me, who's sitting in the same ratty clothes for three days now because I'm out of laundry, out of a job, and out of a girl.
Jim bit the inside of his lip. "Yeah, I guess you're right." He turned away, but then walked quickly back. "But I really don't know which."
Sighing, I pause the game on the tv and return my gaze to the two shirts. One was a medium blue, one a lavander. "Well, it depends on what you're going for. If you want to look like a pansy and say 'I'd love to be just your friend forever, Pam!' then wear the lavander. If you want to look like you're in this for a serious relationship, wear the blue. No jeans, dress pants. Black." I was about to tell him about shoes, when I realized that he didn't have anything other than his basketball sneakers and his office shoes. So I grab a pair out of my closet and toss them to him. "They're almost your size. Just squeeze in and bear the pain. It'll be worth it if you look good."
Jim took it all in, nodding seriously. "About the tie..."
"No tie. She'll understand from the pants and shoes that you're not just hanging out. A tie would be too...formal. Too business like. Overkill. You want her to feel comfortable with you, not stiff."
"It's amazing how you could know so much, Mark, yet look like that."
I run my hand over my little-more-than five o'clock shadow. "Just because I'm a little lazy and taking a bit of time off, doesn't mean I don't know my stuff."
But Jim wasn't really interested. He ran upstairs to finish dressing. I noted that according to the clock on top of the tv that Jim had to pick Pam up in twenty minutes. For Jim, this was really running late.
"Hey, are you planning to hang out with her here after dinner or her place?" I yell up the stairs.
"Here, I think. Why?"
Here. Well, that certainly was interesting. For all the months he had dated Karen, not once did she ever come over for more than a minute or two, just to use the bathroom.
Jim always made the excuse that he didn't want to inconvience me when someone asked, but I knew the real reason. I mean really, how good would it look to have your girlfriend see the picture of the real woman you love in a fancy frame right by your bed? You'd think he could just put it away when Karen came over, but no. He never put that picture away. As if he was afraid Pam would disappear if he couldn't see her at all times.
The only time I ever saw him put it away was for the party we threw here near last Christmas. But of course, that was alright - Pam was already here. And he couldn't have his co-workers, let alone Pam herself, to see that picture.
"Unless that's not good for you? We were only going to watch a movie or something together."
"No, that works fine for me. I'm getting to bed early tonight - job hunting in the morning."
I could practically see Jim smirking and rolling his eyes at that one. That's okay, I was too.
Jim ran down the stairs, sliding his fingers through his fancy new hair do that nearly gave me a heart attack when I first saw it. "Well?"
"I change my mind, you still look like a pansy with the blue."
I laugh, seeing how important this is to him. It's almost endearing. You know, if I actually found things like this endearing. Maybe I shouldn't tease him. I think I'll let up, just for tonight. "You look great, buddy. Now go get your girl."
He looked in alarm at the clock, then crammed his big foot in to my shoe the rest of the way. He almost seemed like he didn't know what to do next. Okay, forget about the letting up. This was pure gold.
I stand up, walk over to him, then put my arm around his shoulders. "My God, am I seeing Jim Halpert...nervous? For a date? You took out an adorable cheerleader. You took out beautiful Karen. Within the span of little over one year. And now you're nervous? You've known Pam for years!"
Jim bit his lower lip, staring at the door that he was supposed to be walking out of. "This is really important to me, Mark. What if I screw it up? After all the hell we both went through...what if it's for nothing?"
He was truly worried. Maybe even scared. His big hands were shaking and clammy. "Hey, you'll be alright. Pam didn't call off her wedding for nothing. Obviously, she was sure. You didn't break it off with Karen and walk out of a great job offer because you weren't so sure. You both know what you're doing. So go get her, Jim. Stop procrastinating."
Jim nodded, then walked to the door. "Thanks Mark." With one last glance back at me, he left.
I've never felt so proud of my boy, all grown up. With a snort, I jump back on the couch with another cold drink in my hand and continue watching my show.
To celebrate Jim waking up from his love coma, I decide that job hunting can wait. Why the rush? I want the details of Jim's little date tomorrow morning, not going for interviews.
There we go, now I'm completely relaxed.