Last night I had an extended convo with The Dandy about fashion stuff – I told him I hope to take my wardrobe in a more androgynous/masc direction at some point and I’ll be wanting his guidance so I don’t accidentally end up looking like a scene kid or whatever. My tastes run a bit juvenile (perhaps because I spent a long time ignoring my nonbinary-ness, so in a way it’s like I’m in my 40s but my inner dude is only 19 or so) and I don’t wanna be an obvious middle-aged person looking like they’re trying to be a teenager. I want to maintain a bit of a goth/alternative edge to my look, but in a sophisticated way.
The Dandy had lots of great style advice, so that part was cool. And we got on the subject of vests (waistcoats, I mean, not like sweater vests) and he said that the fit on those is really, really hard to get right. Well, hilariously (considering our bodies are otherwise incredibly different) we have the same chest measurement. And he owns at least one vest. So I asked if I could try his on and see how it looked on me. He said okay and I excitedly bounced up from my bed to head into his room.
At which point The Dandy whispered to himself – while I was no more than three feet away from him, mind you – “ugh, I don’t want to have to dig around for all this stuff…” or something like that.
And I just fucking hate this shit so much. How is he so unclear on the difference between speaking and thinking? (I’m quite sure he does this whispering thing by accident, not to be passive-aggressive; he mutters to himself in the shower, too.) I already called him out before on whispering about me while I’m standing right fucking there. Like dude if you can feel your mouth moving, it probably means you’re not just having your thoughts quietly inside your head. Maybe make a point of paying attention to that.
Anyway, this time around I told him “first of all, when you whisper about me when I’m standing right here, I can hear you. Secondly, all you had to do was say ‘yes, but not right now.'”
The Dandy said “I mean…yeah.” Meaning “yeah, I would indeed let you try on my vest but I’d rather it not be right this minute.” But I made a point of standing there looking at him until he actually said it with his words.
And then – sarcastically, in spite of myself – I was like “There you go! Look at you, using your adult voice.” And I went back to my room and shut the door.
Today over dinner I accidentally opened up the topic of politics or…financial systems or something. My FB feed gets a lot of memes running across it that talk about how capitalism is a terrible system and responsible for basically all our problems as a society. Strictly speaking, I don’t necessarily know the official definition of capitalism. But from reading all these memes I kind of get the gist of things, I think?
The Dandy, conversely, is big into history and politics and stuff, and knows exactly what capitalism is. But as someone who’s never been poor, he seems to only see the good side of stuff and not the aspects that the memes highlight.
Or, hey, maybe the memes have the definition of capitalism wrong, and if I relayed the memes to The Dandy, he could explain why they’re not accurate and it’s actually X, Y, or Z that’s causing the bad things, not capitalism per se. Except he won’t let me fucking talk.
I told him an anecdote tonight about a shitty policy my old office job had, and said “this is why capitalism is a shitty system” (because that’s the kind of thing the memes said). “When the expectation is that everyone needs to work in order to earn the right to be alive, it’s -“
And The Dandy interrupted me to say “that’s not capitalism, that’s a decision the company chose to make.”
I wanted to say that if all of society is skewed in this direction of believing that nobody’s ever allowed to get things for free – that everything needs to be earned – then yeah, it is capitalism’s fault, even if the government didn’t make the company implement that policy per se. I wanted to ask “wait, so does ‘capitalism’ mean that the government forces everyone to have a particular attitude toward money at all times? I thought it was more of just a…thing that most people decided to do, and the fact that most people are doing it means you can’t really opt out.”
But I couldn’t say any of that because The Dandy had a whole shitload of words to volley at me and he would not be stopped. I can’t remember what-all he said. Mostly stuff too technical for me to understand, and when I tried to ask for clarification, he steamrolled over me. Several times, it sounded to me like he’d misunderstood what I’d been trying to say and was speechifying at me based on a totally false premise, and I was like “but I’m not saying -” and he steamrolled over me.
Finally I snapped “this is not a conversation. In a conversation, we both get to talk. It goes: you say a thing, and I listen to that and respond, and then you listen to that and respond. How has nobody taught you this by now?” And I headed to my room.
The Dandy called out “I’m sorry for having stuff to say!” and the great tragedy of my life is that he didn’t mean it sincerely. It was one of those bitter/sarcastic fake apology things.
But yes, he fucking should be sorry for lecturing at me and not letting me get a word in edgewise. He was speechifying about economic systems on a level that’s way too advanced for me and I didn’t understand any of it! He was misinterpreting stuff I’d said and scream-lecturing at me based on his misinterpretation, not letting me explain what I’d actually meant! What the fuck is the point of any of that? Not for us to have an actual, mutually fulfilling conversation. Not even to genuinely teach me anything. He just seems to have this compulsive need to spew mouth-sounds at someone for its own sake. I hate it.
And btw, as soon as I realized I’d just accidentally mentioned capitalism, I put up my hands in a warding-off gesture and said “I don’t want to get into a whole big thing about this” because I know that mentioning anything politics- or history-adjacent will trigger The Dandy’s mouth-diarrhea. Early on in the speechifying – when he hadn’t yet gained enough volume and momentum to drown me out – I pointedly said “let’s talk about something else.” But he kept going.
And this is what drives me mad about him – this double standard. I actually listen to his wishes and will do – or not do – a thing if he asks. But for some reason he’s too chickenshit to ask – even though I’ve never penalized him in any way for being upfront with me.
Meanwhile, I tell him exactly what I want and it makes no difference.
Next time he won’t shut up and I’m tired of it, I think I’ll shut my eyes and whisper “stop it stop it stop it stop it…” the entire time he’s talking. Audibly, right in front of him. That’s how grown-ups deal with this sort of situation, right? 🙄