by the way

I looked at an apartment today that I think I want.

Cons:

  • Weird-shaped rooms. Like, the living room isn’t even square, it slants.
  • Not a ton of closet space, unless I was too anxious to see straight, which is a thing that happens. One of the closets is wedge shaped, btw – deep on the left side and shallow on the right because of how the wall slants. It’s suboptimal but I can live with it.
  • No bigger than my current place, which is a shame – I’m totally itching for more room. Not the end of the world though, especially since I plan on getting rid of a lot of stuff.
  • More expensive than my current place, but everything comparable to my current place will be.

Pros:

  • I didn’t have an appointment to view it. I was actually just walking through the neighbourhood writing down info on every apartment building, and the super happened to see me and invited me in to see what they had. It bodes well for me that the super notices when something might need doing and does it.
  • Super says he and his wife have been there since 1990.
  • They say they’ve never had bedbugs in the building, and bedbugregistry.com appears to agree.
  • The lobby is well-kept and has many healthy plants in it. The halls are clean.
  • It’s in one of the neighbourhoods I specifically want to live in. I’ll be closer to almost every model gig I ever have.
  • The building was super quiet.
  • There’s this weird vestibule on the way to the kitchen – a little square too small to count as a room – that seems like the perfect place to put the cats’ litterbox and bowls. I’m really psyched to have a place for cat stuff that doesn’t get in my way! No more litterbox taking up the whole bathroom! No more tripping over bowls in the kitchen!

The wife-part of the superintendent couple said she’d run out of hard copy applications so she took my email address to send me one that way. That was hours ago and I haven’t gotten anything. I have since stumbled across the ad for the place on viewit.ca and there’s an email link so I emailed a friendly prompt (in case she misread my handwriting or whatever – now she can just click Reply to send me the thing).

It’s a bit weird that it’s almost the end of the month and the place hasn’t been snapped up. I bet the weird slanty rooms put people off. Their loss will hopefully be my gain.

Incidentally, the lady asked what I do for a living and I told her I’m an art model (yeah, I’m stupid and don’t learn) and she, too, was like “Oh, what kind of art do you teach?” Must be a language barrier thing. I should totally just tell people I’m a teaching assistant. It’s true-ish and would neatly bypass the naked aspect of my job.

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Did I do it wrong?

Looking for opinions from people not on the autism spectrum here (or those who are but have better insight into what neurotypical people like, I guess). The post is long and begins with a bunch of context. If you wanna cut to the chase, scroll down to the line of asterisks and read from there.

I’ve wondered if I might be on the autism spectrum ever since I went on a date with a guy diagnosed with Asperger’s who claimed he could totally sense one of his own. At first I thought that was just a line to try to endear me to him – establish an us-against-them vibe or whatever – but I have since read so many things about autism that hit home for me that…yeah.

One big autism thing that resonates with me is that apparently it’s common for people to find a person on the spectrum to be rude and the autistic person can’t understand why. In my case I understand why in a…technical sense? But I don’t, like, get it.

People seem to really want a cursory “how are you” at the beginning of every conversation, even if the two of you are strangers and you can’t possibly give a shit how the other one is, so I’ve forced myself to make a habit of that. Personally I dislike fakeness and the “how are you” thing often just feels like a way of softening someone up before asking something of them, but it’s what most people want so fine.

The other big thing people seem to expect as a matter of course is that you’ll remember details about them and follow up unprompted. “How was your vacation?” “Did you end up adopting that puppy?” “Where did you and Bob end up going to dinner?”

I do like it when someone does this with me. But it’s not, like, a requirement at all. I can’t remember a time when I started a conversation with a loved one and waited for them to say “so how’d the thing go?” and got mad when they didn’t; if anything I’m surprised when someone does remember details like that. I figure we’re each the hero of our own story and I can’t expect people to recall every little thing that happens to the side characters. If I want someone to know a thing about my life, I just tell them. I don’t resent this or even consciously think “Oh, they must have forgotten that my job interview was on Tuesday, I guess I have to remind them.” I just go “hey guess what? I think my job interview went well!”

On the flip side, I have a shitty time remembering things about other people and even when I do, it often doesn’t occur to me to ask about the things. I’m actively trying to develop the habit but it doesn’t seem to stick. I care about the people in my life, and if one of them tells me “the test came back positive” or “I got approved!” I’ll completely be sad for them or thrilled for them and support them as best I can. But usually they’ll have to tell me that a happy or sad thing happened.

Anyway. The Dandy has said that he never felt supported in past relationships, so automatically I started feeling nervous because I have a known habit of forgetting to ask people about their shit and with my anxiety etc I often need a lot of support, myself, and my partners have sometimes felt that I was kind of a pit of neediness and didn’t give much back.

Today The Dandy went to the funeral of a family friend. I rallied all of my limited focus and managed to remember to text him last night saying I was thinking of him, to let me know how the funeral went, and that if he needed snuggles after he could totally come over.

He never replied, nor has he replied to my text today asking how he’s doing. He often lets texts go unanswered (which I hate, btw; I like more contact from a partner than he gives me) so I don’t know if he’s distraught or just being his normal self.

Meanwhile, I ended up doing some hardcore apartment recon today – including looking at two places – and I didn’t have anyone else to come with me and give a second opinion on the places and I feel totally lost and alone and scared. This is a huge decision and I’m afraid I’ll fuck it up. And I really want to tell The Dandy all about my day and ask him for his opinions on a bunch of stuff but I’m afraid it’ll come off like “yeah so I know your friend just died but LET’S TALK ALL ABOUT MY THING NOW.” I’m fairly sure The Dandy wasn’t close with this guy – his parents were and he was just expected to attend the funeral to support them – but I just don’t know. So I haven’t said anything because I’m trying so hard to avoid being the constant-crisis, oblivious, attention-sucking girlfriend. But it’s hard.

**********

But here’s a fun coincidence – when I got home from all the apartment-hunting, Mine texted me saying he wanted to talk to me. And what he wanted to talk to me about is that he feels I’ve been ignoring his problems lately and obsessing over my own.

Mine’s mom has had several heart attacks over the past couple of years. She had her latest one at the end of January, at which time Mine told me about it and said it had been a terrible week and he just wished he could be in my arms. I sympathized and sent him virtual hugs. The next day – trying to stay vigilant and do that follow-up thing people like – I texted that I was thinking of him and hoping he and his mom were doing okay. He thanked me and said the doctors were running a bunch of tests (maybe I was supposed to say something here?). Two days later he said “I wish you were here” and I sent back a heart.

Later that same day, shit started falling apart at my gallery job. The boss was being pissy with me over my anxiety symptoms (which she interpreted as laziness and/or stupidity, as most people do) and I was feeling like “oh nooooo I’m fucking everything up again and I will never be able to live a normal life or hold down a normal job” and I began a fairly involved, two-day text conversation with Mine in which I angsted about this and debated whether I should quit the job while I was ahead, or hold out on the off chance that I could avoid fucking up a thousand more times and getting fired. Mine listened and offered well-considered advice.

He also asked me how things were going outside of work and I told him how I’d just shelled out $700 to fix the wall that I water-damaged, I’m still seeking a new place to live because my psychotic neighbour bullies and terrifies me, and while technically I was approved for disability benefits back in mid-December, I still haven’t gotten anything in the mail (I called them and they said they don’t even have a decision on file yet and it can take a couple months) so I’m sitting here in this horrible limbo of not knowing whether I’ll be financially secure during my summer slow season or not. We talked about that for a while, too.

A couple days later I asked him if he could help me out sometime with learning how to properly clean my house. Nobody ever taught me how so when I do clean, I always feel like a giant faker/impostor. I just can’t shake the feeling that I’m doing it wrong. I was hoping whenever I saw Mine next he could either clean while I watched or vice versa and I could get a feeling for what normal people do.

He did not respond to this at all. Over a week later he texted “Hey, I’m sorry I haven’t been around.” He does this a lot – vanishes for a while, even when we’re in mid-conversation. I responded by asking him how his mom has been, just in case he fell silent this time because of horrible developments with her health. He said things were a little rough for a while. That was a couple of days ago. Admittedly at this point I got distracted or something and forgot to reply, so today he texted asking me how I’m doing.

And from there we segued into him telling me he feels like I’ve been focusing on my own problems more than his and I honestly can’t tell if that’s fair or not.

Like yeah, we talked about my stuff over the past while more than we talked about his. But what the fuck am I even supposed to say about his mom’s heart attack other than “Oh that really sucks/I hope she’s okay/I’m thinking of you”? Most of the shit I’m going through is stuff I can do something about and need advice on, so yeah, it involved big talks. And I did ask about his mom a couple of times without prompting! And aside from not responding to “it’s been kinda rough” I never ever ignored any statement of his about how difficult things were for him or how sad he was! And if he needed even more “oh that sucks/I’m thinking of you/I hope she’s okay” he could have prompted it by just telling me again that he was having a rough day or whatever!

Just, like…I don’t wanna sound like an asshole here but how much “Oh you poor baby, there there” am I supposed to be doling out? For real, what’s the quota? Should I have been saying it every day? Every two days? Maybe it’s less about intervals and more about making sure I never ever mention how I’m doing without asking him how he’s doing? I honestly don’t know. I kind of feel like he’s being unfair to me here – at the very least he could have told me he needed more attention – but I don’t know. I so often fuck up and make the normals angry with me without understanding why. Maybe this is one of those times when any normal person would have understood how to behave but I just…didn’t.

I expressed some of this confusion to Mine (more politely though). I apologized a bunch for making him feel neglected and explained my thing of being terrible at remembering to follow up with people’s stuff and told him that I do try. He admitted that he should have told me what he needed and said he understands about my weird blank spot with follow-ups. Although in retrospect I realize he still didn’t tell me what he actually needed from me in order not to have felt neglected.

He said that he needs to take some time to mull over our relationship. At which point I mentioned that by the way, his habit of dropping off the face of the earth for weeks at a time kinda drives me crazy, but thank you (sincerely) for at least giving me a heads up this time. But yeah, regular contact (no matter how minor) is a big part of me feeling loved, and his inconsistency in that regard is the main thing keeping me from feeling closer to him. He said he knows this and he apologized. And I guess now we’re just not gonna talk for a while and maybe one or both of us will decide to break up in a more final way than we already did when we agreed he was no longer my sub.

But…yeah. Was I actually that neglectful and selfish or was Mine expecting an absurd amount of attention? If he wanted me to talk about the thing with his mom for as many paragraphs as I talked about whether or not to quit my job, what the fuck was I even supposed to say? How do I fill in that much space? I mean I guess I could have been all “oh, what treatments is she getting?” blah blah blah but I thought talking about his mom’s chest being cracked open and rummaged around in (or the future possibility of it) might be upsetting to him so I tried to just express sympathy and let him talk about shit to whatever depth he needed to. Did I do it wrong? Seriously asking.

 

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Sugar

So I’m still apartment hunting and rental costs in my city are even worse than I thought. Most bachelor apartments cost like $200 a month more than the one-bedroom I’m currently in! That’s gonna pinch me during my busier work seasons and kill me in the summer.

In other news, tonight I hung out with a guy I’ve mentioned before who I was interested in having as a play partner but then he offered to pay me and I was like “…Or we could do that, too.” Turns out he’s the kind of guy who pops up out of the blue only to get his itch scratched, which makes me feel like a service provider anyway, so it works out. I do genuinely find him attractive and for the most part have fun during our sessions, although I get him off every time and he totes hasn’t even tried to reciprocate so there’s another good reason to pay me.

Anyway. I’m more and more drawn to the idea of sugaring, lately. Just finding one guy who I genuinely like, who wants physical affection from someone on a regular basis without a lot of drama or strings. Many guys have told me that I have a really soothing touch/give a good massage/seem to know just how to touch them, and I know I’m good at making a person feel wanted. I figure a night or two of fucking a week and I could get most of my rent paid.

The thing is, sugar daddies overwhelmingly seem to want some 19 year old ingenue looking for help with school. I seem to attract men okay in general but that particular demographic might be a tough one to pitch to. 😛

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Sapiosexy!

The Dandy, if I haven’t mentioned it before, is wicked smart and knows things about a broad range of topics. I find this ludicrously hot. Especially because he doesn’t lecture or act condescending or anything – he never thinks it’s stupid that I don’t know a thing. He’s just jazzed about sharing the stuff he knows, and he explains it in a way I can understand.

One time, after I’d begun to realize just how smart he is, I told The Dandy how a lot of people don’t get my sense of humour, and how I said probably the wittiest thing I’ll ever say one time and nobody picked up on it and when I tried to brag about the witty remark to other people later on, they didn’t get it, either. The Dandy asked me what the witty thing was. I told him I’d been on a roll of making terrible eyeball puns and I capped it off by saying “Heh heh, just a little vitreous humour there, folks.” The Dandy laughed and said “the liquid inside people’s eyes!” and yup, that’s what vitreous humour is. He got it. He’s the only one who ever got it out of like ten people I told it to. 😀

It appears that I hold some intelligence Easter eggs for him, too. One time – a propos of nothing, I think, just making conversation – The Dandy told me that there’s a thing that can happen where twins get mashed into a single person in the womb. Not conjoined twins but one person, and that person will have different DNA in different parts of their body. I nodded and said “chimerism” and he seemed delighted that I knew that word.

I’m glad that I can hold my own with him at least a little on the intellectual front.

Related: the situation with my neighbours is getting ridiculous and it feels like they’re eavesdropping on me all the time just waiting for me to do something they can bitch about. As such, I recently told The Dandy that I’d really like to get a good pounding where I don’t have to worry about being quiet, so if he had a time he could host, please let me know. He volunteered a time when he was free and Dandette would be away. Perfect. Anyway, we both enjoy horrible puns so I texted him referring to this plan as “doing a little astronomy” because he’ll be studying my heavenly body and there may well be a big bang. He said “isn’t the big bang cosmology? It’ll be a night of interdisciplinary studies.” I said I’d be thoroughly “Galilei’d” and added that I very much enjoy “a night of interdisciplinary studies” as a euphemism for sex. In fact I think I’ll use it in future. Maybe it will become a “thing” for us.

 

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…but on a catty note…

I always found The Pedant just extraordinarily hot, which is why I put up with the amount of shit from him that I did. He was a vaguely dangerous-looking goth boy of the sort that I’ve always lusted after but who rarely – if ever – wanted me back, usually because I am neither goth nor dangerous-looking. But The Pedant did want me. He was a sinewy, wolfishly gorgeous, high-cheekboned man with long hair and amazing outfits, and I got to peel those outfits off him and fuck the shit out of him and it never stopped feeling validating.

But in the past year or two he’s started going seriously bald – his hairline was receding when I met him but now it’s receded even more and the whole top of his hair has thinned way out to where I can see the ghost of male-pattern baldness underneath (and dude has a huge noggin – he used to get his turtlenecks custom made because a storebought one the right size for his body wouldn’t go over his gigantic melon head – so his very receded hairline leaves nothing to break up the vast, domed expanse of his forehead). And he’s gained weight. Once upon a time he used to be heavier, but it was distributed all over so he just looked pleasingly solid. Then he lost weight for a while and his body was all slender and tight. Now he’s still thin all over except for a bulbous little middle-aged paunch that strains the bottom few buttons on his shirts. I don’t even mind a guy having a belly – The Dandy has quite a lot of extra weight on him and so did The Bunny – but The Pedant carries his weight in a very “suburban middle-management dude who’s given up on life” kind of way, and what originally attracted me to him was that he looked like the antithesis of all of that. He was otherworldly. Now he’s just some paunchy security guard.

If he had still been making me happy, his changed appearance barely would have registered with me. But he’d stopped doing all the things I liked several months before we broke up, and he was no longer the pretty shiny thing I’d once fetishized, so it’s just as well he dropped the hammer. It frees me from a whole huge dilemma I would inevitably have had, wanting to preserve the relationship because we had all that history together and he was almost what I wanted, but at the same time not feeling happy with him or even attracted to him anymore.

It also gives me a warm glow of schadenfreude to imagine that perhaps other women will be put off by his prematurely middle-aged appearance, too, and he won’t have as much luck getting laid as he used to. I want to be the last woman ever to dote on him and call him beautiful. And I want him to be painfully aware of this and to realize that he fucked up by letting me go.

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Then again…

I also get the feeling that The Pedant was afraid of commitment. Probably he sees relationships as a series of obligations (which they kind of are, but ideally there’s also so much good that it balances out).

We had a while – last summer or something – where he was being really great at giving me what I needed and I was just feeling absolutely over the moon for him as a result. I was so bursting with love for him that I wrote him mushy letters and painted him a wee piece of art that was heart-themed. And I think it was pretty soon after that that things started falling to shit – that the sweet things he used to do started falling by the wayside. It was either shortly after my big obvious gestures of love or shortly after I wrote him the manual outlining the stuff he did that I liked and telling him that as long as he did those things, I’d be happy with him.

And then during the whole argument over the fucking keys and me wanting him to try to be on time and whatnot, I clearly expressed to him that I was in the relationship for the long haul so I was willing to wait a few years for him to get his lateness problem in order. I just wanted him to start working on it a little bit at a time, was all.

So part of me thinks he began to feel distant and then left because I loved him and made it clear I wanted things to go long term (like, officially, not just a “hey let’s hang out and have sex” arrangement that just kinda doesn’t stop) and it freaked him out.

Which, good riddance I guess. I want a relationship at this point in my life, not an elaborately nonchalant ongoing fuckbuddy thing. Still though. The Pedant loved me; he didn’t run away when I told him I loved him; he told me he thought of me as his primary partner; he stuck around for five years; when we had issues he tried (except at the very end) to solve them and get us back on track. He clearly wanted a relationship with me, so it’s just so stupid that me being open that it was a relationship scared him away.

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Mourning person

Now that The Pedant and I have been split up a while and I’ve been processing everything, I’m able to articulate the thing that pisses me off about our breakup.

For our entire relationship, I knew on some level that he is essentially really, really selfish and that this was his motivation for just about everything he ever did. Our weekends of sex and sushi were awesome – I couldn’t help experiencing the sex and food as acts of love – but I suspected that really, he wasn’t thinking “I want to spend time with Cowgirl and make her happy through food and naked touching.” He was thinking “I like hanging out with Cowgirl. She sexes me really well. So I think I’ll go over there this weekend. Also I’m craving sushi so I’ll take her with me.” There’s still affection for me in there, mind you. I do believe he loved me. Just…in a weirdly self-centred way. We didn’t share our lives; he lived his life and let me tag along.

There have been many times that he’d told me that his work schedule was too hectic for him to able to see me for a while, but then I gleaned from Facebook that he’d gone to a concert (never the exact same day that I’d asked him over, so it could’ve been worse. But during a general time period where he claimed he would be too drained to socialize). There have been many times that his coming over was conditional, in some way, on a concert or clubbing event he wanted to attend – “I’m gonna see if this concert has any tickets still available at the door and if they don’t, I’ll come over” “there’s a thing I wanna go to in your neighbourhood tonight. I can come over after if you’d like.” It’s not like I expect a partner to make grueling sacrifices for me all the time but I mean…I don’t want to feel like a convenience or a backup plan! I want someone to want to see me, and to want this enough that they’ll happily make plans to come over just for that reason. Not because they’re in the neighbourhood or because there’s nothing else to do.

As I said, my time with The Pedant was usually filled with satisfying things and left me feeling happy and loved. But I was very, very careful never to ask him to go out of his way for me because subconsciously I knew that my internal framing of our relationship was probably inaccurate and I didn’t want my illusions shattered by asking for something and being rejected. The night my friendship with The Veteran imploded and I was afraid she would stalk me, I didn’t ask The Pedant (who knows legal stuff, is a trained security guard, and is generally unafraid of anything) to come over and keep me safe because I had a dreadful feeling that he would just be like “Nah, by the time I got there it would be late and I have to work in the morning.”

So there was this precarious balance where I could be happy in the relationship if I convinced myself that the things he did were for me and not just selfish – but in order to maintain that happiness I had to keep my expectations minimal and kind of shrink myself down so I didn’t take up too much room. If I asked too much of him I would eventually (or immediately, as it turns out) cross a line and then it would be pretty obvious just how little he was willing to do for me if it didn’t happen to coincide with what he wanted anyway.

But sometimes my anxiety makes me paranoid and skews my perceptions of things. And our relationship had been chugging along for around five years, and the few times that I told him there was something making me unhappy, he encouraged me to tell him the issue and he made changes. And in fact shortly before the breakup I told him I wasn’t happy and he paid so much lip service to the idea that we would totally sit down and talk it out, don’t worry, we’d fix things. And despite having told me before that he can’t stand dealing with anxiety in people, there were a few times that I texted him that I wasn’t doing so well brain-wise and he called me and talked me down. I hadn’t asked him to call me; he just did.* So I started thinking that maybe I hadn’t put enough faith in him; clearly my happiness was important to him and he wanted the relationship to run smoothly, right?

So I had the wacky, wacky hubris to ask him to use my spare keys I’d given him** to let himself in when he’s late, and to maybe try to sometime in the future not be hours late for every fucking plan we ever made. This was the first real change or sacrifice I’d ever asked of him. After five years with him I finally had the confidence to do that.

And he broke up with me over it. Getting keys cut and showing up on time was apparently too much for me to ask of him.

And I’m so fucking pissed off.

 

*But I realize in hindsight – almost exclusively during his commute home from work. And when he reached his front door he would sign off. So he was up for helping me with stuff, as long as there was almost nothing else he could be doing but staring off into space.

**Or to get new ones cut, since the keys he had were pink and he was embarrassed to have them on his keyring, which is how he always ended up forgetting them at home on days he was meant to come over. Whatever. The point is he was hours late all the time and I wanted to be able to go places and live my life during those times instead of sitting by the phone waiting for the “I’m here” text.

 

 

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