Being newly single always makes me antsy and fills me with self-doubt. I start believing that I’m totally weird – just completely damaged and idiosyncratic and fucked up – and sure, I’ve had people who somehow fell in love with me in spite of it all, but that was all a fluke. Obviously I’m never going to find another person who would be willing to put up with me.
These feelings are compounding double for me right about now. I mean, seriously…I have social anxiety, I get freaked out in crowds and hate going to unfamiliar places, I dislike calling people on the phone and I have a bunch of baroque dietary needs that make restaurant dining extremely difficult*. How the FUCK am I supposed to go on dates? Why would a date – who presumably doesn’t know me well enough yet to have seen my many sterling qualities – put up with all my limitations when he could just go out with someone normal instead? I know I have a lot of good things to offer someone but I don’t think those things are so obvious and upfront that they’ll necessarily cancel out my immediate and horrible downside.
I mean, fuck, the only kind of “first date” I really feel comfortable with is having coffee with someone, and only if we go to a certain chain (because it’s familiar and I like their decaf coffee) and only if it’s a branch of the chain where I’ve been before (so I don’t feel lost and freaked out). I’d be okay seeing a movie with someone, too, except that’s a lousy way to get to know someone and also I’d have to reveal a certain amount of my anxiety issues (I always have to use the washroom before seeing a movie, just to make absolutely sure I won’t have to pee during. And this pit stop has to be before we go into the theatre and stake our claim on some seats because it freaks me out trying to find my way back again. I need my movie partner to wait outside the bathroom for me).
And food, OMG food. Sushi places usually have things I can eat. Some restaurants carry a salad-with-grilled-chicken-on-top type deal that’s probably safe. If there’s an all day breakfast, I might be able to score an omelet. And that’s…basically it. That’s all that will work for me. Unless we go to a place that’s specifically gluten free, in which case half the time their shit has soy in it so I still can’t have it.
The Doll, as I’ve mentioned, has asked me out a second time. The plan is to go to a cafe that has board games, but he told me he’ll “research local eateries” as a backup plan in case the cafe is full (He’ll be meeting me right after work, so he will be in need of dinner). And my stomach went all wobbly with terror. I feel like I could get away with just ordering a beverage at the cafe, since the main focus there is playing the games. Nursing a beverage in a restaurant opposite someone eating a full meal? That tends to make the one with the meal uncomfortable. Not to mention it kinda sucks watching someone else enjoy food when you can’t.
I didn’t want to seem all bossy and shit, so I finally wrote The Doll back telling him that I have complicated dietary requirements and will eat before I leave the house – that way if appropriate food presents itself I might partake, and if it doesn’t I’ll still be fine. And I parenthetically mentioned what my issues actually are (well, the main ones anyway) and which dishes are usually okay for me so that if he’s super keen to accommodate me he has the tools.
Just…fuck. I like when someone else plans an outing. I actually hate doing research and figuring out logistics; I only do it out of necessity. My dream is to one day have a submissive boyfriend to whom I can teach my food needs and my food likes and he’ll actually understand them, and he’ll figure out places for us to go and I can relax because I trust him not to poison me. In the meantime, all I can do is eat before I leave the house, carry almonds and oranges in my purse, and hope the person I’m with doesn’t see me as some kind of food Nazi for not being able to kick back and enjoy a pizza like a normal person.
The Doll, at least, is lactose intolerant, which in theory will give him a certain amount of sympathy for my plight. He also writes articles for medical journals so maybe he’ll catch on to what “gluten free” entails faster than the average bear.
I hope the slight awkwardness between The Doll and I dissipates and we get to a point where we can talk comfortably and effortlessly – because once that happens I’ll bypass all this formal “dating” shit and just invite him to hang out at my place. That would make things much easier.
*I didn’t realize I had celiac disease until I was already dating Minx. So now I’m single and have full knowledge that I can’t go for pizza with someone, or go get an ice cream cone with them, or even eat wings in most places because they tend to have flour in the coating. Also my anxiety issues seem to be closing in on me and making social interaction harder than ever. Hence my being doubly self-doubtful now.