Had a nice little fire scare first thing this morning (well, first thing when I woke up, which was noon). Someone’s smoke alarm was blaring and I didn’t hear anyone scrambling around to make it stop (as usually happens when a smoke alarm goes off around here). When twenty minutes had gone by and it was still going off, I poked my head out my apartment door and the hallway was all smoky. So I freaked out, called 911, wrapped Bastardcat in a sheet and waited outside for the fire department.
The firefighters went up the stairs to try to figure out which apartment had the fire. After a minute or so, I cautiously followed them up…to find them talking to the dude from the top floor apartment. He was saying that he’d left something on the stove for too long. The firemen realized there was so much smoke it was making my other neighbour’s alarm go off, too – and that other neighbour wasn’t home. I’m not sure whether it was only the one alarm I was hearing for so long, or both. At any rate it still seems weird that I never heard any scrambling footsteps, especially since (as it turns out) the issue was happening right over my head. The guy upstairs comes off like a raging pothead and I kind of wonder if his reaction time is abnormally slow.
BUT ANYWAY. The whole experience left me a bit freaked – especially since it took me seriously seven or eight tries to successfully dial 911 on my Blackberry’s tiny little keys with my shaky hands. That is the stuff of nightmares for me, literally – I have a recurring dream where I’m desperately needing to call someone (the person and circumstance varies) and my fuckin’ giant hamfingers keep misdialling.
So I texted The Pedant (seeking comfort, of course) and told him that the Blackberry he gave me is extremely difficult to dial 911 on and that sucks. He of course texted back asking me what had happened, and after a brief exchange, he called me to say he was in the neighbourhood and he invited me to sushi. Even though we’re seeing each other on Thursday. So that was a nice surprise!
I decided that this would be an excellent time to discuss at least some of the stuff that’s been on my mind. In some ways I was hoping to do it post-coitally; I’d be making myself at least a little bit vulnerable with the stuff I was going to bring up, and it might have been nice to do so while being snuggled. But I also didn’t want happy sexy brain chemicals skewing The Pedant’s answers, so a neutral location seemed ideal. And so, once we were settled in and had our food in front of us, I said something like “Hey, so I remember when we were first seeing each other I asked what your public affection rules were if we bumped into each other at a club or something. And you said nothing too couple-y. But what exactly does that mean to you? Because we might have different ideas of what couples do.”
The Pedant was like “That’s a good point. I’ll have to think about that and get back to you.”
I said “Do the same rules apply if we’re out somewhere where we’re less likely to run into someone you know?”
The Pedant said…a whole bunch of things. I’m trying to remember now. He said that he doesn’t want to do the kinds of public-affectiony things he used to do in monogamous relationships; he wants to keep a distinction between poly and mono in that way. I was like “Why? Are you afraid that if you do all those old things, you’ll forget that you’re actually allowed to see other people?” He said yeah, a little bit, but also he didn’t want to look “coupled up” lest it wreck our chances with other people. I told him I don’t actually care about that; if I want to hit on someone who’s seen me kissing someone else, I’ll damn well hit on him anyway and explain that I’m poly (The Pedant looked surprised, like that option had never occurred to him…). He said that he’s not into prolonged public kissing or snuggling ever, under any circumstances, because he thinks it’s rude; I agreed with that. He said he’s never been too super-into walking around holding hands. And he asked why I was asking about this stuff.
Goddammit my brain gets all scrambled up when I’m nervous; I really want to remember what I said here in detail but I just don’t. Initiating this conversation was so nerve-wracking for me that I was pretty much floating outside my own body the whole time. I guess I must have said something about worrying sometimes that I’m some dirty little secret, because The Pedant assured me that I’m really not, at all. He said if I were actually a secret he’d never be seen in public with me period, and that in fact pretty much everyone at his recent birthday thing knows that we’re seeing each other – not that he made some big formal announcement or anything but he’s mentioned it in conversation at one point or another.
I told The Pedant that sometimes I’ve been publicly affectionate with him and felt like he kinda dodged me, which is why I worried that he was embarrassed to be seen with me or whatever. He protested, “Hey, that one time I was tired and I just leaned the wrong way!” I said yeah, I knew that, but there was that other time coming out of the park when I kissed him and he gave me the pat-pat-pat of that’s-nice-but-stop-now. The Pedant frowned and said he didn’t remember that, but he’s not in the habit of stopping someone from kissing him by patting their back with finality; he’d be more likely to just push their head. So, hmmm…maybe I was just overanalyzing and making something out of nothing.
I feel a lot better now for having that talk. And I can’t help noticing that The Pedant kept referring to us as “seeing each other,” not “screwing” or anything more crude and casual-sounding like that. Which may only be because I called it that and he’s following my lead, but still.
I did not take that opportunity to delve into whether The Pedant likes me or “likes-me likes me”. One big scary conversation was enough. And to a large extent it told me all I needed to know, anyway: I already knew he treats me well when we’re together, and now I know that he comports himself well when we’re not. And that any weirdness with public affection is just him being more reserved than I am in general.
Oh, also – our conversation wandered off to other topics, and later on I was ranting about guys using “…but dudes get stupid when we’re turned on!” as an excuse to be irresponsible with birth control. I said that’s bullshit and that guys are not nearly as sexually helpless as they pretend: if a guy is physically able to stop fucking someone when his mom walks in, clearly he does have control over his fucking and is therefore perfectly able to stop sex for long enough to put a condom on. The Pedant said that he could totally keep fucking someone even if his mom walked in (not that he’d be powerless not to, but that he’d be single-minded enough to keep going if he chose to, and not lose his erection like most guys probably would). I was like “how could you keep going with your mom there? Ugh!” and he said something like “Look in the mirror – you know the calibre of women I associate with.” Meaning: I’m so incredibly hot that even a kind of traumatic event wouldn’t dull his urge to fuck me. That’s one of the first compliments he’s given me in a while. I needed that.
Actually, he gave me a few more compliments during that lunch: when I told him that The Veteran saw me naked and still thought I looked way younger than my age, The Pedant said “You really do.” And at some later point he said he can’t understand anyone who’s not turned on by the idea of two people of their preferred sex fucking: “…I mean, you’re hot, [model] is hot…why wouldn’t I want to picture that?”
It was nice hearing him say complimentary things about me for a change. I mean, he still managed to ramble on about various other women’s hotness, too, but I felt secure enough that it didn’t bother me at all.
And – perhaps because the big discussion re: public affection had put my mind so much at ease and I was much more relaxed and unguarded with The Pedant than usual – we had some pretty awesome banter over the course of sushi, with each of us beaming “OMG you’re so adorable” smiles at the other. *Dreamy sigh.*
After lunch, The Pedant asked me what my plans were for the rest of the afternoon – meaning he wanted to spend it with me if I was free (which surprised me – all of today surprised me – because he’s slated to come over in a couple of days and I am given to understand that he likes to space our visits out a bit. I said I needed to pick some things up at Ikea, and he offered to help me. He said he’d have to go home right after that though because he had some things to do.
There’s more to this story (some pretty amazing things, actually) but I’ll put it in another post. 😀