I remembered some things about The Pedant’s recent visit that I meant to chronicle but didn’t.
Before we went out to the bar, I heard him brushing his teeth. I was absurdly pleased by the idea that he was using the toothbrush I unwrapped for him last time around – I’d like to be on a “he keeps a toothbrush at my apartment” basis with him – but it turns out he’d brought one from home. Perhaps he forgot about the one he has here. I didn’t say anything because I don’t want to look like I’m pushing too hard for domesticity (although with his autism he might not get spooked by stuff like that the way neurotypical guys can; he might see the toothbrush thing as practical and devoid of any symbolism).
To an extent, I’m getting sick of cooking for the two of us. I don’t especially like cooking and I doubt I’m any better at it than The Pedant is, and anyway he’s here often enough that he feels more like a fixture than a “guest’ per se. Plus he always hints around that he’s hungry by saying stuff like “you should get some breakfast going” and this makes me feel a tiny bit like I’m being bossed around. So when The Pedant hinted around about breakfast on this visit, I said “Feel free to show off your own eggsmanship – my fridge is your fridge.” He replied by warning me that he almost always burns omelettes – either he gets the temperature wrong or he cooks them too long. It’s unclear to me whether he was actually just giving me information, or trying to get out of cooking. I told him I suck at omelettes, too – I don’t do official “omelettes” where it’s a perfect folded-over blanket of egg. I just do scrambled eggs and haphazardly mix in a bunch of grated cheese. The Pedant agreed that this was a good policy, but made no move to get up. So, I made breakfast. Again.
At one point I was telling him that my friend The Social Worker is interested in us getting a place together in order to save money, and that I’m seriously considering this. I said the idea makes me feel like a bit of a failure, though – like I’m regressing (in my head, roommates are for your late teens to mid-twenties. When you’re a grownup, you live on your own – it’s a whole rite-of-passage thing). The Pedant said it’s totally not regression, it’s me taking a perfectly rational step to be able to have more discretionary income to play with. He said just about everyone he knows – a wide range of ages and careers – lives with a roommate*. The Pedant is really very sweet and supportive in his own subtle way. ❤
I marvelled that The Social Worker is willing to secure us a place based entirely on his credentials if necessary (him having a high-paying job in the financial sector and me…not) and be the only one on the lease, which would put him on the hook if I fucked up on rent (which I wouldn’t, though). The Pedant dismissed my incredulity and said “He must realize that you’re not psychologically capable of screwing over a friend like that.” Which…wow. I guess The Pedant has picked up on how important my trustworthiness and integrity are to me. He may not go on big mushy tangents about how sweet and cute and sexy and smart I am, but this offhanded compliment of his is a hundred times better. It sounds like he has rock-solid faith in me as a human being. That’s…huge.
…And yes, you’d think his willingness to let me tie him up would be an unspoken statement of trust, but a lot of guys are too naive/stupid/horny to really think that decision through so I didn’t put a lot of stock in it. I’ve had subs I was talking to online want to come over for a bondage session when we’d never even met in person before. No preamble, no coffee-in-a-neutral-place first, just “hello, possibly unbalanced stranger, I am at your place of residence. Please commence with totally immobilizing me.” So hearing an expression of faith from The Pedant in actual words meant a lot.
At one point he mentioned that he heals weirdly slowly, and showed me a scar on his hand that had come from practically just a scratch. I know his sister has celiac and I know celiac is hereditary, so I told him to go off gluten and see if that improves things (it did for me!). The Pedant said “Well, that’s not going to affect pre-existing scars.” I said it actually might, and when he opened his mouth to protest, I shot him a pointed look and said “Trust me.” The Pedant knows what that look and phrase mean by now: they mean “I am speaking from personal experience.” And he knows to shut up accordingly, which is nice. Anyway, I told him how I wiped out on some ice one winter (back when I was still eating gluten) and I damaged my knee, which was ouchy and pins-and-needles-y for five years. Then I figured out about my gluten issues and changed my diet and one day I realized my knee had full sensation again. So yes, if you have celiac, old injuries can be at least partially fixed if you go off gluten.
The Pedant is prone to making confident declarations (often based on nothing more than a hunch) and seems like he’d be a classic mansplainer, but in fact he does know when to shut up and listen, and when I tell him things, he believes me. I’m glad I found that out. I wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t started getting bold enough to call him out.
Speaking of calling out: when I went to take a post-sex shower, I looked in the mirror and went “Ha ha, your ear-print is still there!” – I was surprised because he’d gotten up from lying on my chest at least ten minutes before. The Pedant said from the other room, “it’ll fade with time” and I poked my head out the bathroom door to make eye contact, and I said “Yes, I know how human skin works.” He was not at all perturbed by my snark; he even seemed vaguely intrigued by it. Note to self: keep challenging The Pedant.
Later, he was telling me some anecdote about being at Ikea with a friend, and slipped in the unrelated fact that they were eating meatballs that may or may not have been made of horse (this is a recurring joke of his. Apparently in Europe it’s pretty common to eat horse meat, and Ikea is Swedish, so…). When his anecdote was done, I came up to him and said, “One question remains: were the horse meatballs tasty? Yea or neigh?” and he got a totally smitten look on his face and rolled his eyes and kissed me. And, again, The Pedant isn’t prone to saying mushy things to me the way many lovers might, but his expression was totally and unmistakably OMG you’re so adorable and I’m so into you right now that it just about made me melt.
I elicited the same look again later. We were sitting around on my bed (I think this was after the FeelingsTalk) and I suddenly announced, “I’m gonna start calling you Yoko.”
“Why?” The Pedant asked – he had no idea where I was going with this.
“Because this room used to have beetles and you vanquished them!**” I said, and The Pedant gave me a huge mushy grin and facepalmed.
Oh, and as for the sodas I’d bought: he refused one at the beginning of the visit, and when I asked him at dinner the first night if he wanted a beverage, he said no, he was fine. But finally when he was getting ready to leave he asked me if I had any ice cream bars left and I said “Yeah, but also there are beverages in the fridge if you’d rather get your sugar fix that way.”
“Ooooh! What do you have?” he asked.
“Ummmm cream soda, mandarin, banana, and pineapple.”
“Wait – you don’t drink that stuff,” The Pedant realized, belatedly. “So why…?”
“Because I knew you’d be coming over,” I said, and he was all d’awwwwww.
So he finally noticed my nice gesture, after all.
Overall, though, I think his reaction to my “yea or neigh” joke was one of my favourite parts of the visit. It was such a tender, relationshippy little moment. I’m not sure he’s ever blatantly kissed me for being adorable before. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him look at me with that smitten expression before. It was just…good. And the little nose-rub in the middle of the goodbye kisses felt similarly couple-y and awesome.
*He also said that when he moves out of his parents’ place he’ll require his own apartment because his “me-time” is too important to him. Um yeah, Pedant, me too, which is another reason the roommate idea is freaking me out. Does he think he’s a special snowflake for liking to be alone? From what I can tell I’m actually way more of a hermit than he is.
**My bedroom carpet, pre-tidying, was infested with a bunch of teeny-tiny beetles. And also teeny-tiny worms, which I believe are probably the larval state of said beetles. But The Pedant vacuumed them all up during the Big Cleanup.