I am an anxious and paranoid person. It gets exponentially worse when I haven’t slept (which is a lot, lately). Like I actually start thinking shit like “my friends are probably only pretending to like me.”
The Pedant’s personality dovetails nicely with this paranoia in a few ways. Like he doesn’t ever tell me he cares about me using his actual words, so I’ll convince myself that all the wonderful gestures of caring he makes toward me are an elaborate ruse or I’m mistaken about his intent or something. And when he goes a while without contacting me (which is a fair bit), I sometimes wonder if it’s because he stopped liking me – or just found someone else he likes better. But he’s never given me an actual, concrete reason to doubt him, and so whenever I reach these panicked states I remind myself of this and talk myself off the ledge.
It’s been, let me see here…three weeks since The Pedant was here last (feels like longer…). I’m pretty sure he told me on two different occasions that he would let me know “soon” when he’d be free to hang out next, but then he didn’t. And I got freaked out wondering whether he’s not into me anymore and is maybe using the new job as an excuse not to see me. But I reminded myself that he’s being trained in a brand new job and trying to get his body accustomed to the night shift (which he mentioned isn’t going so well) and he’s a person who likes a lot of alone-time and has suddenly had most of it taken away. It’s normal and expected that he should want to spend his first days off decompressing at home rather than running over to have a bunch of sex with me. And also, we had this conversation via text the other day:
Me [following up on his claims that we’d hang out sometime this week]: So my week is rapidly filling up but I do have Friday free for the time being. Maybe Saturday, too. Next week is pretty open but this is of course subject to change. [Pause; new message] NB: often you’ll talk vaguely about getting together soon but don’t actually volunteer a concrete plan. I do not understand what this means. If I’m supposed to back off indefinitely until you make an offer, you have to tell me. Otherwise Imma push for what I want. 🙂 [The paranoid side of me is afraid my repeated promptings will get me dismissed as a needy pain in the ass high-maintenance chick.]
Pedant: Hey…My work schedule has been very busy and unpredictable, and I’m working from tomorrow through Sunday. I won’t have a proper day off until next week at the earliest.
[Goddammit. I forgot that The Pedant can’t see the question in something unless there’s a question mark. He missed that I was actually asking him what he means and how he wants me to behave. So let’s try this again:]
Me: Kk. And for future reference, if you ever say you’ll let me know your availability soon but days go by with no word from you…does that mean you forgot and need prompting, or that you don’t know your schedule yet so all I can do is wait? [Or that you don’t even wanna see me anymore so you’ll just be “working” every single damn day until I finally give up on you? 😛 Sssh, don’t say that part in your outside voice, just stick to the options that are most likely true.]
Pedant: It’ll usually mean the latter. My schedule will eventually be very predictable, but is still fluid while I’m new here.
So his schedule is all over the place and when he does get a day off he probably wants to spend it recuperating alone, for now. Deep breaths, Cowgirl. Everything’s okay.
But tonight my friend The Social Worker texted me and it went like this:
TSW: Guess who I just saw at my work?
Me: Barbra Streisand?
TSW: Better. Lol. He told me not to tell you but obviously my allegiances are with you. 😛
Me: Tell meeeeee!
TSW: The Pedant. I guess his job is security of my office tower.
Me: Why would he say not to tell me? Did he seriously say that?
TSW: What he actually said was “I’ll tell her.” Because I said I’d tell you I ran into him. Maybe he didn’t mean it to come out like that or I misinterpreted.
So of course my first thought is “OMG The Pedant is hiding something! What is he hiding?!?” but I can’t figure it out. He told me he has a night job as a security guard at a building downtown and that he’s been working a lot lately. The Social Worker works in a building downtown and saw The Pedant there at night, being a security guard. The time to lie would be if The Social Worker had run into The Pedant, like, at a nightclub on a night he’d told me he was working. As it is, I see no inconsistencies here.
TSW did say, in that same text conversation with me, “It was just weird, he didn’t seem to want to acknowledge he knew me. LOL. He was talking to some girls I work with.” With someone other than The Pedant, I would assume that was the issue: getting busted talking to women. But The Pedant and I are poly and he has no qualms about blatantly telling me all about women he wants to bang and exactly why he wants to bang them. Plus he was only talking to these women, not facefucking them. I don’t see him feeling a need to hide this from me. (As for why he wouldn’t want to acknowledge TSW: I’m guessing because he was talking to those women out of sexual/romantic interest and didn’t wanna be cockblocked? I could see this being in the realm of possibility. Or, he just didn’t recognize TSW at first. They’ve only met two or three times, two of those in dark nightclubs. If someone I didn’t think I knew kept making body language like he was trying to talk to me, I’d probably ignore it, too.).
Maybe the preemptive “I’ll tell her [that we bumped into each other]” was actually supposed to be so I don’t think he’s hiding anything from me – but The Pedant has no idea that I sometimes doubt him so I don’t think so. And really, he’s never shown himself to be a sneaky or manipulative person at all. He either says shit in a straightforward fashion, or doesn’t say it at all (probably because he’s afraid of being rejected or looking stupid, or doesn’t actually realize what his thoughts are to be able to articulate them). He does not – to the very best of my knowledge – deliberately say things that are untrue in order to achieve certain ends.
Someone please tell me more ways that this could be a harmless misunderstanding and not The Pedant being sneaky about something I haven’t figured out yet. My paranoid brain has pretty much every terrible possibility covered; who can suggest some good or at least harmless ones?