The charity event came and went. It was okay…about as fun as a loud, crowded room full of strangers can be for someone like me.
The day of the event, I texted The Bunny again asking what to wear (I’d asked him a few times and he never answered). He texted back “RopeGirl says anything from business casual to more dressy.” Business casual? Shit. If people were going to show up to this thing in slacks and long-sleeved t-shirts, the fancy cocktail dress I was tentatively planning on wearing would seem like overkill. I tried it on, anyway, thinking maybe I’d wear it regardless and just cop an attitude of “I’m fucking fabulous,” but it wasn’t flattering enough to warrant that level of insouciance. I mean, it was a perfectly fine dress, and it matched my hair, but it wasn’t doing my boobs any favours.
instead I opted to wear a plain black dress left over from an office holiday party back in my call centre days. The cut was maybe a little matronly on me, but it made my rack look nice and would probably look reasonably appropriate no matter how fancy or business-casual other people were. I wore the dress with a pair of sheer, black, back-seamed stockings (because The Bunny once told me that seeing me in stockings in public and with clothes overtop for a change would drive him crazy), plus my motorcycle boots and a simple necklace.
The Bunny, RopeGirl, her date and I were going to meet up at a particular intersection a bit before the event and grab a bite to eat. I was sitting on the bus playing a word game on my cell phone when someone got on and stood rather intrusively close to me. I thought “Seriously? The bus is has all kinds of free space and you’re gonna come over and stand practically on my foot?” and I worried that maybe this guy was some kind of weirdo hoping to make eye contact so he could hit on me or talk to me about god or the voices in his head, so I resolutely kept playing my game.
You probably see where this is going. I got some texts, and quit the game to read them:
Bunny: running late, I see. [new message] 😛 [new message] Look up.
For a split second I thought “Look up? Why would The Bunny think there was something noteworthy on the ceiling of my bus?” because I are slow in teh brain. Then it clicked that Mr. Intrusivepants was in fact The Bunny, whose route to our meeting place overlapped slightly with mine. D’oh. I looked up at him and said “you are such an ass.” He laughed at me a bunch for not having looked up at him sooner, and I’m not super angry about that or anything but I do wonder if it shows a certain amount of privilege. Women get approached by weird strangers way more often than men do; I bet lots of chicks would have avoided eye contact. Or maybe that’s just a me-thing, left over from when bullies in public school would sneak up behind me and then laugh uproariously at me when I sensed their presence and nervously glanced around. Bullying trained me to be stoic as all fuck; I think that’s partly why I’m such a good life model, actually.
The last time or two that I saw RopeGirl, she’d acted cordial but distant. For some reason, that day she was friendly; hugging me hello, engaging me in conversation, complimenting me on my outfit and tattoos, etc. Later in the evening she was even talking about us hanging out sometime. I took all of this as genuine; figured maybe I’d caught her on an off day before, or she’d been feeling weird about having “borrowed” The Bunny for a play session but has since gotten over it. I just sent her a friend request on FetLife and now my paranoid asshole brain is wondering if her bubbly demeanour was all an elaborate ruse – like maybe she was just faking it in order to make the evening go smoother.
The event was billed as a good opportunity to “network,” which makes no sense to me because it wasn’t aimed at people from any particular industry. When a bunch of random people with no common career goals talk to each other, it’s not networking, it’s just socializing. I mean I suppose I could have run into someone by complete chance who was looking for a life model, but come on. But that’s all moot anyway because The Bunny and I didn’t attempt to talk with anyone else. RopeGirl and her date apparently knew a few people, and introduced us, but The Bunny and I somehow never got drawn into the conversation and just kinda stayed on the outskirts.
There was music, and food – some of which I could even eat! – and a silent auction. I would say that most of the people present were at least a bit fancier-dressed than “business casual” – a lot of the women were in cocktail dresses and also heels. RopeGirl and I both admire interesting footwear, so we were periodically pointing out “shoe porn” to each other all night.
There were two obviously gay, completely gorgeous boys there together, and The Bunny dared me to go over and compliment their awesome outfits (“I would, but I’d probably blurt out ‘MAKE OUT WITH EACH OTHER WHILE I TAKE PICTURES’ by accident,” I joked). Throughout the course of the evening The Bunny would point out that these hot boys were nearby so I could ogle them, or I’d make some remark to him about what I’d do to them if they’d let me*. I love that we could have those kinds of interactions. And it’s not like he was tolerating my wandering gaze with a bunch of eye rolling like a sitcom wife; he really just didn’t seem to mind whatsoever. I think he was genuine when he said I should go up to them. I think if they weren’t gay he might have encouraged me to hit on them – for real. He simply doesn’t see my admiration of other men as diminishing my relationship with him. It’s lovely.
During all of this we of course did our usual skittish dance of public affection, in which he’d sometimes dart his hand over to give my back or thigh a jumpy little “skritch skritch skritch” and then retract it again just as fast, and I’d sometimes run my hand briefly over his back or hair but stop because he wasn’t necessarily seeming into it and I suddenly felt awkward. At one point I took his chin in my hand and went to kiss him, and he joked “But everyone will know [that we’re a couple]!” as he leaned in. Jackass.
But by the end of the night he’d loosened up and lost his skittish quality; we were touching or entwined almost constantly, and when at one point I was standing a step or two away from him and we were talking to RopeGirl, he casually reached around my waist and pulled me up against him. Later, we were listening to some guy make announcements over the sound system and The Bunny lightly stroked my bare back above the line of my dress…and totally noticed my stifled little gasp of pleasure, even though the room was loud and chaotic and I thought I was repressing my reactions pretty well. For a few minutes, then, we were totally in our own little bubble – him lightly and deliberately running his fingers over my skin, watching my face closely and with a trace of smugness; me carefully trying not to seem visibly aroused, but acknowledging with my eyes that his ministrations were affecting me. Soon after that we decided to leave (we both had places to be in the morning) and The Bunny took my hand and led me to the exit door so we wouldn’t get separated in the crowd.
There was more snuggling on the bus, too, and before he disembarked he went in for a second kiss goodbye because the first one apparently wasn’t enough. 😀
It seems so ridiculous how awkward the public affection is sometimes, though. I told The Bunny I love him, ferchrissakes. And he knows I’m big on snuggling, and don’t mind public displays of affection as long as it’s just closeness and not sloppy making out or anything. I’m not going to reject him if he holds my hand or puts his arm around me. Why, then, do we have these situations where he clearly wants to touch me but does it with weird little pokes and grabs like a ten year old with a crush?
In other news, today The Bunny and I were bantering via text and he called me a dickless freak of nature. This reference amused me greatly; in that moment I found him so adorable I wished I could pinch his cheeks. I texted “<3” and he responded “<3 you back” and then segued into other topics.
Now, to me, a heart emoticon is not a huge deal. I don’t necessarily use it to mean “I feel romantic love toward you.” It can mean “you’re awesome” or “that was hilarious” or “I’m sorry you’re going through something sad right now” or a host of other things. I’ve texted hearts to The Bunny a bunch of different times, even before telling him I loved him. Even before feeling that I loved him. They’re just a kind of punctuation I use with people I like.
The Bunny, though, has only used a heart emoticon with me once before – in the aftermath of our first (and only?) fight, in response to a heart from me, both of these emoticons meaning “Don’t worry, I still like you.” So, kind of extenuating circumstances, there; the kind of thing that might make a boy rise to the occasion. I’ve hearted him plenty of times since, to mean all manner of things, and he has not responded in kind. And also he’s not a big feelings-talker, so I don’t believe he’s ever even said “I like you” or “I am attracted to you.” I feel like todays “<3 you back” is kind of a big deal, even if he doesn’t mean love per se. He’s gradually opening up.
*Not what you’d think. Mostly, I wanted to paint or take pictures of them.