Holyyyyyy shit things got weird with The Dandy.
Well, not with him. With his girlfriend. Whoops, I mean ex girlfriend. I keep forgetting to add the “ex” part. For real, when I talk to The Dandy I keep almost referring to Dandette as his partner or girlfriend or whatever. There are reasons for this.
That first time that I went to his place and we all ended up having dinner together was pleasant enough, although the two of them did give me a pretty couple-y vibe (despite having been broken up for a year and a half). I mentioned this and The Dandy conceded that he may essentially be in a relationship with her, still – albeit a sexless, poly one. But allegedly they were always poly (he never had any outside partners, and I’m not sure if she did, but they were poly at least in theory) and I kind of assumed she knew how to navigate this.
A while after that, The Dandy mentioned to Dandette in passing that I’ve been trying to figure out how to make a certain cosplay prop, and she offered to help me – she works as a prop maker for movies and tv shows, so she has lots of valuable knowledge to add to this. So the other night I went over there and we worked on the prop for a few hours while The Dandy cooked dinner, and then we all sat around eating and talking.
During this evening, Dandette let it drop that she and her boyfriend were in the process of breaking up. I think this had put her in a fragile and lonely mood, plus she was seeing The Dandy canoodle with someone else for the first time since the two of them split up. So I think The Dandy was suddenly seeming appealing to her in a way he did not when she was dating someone else and he was dating nobody. There was a certain amount of territorial pissing from her that I did not care for at all. A lot of the conversation that evening comprised her telling anecdotes about The Dandy in a sort of bragging, “look what a long history we have!” way. It came out in passing that the two of them hang around the house naked, still. Which weirded me out but then I figured what the hell, they’ve seen each other naked anyway and if they’re both comfy that way then why take pains to be prudish around each other all of a sudden? But in retrospect I’m thinking my first reaction was the correct one. It’s clear to me now that the two of them don’t have good boundaries with each other. I think clothing would be one good boundary to establish, to sort of underline the fact that they aren’t dating anymore.
Incidentally, in getting to know Dandette better I learned that:
- We both have depression and anxiety
- We both have speech impediments (albeit different ones, and no I don’t want to talk about mine)
- We’re both genderqueer to the point of having gone out in public as dudes, with dude-names and everything
- We have similar relationships with our moms
- She’s been planning (since before we met) to get the same haircut as me sometime soon
So that’s…interesting. Seems like The Dandy has a type.
Here’s the part of that night that I both regret and feel really pissed off about: I think I’d gotten up to get a glass of water or something and as I passed by The (seated) Dandy he put his arm around me and pulled me close and I stood there next to his chair like that for a bit. Dandette then was like “Me too!” and stood at his other side, and he either put his arm around her as well or she physically took his arm and wrapped it around her. And I thought, okay, they’re friends, this is not an inherently awful thing, and anyway she’s clearly processing some feelings about the fact that The Dandy and I are going out.
And so (stupid! Stupid!) I tried to demonstrate that I wasn’t a threat by laughingly suggesting we sandwich The Dandy’s head between our two sets of boobs (her tits were in his face anyway ’cause she’s short, so it was a pretty small leap to make). Lookit me, being all cool with Dandette being quasi-sexual with the guy I’m seeing. She can’t possibly feel threatened by me now, right? 😛
From that point onward, even after we both sat back down, she kept demanding physical attention from him – and especially kept demanding equal attention from him whenever he touched me. She didn’t insist he kiss her, but if he reached out and petted my knee or something she’d immediately butt her knee up against his, looking for her allotment of pettings. And she suggested we sandwich The Dandy’s head at least two more times, maybe three. I bowed out of the last one, claiming it was too awkward for me to crouch down to that level. Spoilers: that was just an excuse. It was actually everything else about the act that was awkward for me.
When The Dandy went to drive me home, Dandette went out for a smoke at the same time so we all were waiting for the elevator together. At which point The Dandy came up behind her and wrapped his arms around both of us, pulling me in so her face was in my tits. And she nestled right in there and commented on how I was the perfect height for hugging, and The Dandy was grinning at me over her head, and just…nope. NOPE NOPE NOPE FUCKING NOPE. It felt as though The Dandy was trying to neatly circumvent Dandette’s jealousy issues by nudging us all into dating each other, but I’m not bi, not interested in her*, and not interested in being a human crutch, sooooo yeah.
I suppose I’m a hypocrite for complaining about The Dandy’s lack of boundaries when I wasn’t able to step out of the group hug and use my words to say it was inappropriate and no thank you. What I did do was wait til Dandette said something directly into my cleavage and remark, in a bemused tone, “Your voice is echoing a little bit” and both of them busted up laughing and the hug dissolved on its own.
Earlier in the week, my friend Ponytail invited me out clubbing on Friday (which was tonight). I knew that The Dandy went to that same nightclub pretty much every Friday and Saturday, so I told him I’d be there and said that I could come home with him afterward if he’d like. Bear in mind that this plan was made before Boob Sandwich Night had happened.
Incidentally, on Boob Sandwich Night it came up that Dandette was going to the club on Friday, too. And when she realized I would be there she was like “Oh shit, you’re stealing my security blanket person” – meaning that she was not only going there with The Dandy but relying on him to be her official person-to-talk-to so she wouldn’t get socially anxious (I do the same thing). I assured her that my first allegiance was to the friend I was going with, but she still expressed angst about it a few more times throughout dinner and honestly by the end of the night I was regretting my idea of coming home with The Dandy. But I didn’t feel I could suggest he come to my place instead because he was Dandette’s ride home, and I felt that if I cancelled the after-club visit part entirely Dandette would know it was because of her and she’d feel bad. So I stayed the course.
Long story short, Dandette got shitfaced tonight to a point where she was staggering into people. On several occasions when The Dandy hugged me she pouted, “where’s mine?” until he gave her an equal hug. She danced all up on Ponytail and then told me afterward (when we were no longer in Ponytail’s company) that he’d been desperate and horny and grabbing her ass. I didn’t see him grab her ass and frankly I do not believe he would have. I also don’t believe he’s the one who was “desperate” tonight.
We drove back to Dandy and Dandette’s place in silence and once we got in she took it personally that their dog greeted The Dandy and I before her. Then The Dandy and I went into his bedroom and she went into hers…and flung herself on the bed, sobbing loudly. The Dandy and I lay on his bed just kinda looking at each other in chagrin.
“I feel awkward being here…” I whispered.
“Yeah…” he said, and we both chuckled nervously.
Dandette abruptly knocked on the door and said “Can the dog come in with you?” The Dandy said yes. She let the dog in and then slammed the door and went back to her room to cry some more. Lord knows why she didn’t keep the dog in there with her; probably she was continuing her self-pitying conceit that the dog liked us better.
A short while later, she whipped our door open again without announcing herself and said “YOUR LIGHT IS BUGGING ME. TURN OFF YOUR LIGHT” and slapped at the wall looking for the light switch. She didn’t find it (and it wasn’t the overhead light that was on, anyway, it was a bedside lamp). She slammed the door again. I’m glad I was still fully dressed.
The Dandy murmured “If you need to bail, I can drive you home.” I said I thought that would be best. He didn’t make any move to get up and I didn’t prompt him. Dandette slammed out of the apartment for a cigarette break, slammed back in again, shut herself into the bathroom and began running a bath. The Dandy and I got up in concert and quietly left. Perhaps both of us were waiting for her to be a) in a known place and b) indisposed before we were brave enough to venture out of the bedroom. I know that’s what I was doing.
Still, though, I was feeling anxious and antsy as fuck as we waited for the elevator. I kept wondering if Dandette would realize we’d left and come out to either rage at us, tearfully and sloppily apologize to us, or both. Because that’s the thing about drunk people – they know when they’re making you uncomfortable and yet for some reason they don’t stop. Ever. They’ll apologize for their behaviour but they won’t actually quit doing it.
Once we were safely in The Dandy’s car I ended up bursting into tears from the stress of the evening. First off, Dandette’s drunkenness brought back entirely too many memories of my marriage (my ex husband is an alcoholic and so are both of his parents, so I’ve been around drunks way too fucking much for one lifetime, thanks). Secondly, there’s just too much going on here. I basically like Dandette, aside from how badly she’s handling me dating The Dandy. She’s been nice to me and made forays into friendship with me, and now I’m left wondering whether she actually likes me or if this is one of those weird passive-aggressive chick strategies I don’t understand – overcompensating because she hates me but feels bad about it? Keeping her friends close and her enemies closer? And I want to talk to The Dandy about all of this but because he’s really close to her he might discuss whatever I say with her, which will make it painfully awkward to be anywhere near her (although I did talk to him about things a bit, earlier today; maybe I’ll transcribe that convo later). And I want The Dandy to like me so I feel like I can’t be too disparaging of Dandette, anyway.
As I cried in his car in the parking garage of his building, The Dandy gently pulled my head to his chest. When my crying wound down a bit I said “I’m sorry. I really didn’t want to add to the drama of the evening. But there’s just been a lot of things tonight that I don’t handle very well.”
“If crying on my shoulder is the worst you’re gonna do then it’s really not a big deal to me at all.”
“Thank you for saying that.”
The Dandy drove me home and dropped me off without asking to stay over. This impressed me to no end. He surely didn’t want to go back home and face Dandette’s bullshit, but I’m guessing he knew that if he asked to stay over it would be more to get away from her than to be with me, and that’s not fair to me. For my part, I’d already decided that I didn’t want him here tonight. I want to be away from all this fucking drama, and I don’t want to feel like I’m rescuing a grown man who should handle his own shit. I’m thankful that The Dandy is in fact a grown man who handles his own shit. Although he should have handled it a long time before this.
We talked a bit about Dandette. I said that obviously she would notice I hadn’t stayed as long as planned, and when she asked about it, would The Dandy please please PLEASE not say that I was the one who wanted to go home. Say I forgot to feed the cats or something but just don’t make shit awkward between us. He said he might just tell her that he decided it was a good idea for me to go because I shouldn’t be exposed to the ridiculous things she was doing. The Dandy is a happy-go-lucky, terminally optimistic type but there was definite anger brewing in his voice as he told me that he would very likely be telling her off for her inappropriate behaviour in the near future.
I asked him something about her history or motivations or something – I forget – and he hesitated and then said “Y’know…I think I shouldn’t comment on that right now. I think at this exact moment I might ascribe Machiavellian motivations to her that aren’t actually fair.”
“I respect that you’re self-aware enough to realize that your thinking may be skewed right now,” I said. Then I kissed him goodbye, wished him luck, and went inside.
I hate to hurt his feelings but I think I really need to break things off with him, at least temporarily. He clearly has some issues in his personal life that need tending to and TBH I could barely have tolerated tonight for someone I was falling in love with, let alone a guy I feel barely-more-than-platonic affection for.
Yeah. Fuck this.
*Dandette is bi, and may be interested in me for all I know. But that’s still not grounds for a threesome.