The Dandy’s mom wanted to meet me, so he brought me home to Easter dinner. She’s really cool – she’s an ex-nun who left the convent at age 29 and became a teacher. One time when a student swore too much for her liking, she made him use “fuck” as every possible part of a sentence (noun, adverb, adjective, etc) in order to take the fun out of it. For the record, I would find that a fascinating challenge and it wouldn’t dull the fun of swearing for me at all.
She also told me a bunch of stories about what The Dandy was like as a kid (so smart and outspoken that he was a total pain in the ass and got in trouble at school all the time (I’m totally not surprised), and she always backed him up in parent/teacher talks). And every single food item she had on hand was gluten-free and soy-free because she knew those were my restrictions. And she gave me leftover cake. So basically I love this woman.
On the drive home, The Dandy and I got to talking about relationships and stuff. His mom had talked a lot about Dandette while I was over, and mentioned some get-together with Dandette and her family in which everyone seemed to be expecting The Dandy to propose but he didn’t. I asked The Dandy if he and Dandette had ever even discussed getting married or if people were just making assumptions. He said that Dandette wanted to get married – that she had an idealized vision of marriage and thought it would magically make their lives perfect. He knew that’s not how that works, and had no intention of tying the knot. The Dandy basically told me that he’s wary, now, of a partner seeming overinvested or wanting to be rescued. So I’m betting that’s why he couldn’t outright tell me he loved me – it symbolizes a scary level of commitment for him. But that’s sort of hilarious because in all other respects he’s full steam ahead: calling me his primary partner after we’d fucked, like, twice; initiating keeping a toothbrush at my place; talking about giving me a dresser drawer at his; taking me to meet his mom.
It seems as though my profession of love has in some way cemented things for him, though. There’s been an extra pulse of energy to him ever since. His hugs have an unguarded quality that they didn’t before. He’s always given excellent, long, warm, sincere-feeling hugs, mind you, but now he melts into them just a little bit more. Last night he came over and we ended up having sex and afterward he stayed inside me and raised himself up on his arms to look me right in the eyeballs for like…really long periods of time. He might as well have worn a sign around his neck that said I want to feel as intimate with you as possible right now.
Any time I express insecurity about my anxiety (as in, is it gonna be too much for him) The Dandy says “I’m used to it” meaning Dandette also has anxiety and depression – he has in fact had to talk her down from killing herself – so this is nothing new. I don’t actually find the sentiment “I’m used to it” comforting at all, perhaps because – despite his calm tone and reassuring body language – I hear it in a put-upon, guilt-tripping tone.
I brought this up with The Dandy, pointing out that I’m used to all kinds of shitty things but it doesn’t mean I like them or want them to continue, ergo maybe he could try to be comforting via a different choice of words. I think he gets it. He told me outright that he’s pretty sure he can handle me fine, and he’s said before that my anxiety freakouts are usually a lot shorter than Dandette’s and that I ask for his support instead of pushing him away or yelling at him that he’s not handling them right. So it’s really probably fine.
This shit’s been weighing heavy on my mind lately because I’m about to start another round of cognitive behavioural therapy and this will no doubt dredge up a bunch of buried shit that spins my head a bit. Basically I’m gonna be in hardcore navel-gazing/trauma processing mode for the next month and that’s probably not gonna be fun for me or anyone around me.
BTW The Dandy also made an offhanded comment once that cognitive behavioural therapy should probably work really well for me (he may even have said better than it does for Dandette) because I have a logical brain that just needs to be nudged in the right direction so I can talk myself down from my freakouts. So there have been these tiny indications that even though I get more stressed out and angsty than most people, and need help more than most people, he thinks I handle myself pretty well. I wish he’d come out and say it. So much of my anxiety lately is this recursive bullshit where I’m anxious that people will hate me because I’m anxious. I really need to hear from someone that I’m actually pretty badass and not coming off as terribly as I imagine – if they actually think it, that is. I don’t especially want to be humoured; if I have some huge glaring personality flaw that could stand to be worked on, I’d wanna know.
And yeah, normally I’m a huge proponent of flat-out telling a partner what I want – I don’t feel that telling him ruins the act or anything – except maybe now. “I like to be petted to sleep” and then him doing it is one thing; he’s doing it because I like it, and I experience this as love*. Spoon feeding him sentences to say to me about how cool and awesome I am feels like quite another thing. I mean I guess if he said the things I’d still experience that as an expression of love; he wants me to be happy so he’s doing the thing I said makes me happy. But I want the words to be the truth, is the thing, and I can never be sure if I tell him to say them.
Tangent: remember how I was worried that The Dandy isn’t as non-judgmental about my sex work activities as he claims because when I talk about it he’s often quiet and doesn’t contribute? I think we’re okay. The other day I asked him to take provocative pictures of me so I can send them to texting clients and not only did he do this, at one point when I was posing he said “Here, I’ll take one for the foot guys” and did a closeup of just my feet. It felt super fun colluding with him and I really do think he’s okay with it all. I mean, like, morally or whatever. I think if I came over and then kept being like “whoops, hold on, just a sec” to text clients he’d be annoyed, but who wouldn’t? I’m trying to draw boundaries and tell the clients I’ll be busy for a few hours/ignore my phone when I’m with The Dandy but it can be hard sometimes. Summer is my slow season for modelling and I’m panicking and wanting to rake in as much money as I can. Responding quickly to a guy’s first text might make the difference between us having an ongoing chat and him getting snagged by someone else who was quicker.
But there will probably always be more guys, there’s no guarantee anyone will turn out to be a regular, if it’s meant to be it’ll happen, blah blah blah etc.
Oh and by the way I recently had a very promising first date with a guy from Fetlife. The Dandy has been totally fine with that, too. I asked The Dandy if this is partly because if I’m seeing someone else, he knows I’m not overfocusing on him as the most important thing in my life. He said a little bit, but also the reciprocity. We both seem to be on the same page with being poly, where we don’t necessarily need multiple partners, it’s more about the freedom to have them (or just flirt or make out or whatever) if we feel like it. During that one convo on the drive home from his mom’s I was talking about what my ideal relationship would be like and I said basically, I’m a cat. I’d like to be his cat. Being stuck behind a closed door bugs me just on principle, so I want a cat door so I can go explore. Maybe sometimes I’ll be out for a few days, doing cat things. But he won’t freak out; he’ll know I’ll always be back. ‘Cause I’m his cat. I think he wants to be my cat, too. 🙂
Second date with the new boy tomorrow.
*I can’t remember if I mentioned this before but a while back I mentioned to The Dandy that petting my head/hair helps me sleep. Hours later when we went to bed, he spooned up behind me and we settled in for sleep and then suddenly his hand gave a sort of startled twitch and he began petting my head. So clearly he had suddenly remembered what I’d said and wanted to make me happy. Love that!