The Dandy’s birthday is today and Dandette is off at some LARP thing for a few days so I stayed over at his place last night to take advantage of the alone-time.
The Dandy makes a shit ton of money and has very expensive and specific tastes, so I didn’t feel there was anything much I could buy him; he could so easily get something way better for himself. I did (by his request) get him some pajamas for when he’s at my place. And I bought him dinner, a gesture he seemed to appreciate.
During dinner he mentioned to me in passing that Dandette had to be switched to new medication because the one she just started on (for depression/anxiety) made her freak the fuck out the other day and try to kill herself and The Dandy had to talk her down. I pointedly asked if he called 911 (his excuse for not asking her to move out of the apartment is that she might kill herself if he did that. He said to me before that it’s a real danger because he’s had to talk her down from it before. I told him at that time that it’s not his responsibility and that in fact he was negligent for not calling in a qualified professional). He said he couldn’t call anyone because Dandette was actually being super energetic and emphatic – like I guess running for the knife drawer and he was physically holding her back. He said if he let her go long enough to dial 911 she would probably have managed to off herself.
So that story kind of cast a pall over dinner, for me. Not just because it’s awful that Dandette went through that and that The Dandy had to deal with it, but because I continue to be infuriated by The Dandy’s overinvolvement in her life. I don’t really buy that The Dandy couldn’t have called 911. He is large and relatively strong. Fucking pick Dandette up, throw her in the bathroom, and block the door. Also, btw, Dandette has a boyfriend. Why he wasn’t her first line of support I don’t know. I feel like The Dandy is a white knight who’s kind of getting off on this shit.
And the difference between his words and behaviour continues to baffle and infuriate me. He was actually super casual in telling me this thing about Dandette going nuts, like it didn’t particularly horrify him, it’s just a inconvenient and slightly amusing thing that happened. And every time he talks about her it’s with a kind of eye-roll like she’s this chore he has to deal with. But he financially supports her and insists on emotionally supporting her through her mental ilness freakouts instead of calling a professional or even her boyfriend. Recently he made a joke that he keeps her around because she feels so guilty about the financial support that she’s been doing the lion’s share of the housework. I find myself wondering if that’s not really a joke and he’s getting off on their power imbalance. It’s creeping me out.
Tangent: my very first poly experience was years ago when I fell in love fast and hard (and mutually) with a man in a consentually open marriage. His marriage was the stereotyical “hierarchal poly” bullshit that I’ve since grown to hate: “my wife and I are soulmates and nothing will ever come between us, which is why we’re not afraid to be poly. But we have rules that restrict how we interact with others.” That whole thing. So we fall for each other but he’s not allowed to spend more than one night a week for me. And he’s texting me in the interim pining to see me again…and never, ever, in our brief time together, spoke fondly of his wife. He didn’t talk smack about her, either, I just never really sensed that he was that into her (and indeed, he left her two weeks after we met, having realized what being in love is actually supposed to feel like). And so I became resentful that she got so much of his time. Like if he doesn’t ever get wistful and mushy while talking about her, and only ever tells me that he can’t wait to see me again and it’s killing him that we’re apart, then what the fuck am I sharing him for? If he’d clearly been in love with her I think I could have dealt with it but as it stood? Not so much.
And that’s how I feel in this situation with The Dandy, too. If he’d presented it as “she’s my ex but I still totally love her as a friend and we get along really well as roommates, and we sort of take care of each other” I think I could get behind this shit a little better (but seriously though when someone’s threatening to off themselves you call 911!!!) but he acts like he doesn’t even like her that much so it looks to me like she’s taking advantage of him or he has stockholm syndrome or something.
I think I need to tell The Dandy not to mention Dandette to me unless I ask. I get claustrophic just think of her being up in his space all the time and randomly having bursts of mental illness at him, and he doesn’t seem inclined to kick her out and doesn’t even seem that bothered by any of the crazy shit he tells me, so he can just handle it on his own instead of putting his drama all over me.
So anyway we get home from dinner and I remember The Dandy mentioning that Dandette made him a birthday cake before she left for LARP – and made it gluten free so I could enjoy it, too, which is quite sweet – so I asked to try a piece. As he cut us some slices I noticed that the writing on the cake seemed…off. I thought I saw the word “myself.” I came around behind The Dandy so it was right-side up to me. He’d already eaten some of the cake earlier so there were pieces missing but from context I realized the cake said “Tried to kill myself twice. Also, happy b-day.” And I just…I…fuck.
I have sometimes wondered whether Dandette’s “suicide attempts” have been mostly to get attention. I’m not saying they definitely are; she does legit have issues with anxiety and depression. But it’s a thing I’ve considered, especially given what a drama queen she can be generally. And now she co-opts his fucking birthday cake to be all about her(!) and that is frankly not helping her case.
The Dandy saw me notice the writing and just shrugged with a sheepish grin on his face and once again I just felt totally stressed out and claustrophobic. God, even in Dandette’s absence we can’t be free of her bullshit and focus on The Dandy’s special day. She managed to make her presence known.
BUT THERE’S MORE.
After cake, The Dandy and I cuddled on the couch and were talking about I-can’t-remember-what and I playfully annoyed him and he playfully said “Ugh, these older women” (I’m a year older than him.)
I said “THESE older women? Whatever, dude. Your exes were all fetuses.” (Actually his ex wife was a few years older. Dandette, though, is I think twelve years younger, and yes I was taking a jab at that)
And the Dandy said “jealous?” and I kind of wanted to punch him in the face because yeah, I am jealous of his weird codependency with Dandette, as it uses up resources I feel should be spent on me, so way to be insensitive. Also though, Dandette is a godamned trainwreck (and so was I when I was young) so implying that I must wish I were Dandette, or wish to be young, or whateverthefuck, is just so infinitely stupid that I can’t even.
I reeled in most of my rage and managed to sound relatively lighthearted when I said “What the FUCK would I possibly be jealous of? I’m a grownup capable of rational thought and my tits are still totally epic.”
The Dandy agreed on both counts and said I’m “the sanest crazy person he’s ever met,” which…thanks, I guess. But I was still seething. I think I may be PMSing so I don’t want to make any rash decisions (and I also want The Dandy to have a nice birthday) so I didn’t dump him on the spot, but I kind of wanted to. From the moment he told me about talking Dandette out of suicide yet again, I’d been feeling like my relationship with him is kind of doomed.