Tag Archives: Dandette

A rough patch

Y’know…when I first moved in with The Dandy and Dandette (and more specifically after the two of them resumed their relationship, which effectively killed a bunch of stress that was building in the household), I loved it there. She and I became close really quickly and even developed a snuggly kind of relationship. We weren’t outright sexual with each other but in a way it felt like we were dating, too, and so instead of her being just The Dandy’s other girlfriend who I had to figure out how to live with, there was love flowing in all directions.

But now it’s different and I don’t entirely know why but I hate it.

The first major setback is that Dandette ran out of anti-anxiety meds and wasn’t able to get more right away. I thought what she was on was supposed to take a while to leave the system, so maybe it was just placebo effect in reverse or something but Dandette almost immediately started having panic attacks and other manifestations of her anxiety, like, a lot.

When she’s having a panic attack, she shakes with adrenaline and doesn’t want to be touched at all. She’ll stumble backward away from you all terrified if you even look like you might approach. And she becomes convinced that her panic attack is inconveniencing everyone, which makes her panic more. So you can’t try to help her in any way; she will perceive it as her issues inconveniencing you and she’ll freak out. But you also can’t let her know that her panic attack is, oh I dunno, scaring the shit out of you and twigging your own anxiety really hard, because that’ll convince her, too, that she’s a terrible person who ruins everyone else’s lives.

For the most part, her thing of not wanting her attacks acknowledged or helped works for me just fine. I’d come out of my room in the morning, see her in the living room shaking and hyperventilating with her eyes all dilated and weird, say “‘morning” in a cheery voice, walk past her to get some cereal and go back into my room again to eat it. She doesn’t consider this rude. She doesn’t change her mind once the attack is over, either; I mean it’s not like she says “leave me alone” during but then after she’s like “WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME ALONE WHEN I WAS PANICKING YOU ASSHOLE” so cool.

But one time she had an attack while we were out running errands together and I was kind of stuck with her and it was the most awful thing. She was clearly all fight-or-flighty and vulnerable and I didn’t want her walking home alone like that, so I had to pretend that I just happened to feel like walking home anyway and then walking back to complete the errands. It was such a lovely day out, after all. I definitely felt like taking a nice long walk. And of course the walk home was a grim deathmarch during which I contrived to act casual and comfortable and make light conversation that didn’t require any replies while making sure I stayed beyond accidental touching distance and trying not to let it show that my heart was hammering. At one point she was stressing out about how much work she still had to do at home (her whole housewife thing) but when I tried to comfort her by saying “I can help with anything you need” she barked my name all angry-like, meaning “stop making it worse by trying to help me” so fine, I guess I was supposed to let her sit there and stew in a cage entirely of her own making, then. And then partway home – cutting through the parking lot of the grocery store I’d been aiming to circle back to when Dandette started panicking – she insisted I leave her and do my grocery run but then a car started backing out of a spot and almost backed into us and I yelled “HEY” and my yelling triggered some kind of fugue state in Dandette. I could see her go even more wild-eyed and freaked out than before. But I knew if I insisted on walking her home, she’d scream at me not to, so I just kind of walked away. Dandette did end up finding her way home, but when she got there she wasn’t wearing shoes and she didn’t know why. She couldn’t remember anything after my yell. She was standing in the parking lot and then she was home, with nothing in between.

And any random thought could trigger one of her attacks at any time, which made me not exactly want to spend a lot of time around her. Plus I became afraid of ever touching her in case she’d begun having an attack and I just hadn’t noticed. Before then, I would touch her affectionately in passing all the time (and vice-versa). I didn’t even think about it. Suddenly though it seemed like there was a chance she’d be horrified and recoil and I didn’t want to be rejected so I kind of kept my distance and waited for her to initiate, which she…kinda didn’t. Maybe it was a vicious cycle; maybe she stopped being touchy and snuggly because I did. But for whatever it’s worth our whole ambiguous snuggling thing came about in the first place because she started it, so she sure didn’t mind making the first move before

The second setback for us was that Dandette had a sudden second health problem. She had a cyst a year or two ago – I forget the name of the kind of cyst it is, but basically it’s a zit that gets so huge and impacted (like, the size of a golf ball) that a doctor needs to slice it open with a scalpel to drain it. It’s right under her tailbone, where it presses on her sciatic nerve, so in addition to being all under pressure and hurting to sit on, it’s fucking with her actual nerves and causing pain that way. And a week or two ago, it started to come back.

I knew she was in pain and I assumed (correctly) that she’d be in no shape to fix us the amazing dinners she usually made. The Dandy and I fended for ourselves/ordered food in for a week or so until Dandette’s cyst was big enough to get drained. Please believe me that I was not on any level feeling bitter about this or thinking “humph. She should suck it up and cook for us anyway.” No no no. She was not doing well at all and clearly needed rest. Buttttt the nature of my psyche seems to be that I have certain things that make me feel loved, which in turn will make me love the person back. And if I’m not getting those things from someone, my feelings for them can switch off amazingly quickly. The main things that make me feel loved are affectionate touches (which she’d already withdrawn) and being fed. And so my feelings of love for Dandette…winked out. Just like that.

The third setback is that – overlapping with Dandette’s whole cyst thing – I had a fairly terrible week. I am a nocturnal person; at this point in my life, if I have to wake up in the morning more than two days in a row, I start to feel seriously depressed and fucked up. That’s even if I’ve gotten adequate sleep. Well, I had six days in a row of working 10am-1pm and I didn’t sleep well during any of that time. My bladder was doing this hilarious thing it sometimes does where it forgets how to empty entirely so within half an hour of taking a piss I’d desperately have to go again; I was getting up ten times a night to pee. And I was having issues with insomnia. And The Dandy was snoring. And my stupid asshole cats were being restless for some reason and would randomly jump on me at night and stuff. So I had six nights in a row where I didn’t, at all, even once, get into the deep dark black part of sleep that is actually restful.

Y’know how clinical depression is caused by low levels of a brain chemical called seratonin? The thing that restores a person’s seratonin levels is sleep. By the end of my week of hell, my anxiety and depression were off the charts. I was full-on crazy, like “nobody in my life really loves me, they’re all just pretending, they probably talk about me behind my back” crazy. Everyfuckingthing The Dandy or Dandette did seemed like a plot to fuck with me or a secret code spelling out that they didn’t like me or want me there. Oh and in fairness I also wasn’t cleaning the kitchen (my one official household job) to my usual standard, so maybe Dandette wasn’t feeling loved, either.

On the Thursday of my hellweek, Dandette got her cyst drained*. Presumably the stitches etc hurt after that but the draining process would have relieved all the pressure and nerve pain and stuff so that she was a lot more functional. And indeed, on Friday morning she set her alarm specifically to get up and make coffee for The Dandy, as she does every workday (except while the cyst was hurting her). She brought his coffee in to him and left it by the bed, like every workday. And then she went back to bed without fixing me breakfast.

(For contrast: when I had a solid week of work just a few weeks before, she woke up and made me breakfast every day, and packed it up so I could sleep in later and eat it on the bus. She packed me a lunch, too, when I had a two-gig day. And these were good meals, man. Fresh-squeezed orange juice. French toast. The lunch included dessert. Dandette made it clear that a) she loved being a housewife and considered feeding me like this to be her job b) she expresses love through cooking c) she receives love through appreciation of her cooking. And boy, did I ever appreciate it. I gushed to her so much I was afraid it might come off as fake. And she glowed and kissed me goodbye on the cheek and wished me a good day at work every single morning.)

The living room was in disarray and Dandette decided it needed a major reorganization so she pulled an all-nighter Friday night to do that. She was still awake when I got up Saturday morning and started getting ready for my sixth consecutive morning shift, but she didn’t make me breakfast. What she did do was hold up my old mug with the QWERTY keyboard printed on it and ask “do you use this?”

“I keep pens in it,” I said (or rather, I did at my old place and then I moved and didn’t know where it or the pens had gone).

“Do you want it still? Because if not I’m taking it to the garbage room.”

“If you hate it that much, I guess you can toss it,” I said.

“It’s not that I hate it, it’s that we have too much stuff,” Dandette said, and she left with the mug and some other things of hers. Then I immediately changed my mind and flung open the door and got it back from her. I like that mug and it feels like I’ve given up entirely too much lately: a shit-ton of my belongings so I wouldn’t have to pack them to move; my big dresser which got destroyed in the move by accident; exclusive use of The Dandy’s cock; having my own room… It’s too much. I wanted my fucking mug. So I told her I changed my mind, and she handed it back saying “Well, just don’t let me ever see it again.” Which I’m pretty sure was, objectively, a really fucking rude thing to say to me, but also remember I was suuuuper crazy from lack of sleep so it really hit me badly at that moment.

I said nothing and just stomped off and put my mug in the bedroom. The Dandy was in there putting clothes on because I’d begged him to drive me to work. I bitched to him furiously about what had just happened. I mean, Dandette regularly finds major pieces of (admittedly pretty cool, usually) furniture in the garbage room and puts them in the apartment. SHE BROUGHT IN A GRANDFATHER CLOCK a few months ago. All that fucking thing does is take up space doing the same thing a five dollar watch would do. Just a few weeks ago she brought in a huuuuuuge hutch and transferred all our dishes and silverware into it (four full sets of dishes, two sets of silverware, and maybe five sets of glassware, by the way, not including mine), and when I was like “Hey, now we can get rid of the previous hutch, which is sort of ugly and most of the handles are broken, anyway…” The Dandy and Dandette completely ignored me and decided to put the stupid thing in the front hall and keep shoes/umbrellas/etc in it, instead. The shelving unit that had previously been used for shoes/etc got crammed into the storage closet. The Dandy, meanwhile, has a bunch of assembled sets of Star Wars Lego on display. Ewok cities and X-wing fighters and a bunch of other shit whose only function is to be looked at and that’s been sitting there so long that I doubt anyone in the house even consciously notices it anymore. Neither of these people get rid of anything fucking ever (and I have been delicately sort of sniffing around the idea of them purging some things for a while, because the apartment is big but in serious danger of being totally subsumed by furniture etc and having no more usable space than my old tiny apartment). I’d been tactful and gentle in my urgings and both of them had seemed kind of hostile so I dropped it. They have a different aesthetic and different priorities than I do, and part of living with other people is accepting differences like that, so I worked on doing so. And now Dandette has a wild hair about clearing out the living room and my one little mug is too much but the Lego and grandfather clock stay? Fuck off.

The Dandy didn’t say anything during this rant of mine. He often goes silent when I’m angry. This time his expression wasn’t that frozen-up/scared thing he does when I’m mad at him, though. It was aggrieved, like “Ugh, why do I need to be listening to this right now?” When I saw that I reined in my ranting. But boy was I pissed.

A little while later when The Dandy and I were by the door putting our shoes on for the drive to my work, Dandette was like “Can you take this to the garbage room on your way out?” and gestured at a piece of furniture. It was facing away from me and lots of dressers etc have a cheap particle-board back on them so it took me a minute to realize what it was, but then suddenly I did. The Dandy said there wasn’t time or the dolly was in the car or something so we couldn’t. I walked straight out to the elevator without saying anything and just glowered pointedly at The Dandy while I waited for him to catch up.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, once he was finally next to me at the elevators.

“What’s wrong is Dandette and I never discussed throwing my bookcase out. This is the first I’m hearing about this.”

…Oh.

I held it together until we got in the car and then basically broke down and sobbed the entire way to work about how Dandette seemed to have abruptly decided she didn’t want me there and was taking pains to let me know. The Dandy said he’d talk to her (and, thank god, said he wouldn’t mention some of the not-very-nice side-points I’d made in my ranting** and just focus on “hey, you appear to be getting rid of Cowgirl’s stuff without permission; what’s up with that?”

The verdict (reported by The Dandy when I got home) ended up being that Dandette had thought I did say I would get rid of the bookcase – and in fairness I probably did say at one point that I was thinking about it but hadn’t decided yet. So that was a misunderstanding. And the mug thing was just cranky, underslept, ass-stitches-hurting, up-all-night-organizing Dandette phrasing things in a really unfortunate way. And all of this was of course magnified by me being jussssst fuckin’ batshit crazy from lack of sleep. And Dandette apologized to me later and said she never meant to make me feel unwanted at all, she really did think I’d said I wanted to get rid of the bookcase.

I believe both of them (although I couldn’t manage to stop feeling persecuted and suspicious until I’d had a massive cry and an even more massive sleep and set my brain mostly back on kilter). But I still feel like something’s up, dammit. Maybe Dandette wasn’t actually trying to squeeze me out of the apartment but I increasingly feel like she’s not that happy to have me there, either. Not the way she initially was. And I don’t know if I did something or the NRE just died really fast or her initial enthusiasm was all an act to suck up to The Dandy or what.

 

*After the draining, The Dandy drove her home. They came in and I paused my Netflix show, thinking Dandette might want hugs or to talk about the ordeal or whatever. She just gave me a hostile look (or was my underslept brain just seeing it like that?) and went straight to her bedroom. Later, when The Dandy and I had gone to bed, she kept having things to say to The Dandy and calling out to him to come over for sec. Like five times in a row she did this, and he’d clamber out of bed and go into her room where she’d talk super-animatedly at him for a few minutes. And then he’d come back to bed and it would repeat again and this was at ONE THIRTY IN THE MORNING BTW but anyway a few days later Dandette referred back to the cyst-draining aftermath and said sorry if she was a bit withdrawn that night but she just couldn’t deal with people. Why am I “people” and The Dandy isn’t? When I first moved in Dandette said we were family, we were all in this together, we’d help each other through things. She supported me through some things and I wanted the chance to do it back but she just doesn’t seem inclined to lean on me. At all.

**I may have yelled a bunch more about the grandfather clock and the four sets of dishes and gone on a whole huge tangent that maybe Dandette is so used to finding all her furniture in the garbage that she’s kind of “easy come, easy go” about these things and doesn’t get that I had to work and save up and buy my shit. I didn’t even mean this as a jab at her not working; I really meant it at face value, and still believe it even though I’m less mad now. None of my furniture was a spontaneous “Oh cool, someone tossed this out, I think I’ll take it” affair; I had an idea in my head of a specific item that needed to fit in a specific spot and I went to stores armed with a tape measure and wrote down stats and prices until I found exactly the right thing, which I bought with money earned at a job I didn’t necessarily like, and possibly paid for delivery too, and in many cases assembled myself. I feel like that’s gonna make a person more attached to a piece of furniture than if they hadn’t even actively wanted a particular item but it just showed up for free and it was like “Meh, what the hell.”

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Becoming everything I didn’t want.

I like living here. The apartment is HUGE and pretty and I pay very little rent. It’s actually kinda nice having people around, especially these particular people. Dandette planning and cooking most of the meals is a total game-changer for me and lets me put so much energy into other things (instead of figuring out how the hell to feed myself) that it’s just amazing. There’s a sweet doggo to hang out with, and an additional cat who is also sweet when he’s not using my stomach as a trampoline like a fucking bastard.

But there are a lot of adjustments. Like…a lot. There are a lot of things about this arrangement that twig my anxiety or even threaten my sense of self.

Like…from the end of my marriage twelve years ago up to now, I prided myself on being independent. Even like two months ago when I was desperate to get away from the Harpy downstairs, I was looking for an apartment that was just mine, even if it was the size of a closet and cost a thousand dollars a month and I had to ramp up my sex work activities in order to afford it. It was that important to me to live alone and depend on nobody else for my well-being*. My ex husband was in charge of all our money back in the day (and sometimes I didn’t work and he supported me) and this made me feel dependent and infantilized and I never wanted to be beholden to anyone like that ever again. And The Dandy has even made a few creepy comments before about how Dandette feels obligated to be extra nice to him because he pays her way, and he likes that. And now I’m living with him and letting him subsidize my living expenses. O.o

I’ve also always been kind of possessive and inflexible when it comes to my stuff, and now I’ve merged all my things with Dandette and Dandy’s – to a point, even, where I’ve given Dandette carte blanche to use my dildos (well, I did earmark two of them as just mine) as long as she puts a condom on them and runs them through the dishwasher after. And needless to say I can’t be as calculating and possessive about food as I was when I lived alone. “Okay, there are nine eggs left, that means I’ve got breakfast for the next three days” is simply not a thing that can happen in an apartment where there are three people and one of them bakes. I’ve told everyone that the drinkable yogurts are mine (I use them as work snacks and buy exactly enough to last me), but aside from that the fridge is kind of a free-for-all. On the up side, there are always delicious leftovers around. And I don’t seem to be getting the killer food cravings I got before (I assume because my diet is far more varied thanks to Dandette’s cooking so I’m not deficient in anything now) so it hasn’t been to hard letting go of control of the fridge. I mean I’m not having that thing where my body suddenly tells me EAT SOME FUCKING TUNA EAT IT NOW and then it turns out I’d mis-estimated and there is no tuna and I feel like I have a hole in the centre of my world (as has happened in the past). I seem, so far, to be able to be like “I’m hungry. Let’s see what’s in the fridge” and there are a few appealing things and I pick one, the way I’d imagine normal people do.

For the record, when Minx moved in with me we realized we collectively owned doubles of several different movies. She said we ought to sell the redundant copies (the “redundant” ones being whichever version looked more beat up). I agreed to this but kept “forgetting” to do so because I didn’t want to have to re-buy anything if we broke up. Which was prudent because we did break up in the end. With The Dandy and Dandette I’ve gotten rid of most of my cookware and cleaning supplies and my hair dryer and I forget what-all else, because they have those things already. I think I have a bit more faith in this relationship lasting. Mind you, the plan is for us to move to a bigger place where I have my own bedroom and The Dandy has an established history of continuing to support an ex and be on good terms after breaking up with them, so there’s that. 😛

There’s the thing where I’m part of a harem, which is quite frankly going fine so far but it irritates me on principle because it often feels like half the world (the kink world, anyway) expects women to be in some guy’s harem. And that it must mean the women are bi and submissive. I know that what people outside our polycule think doesn’t have any actual bearing on my life for the most part but still.

There’s the thing where the thought of having my life all entwined with someone else’s scares the shit out of me.. For the past bunch of years I’ve basically been solo poly and that suited me fine; I kept my partners at arms’ length enough that they never expected me to hang out with their parents or friends. When I broke up with someone I’d lose only them, not a whole ersatz family. And now I’ve let myself get all enmeshed with two people. Truth be told, I’ve been kind of secretly wanting a family and commitment and shit for a while. But it’s still scary as fuck.

And last but not least, there’s how much like a (weird, two-wived) 50s household we are, here. Not in the sense that Dandette actively wants to be a housewife to us. I mean: The Dandy is just chock-full of entitlement. He’s a middle-aged white dude and he comes from a pretty rich family (private school, multiple university degrees that his parents fully paid for so he has no student loan debt) and he’s just…really out of touch. Dandette says that when she’s talked about what it’s like to be poor, he was like “Oh, I know, at my first job out of college I was only making 30k!” (*Headdesk*) He seems to think of Dandette and I as his underlings, or perhaps he just has no idea what we do to keep things going and thinks the house cleans itself.** The way Dandette summons us to dinner and he swans in beaming with a kind of smug benevolence and eats the awesome meal she’s prepared without comment and then doesn’t bus his dishes just irritates the shit out of me. He’s sort of opaque…he’s deceptively cheerful-seeming pretty much all the time (including when his dad died a few years ago, apparently) and he has a solid track record of not communicating well so that the rest of us have to guess what’s going on with him. Dandette often talks about him to me as though he’s weather – this inescapable circumstance whose vagaries she’s at the mercy of. It makes me sick but I find myself commiserating and acting like he’s weather a bit, too. Neither of us has a lot of leverage with him since we don’t have the means to live on our own right now, so yeah, we have to try to figure out his thought processes and head off potential issues at the pass even though he won’t actually tell us there’s a problem. We need to ensure our continued security and livelihood.

I never wanted to be the kind of woman who talks about her partner like he’s some alien species and then rolls her eyes like “Oh well, what’re you gonna do?” and goes back to loading the dishwasher. But now that’s who I am. That’s the part I hate the most.

I mean, he’s also really good to us, and he’s pretty together on the feminist front. He doesn’t (or doesn’t consciously) believe that women are lesser or anything. He’s an okay guy. But god, that poor-little-rich-boy obtuseness. It kills me. One time a few months ago when I was apartment-hunting, I got turned down for a place because they didn’t feel I made enough money to afford it***. And the place demanded a money order for first and last month’s rent to even apply, and stipulated that if I got accepted I had to take the place – or at least that they wouldn’t give me my money back if I got in somewhere else. So the application process stalled my apartment-hunt for several days right at the beginning of the month. My current living situation had gotten so bad that it was giving me PTSD, but the housing market is so dire that it pretty much seemed like every half-decent place was taken within the first week of the month (I would call every half-decent ad on viewit.ca on the first of the month – sometimes twenty phone calls to twenty places – and I’d get maybe one viewing out of it if I was lucky! And this happened several months in a row!). Because I work freelance and am behind on my taxes, my only way to prove my income was to show printouts of my bank statements – and I was just starting to enter my slow season at work. I realized that I’d have to either get approved for an apartment somehow that very month, or start taking cash out of my line of credit and depositing it into my chequing account on a regular basis to make my income look more steady than it was. I was horrifically, crushingly stressed out with no end in sight, is what I’m saying. I had gotten to a point where I wanted not to be alive anymore (not suicidal ideation, mind you. Just…I couldn’t keep living where I was, every place in the city was seemingly either unaffordable or unavailable, and I didn’t have the resources to move to another city. The dilemma was breaking my brain and I wanted to wink out of existence so I wouldn’t have to struggle with the issue anymore).

So anyway, the day I got rejected for that apartment, I had plans with The Dandy. I took the bus to our appointed meeting spot, crammed between two strangers, trying not to cry or have a panic attack. I got to the spot and The Dandy he came striding over from where he parked his car, beaming benevolently as he does, wearing $300 shoes and a vintage designer wool overcoat and, I dunno, solid gold pants and a diamond shirt or some shit. And I knew that although he would understand in theory that I was stressed out, he’d never, ever really get it. He makes $93,000/year at an office that gives him paystubs and would write him a letter of employment. He’s been there a few years and his credit is fine. As long as there’s nobody ahead of him in the queue, he can apply for an apartment and get it. Even if it costs three times as much as the place I applied to he’ll get it. The most stress he’s ever felt about apartment-hunting is probably “Boy, I hope the place with the marble countertops and dishwasher gets back to me first. I liked that one marginally better than the one with the sunken tub and fireplace.”

And tbh I really, really wanted to punch him in the face.

 

 

 

*Platonic roommates are not exempt from this. If a platonic roommate was struggling financially and couldn’t always pay their share of rent on time; if they were passive-aggressive; if they were a loud partier; if they were often palpably sullen or cranky; all of these things would add to my stress levels exponentially. Do not want.

**I’ve agreed to be the official kitchen cleaner and I’m fine with that but The Dandy doesn’t even bring his dishes to the kitchen when he’s done. He’ll leave his half-finished plate of spaghetti to congeal on the table and just wander off, and a lot of the time I don’t notice until well after the food is dried on. If he’d scraped the food refuse off his plate and stuck it under running water for a sec, it would be an extra five seconds of effort for him; the fact that he doesn’t means I have to soak it and try to chisel all that shit off later on instead of just tossing it in the dishwasher. He’s making exponentially more work for me. Yesterday I mentioned this, just casual-like, and asked if he could just put his plate in the sink and run a bit of water on it from now on. We’ll see if he remembers.

***NB: I’d given them six months of banking records along with my application and in all of those months but one I made over a thousand dollars more than the rent of the place cost (enough excess money to cover that one shortfall and then some). So I don’t know wtf they wanted from me. Maybe they had a weirdly high idea of how much the average person spends on food and bills…

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Big drama.

I don’t usually do trigger warnings here but this whole post is centred really really hard around r*pe and you wouldn’t specifically know it from the title so beware.

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Context to this post: I have recently learned that The Dandy and Dandette broke up the first time not (probably) because of fundamental personality differences, but because a guy raped Dandette at some kind of nerdy-thing convention – and incidentally this happened pretty soon after The Dandy had his heart bypass surgery – and the general stress of these big life events happening in a short span pretty much broke the relationship. I mean, Dandette literally woke up with this guy’s dick inside her so she developed trust issues and PTSD and stuff. Maybe it made her hate men for a while? I don’t know but she’s actually the one who broke things off.

So anyway. Dandette ran out of anxiety meds and isn’t able to get more for a little while, so she’s been having panic attacks. The other day she had one while we were out running errands, so we immediately started walking home again. Eventually, in addition to the panicky breathing and stuff, she started whimpering with every step and she told me that she hadn’t expected to be walking so much so she’d just thrown on her sandals – but her ankles are shitty and generally need more support than that so now walking was agony.

Later, when The Dandy and I were alone, I told him about this and asked if Dandette had a pattern of being self-defeating (it was a suspicion I had). I mean, the mall we were going to was a couple of blocks away, and Dandette herself suggested we make some unplanned detours while we were out. If she knew that the sandals would quickly make walking painful, why would she wear them for errands where we would probably be walking a bunch? Does she do things like that a lot?

The Dandy said that she does. I asked for an example and he said “Like getting drunk at a con and not wanting to leave when I left, so she stayed and ended up crashing in a room with a guy she didn’t really know.”

WHAT. “…Is that when she got raped?” I asked, carefully. The Dandy confirmed that it was. “Wow. That’s some victim-blaming bullshit.”

The Dandy objected and said he didn’t blame her for the rape.

“But dude,” I said, “I was asking about situations where a person does a thing with a predictable end result and then seems blindsided by that result. Do you see how ‘she wore shoes that hurt her feet and then was shocked that her feet hurt’ is different from ‘she stayed overnight somewhere and a guy decided to rape her’?”

“Yeah.”

Do you, though? Do you get that Dandette didn’t get raped because she got drunk or because she stayed out or because she slept in the same room as a guy she didn’t know well, but because a guy was around who decided to rape her? Like, if there hadn’t been a rapist around, she wouldn’t have gotten raped. She could have passed out drunk in a room with a thousand guys and if none of them was the kind of guy who thought it was okay to stick his dick in a sleeping person, no rape would have occurred. Her rapist is responsible for that happening to her. Nobody else.”

The Dandy kept claiming he understood, and maybe he did now that I called him out, but judging by how the topic even came up, I’m gonna guess The Dandy’s been blaming her for her own rape all these years. And I can’t help wondering if he didn’t hide that very well and that’s why they broke up.

And I felt a wave of dread wash over me because I live with this man now – I’ve thrown my lot in with his, and in fact it’s doubtful I could find or afford a place of my own again right now even if I wanted to. The Dandy plays a key part in my survival at this point so I want the relationship to work out…and he’s just revealed himself to be a victim blamer. Is that what I have to look forward to? Him saying “Welllllll in fairness you did do X and Y” if (god forbid) I get raped or sexually assaulted again?

So that put me in a funk for the rest of the evening. It also brought my mind back to the various sketchy shit that’s happened to me in the past, and I told The Dandy a bunch of those stories, not in any kind of hectoring “So how you gonna blame that one on me, huh? Huh?” way – not to make a point at all – but just riffing. He listened and seemed supportive – no playing “Devil’s advocate” or any of that shit – so that’s something.

Unrelated: the next day, Minx texted me that the hot 22yo poly boy I’ve been so enamoured with raped a friend of hers multiple times, and some other people, too. And yeah, at first I did the typical mental gymnastics of “No, that guy is awesome, he can’t have done this” but ultimately I know that it’s exactly those instinctive mental gymnastics that make it really unlikely that a person is lying about that sort of thing – that particular accusation is way more likely to make people disbelieve and ostracize the one saying it than to actually get anyone to think badly of the accused, and every adult woman knows this. So basically I figure he did do these things. And I was slated to hang out with him that night.

Now, people do have facets. Maybe this boy really was awesome – toward me. Maybe he’d never break my boundaries, just like how serial killers sometimes have wives and families even as they kill other people. But I don’t want to take the risk and frankly I don’t want to give my time and attention to someone who’d abuse anyone. I can’t bear to think that a guy I’m wooing is someone else’s I-can’t-even-see-a-photo-of-him-without-being-triggered person.

I called The Dandy (this whole revelation about the boy happened at my art gallery job) and told him how the boy I liked has apparently raped people and I’d better probably cancel my outing with him that night.

And The Dandy replied “Well, you haven’t heard his side of it yet.”

I called him out on his hypocrisy immediately. “Wait, okay, so if Dandette sleeps in the same room as a guy she’s never heard any sketchy stories about but he rapes her, that’s her fault for trusting him, but if I hear that a guy I know has actually raped people and I decide I’d maybe better not hang out with him, I’m not giving him a fair shot? What the fuck!?!? And you do realize most people don’t lie about these things because they know everyone’s gonna say exactly what you just did, right? If someone tells me that a guy is rapey, I’m inclined to believe them.”

I can’t remember what The Dandy said. Probably nothing much; he freezes when I’m angry. I had to get back to work anyway so I ended the call.

I did cancel my outing with the boy, citing tiredness. I wasn’t ready to confront him about what I’d heard. He kept texting me hellos and whatnot that I ignored, though, and finally the next day he texted me like “Sorry, I don’t wanna be ‘that guy,’ but longer-than-average radio silence makes me antsy. Is everything okay?” Well fine then. I told him that a trusted source says he raped a friend of hers, repeatedly, and I kinda need to back off and process this info. I did not ask for “his side” – what’s the point? Ask a rapist and a non-rapist if they ever raped anyone and they’re both gonna say no. Although Minx did say that this boy takes a different tack; he admits to it, but says he’s reformed. He also, oddly, tries to play the victim card by claiming he has PTSD from being called out on his actions back then. WTF.

But as I said I didn’t ask for an explanation or justification. I simply said I needed silence so I could think. I figured it would be interesting to see if he respected that boundary or not. To my mind, in a situation like this where one person asks for space, the other person gets leeway for one more text message but then they’d better shut up. The boy sent me two messages rapid-fire but nothing since, so in that respect he’s okay.

In those two messages, though, he said exactly what Minx predicted. Here’s the second one, with commentary by yours truly (commentary from inside my head; I didn’t respond to the message at all).

I’ve worked really hard not to be that person. All of my partners know. I try to tell all of my friends and be hyper aware of myself and my privilege.

Minx said that this boy pretends to be a feminist in order to get in people’s pants. He certainly has the lingo down.

The person they were talking about was my first long-term sexual relation and I didn’t know how to act or how to be.

“Wait so I’m not supposed to slam my partner against the wall and choke them? God, how is anyone supposed to keep track of all these rules?”

Because yeah, that was in Minx’s report. The choking was in front of one of the victim’s friends, so not part of any of the rapes from what I can gather. The rapes I think were more coercion, and to be fair I think sometimes a person can be coercive or emotionally blackmailing without consciously realizing it, and rape culture makes it seem normal. So I can kinda see how a young person in their first relationship might be rapey because they don’t know any better (doesn’t make it okay, just makes it a thing that happens). But choking someone in front of their friend is pretty textbook abuse and I think it’s ludicrous for him to be like “Oh, I was new to relationships, I didn’t know how to act.” Of course, he probably doesn’t realize I know those details.

This doesn’t excuse what I did but I hope it gives some explanation.

I guess…

I hope you’ll believe me when I say that I tell people eventually. This person accusing me of this has given me PTSD and I’ve worked really hard to never do anything like it again.

This, right here, cements that this boy is an utter piece of shit. I’m sorry, Princess, did it hurt your feelings when someone called you out about rapes you did in fact commit? That must have been so difficult for you. Sadface.

And what does it mean to have PTSD from someone pointing out that he was an abusive rapist? Does he have flashbacks, go into a fugue state, and have to rock back and forth in the corner every time a perp gets arrested on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit? Like…no. NOPE. I call bullshit on this. Feeling uncomfortable at realizing you did something awful to someone isn’t PTSD, for fuck’s sake. But even if he did somehow legit have PTSD from being an abusive rapist, that’s entirely his own fault and not a thing he should ever try to leverage for sympathy. It’d be like telling people your knuckles always hurt when it’s about to rain because you busted your fist all up once while punching a puppy in the face, and expecting people to go “awwww, poor you!” Nope: fuck off.

Also, wtf is with him using the word “accused”? That doesn’t seem like a word you use for something you acknowledge that you did.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and if I didn’t ever get to talk to you again I’d be really sad about that. Sorry if that was allot[sic]. I just wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t at least try and give my side.

Yeah no this is not about “feeling right,” it’s about trying to feel better about himself – and making himself look good (insofar as that’s possible) so I might still fuck him one day. I heard he’s a rapist and in fact that is correct. He admitted this.

So, I guess things with him are done now.

Good news, though – the last time I talked to The Dandy about any of this he’d apparently realized that yeah, everyone always says “butbutbut they’re so nice/let’s not be hasty/let’s hear their side/oh they can’t have done a horrible thing like that” when someone says a person raped or abused them, ergo most people don’t even bother mentioning it because they’ll just be ostracized for making crazy allegations against such a great person, ergo when someone does say it, it’s more than likely true. I think he gets it now, or at least he’s starting to.

There’s still another small piece of drama that came out of this, though. When Minx was texting me about the boy, she showed all this disdain for the idea that he called himself “reformed.” Not in the sense that she felt he must be lying. She seemed to think that if someone commits rape they must be an irredeemably terrible person, so there’s no such thing as being reformed.

And I’m thinking “does Minx not remember that she raped and sexually assaulted me when we were together, or…?”  I guess not, or else she doesn’t use those words for what happened (which in fairness I didn’t, either, for a long time; the words imply intent to harm to most people, even though the technical definitions don’t mention intent). At any rate, her holier-than-thou attitude and false-dichotomy type of thinking (like there are people who are nice and there are monsters who give unwanted sexual touching and they are two groups with no crossover) was bugging me so I texted her that while I don’t believe this particular boy is necessarily “reformed,” I do believe it’s possible for a person to do a bad thing and then realize it was bad and not want to do it again; after all, she raped and sexually assaulted me when we were together and I still choose to be friends with her. I know she’s not a terrible person.

Minx did not respond to this. At all. Although when I told her about my exchange with the boy the next day, she did engage with me about that, so I guess she’s not angry and freezing me out for calling the previous incidents with her what they were. She just doesn’t know what to say about it, I suppose.

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Humph. :P

Dandette introduced me to a guy-friend of hers who is hot and poly and awesome. He’s also 22, really outgoing, and in three serious romantic relationships. So as much as he and I had some good banter when he was over, I figured he’s a busy, “polysaturated” guy who probably gets along with everyone and would not have fixated on our banter as anything special.

After we met he friended me on Facebook, but lots of people do that. I have people on my friends list I’ve only ever talked to once.

But then a few days later he asked me out for coffee. 😀

During coffee, he said that he finds both Dandette and I interesting and attractive but he doesn’t wanna jump into anything too quickly. He said he’s acted too fast before and screwed things up, and so he doesn’t do casual makeouts anymore and hangs back a while before engaging with anyone in a more “dating” type capacity. Fair enough.

He came over again yesterday for a movie marathon with us and we all snuggled on the couch (Dandette and I snuggled with him, I mean; The Dandy was at work). Which was lovely. But he kept kissing the tops of our heads (and my mouth, once, when I swiveled to look up at him; although he may have been aiming for my cheek) and even caressed me, including sliding his hand under my shirt a little ways. It felt a bit mixed-message-y to me, but I liked the kissing etc, so I just figured I’d roll with it, bearing in mind that it probably wouldn’t go any further. As much as they say “actions speak louder than words,” I think people’s words are important, and he had expressly said that he didn’t wanna start anything up with either of us. His body language said otherwise, but that doesn’t mean I should believe his body language over his words, it means his brain and body are in conflict and very likely his brain will freak out at some point and try to override what his body is doing.

And indeed, he phoned me today and apologized for sending mixed messages. He said he really does need to keep things platonic because he needs to reserve all his romantic/sexual energy for his established partners. He wants to keep on hanging out with me, and even the snuggling is okay, but we should reel it back to where we’re not practically making out.

I’m both disappointed and relieved. I mean on one hand, his initial story was that he wanted to take it slow, not that he didn’t want to engage romantically/sexually at all. I’d been hoping that the smoochy snuggling was just him moving a bit faster toward me being a FWB than he’d meant to. But now I’ve gotten a definite no and I’m sad I won’t get to kiss him. On the other hand, I hate ambiguous situations like this because I’m a person who likes to initiate and when someone has said that they don’t wanna get physical with me but then kind of seems like actually they do want to, I can’t initiate without looking like an asshole. And sitting there being clit-teased all night but afraid to respond too openly just kinda sucks.

And he was quite clear that he likes me and thinks I’m amazing and that we’ll still hang out and he’ll introduce me to his partners and friends and generally keep me in his life. So that’s cool. This boy is awesome enough that I’d hang out with him even without potential for sex. I’ll still feel that pull toward him, but I can ignore it. It might even fade with time.

I feel worse for Dandette ’cause he had this conversation with her today, too, and before that he’d been outright sexting with her. I mean just this morning she told me “I think we might be in a D/s relationship now.” And this afternoon I guess they talked and he was like “Sorry, nope.” He was never that blatantly sexual with me, so I didn’t have my hopes up.

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Completion

It always bothered me when I’d see unicorn-hunting couples seeking a woman (it’s always a woman) to “complete their relationship.” I feel like a person’s relationship should feel complete all on its own or else it might not be that great of a relationship in the first place. I mean of course one person probably won’t have identical interests to yours, but is that what couples mean when they talk about someone “completing” them? Is it like, “I want someone to go to horror moves with because he won’t and he wants someone to watch sports with because I won’t”? TBH I never see unicorn-seeking ads mention anything about personality or interests so I suspect all that’s being “completed” is the both people’s interest in having a woman to fuck. BUT ANYWAY.

Personally, I never had any interest in being part of a triad or V. It seemed too complicated; too enmeshed. But now here I am. And Dandette keeps saying things indicating that my presence here makes things better. Maybe I “complete” them.*

From what I can tell, the cleaning of the kitchen has been a bone of contention with the two of them; seems like neither of them wants to do it and there’s frequently a standoff of sorts. Now that I’ve volunteered to be the official kitchen cleaner, everyone’s happy.

Dandette loves taking care of people and has housewifely aspirations (not kidding), but what makes it fulfilling for her is praise. The Dandy doesn’t give her that very much; maybe he’s used to her cooking. For me it’s an amazing novelty. Dandette does fancy shit, yo! She feeds us herb-crusted salmon and quinoa salad and stuffed chicken breasts n shit. Every single motherfucking evening I’m just gobsmacked by my good fortune, and I gush to Dandette about her awesome food, and she glows. 😀

Dandette and I are on an I-love-you basis now. The other day she said it to the room in general (in which The Dandy and I were both present) and I said it back and she was like “Seeeee?!? Cowgirl says it back!” so I guess that’s another thing she’d been needing.

I’m enjoying the effusive verbal affection from Dandette, too. And, obviously, the food. And she’s better at helping me with my anxiety than The Dandy is (although – and I’ve made this very plain to him – I intend to teach him as much as I can. Dandette’s presence is not a get-out-of-emotional-labour-free card for him!). I intend to help Dandette with hers, too (she’s been on a really even keel lately though so I haven’t had to).

The Dandy has in many ways been sheltered from the realities of life. His parents made good money; he went to a private school and then university and they paid for all of it; now he makes almost six figures. He recently bought himself a pair of $700 shoes online and it wasn’t even a big deal to him (this on top of paying for an $1,800 apartment and buying food for three people and two animals and, I’m pretty sure, eating lunch in restaurants every single weekday), but anytime I refer to him as “rich” or imply that he’s doing well for himself, he laughs and shakes his head – dude is not grounded in reality. Dandette and I both help ground him.

The Dandy is dominant and a sadist. So am I, so he and I can’t really play together. But Dandette is a submissive masochist.

So…maybe we complete each other. I’m still a little squicked by that terminology but at the same time I like feeling as though I have a place here; that there’s a reason I fit in. I like this living arrangement so far and I want it to succeed.

 

*Also, though, I was the one who pushed The Dandy to reunite with her, and I think she knows that. So I’d imagine she likes me a lot for that reason…

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Consummated

I had a model gig last night and when I got home, Dandette was hanging out on the couch and I sat with her. She said she’d found out that when The Dandy is talking about his pen collection, he doesn’t even notice when someone’s playing with his dick. She said she kinda had to point out to him that she was hitting on him…and that because it’s been so long since he’s gone bareback (Dandette has an IUD) he only lasted thirty seconds. And that’s how I learned that Dandette and The Dandy had finally fucked.

I’m fine with it except for the huge, raging wall of jealousy over the bareback-ness. The ultimate insult to injury is that Dandette (from what I can tell) is a person who defines “good sex” around a guy being able to do PIV for a long time. I on the other hand have a fetish for premature ejaculation, specifically when it’s caused by the sex just being soooo hot or the sensations being sooooooo good that the guy can’t help himself (as opposed to, I dunno, a guy who just never takes very long and there’s no real reason for it). I got to experience that once or twice with The Pedant but that’s basically it – oddly, despite all the disparaging rumours about virgins, the ones I avidly sought out in my youth all took forever to come when they fucked me for the first time. And now The Pedant is all in love n shit with some other woman and has rescinded my barebacking privileges yet again, so I don’t get to go condomless with anyone.

I did tell Dandette all this. Not in a tone like I was mad about her sex with The Dandy or anything. Just sharing my thoughts. We commiserated a bit.

Then The Dandy came into the room. Dandette has grown to love picking on him, especially in conjunction with me. And The Dandy – though he’s dominant and not into being humiliated per se – always pitches a tent solely based on the fact that two women are paying attention to him at once. And him getting hard from basically being bullied kinda works for me, so I keep on participating. And so we ended up stripping his lower body in tandem and making his erection into a Hallowe’en ghost (Kleenex with a drawn-on face draped over). Then we decided to draw a face on his actual penis. It had a monocle and a curly mustache. And then Dandette mused out loud “I bet I could lick his balls while you suck his cock” and in some ways I didn’t feel ready for co-sexing him, but I wasn’t horrified enough by it to actually refuse, so that happened for a minute or two. Then I backed off and Dandette started going to town on his cock with her mouth. I kind of wanted to graciously excuse myself, but I also felt I should probably try to get comfortable with this brand new thing of seeing my boyfriend with someone else. Also, I felt like maybe Dandette needed a bit of reassurance that I was okay with the two of them. So I stayed and watched and petted her hair, but didn’t really engage. Eventually she came up for air and asked if I wanted a turn. I said nah, that’s okay – mostly because of the saliva factor.

But another factor in all of this is all the cultural baggage. There’s such a pervasive idea in society, still, that women are trophies doled out to men who do good things, and that men inherently have a right to sex in whatever form or amount they choose. And of course anyone who hears about our household arrangement is probably going to assume that Dandette and I are both submissive and just yearning to worship The Dandy’s cock like good little women (as opposed to what actually happened, which was more like me telling them “Oh, quit with the sexual tension and just fuck already!” so I could get on with my life) And The Dandy gets so goddamned smug when Dandette and I are both snuggling him or otherwise paying attention to him that it looks like he’s thinking “It’s true – good guys DO get rewarded with pussy!” Like it would be one thing if he seemed just plain happy, or overwhelmed by his good fortune, but there’s an air of gloating that I’m not crazy about.

And yeah, the moment The Dandy reconnected with Dandette, his brain went toward the idea of threesomes (Dandette asked him if he was thinking that and he looked all blushy and embarrassed soooooo). I’m straight and Dandette is bi but not necessarily attracted to me (I haven’t asked). Maybe The Dandy is just fantasizing and not thinking/hoping/expecting that it would ever happen, but I don’t know. And I’m reluctant to team up on him with Dandette sexually because I’d feel like I was fulfilling every sexist stereotype ever, not to mention The Dandy’s smug face would no doubt reach intolerable proportions.

And yet, in that little hiatus where nobody was sucking his cock, The Dandy made some hint that he’d really like us to finish him off, and Dandette and I both pretended we didn’t know what he was getting at because we both hate coy language and wanted to make him say it outright, and he did say it outright, and I ended up giving him a hand job for a bit while Dandette played with his balls.

Interestingly (it has only just now occurred to me that maybe Dandette wasn’t entirely ready to share one of The Dandy’s orgasms, either), Dandette made some remark about how The Dandy was barely making any noise or acknowledging us so really, we might as well just watch tv or something. I said “what should we watch?” (but was still totally thinking this was all a joke to freak him out, and he’d ask us to keep going and we’d go back to getting him off) and Dandette said “Futurama” and called it up on Netflix and The Dandy didn’t say anything so we did actually abandon his cock and snuggle up to watch a few episodes instead.

I think it was sometime after that that The Dandy and I engaged in a bit of light impact play with Dandette. I’m not sure I should have done that. I dunno. She’s a masochist and I’m a sadist and we seem to have considerable compatible interests in that realm, plus we could both use an outlet. But I have a horrible tendency to be really into the chase and then lose interest once I’ve “caught” the person, and I don’t want to start up some whole big ambiguously sexual thing with a person I live with and then one day just be like “Meh, no more play. I’m done with that now.”

At the same time, I feel a kind of pressure (more from myself than either of them, I think) to try to close our V into a full triad, if only because it would be so convenient and adorable and symmetrical. And also, sadism seems to light The Dandy up more than any sexual thing I could ever do for him and if we top Dandette together then maybe he’d associate me with some of those lit-up feelings.

Sooooo I paddled Dandette’s ass for a while last night and then The Dandy spanked her while I held her head in place by a fistful of her hair. And her face went all feral in a way I’ve seen on boys I’ve played with, and I simultaneously loved bringing that out in her but also felt like I was tiptoeing around some dangerous territory. Like, I should probably not be doing things that give her that face until I either know I won’t wanna back away from the dynamic anytime soon, or have an open talk with here where I tell her this may not be a thing I’ll be up for forever and make sure she gets that and is okay with it.

Aside from all that, there was a whole lot of mutual cuddling and Dandette discovered that I make happy sounds when she strokes the backs of my knees (and I let her continue but I’m a bit conflicted about receiving those sensations from a woman…petting is somewhat sexual for me but I don’t think I’m sexually attracted to her so I don’t want to mislead or use her. It’s complicated). At some point Dandette made an offhanded remark about how she’s used to being naked around the house (it seemed less like a targeted, territorial thing this time and more just an offhanded remark) and I said “I feel like I could get back to casual apartment nudity at some point, but right now there’s just way too much new stuff I’m processing” and Dandette said “Totally fair.”

I do like the idea of us all being comfortable naked though. If nothing else, it’d be easier for the animals if we could leave the doors ajar all the time. I’m forever closing the bedroom door in order to sleep naked and then having to get up to let some furry bastard in or out.

After our big weird night of quasi-sexual togetherness, Dandette said she needed to go to bed but it would be hard to leave the cuddle puddle. She asked The Dandy where he wanted to sleep, in her room with her or in his/my room with me. He looked to me and I said I’d honestly be fine with whatever, and I excused myself to brush my teeth. I really thought I meant what I said but when I heard The Dandy tell Dandette that he felt I needed some attention and she’d had him all evening, I did feel grateful. As we got ready for bed I quietly asked how he was doing. He said he was fine and asked how I was doing. I said it had been a weird night and I needed to process a lot of things, but I was pretty sure I wouldn’t end up freaking out or horrified or anything; I figured either I’d be up to continue along the same path of open sharing, or I’d start tactfully leaving when Dandette started sexytimes up with him. But I also said that I really wanted to have sex with him one-on-one soon, just as a kind of reassurance that he’s still into me as an individual person. He totally understood. We slid into bed and cuddled up together and I told him I loved him and for once instead of replying “I know” he said he loved me too and I had a brief little stress-release cry and he petted my head until I fell asleep.

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A Weird Thing

So, how things went down with the three of us is, it came out that The Dandy and Dandette had been sort of dating again on our hiatus and he hadn’t told me (and then broke up with Dandette again pretty soon after I came back). Dandette had thought I’d known this piece of info. I think she’d somewhat made her peace with everything. But then the lie surfaced and The Dandy handled shit really, really badly (he told her they hadn’t actually been dating, that time, and he’d only fucked her because he was lonely and desperate!!!) and of course Dandette got really upset and a bunch of feelings came rushing to the surface.

A few days later I ended up comforting her as she cried on the couch. She said she didn’t think she could live here anymore but she didn’t know where she could go. She said she’d always been in love with The Dandy and had always wanted him back and seeing that he was mine now just hurt too much. I hugged her and rubbed her back and wished there was something I could say. I was impressed with her for hating the situation but not hating me. She really is so much more strong and badass than I’d ever given her credit for. I mean, thanks to The Dandy covering up the fact that they’d been having sex again, there were all these times that I would visit and think “Jeez, Dandette and The Dandy broke up two fucking years ago and she’s still acting territorial, get the fuck over it already!” when in fact she either believed we were both dating him at that moment or else The Dandy had just broken her heart again and she was stuck watching him dote lovingly on me (depending on what time we’re talking about exactly). And even as The Dandy hoped Dandette and I would bond and become friends, he let me say these disparaging things about her acting weird and jealous and never once said “well, actually……..”

Anyway. Setting aside how terrible this all was for Dandette, the thing about The Dandy’s lie that affected me the most is that I sensed it. I’d see the two of them act overly familiar and I’d be like “So…you’re broken up, though, right?” and he’d say yeah, no sexual attraction at all, and then they’d get into a playfight that clearly aroused both of them and I’d quietly ask again later, “you’re really just friends?” and he’d say yeah, she was like family to him. (For that matter Dandette referred to him as her brother, once, but I think she was trying to suppress her real feelings; I don’t fault her for that or think of her as deceiving me). And I’m thinking “I don’t have siblings, but I feel like…this…isn’t….normal……..?”

It wasn’t the idea that The Dandy and Dandette might have unresolved feelings that bugged me (or…not much, anyway). It was the huge, huge gulf between the words and actions. That’s why I repeatedly asked him “but there’s really nothing going on?” – because it one hundred percent seemed like there was and The Dandy kept insisting there wasn’t and I felt like I was going crazy! It was actually a tremendous relief to learn what was actually going on. I’m not crazy. I did see sexual tension. They weren’t acting like siblings.

And it was crushing to see Dandette so sad, and it was obvious to me that The Dandy was still drawn to her in some capacity, so the next day when The Dandy and I were alone together on an errand at my old apartment I said “Look, do you love Dandette?” and he said yeah, he felt like he still did. And I told him that if he wanted to resume things with her (in addition to being with me) I’d be fine with it. I mean I’d already witnessed them being really damn couple-y; the only thing that would change if they made it official is they’d be making out and fucking again. Which would be weird for me at first but I was sure the weirdness would pass.

He said the main reason he hadn’t gotten back together with her before is that she really, really relies on sexual attention from men for validation, and he was afraid of her getting too dependent on him for that, especially since she already depends on him for food and shelter. He also said that he worried that she only wanted him because she’s kinda single right now and his dick was convenient to her. He would want to make sure her interest in him was genuine before proceeding. That’s fair. He also said, though, that in the past he’d been hesitant to get back together with her because her anxiety issues were huuuuge and he was the only one she went to for help. Now she’s in treatment and she’s got me there to help, too, so he’s not dealing with it all by himself. He said he felt like maybe they could get back together and it would work.

So we decided to talk things out with Dandette that night. Or maybe just I decided. On the way home from my old place The Dandy needed to stop by his aunt’s for a bit, so we did that. And she was very nice and it was a pleasant visit but I was antsy as fuck wanting to get out of there and have The Talk with Dandette. The Dandy didn’t seem antsy at all, and when we got home he acted perfectly normal and didn’t broach the subject of reuniting. It occurred to me that he had less reason to broach than I did; he wasn’t the one feeling like an interloper. I was stuck in the middle of their drama in a way that he kinda…wasn’t.

At any rate, we got home and said hi to Dandette and discussed what to have for dinner and Dandette declared an intention of throwing on some Futurama for us all to watch and I, with my usual deft subtlety, chose that moment to burst out with “So hey, here’s a question: you seem to rely on sex in order to feel desired, so if theoretically you and The Dandy were to get back together, but he wanted to have sex with me one night instead of you, or god forbid you guys just didn’t end up working out…how would you handle that?”

Dandette paused Netflix and sat frozen for a minute or two. Finally she slowly said to me “Are those your worms?” – she was referring to a thing The Dandy had told her in the aftermath of the Big Reveal – that he hadn’t thought it would be a good idea to have sex with her because it would “open a whole can of worms” (but then he did it anyway because lonely and desperate).

“I think they’re more The Dandy’s worms,” I said. (And yeah, I know it’s kinda bullshit that I was the one who had to pull those worms into the light. Feels like The Dandy spent a whole lot of time spinning his wheels and making excuses with Dandette after the Big Reveal, but never plainly said what was on his mind…)

When I’d been imagining this talk all afternoon, it went one of two ways: 1) Dandette agreed entirely too quickly that nah, it would be fine, we’d make it work” and then she cried and kissed The Dandy and told him she loved him and dragged him off for a reunion fuck or 2) The three of us had a really thorough, down-to-Earth talk where we made a game plan for how to make this work, and then Dandette cried and kissed The Dandy and etc. All day long I’d been bracing myself to deal with the weirdness of hearing them fuck, and also happily anticipating that moment of “OMG I never stopped loving you and now we’re back together.”

What happened instead was: I asked the question, she asked if those were my worms, I said they were more The Dandy’s than mine, and Dandette sat silently for another little while and then changed the subject. The rest of the night went as though nothing had even happened – but a day or two later I overheard her saying to someone that she and The Dandy were back together. But I know they haven’t fucked and I haven’t even seen them kiss and basically everything seems about like it was before except Dandette is less sad.

So the other day when The Dandy and I were alone, I asked “Hey, have you and Dandette talked any more about getting back together?”

“Not really,” he said.

“Because, like, we had that talk where I said that she depends on sex for validation and I asked how she would deal with that, and a little while later she started referring to the two of you as back together, but she never actually answered the question, is the thing.”

The Dandy chuckled and said “yeah.”

“And you never got a chance to talk about your other thing of whether she wants you or just convenient dick. We went straight from me asking a non-rhetorical question about relationship logistics to you guys deciding you were back together, with no discussion in between. I just feel like if this is what passes for communication between you two, there are probably gonna be some issues.”

The Dandy nodded. Then one or the other of us (I think him but I’m not sure) pointed out that there hadn’t been any sex or anything, either. We speculated as to whether Dandette was suddenly feeling a kind of  “stage fright” (not wanting to screw this up because the stakes are so high) or if she only wanted The Dandy when she thought she couldn’t have him or what. We don’t know.

I encouraged him to try to have the difficult talk with her at some point (the implication being: this is your relationship, so it’s up to you to manage it; I’m not gonna mediate).

Like, I don’t care about this a lot, because our present ambiguous thing seems to be working and for the most part this is not my circus and not my monkeys. But ti’s weird. Also I’m seeing a definite pattern of The Dandy not trusting his partners to hear the truth of things, and that seems like it’s gonna be an ongoing struggle for all of us. Feh.

 

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