Tag Archives: dating angst

Oh ffs.

This apartment building I live in now has “guest suites” on the first floor – basically hotel rooms that the tenants can rent for visiting family members or whatever. The Pedant has today and tomorrow off, wants to spend some of it fucking me, and doesn’t want to do so at my place with Dandette and/or The Dandy in the next room, so we agreed that I would rent out one of these suites for the night and he would pay me back.

The Pedant had been better with time management the last few times I saw him but today he’s back to his old habit of repeatedly texting me “just a little longer” for hours. It’s…not exactly a big deal, yet. Check-in time for a suite is 4pm and that’s a couple of hours away. He claims, now, that he’ll be here for 3pm – so officially we lose nothing.

But the fact of the matter is, I wanted to spend as much time with him as possible and we had agreed that he would get here for noon. We were going to go pick up some snacks for our stay in the guest suite and then he’d re-shave my head for me before we went to pick up the keys. And I went to bed later than I should have because I was packing and preparing, which would have been fine if he’d gotten here on time, but of course instead I woke up earlier than I would have liked only to find a text message saying “whoops, maybe 12:30 instead.” Which is only a half an hour later than planned, so I didn’t go back to sleep, but then he texted no actually more like 1:30. So I didn’t go back to sleep. And that became 2:30 which now became 3pm. And I’m goddamned tired. And I’m goddamned sick of feeling like I put more effort into his visits than he does – I spent an hour cleaning and packing sex toys, many of them at his request. And I’m really too pissed off right now to want to play with him when he gets here, but I’ve paid for the fucking room. I’d really kind of like to cancel the whole thing and get my money back but I’m sure it’s too late.

On top of everything else, I thought I was running low on condoms so I bought a fresh new 24-pack last night (and I’m pretty strapped for cash right now so that $20 means something) and when I was packing all the toys etc I found two more caches of condoms in different spots around the bedroom. Like 30 condoms altogether. So…great.

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Unease

I feel like things with The Dandy are off-kilter lately but I can’t tell if that’s just my anxiety messing with me.

Just, with our two recent fights where he accused me of being bossy/naggy over practically nothing…and it’s kind of felt like he’s been avoiding Dandette and I lately…and when I asked how he likes living with two girlfriends he gave such an iffy response…I dunno.

Dandette says that when they were first dating, The Dandy claimed to be into cosplay and even bought a couple of costumes…but once the NRE wore off, he never bothered with that stuff again. When The Dandy and I were first dating and she heard that he’d watched various Netflix shows with me that did not feature superheroes or space lasers, she was outraged: “I tried to get you to watch that series forever and you said you weren’t interested!!!” so it’s looking like The Dandy does shit to impress women in the beginning but then stops bothering once he’s satisfied that the relationship is solid.

And indeed, when I first moved in I’m pretty sure The Dandy spent more time after dinner hanging out in the living room with Dandette and I. We cuddled and watched Netflix and talked and stuff. Now, he comes home from work (usually between 6 or 7pm) and is on his computer watching YouTube shit about weaponry and/or wars and/or Star Trek and/or Warhammer until he goes to bed (usually 2 or 3am). He’ll come out for dinner (he seems to have a thing about food in the bedroom, otherwise I’m not convinced he’d even stay in the common area of the apartment to eat) and then he goes straight back to the computer. I even commented at one point that I feel as though we never spend time together and I’d like to have a movie night sometime that week. The Dandy said okay but never initiated anything. Dandette and I have since asked him to watch stuff with us from time to time. He’ll leave the couch, without a word, in the middle of an episode of something he appeared to be enjoying and we’ll think he just had to go to the bathroom but 20 minutes later I go looking for him and he’s…at the computer watching shit about weapons.

Dandette is at another LARP thing, so last night I felt more free to roam the apartment (sometimes if she’s in the living room I don’t want to hang out in there, depending on where she’s at mood-wise or whether she’s watching a thing I’m not interested in). I was alternating between watching Netflix (on the tv in the living room) and being on the internet (on my laptop which is in our bedroom. Unplugging the cord and carrying it elsewhere is enough of a pain in the ass that I just let the bedroom be my base of operations for all things interwebz). I swear to god when I entered one of those rooms, The Dandy would leave and go to the other one. It happened like three times.

He was still affectionate like usual, more-or-less, hugging me when we crossed paths and stuff. One of those hugs happened at around 10pm and I noticed he looked tired as shit. I told him he looked wrecked and he said that he was. I said “I think we could both use an early bedtime tonight. Why don’t we set an alarm for midnight, and when it goes off we’ll get off our computers and convene for snuggles?” The Dandy seemed pleased with this idea and said yes.

I am a terrible internet addict so I was really getting antsy and watching the clock as time ticked toward midnight. Like I actually called out “half an hour til we get off the internet!” and then later, “nine more minutes!” as I raced to check every website I might ever feel like looking at by the deadline.

At four minutes to midnight, The Dandy got off his computer…and wandered out to the living room, where I found him starting up another YouTube video on the tv. “It’s four minutes to midnight,” I said.

“Did you want to actually go to bed and try to sleep, or were you just thinking of cuddling?” The Dandy asked. Oooookay, I think I see what happened here. What I’d meant with this plan was for us to get off the fucking internet entirely – no more media of any kind. Just togetherness and affectionate touching so we could wind down for sleep. But because I didn’t very specifically say that, The Dandy hoped/assumed I was just talking about wanting to cuddle him, and that receiving his absent-minded touch while he watched still more shit about wars and Viking shields would be acceptable.

“Well, you said that being on the internet, and especially being in front of a tv screen, makes it hard for you to turn your brain off,” I said, “so I was thinking we ditch all media and just snuggle. Hopefully that will wind us down nicely and we can get some sleep.”

“Ah,” The Dandy said…and kept watching the video he’d cued up.

I sat there with my head filling with rage, wondering if he just wanted to finish that particular video (which was somewhat understandable) or if he was just gonna fucking ignore everything I’d said. (WHY DOESN’T HE USE HIS FUCKING WORDS WHYYYYY.) There was no way I could ask what was going on without sounding angry, and we’d already been fighting lately and I just really wanted to keep the peace, so I sat there silently. When the video ended I immediately said “Okay, it’s time.” He did shut the tv off at that point. But I’m not sure he would have if I hadn’t said it.

We got into bed and he gave me some rather perfunctory-feeling pets. I tried to make conversation with him, asking him what little-kid Dandy had wanted to be when he grew up. Learning about him usually makes me feel closer to him, but that night the mojo just wasn’t there.

I asked “is there any place you need to be touched right now?” – if he’d requested that I stroke his dick, I probably would have, but I honestly meant the question at face value. He had petted my head and back in the way that I like and I wanted to know what he might like in return. Pettings? A massage? But he gave his weird high-pitched giggle and didn’t answer me. I suspect he thought I was making a play for sex and he wasn’t into it so he was feeling all deer-in-headlights. I wasn’t in the mood for sex either, though. Intimacy was simply not entering the room no matter how hard I tried to make room for it.

The Dandy gave up pretty quickly on pets and even snuggles. I mean he’d been touching me for maybe five minutes and then he rolled over on his back with one hand flung up by his head like he does when he wants to go to sleep and then after a few minutes of that he full-out rolled over and put his back to me. Which, I mean…maybe he really was tired earlier than usual and wanted to sleep? But it was two full hours before he usually goes to bed and I’m certain if we hadn’t made this agreement to get off the internet he would still have been surfing ’til 2am. It kinda felt like he wasn’t much interested in hanging out with me or touching me but he also didn’t want to back out of the agreement he’d made so he was escaping me in the only way possible.

Although after another five minutes or so he rolled back over and put his arm around me so who the fuck knows.

Annnnnnyway.

Two main things going through my head right now:

  1. If he’s a person who tries hard to impress in the beginning of a relationship and then stops bothering, does that mean I can expect him to be welded to the internet all fucking night forever and only grudgingly spend time with me after I repeatedly ask? Also, does he have some whole huge obsession with not being told what to do and he was stifling that in order to suck up to me but now that I’m thoroughly moved in and emotionally invested he’s gonna go ahead and be an asshole all the time? Is that what our two weirdly similar recent fights were about?
  2. Is The Dandy actually being distant and wonky, or are these feelings coming from me and I’m projecting? It wasn’t that long ago that he came into Dandette’s room where I was sleeping and petted me to sleep, unbidden, for an hour. And that was in the middle of the two fights. He’s still flailing behind him for hugs whenever I pass by his computer chair. Fuck, am I gonna have to keep a spreadsheet of good things vs icky things he does so I can track whether he’s actually not being as sweet to me or if it’s all in my head?

Bah. My head hurts.

 

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Moar Dandy sex

So this is interesting. I think The Dandy has started taking more of an interest in my orgasms.

What I mean is, up until recently he’s seemed willing enough to help me get there when I asked (by “help” I mean “move a dildo in and out of me while I Hitachi’d myself, because the time I tried to teach him to do the Hitachi part he was astoundingly awful at it.”) but he seemed depressingly perfunctory about it. I’d glance over at him during the act and he’d just be staring off into space. He’d frequently move the toy inside me either really fast or barely at all and I’d have to remind him that I wanted a speed that could plausibly be penetrative sex because that’s what I was trying to fantasize about. He’d adopt an appropriate speed but then two minutes later we’d have to have that conversation over again.

A while ago I decided to try to Hitachi-train him again. There were…hiccups in the process. He still had that issue of completely losing track of my clit and ending up wiggling the head of the vibrator around on my inner thigh or lower stomach. I repeatedly bumped it back into place with my hand and even outright told him “You know my clit is in the middle, right?” he said it was difficult to figure out where the Hitachi was landing because the head of it is so big. Fair enough, I guess? But he’s a guy with a fair bit of mechanical aptitude and a good sense of spatial relations so it’s weird that he couldn’t extrapolate that if my clit is there, and the spherical head of the Hitachi is here, then the part making contact with me would be…

I feel like there was something going on besides him actually not knowing where to apply the Hitachi. He told me before that when he used to top Dandette she would tell him afterward (pretty cruelly, it sounded like) that he did it wrong. I think he’s really flinchy about his sexual prowess now, and maybe that was making him overthink everything. Or, maybe it was sheer indifference, because if I glanced at him while he HItachi’d me, once again he’d usually be staring off into the middle distance rather than watching what he was doing or looking at my face.

But he did get better with the Hitachi, and both yesterday and today he got me off with it quite efficiently and he was looking into my face as I came and he didn’t just automatically stop after the first orgasm (as he has before when assisting me with the dildo). Both times he got me off twice and seemed just fine to keep going but I was spent and said it was okay to stop. Today he even took the Hitachi from me automatically. I’d been going to do that part myself but he just swooped in. I like that.

I’m still pretty exasperated with his lack of foreplay and lack of attention when he touches me. And I wish he would initiate giving me orgasms. I initiate with him all the time, and not usually for the purpose of him reciprocating, either. I just flat-out like watching him/hearing him/making him orgasm. That I like it so much that I then need an orgasm or two is incidental – I’m not approaching it like “I wanna get off and I don’t wanna do it myself. I know – I’ll get him off and then he’ll feel obligated to give me a turn!”

It’s just so weird. The Dandy has expressed concern before that he’s boring in bed (I think because he’s not into role play or dirty talk or any other thing that adds a psychological twist to sex), and I’ve now told him at least twice that I’d like more touching from him during sexytimes, and that I wish he would focus on the touching the way I focus when I touch him. But nothing has changed. I still have to ask to be petted. He still just plunks his entire hand onto my back or leg and moves it rapidly and perfunctorily back and forth while staring into space (the touch that gives me skingasms is a light stroking, and I tell him “Lighter, please” every. Single. Time. And he still doesn’t get it). I’ve taken to exaggerating my (already quite extreme) reactions in order to encourage more touching, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect. If, in his ham-handed petting, he passes over a spot that feels particularly good, I’ll make extra-loud ecstatic sounds…but he doesn’t double back. He just keeps moving his hand back and forth in the same absent-minded pattern. I’m explicitly telling him how to blow my mind in bed – telling him with my words and my responses – and he’s not taking advantage. I don’t get it.

Like…it is seriously so easy to light my whole body on fire and melt me into a puddle. Lightly stroke my skin pretty much anywhere, pay attention to which area makes me moan and squirm the hardest, and concentrate your attentions on that area until it’s tapped out and my responses begin to quiet down. Repeat, ad infinitum, with different areas of skin. I will completely lose my mind and become a drugged, writhing, moaning sexbeast for pretty much however long I’m being petted. And then probably at some point I’ll want an orgasm, which is pretty super easy to accomplish as long as your stimulation is reliable and consistent.

Do those things and I will shudder and cry and laugh and gaze up at you like you’re a god.

I feel like I have so much sexual potential and it’s largely going to waste.

The main reason I haven’t sat The Dandy down about this yet again – and maybe started raising my voice this time – is that he does pet me to sleep. I only told him once that I liked this, and now he does it unbidden pretty much any night that we go to bed at the same time. And yeah, his touch is still absent-minded and overly heavy, but still: he’s touching me because he knows I like it. I assume he’d rather just go right to sleep but he does that instead. And he’ll keep it up for like ten minutes or more. And I feel so loved that my heart might actually burst.

Being petted to sleep is more important to me than being petted to stir my libido for sex, so if The Dandy only has a limited capacity for touching me, well, I don’t want to yoink that away from the sleep-pets. So I’m leaving well enough alone. For now.

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Tidbits

I mentioned to The Dandy a while back that having my head stroked/petted really helps clear my mind so I can sleep. He has since gotten in the habit of cuddling up to me and petting my head every single night (for a while, like 5-10 minutes), and in those moments I feel so loved that I could burst. He still has difficulties saying “I love you” but tbh as long as he still pets my head at night I don’t give a flying fuck about the words.

Last night, though, we were slated to go to bed at different times; I had to work in the morning and wanted my solid eight hours but The Dandy intended to stay up til 2am like he usually does. He had to watch some online tutorials for work and I asked if he could possibly multitask by watching them in bed on the laptop while petting me to sleep. He said yes without hesitation.

We also had some pretty productive talks over the past few days. Last night I went back to the topic of him not being able to picture shit in his head based on words, because I’m baffled by this. I’d sent him that link about the guy who has aphantasia (his brain doesn’t make pictures at all) and he’d read it and he says yeah, that’s exactly what it is for him, too. I said “But you said you fantasize when you jerk off.” He said yeah, but not pictures, concepts. I was like “well, so the concepts must be delineated in words, right?” he said yes. “So words can turn you on.” He said he guesses so, yeah. Which brings us back around to: what kind of dirty talk would do it for him? He still doesn’t seem to know but maybe the thoughts will percolate for a while and he’ll come up with something.

(Funny story: at one point near the beginning of this conversation I was kind of baffled and enraged, trying to understand how his brain works. He kept telling me contradictory-sounding things and I was like “but how does that even…what are you…which is it?” and finally we ended up in a standoff where he was in his computer chair smirking up at me and I was standing over him staring in a quizzical and annoyed fashion. And then I thought “I guess this conversation has gone as far as it can go” and I straightened up and started to leave the room because the kitchen needed cleaning. The Dandy became alarmed and caught hold of my arm and asked if I was okay and I was like “Oh, sorry, I guess that seemed kind of abrupt. I’m not mad or anything. I’m just gonna go load the dishwasher. But thank you for checking in.” The Dandy smiled with relief and pulled me in for a kiss and it was kind of adorable. And after I was done in the kitchen I came back and we talked about his whole not-able-to-picture-thngs issue a whole bunch more.)

He was seeming a little fragile by the end of this conversation and I would guess it’s because he’s used to Dandette reacting to his foibles like “What the fuck?!? You’re SO WEIRD!!!” so I sat on the floor by his chair, laid my head in his lap, beamed up at him, and told him that I love learning more things about him; it makes me feel closer to him, and it’s cool that even now, after dating a while and even moving in together, there are still more things to learn. That seemed to put him more at ease. 🙂

I also told him that the main two strengths I feel I have, sexually, are my dirty talk and my ability to read body language to figure out exactly where and how to touch someone, and The Dandy kinda negates both of those (not into dirty talk, doesn’t have any erogenous zones but his dick so there’s very little opportunity for me to get creative). And I guess I have a very dude-like attitude toward sex: yeah, intimacy and closeness blah blah blah but did I get you off really well? How was it on a scale of 1-10? Plz quantify all the things and tell me how I can blow your mind even more. In other words I feel like my value, sexually, lies entirely in what I do, not how I look or who I am. I hate not having the power to be better at sex with him. Like, what, just me showing up is enough? That can’t be right.

Finally I was like “Okay, let’s try this: would you characterize me as good in bed?” The Dandy immediately said yes. I asked why. He said actually, it probably is my ability to read signals. I didn’t expect him to say that, since he’s really really plain when it comes to sex; doesn’t care about foreplay, doesn’t seem to need any fancy moves, just puts his penis in and moves it around until he comes. But actually, there is the fact that the reactions he gives are very very subtle. Maybe other people miss them. I have learned that when I’m giving him a hand job, the only way to tell if he’s anywhere near coming is that his toes start to point. His breathing doesn’t change until the last second and he never tenses up or anything. There have been times when my wrist was getting tired and I was about to take a break but then I saw his toes flex in my peripheral vision and knew I needed to stay the course. And I’ve learned that he’s the type to go still when he comes during PIV, even though continued thrusting makes his orgasm better, so when he’s on top and starts to come, I start thrusting really hard and it gives him a bunch of extra spasms until the endorphins (I’ve come to realize it’s endorphins, not how silly it is for me to suddenly start bucking my hips up at him like that) make him start laughing.

The other day – oh, tangent, I was diagnosed with ADD like three months ago and had been putting off getting the medication for it, but I got it and had taken my first pill and apparently the angst I was feeling about all of this had turned me all anxious and navel-gazey (or maybe that was a side effect of the pill). So, the other day I realized that Dandette and I have a key difference in our anxiety that he should probably be made aware of: she’s terrified of being a burden and will get mad if you go out of your way to help her through an anxious patch, and I generally want help but am constantly convinced that my problems aren’t important enough to deserve it. I cited the time I had all the horrible bug bites: when I asked The Dandy and Dandette for calamine lotion etc. and neither of them seemed particularly invested in getting me some, I thought “Oh. I guess I’m just being a big fakey fakerson again, making a big deal out of nothing” and I gave up on asking even though the itching and stinging was torture. So I told The Dandy that having my feelings validated and being offered help is really important to me, and I told him that if for instance he sees me being on the internet super obsessively all day it’s not a bad idea to ask me if I’m okay because that is in fact a huge symptom that I’m anxious about something and trying to avoid dealing with it. Later, I told Dandette the same thing: it’s not her responsibility or anything but if she sees that I seem to be going sideways and she has the spoons to ask me what’s going on, that would be nice. ‘Cause I get into these cycles without even realizing it, sometimes, so if someone points it out maybe I’ll actually address the issue.

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I’m a kitty and The Dandy is perceptive.

I have The Dandy to myself for a couple of days while Dandette remains at her parents’ place. Last night I talked to him some more about Dandette and the situation with her being off her meds and everything. Looks like her anxiety made her too scared to call the doctor for an appointment to get a new prescription and she was too embarrassed to tell us. An appointment has been made for when she gets back, though.

One thing that’s been plaguing me in all this is that I haven’t known Dandette all that long so from my point of view, she was awesome when I first moved in and that lasted for about a month and then she was moody and terrible for about a month and that brings us up to now. So like…what’s even real? Did she love me in the beginning, as she claimed, and then her mental health went downhill and fucked things up but those initial feelings will come back? Or was she faking the love in order to make The Dandy happy and ensure her continued spot in our household, but once I’d settled in, she didn’t bother keeping up the charade anymore? Like, how do I even know if she was faking the affection she claimed to feel for me?

“You can’t know,” The Dandy said.

I rolled my eyes, buried my head in the crook of his neck, and said “Good pep talk; thanks.”

“Well, okay, so what would you need from her in order to feel like she genuinely loves you?” he asked. Wow, lookit him with the hard-hitting questions! Gettin’ right to the heart of the issue.

I thought about it and finally said “Well, my love languages are touch and acts of service – especially someone feeding me – so if Dandette would bring back all the hugs and home-cooked meals, I would feel loved and therefore love her in return. Because apparently I am a kitty. Except I realize that’s not even logical, it’s not a valid way to measure if she really does love me, it’s just me getting the right buttons pressed. Honestly, I think a person could give me some food and hug me while saying ‘I don’t even like you very much’ and I’d still feel loved. Like, the person’s headspace doesn’t even matter, as long as they’re doing the things.”

The Dandy laughed and said “You really are a cat!” and here he imitated the thing we both do of saying mean things to the cats in a sweet voice, and they way they respond to the tone and not the content: “”You’re so fat and dumb. Oh yes you are. Yes you are.’ ‘Purr purr purr!'” I hadn’t made that connection before but it’s apt and it’s hilarious.

But we kept on discussing shit and it turns out Dandette has withdrawn her affection pretty hard from The Dandy, too, which I totally didn’t notice*. He’s less intimidated by her mood swings than I am, so he doesn’t go out of his way to avoid her like I do; thus they have more contact than she and I have. But it’s not good contact, as I’d been assuming; she’s just as prickly and unpredictable with him as with me. Which is sad, obviously, but also comforting. The Dandy says he’s really very sure that the issues we’re having are entirely to do with her being unmedicated, and that things will get back on track after she’s seen the doctor. Yay.

 

*I’m still a bit weird and jealous over this whole sharing thing and it’s tempting to watch them like a hawk and make some kind of scorecard of what he gives her vs what he gives me, but THAT WOULD BE CRAZYPANTS, so I’ve gone in the other direction instead and willfully ignored/glossed over their moments of affection, if any).

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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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