Tag Archives: The Dandy

Bleh

I’ve had a dream a few times recently where I’m in a moving car but there’s no driver. The car is skewing off the road or about to go into a busy intersection and I’m in either the back seat or passenger seat struggling to reach the brakes.

Pretty sure this is my brain’s reaction to how little in control I am of my life. Like mostly in the sense that rental prices in this city are so high – and my body’s resilience lately is so low – that I’m not sure I could afford to live here at all if I were entirely supporting myself. I love this apartment and I love my bedroom and I currently have low enough expenses that I have money left over to do with as I please, but all of that is by The Dandy’s good graces. If we break up, I’m thoroughly fucked.

The Dandy and I are doing well, mind you, and when we have issues we work through them pretty well (he’s evidently not operating under the assumption of “Mehhh, I don’t really have to bother making sure she’s happy in the relationship. She’s poor! She’s stuck with me! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!”).

Actually, the other night in a wee fit of insecurity I asked him to tell me a thing he likes about me and he said “that you put up with me.” And there was that time that he told me he doesn’t think he feels feelings (including “in love”) the way other people do, so he’s not in love with me, and when I said that scared me because it means I’m easily replaceable by any chick he thinks is cute and nice to be around, he said something like “Noooo. You underestimate how rare you are. Most people piss me off and you don’t.” And he’s said that he doesn’t plan on seeking out any additional partners because the seeking process is a giant pain in the ass (and relationship maintenance is hard work and he doesn’t really want to be having more of that than he does now).

So…signs point to him probably wanting very much to keep me around. Maybe the power imbalance isn’t so skewed, after all – maybe we both feel like our lives would be way worse if we broke up, just in different ways.

Anyway. I’m hoping that acknowledging what the dreams are about will make them stop because they’re scary and I’m sick of them kthxbai.

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Adjustments

I asked The Dandy today one last time if he was for sure fine with our new rent arrangement of me paying 25% of my income from the previous month instead of one set amount. He said he was.

Shortly after that we had sex and he orgasmed (vs just coming). The Dandy says there’s no pattern he can see to why the orgasm fairy visits him during some sexual encounters but not others, aside from he has to feel safe with his partner. I’ve sort of been assuming there’s more to it than just feeling safe – that the relationship has to be going well, no hidden resentments and stuff. Or maybe that is part of feeling safe.

Anyway I think this is a good a sign as I am likely to get that we’re fine and he doesn’t think I’m a freeloader.

On another note: I am getting used to the thing where The Dandy is maybe not good at anticipating my needs but will (usually) cheerfully do things I ask of him. After The Dandy orgasmed, I rolled off him, grabbed my Hitachi and favourite dildo, and said “I need more of your expert cocksmanship.” He duly thrust the dildo in and out of me while I Hitachi’d myself to a huuuuge climax. A few minutes later I felt like there might be more in the queue so I turned the vibrator on again and checked. Yup, came a second time. The Dandy did not reach over and keep thrusting the dildo, I guess because I didn’t ask him to. I’m trying not to fall into a pit of feeling like he’s not into pleasuring me and will only do it when I’ve specifically asked and he’s afraid to say no. He’s said that he feels weird initiating that stuff for whatever reason and I believe him.

And anyway it’s not like I’m afraid of asking for what I want*. I’m not too prudish or shy to be like “Yo, dildo-fuck me” or “I need snuggles.” It’s just that I happen to really like it when a partner does stuff without me having to ask. That’s always been a big signifier of love, for me. But I recognize that it’s not the only signifier. The Dandy generally does do what I want, when I tell him what it is. That seems like a pretty strong indicator to me that he wants me to be happy. And he does do stuff without me asking sometimes – he just isn’t always great at predicting, or has a mental block about some types of initiating (like sexual stuff), or something.

So, there are some adjustments. But I feel like the relationship is going well, generally.

 

*I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but The Dandy likes to be a brat so one time when I told him “open your robe for me” – meaning “I know you’re naked under there and I want to admire your body” and he goddamned knew it – he got up off the couch, turned his back to me, opened his robe to the empty wall for a minute, then did it back up again. This would be a terrible thing to do to someone who balks at being explicit and needs to use euphemisms; god knows he would find endless loopholes that would allow him to keep bratting. But I just laughed and said “Do you think I won’t get more specific? Turn to face me and open your robe so that I can see your genitals. Then keep the robe open and gyrate so I can watch your penis jiggle back and forth.” And he did.

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Oh also

On a few different nights recently I declared an interest in sleeping next to The Dandy and he said he would rather have his bed to himself that night.

I am so happy he’s able to tell me that. I feel like earlier on in our relationship, he wouldn’t have been able to (too scarred from Dandette overreacting to every perceived rejection). But now he’s openly telling me when he wants to sleep alone. Which means that when I say “do you want company tonight?” and he says yes, he really does mean yes.

So that’s another clue in favour of him being totally fine with the new rent arrangement. He knows he can tell me stuff and I’ll handle it fine. He’s openly rejected me for sex a few times lately, too, which he never used to do (he’d ignore me asking but not ever directly say “I’m too tired right now” or whatever).

Heh. This post is about me celebrating not getting things I want. Weird.

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Adjustments

I think this the first time I’ve broken off one long-term relationship while I was in another. Certainly it’s the first time I’ve broken off one long-term relationship while I was cohabiting with another partner. So I’m figuring out how to navigate this.

First off, I’m trying to make sure I don’t rant about The Pedant to The Dandy toooooo much. Not even because they both are/were partners of mine and it might be weird, so much as it just gets really fuckin’ boring. The Dandy lives here, so he’s around a lot and is a captive audience of sorts, but that doesn’t mean I need to free-associate at him every time a thought comes into my head about the breakup.

I did tell The Dandy that if I do need to talk about The Pedant sometimes, it’ll probably help a lot for him to validate my feelings. I think one reason my head gets so wound up about The Pedant is that he gaslit me so much and it’s probably gonna make me second-guess myself occasionally – like, was he really as insensitive and ridiculous as I remember, or was that my anxiety misinterpreting things?* So The Dandy confirming that yes, things really were that bad, I’m right to have ended it, I can find someone better for me, etc would probably really help. (And The Dandy knows The Pedant, so he wouldn’t just be talking out of his ass.)

And I gave The Dandy an overview of what might happen with me for the next little while (I have a post-breakup pattern I’ve noticed). To wit:

  • By the time one of my relationships ends, I’ve been suppressing anger and trying to gracefully set aside differences for a lonnnng time in an attempt to make things work. After a breakup I don’t have to do that anymore and can finally let all my emotions out. Probably more and more things will suddenly pop up that I realize I’m angry about and that I’ll need to vent about, although I’ll try not to drone on for too long.
  • I will probably be tempted to respond to personal ads on FetLife or otherwise search for new partners. DON’T LET ME DO THAT. Chain me to the bed like I’m a heroin addict in withdrawal if you have to. I’m just messaging guys because I’m trying to fill the gap in my life The Pedant left behind, but I’m still way too bitter to date so as soon as a guy responds to me with interest I’m like “fuck, I don’t wanna meet new people. I hate people. The fuck am I doing?”
  • Breakups put me in a bitter mood where I feel like all relationships are doomed. It seems likely that I’ll start picking fights with The Dandy to prove to myself that this relationship sucks, too, or that I’ll blow up some minor thing that happens into proof that we’re doomed. I’ll try not to, but yeah…take me with a grain of salt.

That was just last night that I said those things and speak of the devil, we had an incident first thing today. In addition to the breakup I’m also probably PMSing right now, btw, plus I was hangry when this incident occurred.  So, lotta stuff going on.

Anyway I woke up fucking starving and went to the kitchen to make myself some eggs. The counter was still a bit cluttered with dishes and things from the day before and I thought I saw movement among the clutter and yep – ARRRRRRGH – there was a cockroach on the counter next to the stove. I screamed and it scurried under the edge of a plate.

I ran and told The Dandy that there was a roach. He knows I have a tremendous phobia of them after having lived in a place back in my 20s that had an absolutely nightmarish infestation of them** and has typically been really accommodating, thank god. He came to the kitchen and looked at the corner of the counter I pointed to – didn’t even move anything aside, just looked – and said “Meh, I guess it’s long gone now.”

Long story short I didn’t buy that the thing was “long gone” from such a veritable playground of food and hiding spots, and I didn’t feel comfortable cooking myself breakfast unless that portion of the counter had been cleared off so I could definitely see that it was critter-free. So as The Dandy moved to head out of the kitchen I asked if he could at least put that pan and those plates into the sink before he left.

And he said “What pan?” without even looking at the fucking counter, which irritates the shit out of me. You guys, it’s not that big of a counter and I was only talking about one specific corner anyway and there was a single frying pan sitting there. This is not difficult.

“The pan. On the counter. Right fucking there. Can you put it in the sink,” I said.

“No,” The Dandy said, and I jumped to the conclusion that he was being a dick and intending to make me confront my roach phobia on my own. But then he said “That pan never goes in the sink, period. If soap even touches it, it’s ruined” so then my fury turned in a what the fuck is he even talking about sort of direction. It’s a fucking aluminum frying pan that we’ve soaked in soapy water a thousand times.

And then I realized that The Dandy still wasn’t looking in the corner next to the stove (you know, the corner I’d specifically pointed him to twice now), he was looking at the stove itself, where this fancy clay cookie sheet thing was sitting. That’s the thing that absorbs the taste of soap and can’t be washed in anything but straight water.

And then I kind of went nuclear on him and then went to my room and slammed the door, wondering how I would ever be able to be with someone who doesn’t fucking listen and who wouldn’t clear off one little patch of kitchen counter to assuage my phobia WTF.

At about that point I caught myself and realized I was probably doing exactly what I’d warned The Dandy about last night. Yeah, sometimes he doesn’t see stuff right in front of his face and it’s annoying, but it doesn’t mean he’s a terrible person. And he wasn’t refusing to clear the counter in order to be mean, he just didn’t understand what it was I wanted exactly. I don’t know why the fuck he didn’t look at the counter to see the pan before saying “what pan?” but whatever. He wasn’t being mean to me. And everyone has a brain fart sometimes where they don’t see something in front of them. None of this was a relationship-breaking issue – my brain was just trying to convince me that relationships all suck and are doomed to fail.

As I ruminated on all of this and tried to talk myself down, I heard the sounds of The Dandy running water and stuff. An hour later he came to my door and said “The kitchen’s clean now if you want to make yourself something.”

He’d cleaned the whole entire kitchen for me.

I finally ate something, which cleared up most of my low-blood-sugar irritability. I came into The Dandy’s room where he was on the computer and sheepishly kissed the top of his head. “How are you feeling?” he asked. “Better,” I said, cautiously. Not all better, though. I felt stupid about my behaviour earlier and yet still irrationally angry for some reason. So I couldn’t bring myself to apologize to him. But hey, he never apologizes to me; he always just comes in and is sheepishly affectionate with me and expects that it’ll magically fix everything. Surely he could take a little of the same treatment.

A bunch of hours later I felt a bit more back to my normal self and it felt weird and icky to me that the incident from before was sort of up in the air and not closed via an apology. I don’t know if The Dandy feels like an apology is closure or not, but I felt like I needed to make one. I hugged him and whispered “I’m sorry I got so angry this morning. Thank you for handling it relatively gracefully.” His facial expression in response to this seemed like something other than relief, to me, but I couldn’t exactly read what. Awkwardness, maybe? But he did smile.

Bleh, I hope I can shut off any further tantrums of mine before they happen. This is exhausting.

 

 

*Every single person I’ve told about The Pedant borrowing money from me to treat Raver Chick to outings, or being hours late every time we had plans, has been like “OMGWTFBBQ THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!!!” so that’s been satisfying. But I’ll need gobs more of that before my confidence is back up to normal.

**They’d run laps around my plate inside the microwave when I was cooking food, fall off the ceiling onto my head…at night there would be dozens of them crawling around on the kitchen counter and floor. I had to check under the toilet seat before I used it in case there was one hiding there. At the time I sorta got used to it and just powered through because there was no other choice. Once I was out of there and safe, though, I guess my brain just fuckin’ collapsed and now I just cannot deal with roaches at all. CANNOT. DEAL.

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This is why I pay him the big bucks

So, yesterday I got a text from an art instructor asking if I’m free to pose on Feb 15th from 8:30-11:30am.

I am not a morning person (understatement of the year), so doing that shift would make me hate my life and wanna die. And now that I live with The Dandy and my finances are stable, I don’t have to take shifts that make me hate my life. I can afford to be choosy and in fact my goal this year is to avoid what I call “helldays” at work as much as I possibly can*. If the idea of taking a shift makes me start to spin out in anxiety, I should say no to it.

But. If I were to tell the instructor “Sorry, I’m not available that day,” she would likely just offer me other dates for that same early timeslot. This is a college instructor so she’d be teaching the same class at the same time every day, all semester; it’s not a one-off. I suppose I could just keep on claiming unavailability for any mornings she offered me, but she surely knows I can’t be that booked up yet, so probably she’d assume I just didn’t like her for whatever reason and stop offering me work entirely. I don’t want that! I’d be fine taking an afternoon or evening shift with her!

But if I were more truthful and direct – if I told her “I hate getting up that early so no, sorry” or “only if I can do a reclining pose and sleep the whole time” or something, I think I’d come off kind of rude and prima-donna-ish and I don’t want to get a reputation for being difficult.

I told all of this to The Dandy and he suggested I tell the instructor that I’m not a morning person so going forward, I’m choosing to focus on afternoon and evening classes in order to ensure my work is the best it can be – but that I’d be delighted to work with her again if she ever has later timeslots to offer.

Holy shit that’s genius. 1) It comes off as me wanting to be the best model I can be rather than whining that waking up early sucks. 2) If this lady really wants me to model for her, she’ll probably feel free to suggest compromises of her own (“I’ll be talking for the first half hour so really you don’t have to come in til 9,” “I really don’t even care if you just sleep the whole time,” etc.). 3) It makes it clear that it’s nothing personal against her and if she has an afternoon class sometime I’m totally down.

So I texted that to the instructor and she was like “Cool, thanks anyway, I’ll keep you in mind for the future” and I feel good about the exchange.

My boyfriend is smart, you guys. ❤

 

*Sometimes, due to the freelance nature of my job, helldays happen anyway, like if I’ve already booked two shifts in one day and someone else offers me a third that pays too well to pass up (I hate cancelling on gigs for various reasons so I just end up doing all three).

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I adulted!

The Dandy’s aunt holds a little New Year’s Day dinner for a handful of relatives each year, and The Dandy makes a habit of going. Last year I didn’t go because there had been huge, exhausting Dandette drama and then she left (forever!) so I just wanted to sit in the quiet apartment and enjoy being my myself. This year, I opted to come along. I was pretty nervous, though. There would be people there I hadn’t met before, and I’m terrible with faces and names. Also The Dandy’s family is, y’know…mainstream people. Conservative-ish. And I’m a nude model with a punky hairstyle. The Dandy warned me that certain relatives of his don’t have a very good filter and might ask me snotty, judgey questions about why I choose to look the way I do. Which of course made my AnxietyBrain go into overdrive and I got all caught up wondering whether it would be best to respond to such things with passive-aggression, aggressive aggression, or to just be bland and nice because – fate willing – I’ll be with The Dandy til death do us part and therefore seeing these people every year for the foreseeable future.

Well, joke’s on me. Everyone at the dinner was perfectly pleasant and I think I managed to come off pretty well despite being socially awkward and a bit of a freak. It was a pretty nice evening.

Except (venting ahoy) there were two kids present – brother and sister, three and eight respectively (I think) and it took a massive effort of will for me to keep my composure. The boy was incredibly restless and derpy/oblivious and would do stuff like flail around right next to a huge shelf full of glassware and not appear to hear numerous adults in the room yelling “come away from there! Be careful! Watch the glasses!”

The girl was a bit less stupid about knocking into stuff, but both she and the boy didn’t listen to their parents at all. They’d drop something on the floor and their mom would say “pick that up, please” over and over and they’d look right at her but not pick the thing up.

Worse, they kept touching shit they shouldn’t be touching and ignoring their parents about that, too (if the parents even saw it). Like, the butter was on the table in preparation for dinner and at one point both kids had climbed up on the table and either put their fucking sticky hands on the butter or were about to. Only once their parents yelled at them fifty or sixty times to leave it alone did they finally get off the table. Then the girl was tasked with setting the table and held the clump of forks in her gross little paw by the business end and nobody said anything. Then the boy decided to troll her by undoing her work, and started following along behind her, picking up all the paper napkins she was laying out and then clutching them to his chest until – again – he was told sixty times to put them back and eventually did.

It drove me mad that the parents weren’t doing more by way of discipline. Not hitting, but like if you’re saying “don’t touch that. Put that down. PUT THAT DOWN NOW, PLEASE” and the kid still isn’t putting it down, fucking take the thing out of their hands! Let them know that if they don’t obey of their own free will, you will get the result you want anyway, so they might as well just listen the first time. Or even if the kids opt to continue being assholes, at least taking stuff out of their hands or dragging the kids away from stuff will accomplish the not-touching that you originally wanted.

At one point the little boy was fucking around with something he shouldn’t – trying to pull out a drawer in the sideboard or something – and his mom kept saying no, stop it, you’re gonna get hurt, leave it alone, stop, but he didn’t leave it alone and this somehow resulted in him clonking his stupid fucking head and then bursting into tears over it. His mom picked him up and comforted him, and ten minutes later the kid went and started fucking around with the same drawer again. We’ve already established that in some ways I’m an unfeeling monster but TBH if it was my kid, I’d be tempted not to offer comfort for his bonked head until he made it clear that he understood the situation. “Didn’t I tell you that if you kept doing that, you’d get hurt? And what happened? Yeah that’s right you got hurt. Do you understand now why you need to listen to me? Do you? Good. Come get a hug.” It wouldn’t for sure have kept him from going back and doing the same thing again – the kid seemed pretty stupid – but it might have. I don’t figure reinforcing that I know best and he should listen would make things worse, at any rate.

But they’re not my kids so I did my best to politely ignore their bullshit.

Sometimes, the parents would shoot me a look of complicity while the kids were being annoying; a look that said “us grownups are all on the same side, right?” I almost shot them a look back, but stopped myself just in time, because my look would have been predicated on the idea that the side we were all on was “Fuck, kids are awful, can’t we just kill them?” but their idea of the side we were all on was undoubtedly more like “Ha, kids, amirite?” all jovial n shit. So that would’ve been awkward.

Like yeah I know it’s common sense that people who have kids probably like them at least some of the time and also probably hinge a lot of their pride on other people’s perception of said kids. Totally logical. But I’ve never wanted kids even the tiniest bit so I feel entirely disconnected from that whole headspace and have to consciously remind myself of it.

But yeah, I got through the evening without slapping either of the kids’ hands off anything or otherwise coming off as rude or weird. Yay!

Incidentally, while none of the grownups snottily asked why I dye my hair the colour I do, the boychild came over and asked me – in curiosity, not judgement – why it’s the colour that it is. Kids do that all the time and as long as they ask me directly instead of yelling to their guardian about me within my earshot, I’m totally fine with it. I replied “Why is your hair blonde?” and when he asked me about my hair colour again five minutes later I said “Because I’m a grown-up and I can do what I want.” The adults in the room seemed pleased and amused by both of these answers. *Phew!*

Just for clarification, I don’t hate kids per se. I might sometimes say that I do, but that’s more a convenient shorthand for a combination of other issues. I think children legit have some of the same character traits as sociopaths (lack of empathy, believing other people exist for their entertainment) and when those qualities come out, it irritates me – especially when I feel that their parents or guardians aren’t doing enough to wean those qualities out. I dislike random noises and chaos, and some kids are loud and chaotic. I’m deeply annoyed by people who don’t listen and/or who don’t learn from their mistakes, and so the boy smacking his head but then going back and replicating the head-smacking conditions again ten minutes later was kinda crazy-making. But I don’t hate kids, or even these particular kids. I just hate things about them.

 

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Collectors Unite!

The Dandy is almost certainly on the autism spectrum and one way it manifests is in his obsessive interests in things. He collects pens, swords/daggers/knives, watches, and now he’s fallen down the rabbit hole of fancy flashlights and randomly comes into my room to tell me the stats of the latest shiny he’s found online. (“It’s the size of your finger but has more lumens than a car’s high beams! Its beam travels up to six kilometers! It has five settings and automatically reverts to the last setting you had it on the next time you turn it on!”)

I’m somewhat of a nail polish aficionado and The Dandy is always down to look at whatever new ones I get. I thought it was because nail polishes, in their way, are similar to fountain pen ink (which he also collects): you can get ones with duochrome and glitter and all kinds of other pretty gimmicks.

I just realized, though, that this probably isn’t why The Dandy takes an interest. I think what it is, for him, is that being obsessive and a collector itself is a point of interest for him. He’s not into any of my obsesso things per se but he finds the obsessions themselves interesting. I’ve never seen him straight-up say to someone “do you collect things? Ooooh neat, I’m a person who collects things, too, so I understand the headspace! What do you collect? Ok well since that’s not a thing that hits my particular obsesso-buttons I’d love to understand why it hits yours!” but one gets the feeling that’s where he’s coming from.

Being treated as though being obsessive and/or a collector is normal and indeed fascinating, and encouraged to talk about my passions, is really, really nice.

I’ll be honest, here, it still freaks me out how much money he spends on his knives etc. It still feels a bit frivolous (my cheap-ass parents’ voices in my head whispering that he’s never gonna actually use a sword so there’s no point in having a rack of them up on the wall; I mean if you’re just gonna have them around to look at, you might as well look at pics of them on the internet and save thousands of dollars*). But I do get it, and I’m striving to be accepting toward The Dandy’s obsessions as he is toward mine; I’m striving to take the attitude of “Oh, you have an obsession? Cool! Show me! I like learning what makes people tick.”

The Dandy’s philosophy is that money is for spending. Why work so many hours a day at a job you may not even like, only to not buy yourself fun shit? And…yeah. Fucking yeah. I’ve spent my entire life denying myself most fun things, just so I could have a bigger nest egg. It’s responsible to have somewhat of a cushion to fall back on, yeah, but when it’s at the point of me never going out to eat or seeing a movie in the theatre or buying myself pretty shiny things because I feel like every extra cent has to go toward my honestly already pretty adequate nest egg, that’s a bit fucked up**. I could die tomorrow for all anyone knows. If I do, my chunk of savings will be no good to me and most of my life will have been a grim slog of self-denial. Fuck that.  I’m gonna learn from The Dandy’s example and try to loosen up a bit.

I know Dandette was snotty about The Dandy’s purchases back in the day (“Ugh, another sword? And how much is this one, then?…Ugh” sorta thing) and he has some baggage about that. So that’s another reason not to be all snippy about how much money he spends. I still ask him what he paid for stuff sometimes, but more just to marvel at and be openly jealous of how easy it is for him to spend money on fun stuff – no undercurrent of “you should be saving up a nest egg instead of wasting cash on stuff like this.” The Dandy’s gradually started being more open and excited about showing me whatever his latest thing is that came in the mail and his enthusiasm is beautiful to see.

 

*I rationalize my obsessions by telling myself they’re things I can wear. Makeup, nail polish, wigs, and masks (my main obsessions right now) aren’t display pieces; they change how I look and, by extension, how I feel. I’m using my stuff to put on different personas, not just buying it in order to have it (except TBH I have at least a dozen nail polishes I compulsively bought and have never used, and how often am I actually gonna wear a mask?) So it’s different. Right? :P,

**Also – I tell myself I’m saving money “in case of an emergency” but when an emergency actually comes, I don’t want to dip into my nest egg because then there would be less of it and what if there was an(other) emergency?!? So like clearly my thinking around this is dysfunctional.

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