Tag Archives: The Pedant

Moar Pedant

The Pedant returned last night after work, ostensibly to help me paint my apartment some more. Spoilers: we got naked instead.

Shit ran late at his job so he didn’t end up arriving til 9pm (vs 7:30 which is what we’d planned). So, only two hours before the noise bylaws kicked in. And I knew I wanted to fuck him and I know my vibrator is loud enough that the harpy downstairs can hear it and will sometimes pound her ceiling over it and my vibrator is the only way I can really get off anymore, so.

I am feeling a bit distant from The Pedant these days – I mean, we broke up and I had like half a year to process that and realize that he’s…really kind of an idiot in a lot of ways, and that he really didn’t give as good as he got in our relationship. I don’t know if it’s the frisson of feeling like he needs to “win me over” or if he was just particularly horny when he arrived, but The Pedant was hilariously thirsty. Like I let him in and it didn’t occur to me to hug or kiss him hello, and apparently he felt this lack and as we made small talk he hovered over me giving off palpable “touch me” vibes. I’d just made a plate of eggs and I was starving so I retrieved my food from the kitchen and set it on the couch and then I finally succumbed to the hug he so clearly wanted. He murmured in my ear that he’d “come prepared” like he’d promised (he’d offered to wear an old pair of boxers that I could cut off him with scissors). “Good,” I said evenly, “and I managed to find time today to wrap a couple of dog leashes around the top of my bedframe.” I use leashes as attach points for wrist and ankle restraints and he knows this. Just me saying that made him gasp and shudder. Fun! Dance, puppet, dance! He also asked me, in his low, slightly unsteady, turned-on voice, if the toys I used to use on him are still clean. I said yes and he said “you could probably convince me to let you use them on me tonight.” Uh-huh. He doesn’t really want ass play but he could be convinced to take a plug or dildo for my sake. Okay.

Between kisses he also asked me if I’m okay with our current “friends with benefits” status. Oh, is that what we are? He’s so fixated on unicorn-hunting with his girlfriend that he’s relegating me to not-a-relationship even though we’re interacting in exactly the same way we did when dating? Pfft, whatever. I said yeah, it’s probably fine.

After a minute or two of vertical snuggling in my living room The Pedant said “you should eat your eggs before they get cold.” I agree, and the only reason I hadn’t started already is that he didn’t let up his grip and I was too polite to struggle out of it. I turned around and stood there for a second surveying the couch area for the jar of mayo I knew was there somewhere (it’s the fat-craving week of my cycle and I’ve been putting mayo on everything). The Pedant took this pause as an invitation, or something, and stepped up behind me and put his arms around me again and started kissing the back of my neck. I visually located the mayo jar and tactfully waited thirty seconds before saying “ah, there’s what I was looking for” and disentangling. I curled up on my side to eat, leaning on one elbow. The couch is currently covered in a bunch of clutter because reasons, so there was barely room for just me, but The Pedant – catlike – insinuated himself into the clutter until he was spooning me from behind. He continued petting me and kissing my neck and shoulders as I ate. I told him about a recent triumph, posing for a highly publicized costumed drawing class and being generally adored and showered in compliments. This gig has a photographer who takes promotional pics for their Facebook page, and I said that I couldn’t wait to see the pics because I looked goddamned resplendent that night. “I’m sure you did,” The Pedant said softly, right in my ear. Ha ha he never gives a shit about my art gigs or thinks my costumes are sexy.

Part of me really did want to string him along and make him paint my kitchen a bit before we got down to fucking, but ultimately the time constraint/loud Hitachi conundrum won out and I took him straight to bed. Actually I told him I wanted to just lie down and digest my food for a few minutes before seguing to other things (*cough*). So I lay on my back on the bed and The Pedant barnacled himself to the side of my body with one leg thrown over mine and his face pretty much pressed against my cheek. He petted me a bunch and I gradually allowed myself to be won over to it, taking off my shirt and bra to allow more skin access. The Pedant doesn’t usually take an active role in bed, or even touch me back…except, come to think of it, when he knows I’m mad at him or feeling distant or needing to be won over. So in effect, the more love I felt for him back in the day, the shittier and more one-sided the sex got. What bullshit.

So for a long time I simply lay back and enjoyed The Pedant petting me, and I gave him some minimal pets back but didn’t shift my full attention to him. Eventually I said “Your face needs to be 100% more between my legs than it currently is” and – obliging but moving in slow motion because stupefied by arousal – he shifted his body downward and I squirmed out of the sweatpants I was wearing.

As an aside: The Dandy has never gone down on me. I pointed this out to him, once, doing that thing where I make an observation and then just wait to see what the other person says – and he simply agreed “nope, I haven’t” without giving any reasons and I didn’t dig further because if he thinks vulvas are disgusting or that giving head would make him submissive that’ll just irritate me. So for the most part I’ve been living in a cunnilingus-free universe. And it’s not even like I can get off that way anymore, but it still feels good, and I miss the intimacy.

The Pedant, conversely, is an enthusiastic rugmuncher, if a little haphazard and lacking in finesse. If I’m gonna get anywhere near orgasm I need someone to find my sweet spot and hit it rhythmically; he was just kinda doing this sporadic all-over-the-place thing that sometimes ground his scratchy beard into me in a painful way. But sometimes he accidentally did things that felt good, too, and it was a turn-on just feeling like he was submitting to me and doing my bidding and reveling in my taste and smell. I was so turned on, in fact, that after five or ten minutes when I decided to bring in my dildo and Hitachi and finish things off, I came three times in a row. Been a while since I felt like having a third. ūüôā Even after I set the Hitachi aside, The Pedant kept moving my dildo around inside me and gently stroking my clit, which gave ma a bunch of pleasant aftershocks. I called him a good boy and he did that little gaspy thing. He really digs the idea of being my slave. Normally, for whatever reason, he seems to attract women more on the submissive side so it’s a safe-ish bet his girlfriend doesn’t give him what I do. I bet he’s been feeling all kinds of backed up. ūüėõ

Eventually I told him to come up and lie on his back. I didn’t give him the kind of hours-long-marathon-of-hitting-his-erogenous-zones that he’s accustomed to from me (half revenge, half wanting to be done with possibly noisy stuff by 11pm) but I cuffed his wrists to the bed and cut his underwear off and jerked him off with a gloved, lubed finger up his ass (spoilers: the finger up the ass didn’t take any “convincing.” I simply got a nitrile glove out of the bedside table and put it on, and the sound of me doing so made The Pedant gasp in anticipation). It was fun and fascinating watching his face as I gently moved that finger inside him. As he approached orgasm I eased up on the finger movements so as not to distract him, then twitched my finger slow and steady just after he went over the edge and was actually coming. His whimpering sounds were epic.

And then of course he immediately fell fast asleep, as he does. I got up to pee and when I returned I had to nudge him over from the centre of the bed to make room for me. The realization that I was next to him made him start awake for a second and instantly turn and glomp onto me. He clung to me like a drowning man to a life preserver for most of the night.

He set his alarm extra early this morning – like two hours before he had to be at his job which is 20 minutes from my house – and he didn’t expressly say this but I think it was so there was time for us to cuddle. At least that’s how he ended up spending the extra time. Before he left, he kissed me, then knelt and kissed my pubic mound, then came up and kissed my mouth again. Prawr.

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Dandy stuff

Spent last night at The Dandy’s place. Dandette didn’t get in the way much, so that was good. It’s frustrating because at my place it feels like I have no privacy because the walls are paper thin and my downstairs neighbours are vindictive assholes who probably write down every single sound they hear from me in a revenge book or something. The Dandy’s place is gloriously quiet from a neighbour perspective – it’s in a high rise, so the walls between the apartments are concrete. But his goddamned ex-girlfriend is his roommate and she has boundary issues so her attempts at showing she’s okay with our relationship sometimes take the form of, like…spying on us and issuing verbal high-fives?¬†Thus, The Dandy and I have no place where we can fuck and I’ll feel 100% comfortable.

But as I said, this time around she chose not to comment on anything she could hear us doing. So yay.

The Dandy is very sweet. As yesterday was the first of the month, I redoubled my efforts at finding a new apartment (by the end of the month I figure everything good has been snapped up). I perhaps naively thought that if I sat down and focused real hard on my online search and then called up a shitload of places in a row, I could get viewings for later that day or maybe the next day. But I kept getting answering machines or the ad I saw was old and the place was taken or blah blah blah. I do have two viewings booked for Tuesday night and The Dandy says he can probably come with me, so that’s exciting! He’s really good at figuring out how best to arrange a place and/or make the best of a weird layout so I need him in my corner.

Anyway. Focusing that hard, plus dealing with people, exhausts me, and also I just hate all the other stress of wondering where I’m gonna live and how I’ll afford it and all that. When I got to The Dandy’s I was okay but after half an hour or so¬†my adrenaline buzz began to wear off, I guess. He was just finishing loading the dishwasher when I said “I am in dire need of spooning” and told him I seemed to be having some kind of emotional crash from the apartment hunt. He stopped the housework immediately and took me to his bed and snuggled me and massaged the knot I always get next to my shoulderblade and I had a little cry and then felt better.

One thing about The Dandy – I think I’ve mentioned it before – is that he’s the kind of person who mostly just listens to me when I rant. I prefer more feedback. So, like…when I was intermittently crying I said something like “I feel like any woman who’s not always calm and collected is labeled a ‘psycho bitch’ and I worry that¬†I seem unstable when I act like I am now. But really this is just a stress-cry and once I let this all out I’ll be back to normal.” The Dandy just kept on holding me and rubbing my back, and that’s not terrible, but what I wanted was for him also to say “You’re not a psycho bitch” and/or “guys who throw that label around are assholes” and/or “I don’t think you’re unstable.”

I mean the thing is my ex-husband used his resounding silence as a means of controlling me. I didn’t realize it at the time. But¬†if I talked about wanting to do¬†a thing he didn’t especially like me doing, he’d go all cold and tight-lipped and silent. He wouldn’t actually¬†say he didn’t want me to do the thing. In fact if I anxiously said “…Is that okay?” he’d say yes – in a clipped, icy tone that still totally seemed like he was pissed at me, so I opted not to do the thing.

Now, granted, as I told The Dandy I was afraid of being labeled “psycho” etc., he kept on hugging and petting me. His body didn’t go all cold and still and distant as my ex’s probably would have (I don’t recall a time that he pulled this “silent treatment” bullshit while we were cuddling so I don’t know). So it’s probably fine. But I’d still have preferred that he’d gone the “Oh don’t be silly you’re just a human being having human feelings” type of route.

I talked to my friend Dom about this and he said that to him, reassurances like that sound condescending. His girlfriend likes that stuff and has said so, so he does it. But it doesn’t come naturally to him. It wouldn’t have occurred to me that reassurance of that kind is condescending. But maybe that’s what it is with The Dandy – what seems obvious and natural to say¬†to me doesn’t feel natural¬†to him.

The Dandy is also silent when I talk about any of my various forays into sex work (and when I mention other partners), and when I’ve asked “are you okay with all this?” he just kinda shrugs and smiles. He doesn’t seem coldly pissed off like my ex did but it still unnerves me a bit. Although maybe he really is fine with it but just has no advice to give. When I was ranting about guys on that pay site not texting me back, he did discuss¬†it with me and offer some theories. So yes. This is very different from my ex husband.

I’ll say this, though: it was much, much more obvious to me that The Pedant really was fine with my sex work and with me being poly and all of that. He would actively engage me in discussion about that stuff, and had lots of advice and whatnot. He once painted my toenails for me because¬†I was supposed to see a foot fetish guy later, for Pete’s sake (and The Pedant is not into feet and hates the smell of nail polish – he got nothing out of the interaction except me being grateful for the help). He absolutely made me feel as though he supported me in all areas of my life.

I miss brainstorming sex work strategies with The Pedant.

Anyway.

The Dandy makes a lot of money. I’m not sure how much exactly, but like…a lot. Definitely six figures, I should think. And he has all these arcane hobbies and is able to throw shitloads of cash at them. I’m jealous of his money (so. Very. Jealous.) but I love hearing about his hobbies. I love hearing about all the weird factoids he knows, in general.

One of his hobbies is collecting fountain pens. He has almost fifty of them in a special case; he showed me yesterday (it came up because I pointed out what I thought was a collection of colognes on a shelf in his bedroom. Not colognes: ink. The size of the boxes and the graphics on the boxes did look kinda perfumey, though).¬†I must have been really well calmed-down from my¬†anxiety crash earlier because I was more focused than usual and found myself really interested in these pens. The best part is The Dandy doesn’t halfass anything: I knew he didn’t just have a pen collection because they were pretty. He would know¬†everything about them. So I could ask him any questions that came into my mind at all and he would field them. “What’s this pen made out of? What’s the ink made out of? Was ink¬†made of different stuff back in the day? What’s the most expensive kind of ink, and why?” and on and on.

The pens were mostly made of celluloid, btw. And there are different kinds of celluloid, and one kind off-gases camphor so you can tell if a pen is legit the kind it’s claimed to be by sniffing the inside of the cap.

I worry sometimes that I won’t be enough of an intellectual challenge for The Dandy because, while I know obscure bits and pieces about a lot of different subjects, he seems to know all my trivia already plus a billion terrabytes more. On the other hand, maybe he’s not looking for an intellectual challenge from me. Maybe it’s enough that I’m the kind of person who will eagerly engage with him for almost an hour over a pen collection.

The Dandy said something to me, a while back, along the lines that saying “I love you” jinxes a relationship. I’ve been feeling really close to him lately and somewhat tempted to drop the L-bomb but obviously not if he’s going to recoil in horror because he thinks I’ve doomed us. So as we were lying in bed last night (after a whole bunch of sex) I asked “Do you really think saying ‘I love you’ jinxes things?” He said no, not really (I’m not sure if I believe him; he had not sounded like he was kidding at the time) and asked me if I think it’s a jinx. I said that oddly, that’s not one of my paranoia things; I haven’t had any kind of pattern where relationships fell to shit after we exchanged I-love-yous. I¬†have however had a few relationships fall to shit not long after I began tentatively trusting that things¬†would go long-term, so¬†that’s my big jinxy thing: allowing myself to believe that a partner will be a permanent fixture in my life rather than just “living in the now” or whatever. The Dandy squeezed my arm in sympathy when I said that.

“So…is there a reason you’re asking this right now?” The Dandy said. Under other circumstances¬†I might have used that as a segue to actually tell him I loved him. But his tone was¬†so knowing and nudge-nudge, wink-wink-y that it annoyed me.

In the past few years I’ve had¬†two relationships¬†(The Bunny and The Pedant) where I said “I love you” and they didn’t say it back¬†and we went on to date for¬†a year or more after the incident.¬†A year or more of me having put those words out there (several times, in The Pedant’s case) and being met with a pat or a smile or an awkward deflection in return. And at the time I was willing to rationalize this: he¬†treats me pretty well, I¬†feel¬†loved, maybe he feels the same thing I feel for him but he just doesn’t label it the same, we don’t have to break up over this, blah blah blah. But now I feel like I was kind of debasing myself by sticking around¬†and I don’t want to do that again, which means I’m not gonna tell anyone I love them¬†until I’m as sure as can be that I’ll get it back, and if I don’t get it back…I may have to bail.

And now here’s The Dandy asking me why I’m bringing up the subject of exchanging I-love-yous, all smarmy and knowing n shit,¬†and¬†just…ugh.¬†If he’s that sure that I love him, why doesn’t he just say it first? And if he’s not at the point of wanting to say it, why the fuck is he prompting¬†me to say it?

I told him I brought the subject up as a philosophical discussion, and then I cuddled up to him and went to sleep.

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So very done.

The Pedant called me last week just to see how I was doing. He also offered to come over sometime that week so I could vent to him some more, since he knew I’ve been going through a lot what with looking for a new apartment etc. My heart skipped a beat¬†at the thought that he cared about me and wanted to provide emotional support. If you’ll remember, my big thing with him was that he seemed pretty selfish in our relationship a lot of the time and didn’t want to go out of his way for me. I was hoping that our breakup might have made him realize he’d taken me for granted and maybe he was trying to make up for that.

But then when we compared schedules it turned out he was specifically hoping to come see me on Thursday night because he happened to be working walking distance from my house that day (he’s a security guard and they send him to various stores around the city). And I mean, he was still offering to come let me be angsty at him when he didn’t have to, so that’s something, but with the history we have it did bug me that it seemed to be only because he’d be nearby.

When I said I was working on Thursday night but free on Wednesday, he said he could come after his shift on Wednesday and crash here if I wanted and then leave (for his shift that was walking distance from my place) the morning after. I said yes, kind of on autopilot, because for a long, long time I was yearning after any little crumb of attention he felt like tossing my way and I guess I’m not out of the habit of eagerly snatching them up yet. But as soon as I said okay to him visiting, I kind of regretted it. I wondered whether that had somehow been his plan from the start – use my place as a motel and pay for his lodging by listening to my problems. And also I felt worried that he would let me down by cancelling or being late, because that’s a pattern with him. When he signed off on our phone call he¬†said – in his warm, soothing baritone voice – that he would check in with me the next day and then the day after that, just to keep me updated on our plan. He talks a good game¬†but he’s usually full of shit so I didn’t get my hopes up.

Sure enough,¬†I did not hear from him the next day; the day after that (Wednesday, the day he was meant to come over after work) he texted me to say that he couldn’t make it after all. His job wanted him to bring in some piece of paperwork¬†the next day and¬†he had it at home. I think what irritates me the most is that he began his text with “I have some bad news:…” like a) he assumed his cancellation would be some big¬†tragedy for me and wanted to ease me into the news gently and b) he assumed his cancellation would be surprising instead of just the latest in a long, long line of Pedant fuckups.

I was like “Okay thanks for the update” and went on with my life.

Since then, a Bad Thing has happened to me that is infinitely more stressful than the apartment hunt ever was. I texted The Pedant my terrible¬†news and he texted back an appropriate shock/dismay reaction but has not repeated his offer to come over and talk me down from all my stressors. I presume this means he’s not scheduled to work near me anytime soon.

Fucker.

If he ever calls me again I¬†won’t answer.

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…but on a catty note…

I always found The Pedant just¬†extraordinarily hot, which is why I put up with the amount of shit from him that I did. He was a¬†vaguely dangerous-looking goth boy of the sort that I’ve always lusted after but who rarely – if ever – wanted me back, usually because¬†I am neither goth nor dangerous-looking. But The Pedant did want me. He was a sinewy, wolfishly gorgeous, high-cheekboned man with long hair and amazing outfits, and I got to peel those outfits off him and fuck the shit out of him and it never stopped feeling validating.

But in the past year or two¬†he’s started going seriously bald – his hairline was receding when I met him but now it’s receded even more and the whole top of his hair has thinned¬†way out to where I can see the ghost of male-pattern baldness underneath (and dude has a huge noggin¬†– he used to get his turtlenecks custom made because a storebought one the right size for¬†his body wouldn’t go over his gigantic melon head¬†– so his very receded hairline leaves nothing to break up the vast, domed¬†expanse of his forehead). And he’s gained weight. Once upon a time he used to be heavier, but it was distributed all over so he just looked pleasingly solid. Then he lost weight for a while and his body was all slender and tight. Now he’s still thin all over except for a bulbous little middle-aged paunch that strains the bottom few buttons on his shirts. I don’t even¬†mind a guy having a belly¬†– The Dandy has quite a lot of extra weight on him and so did¬†The Bunny – but The Pedant carries his weight in a very “suburban middle-management dude who’s given up on life”¬†kind of way, and what originally attracted me to him was that he looked like¬†the antithesis of all of that. He was otherworldly. Now he’s just some paunchy security guard.

If he had still been making me happy, his changed appearance barely would have registered with me. But he’d stopped doing all the things I liked several months before we broke up, and he was no longer the pretty shiny thing I’d once fetishized, so it’s just as well he dropped the hammer. It frees me from a whole huge dilemma I would inevitably¬†have had,¬†wanting to preserve the relationship because we had all that history together and he was almost what I wanted,¬†but at the same time not feeling happy with him or even attracted to him anymore.

It also gives me a warm glow of schadenfreude to imagine that perhaps other women will be put off by his prematurely middle-aged appearance, too, and he won’t have as much luck getting laid as he used to. I want¬†to be the last woman ever to dote on him and call him¬†beautiful. And I want him to be painfully aware of this and to realize that he fucked up by letting me go.

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Then again…

I also get the feeling that The Pedant was afraid of commitment. Probably he sees relationships as a series of obligations (which they kind of are, but ideally¬†there’s also so much good that it balances out).

We had a while – last summer or something – where he was being really great at giving me what I needed and I was just feeling absolutely over the moon for him as a result.¬†I was so bursting with love for him¬†that I wrote him mushy¬†letters and painted him a wee piece of art that was heart-themed. And I think it was pretty soon after that that things started falling to shit – that the sweet things he used to do started falling by the wayside. It was either shortly after my big obvious gestures of love or shortly after I wrote him the manual outlining the stuff he did that I liked and telling him that as long as he did those things, I’d be happy with him.

And then during the whole argument over the fucking keys and me wanting him to try to be on time and whatnot, I clearly expressed to him that I was in the relationship for the long haul so I was willing to wait a few years for him to get his lateness problem in order. I just wanted him to start working on it a little bit at a time, was all.

So part of me thinks he¬†began to feel distant and then left because I¬†loved him and made it clear I wanted things to go long term (like, officially, not just a “hey let’s hang out and have sex” arrangement that just kinda doesn’t stop) and it freaked him out.

Which, good riddance I guess. I want a¬†relationship at this point in my life, not an elaborately nonchalant ongoing¬†fuckbuddy thing. Still though. The Pedant loved me; he didn’t run away when I told him I loved him; he told me he thought of me as his primary partner; he stuck around for five years; when we had issues he tried (except at the very end) to solve them and get us back on track. He¬†clearly wanted a relationship with me, so it’s just so stupid that me being open that it¬†was a relationship scared him away.

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Mourning person

Now that The Pedant and I have been split up a while and I’ve been processing everything, I’m able to articulate the thing that pisses me off about our breakup.

For our entire relationship, I knew on some level that he is essentially really, really selfish and that this was his motivation for just about everything he ever did. Our¬†weekends of sex and sushi were awesome – I couldn’t help experiencing the sex and food¬†as acts of love – but I suspected that really, he wasn’t thinking “I want to spend time with Cowgirl and make her happy through food and naked touching.” He was thinking “I like hanging out with Cowgirl. She sexes me really well. So I think I’ll go over there this weekend. Also I’m craving sushi so I’ll take her with me.” There’s still affection for me in there, mind you. I do believe he loved me. Just…in a weirdly self-centred way. We didn’t share our lives; he lived his life and let me tag along.

There have been many times that he’d told me that his work schedule was too hectic for him to¬†able to see me for a while, but then I gleaned from Facebook that he’d gone to a concert (never the exact same day that I’d asked him over, so it could’ve been worse. But during a general time period where he claimed he would be too drained to socialize). There have been many times that his coming over was conditional, in some way, on a concert or clubbing event he wanted to attend – “I’m gonna see if this concert has any tickets still available at the door and if they don’t, I’ll come over” “there’s a thing I wanna go to in your neighbourhood tonight. I can come over after if you’d like.” It’s not like I expect a partner to make grueling sacrifices for me all the time but I mean…I don’t want to feel like a convenience or a backup plan! I want someone to want to see me, and to want this enough that they’ll happily make plans to come over¬†just for that reason. Not because they’re in the neighbourhood or because there’s nothing else to do.

As I said, my time with The Pedant¬†was usually filled with satisfying things and left me feeling happy and loved. But I was very, very careful never to ask him to go out of his way for me because subconsciously I knew that my internal framing of our relationship was probably inaccurate and I didn’t want my illusions shattered by asking for something and being rejected.¬†The night my friendship with The Veteran imploded and I was afraid she would¬†stalk me, I didn’t ask The Pedant (who knows legal stuff, is a trained security guard, and is generally unafraid of anything) to come over and keep me safe because I had a dreadful feeling that he would just be like “Nah, by the time I got there it would be late and I have to work in the morning.”

So there was this precarious balance where I could be happy in the relationship if I convinced myself that the things he did were¬†for me and not just selfish – but in order to maintain that happiness¬†I had to¬†keep my expectations minimal and kind of shrink myself down so I didn’t take up too much room. If I asked too much of him I would eventually (or immediately, as it turns out) cross a line and then it would be pretty obvious just how little he was willing to do for me if it didn’t happen to coincide with what he wanted anyway.

But sometimes my anxiety makes me paranoid and skews my perceptions of things. And our relationship had been chugging along for around five years, and the few times that I told him there was something making me unhappy, he encouraged me to tell him the issue and he made changes. And in fact shortly before the breakup I told him¬†I wasn’t happy and he paid so much lip service to the idea that we would totally sit down and talk it out, don’t worry, we’d fix things. And despite having told me before that he can’t stand dealing with anxiety in people, there were a few times that I texted him that I wasn’t doing so well brain-wise and he called me and talked me down. I hadn’t asked him to call me; he just did.* So I started thinking that maybe I hadn’t put enough faith in him; clearly my happiness was important to him and he wanted the relationship to run smoothly, right?

So I had the wacky, wacky hubris to ask him to¬†use my spare keys I’d given him** to let himself in when he’s late, and to maybe try to sometime in the future¬†not be hours late for every¬†fucking plan we ever made. This was the first real change or sacrifice I’d ever asked of him. After five years with him I finally had the confidence to do that.

And he broke up with me over it. Getting keys cut and showing up on time was apparently too much for me to ask of him.

And I’m so fucking pissed off.

 

*But I realize in hindsight Рalmost exclusively during his commute home from work. And when he reached his front door he would sign off. So he was up for helping me with stuff, as long as there was almost nothing else he could be doing but staring off into space.

**Or to get new ones cut, since the keys he had were pink and he was embarrassed to have them on his keyring, which is how he always ended up forgetting them at home on days he was meant to come over. Whatever. The point is he was hours late all the time and I wanted to be able to go places and live my life during those times instead of sitting by the phone waiting for the “I’m here” text.

 

 

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Moar Dandy stuff

The Dandy and I talk a lot about past relationships and I can’t tell if it’s because we’re both middle-aged (thus thoroughly at the stage of abandoning all dating pretense and straight-up saying “here’s my baggage and here’s what I need in a partner, you up for it or not?”) or if we’re both maybe not quite¬†over all that previous stuff.

I definitely try to hold back on that kind of talk¬†when I’m with a young’un because they’re usually so fresh and optimistic and inexperienced that they don’t really talk about past experiences, they just wanna throw themselves into this awesome new one. So stuff doesn’t really come up and it would feel gauche to wedge it into the conversation. With guys my own age (in my very limited experience) it does come up a bit more; the mutual sussing-out of compatibility is a lot more blatant. But I still haven’t usually talked about my history as much as I do with The Dandy. Not this early in the game, anyway. We name names, even. He knows the names of the exes who have affected me most. I know the names of his. I have¬†never been on that sort of basis with anyone until months into a relationship. I like it. But I still¬†worry that it might be unhealthy, because worrying is what I do.

The Dandy is usually absolutely silent when I tell him things (like explain about how my mental issues affect my life or tell him I’m anxious about something or mention other partners I have) and it unnerves the shit out of me. My ex-husband was usually silent when I had anxiety freakouts and I’m 99% sure it’s because he had no idea what to do and was panicking. So he’d listen and maybe be sad that I was suffering but feel helpless to stop it and¬†he’d go get shitfaced with his friends in order to drown out his icky helpless feelings. I¬†think with The Dandy he’s just trying to be non-judgmental and let me vent? But I’m not sure, so I’m kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Like, yesterday I gave notice at my part-time gallery job because I realized I just don’t have the right kind of brain to handle the level of multitasking and human interaction required. During my quitting talk, my boss¬†said she was relieved to understand that’s what was going on – that she’d been frustrated, wondering why I wasn’t doing certain aspects of the job¬†(“Does she just not¬†like doing those things so she doesn’t do them?”). I had told The Dandy ahead of time that I was planning on quitting and he asked if I would need him to come over after work for emotional support*. I ended up summoning him, and cried in his car after work. I told him how the big quitting talk had triggered some baggage for me because it’s not the first time people have attributed the symptoms of my brain problems/health problems to some kind of moral failing. I told him how when I was a kid my parents had all these earnest talks with me about why I wasn’t cleaning my room when asked. Why oh why was I so lazy and/or disobedient? I even asked¬†myself that. I didn’t¬†feel like I wanted to disobey my parents; I wasn’t a rebellious kind of kid. So I figured I must just be a lazy shithead. Except actually I had undiagnosed celiac disease and was basically suffering from malnutrition and¬†felt sickly all the time and that would be why I had a hard time doing things like cleaning. I told The Dandy all of this and he just kind of absorbed it in absolute silence. I’m really pretty sure the two of us just have different communication styles but my knee-jerk reaction is that if he agreed with me that my parents/boss/etc were being assholes and that I am¬†not in fact bad or lazy, he would¬†say so. And he’s not saying so, so…

But he’s still going out with me so it’s probably fine.

Still, though, I prefer a more active sort of support so I should probably mention that. I still find myself having boundary issues (a problem that plagued me with Minx and The Pedant as well)…it just feels like it would come off¬†so controlling and petty to be like “You’re not even saying anything! Tell me I’m not a bad person and stuff!” (even if I say it nicer than that). But I do want that, and¬†maybe if I asked for it he’d do it. I tend to go straight to assuming that a thing I don’t like about a guy is part of his core personality and I’d therefore be an asshole to try to change him.I mean…I really like The Dandy. But I’m not in love with him. So maybe he’s the ideal practice ground for throwing caution to the wind and just (tactfully) telling him what I want from him instead of always talking myself out of it and trying to adjust my reactions, instead. And hey, if he adjusts his behaviour and starts doing the things I want, he’ll have become a better partner to me and this actually might make me fall for him.

People are funny. The Dandy is a better partner than The Pedant in almost every way. Not just better for¬†me; I mean¬†universally better. Better communicator, better life¬†prospects in general, better conversationalist, better at paying attention to what his partner enjoys and doing those things. The Pedant is weird and selfish and claims to suck at reading people…but he was¬†preternaturally¬†good at dealing with my anxiety. I never even had to explain what I needed from him, that I recall; he was able to see what needed to be done and do it. If I’d ranted to¬†him about people calling me lazy, he would have said they were stupid and that I’m obviously not lazy because [examples]. When I had anxiety freakouts he wouldn’t just nod sympathetically; he’d be able to see exactly how my thinking was fucked up, break it down for me, and – if I was freaking out about a task I needed to complete – he’d break¬†that down for me and give me a small first step to focus on so I wouldn’t keep angsting about the “big picture” and feeling overwhelmed. And I miss that, especially when I’m telling The Dandy how I’m freaking out about a thing and I kind of pause and wait for instruction but he just looks at me and nods. ARRRRGH.

The Pedant never contacts me anymore, btw. Perhaps when he said we’d remain friends he was just paying lip service. I’ve thought about calling upon him for support when I’m anxious, but if he doesn’t come through for me I’ll be crushed and if he does it’ll probably inflame my ardor again so it’s tricky. If only¬†I could magically transfer his considerable skill with my mental issues directly into The Dandy’s brain…

 

*That’s the second time he saw I was maybe not doing well emotionally and offered to come be there for me without me having to ask. I love that so much. Like…so much. With The Pedant I didn’t¬†ask for his company¬†when I thought The Veteran was stalking me and might show up at my apartment because I was positive he’d say no.

 

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