Losing love is like a window in your heart; everybody sees you’re blown apart.

So. It’s been about a week and a half now since my last visit ever with the therapist I had been seeing for almost 3 and a half years. It was the end of the longest relationship I’ve had with anyone; MFP and I were together just over a year, and I’m pretty sure that I met The Rabbit shortly after I got started seeing that therapist.

She passed along the number of a group of therapists in the area, a group she had nothing but praise for. I’m still in the process of back-and-forth phone tag and trying to get set up with a first appointment, although I’ve already done the preliminary “intake” stuff. As rocky as this has been, it’s unquestionably better than starting from scratch with no leads — I’ve been there before, and when I was in bad shape. Not an “adventure” I care to revisit.

During our last session she said, “I have been forever changed by knowing you, and my life will continue to be impacted by the time we have spent together.” It was beautiful to hear her make it as clear as she possibly could that she gained as much from our relationship as I did. She pointed out that in our sessions, I had “constantly brought nothing but raw honesty,” and told me how much she appreciated that. “It’s all I have ever asked,” she said, “and you have done exactly that.” We both said how much we would miss each other… and I really do miss her. She’s been one of the very few people — if not perhaps the only person who has been a consistent, reliable, rock; someone I could depend on when very little else in my life has been certain. In reply to the worry I expressed about losing that certainty, that foundation, she had this to say:

“You deserve people in your life who are dependable, reliable, honest. I hope you know how much good you deserve. And it will come, in time.”

I asked her if I could have a hug before I left, to which she enthusiastically agreed. It was a startling realization, that I hadn’t thought about the fact we’d never touched in the years we’d known each other, not even a handshake. Even more startling was the effort it took to hold back from kissing her full on the lips afterwards.  I mean, I had never denied to myself that I found her incredibly attractive, and I had made a point quite some time back to tone down what I recognized as my frequent compliments bordering on flirtation… but it was still a bit of a shock just how much of an instinctive reaction it was.

Of course, that may have at least as much to do with the fact that I’m still not getting laid, with only a few mediocre interactions every few months or more — and plenty of times that other women show interest but never follow up, never get in touch. I’m lonely. And I wonder if that shows, if it’s something so obvious to those around me, like a window in my heart — the clear view right through to love lost.

“ACTUALLY, it’s about ethics in rental properties!

So, I got this reply to one of my craigslist ads a couple days ago.


Not only has this dude emailed me just to mansplain why I’m wrong in the way I express my own needs — which has nothing to do with offering me a place to live — he’s made sure I have no idea of his name. Usually if you’re replying to a craigslist ad, it still shows the name attached to your email address, even though it  anonymises the address itself. This guy shows up as “craigslist reply 2abc” so I figure in this case the closest thing to a name for him is “Anonymous Bastard Coward.”

He’s referencing the part in my ad which says:

“I’m a night owl, a lesbian woman, a computer geek, and a music lover. I am ethically non-monogamous and shameless about sex (pro tip: “no overnight guests” is a polite way of saying “sex is shameful.” I don’t do shameful.)”

He tells me in his little rant:

“Well no overnight guests has another meaning, too. It’s about the landlord wanting and having the right to know who is using their property, and the additional parking, utility use, and noise problems. Landlord tenant is a two way street.”

Problem is, his justifications don’t hold up — because if any of those things are concerns, then they’d be concerns without the “overnight” part, too!

What happens if I invite a couple of friends over for brunch in the late morning, tea in the afternoon, or dinner and drinks and sportsball on TV in the evening? Making a meal for more than just myself, putting on the kettle, guests using the bathroom… do potentially increase “utility use” — by an incredibly small amount. If my friends drive cars when they come by, they’ll have to figure out parking (and I’d be sure to say “hey, actually that spot won’t work, maybe try down the block, etc.” if I needed to.) Watching the game might be noisy, too, especially after a few beers! And, what, would the landlord be expecting to interview and approve or deny each person I chose to invite for any of those events? Pretty sure that’s not legal, just like he couldn’t legally say “no guests or visitors ever.”

No, the only reason to single out overnight guests as forbidden is because you’re squicked by the thought of your tenant fucking.

Noise problems? You mean “the sound of your tenant fucking.”

Additional parking? You’re assuming that I drive, and that anyone I happened to pick up would be driving too, AND that if they were driving, there would be so little parking that it would cause problems. It’s a flimsy excuse.

Utility use? You mean “the shower in the morning after your tenant fucks” or “the gas to run the stove when your tenant makes breakfast for the person they fucked last night.” And why would that (likely shared!) shower matter to you? What difference does an occasional fancy breakfast make?

I mentioned all of this to The Rabbit just after I’d gotten the email. She herself is a landlord, and her first response was “what’s it to him, anyway?! It’s not like he’s ever even going to rent to you, so why should he care?” She pointed out that it’s ridiculous for him to worry about any of that, and agreed enthusiastically when I suggested that it was just a matter of having gotten under his skin with my grain of truth about his (and far too many other people’s) shame about sex — enough so that he felt compelled to tell me, a woman on the internet who he’s never met and likely never will, why I’m wrong.

So, yeah. I stand by my original statement: “no overnight guests” is a polite way of saying “sex is shameful.”

And I still don’t do shameful.

So… that whole housing “opportunity” really, really wasn’t.

Emailing back and forth initially to get the very most basic info from her was like pulling teeth! She replied to my ad initially,

“My name is [her first name]. How soon are you looking to move? I have a free room. I stay in Richmond.”

I replied,

“Hi there! I don’t have an exact time frame, but I wouldn’t mind moving soon. Can you tell me more about the location (cross streets or address, etc) and perhaps we can arrange a time to meet, so I can take a look at the place?

My name is [my first name], by the way. Hope to hear back from you soon!”

She responded by telling me her name… again… and then giving me the street address. It took another email from me asking… again… about setting up a time for me to come by and meet her, to look at the place. It was already after 7pm at this point, and she offers “Tomorrow morning?”

The craigslist ad she responded to specifically mentions that I’m a night-owl, which I pointed out when replying and asked if evening night work for her instead. At some point I wrote and posted my previous entry here, and then at 6pm The Rabbit and I pulled up to the address she’d given to find…

…that it was a huge apartment complex, which she hadn’t bothered to mention. She also hadn’t said anything about where we would actually connect. Emailed her again asking where to meet, she says “at my house. are you outside?” Communication — at least in written form — is clearly not one of her strengths. In the time The Rabbit and I were sitting there in the car while I exchanged messages with this woman, at least half a dozen cars with windows down and “I’m compensating for my tiny dick with this super big stereo” bass blasting managed to drive through that intersection.

She finally shows up at the keypad-locked outside door of the apartments, carrying a toddler in one arm, who she tried to convince to say hello to me — she’s very clearly a “good with kids” person. Said she was watching him for a friend at the moment. In the walk to the elevator, we went through a big, grassy courtyard where there were more than a dozen kids of all ages playing, making noise, and then we went up to the top floor of the 3 levels. Into the apartment we went, and she apologized for the smell of the food she’d just been cooking (which seemed rather odd, honestly, and it smelled incredible, made me remember just how hungry I was!) Showed me the living room and kitchen, which were all part of the same room, then down the hall to the bathroom where, as she put it, you “do your unmentionables.” Across the hall was “the room,” which was decorated for kids — that little snowman from Frozen was plastered up as decals on one wall, the two twin beds were made with some other pop-culture kids bedding, I didn’t pay too much attention at that point, because I was confused about there being two beds. “I… hadn’t realized it was a shared room,” I said. She reassures me that it’s just that there happen to be two beds, it’s not a shared room! She tries to make a joke about the absurdity of it being a shared room, “I mean, no, totally, this is your bed here, and there’s some random guy sleeping in the other one! Nah, I wouldn’t do that.”

The apartment itself wasn’t…. tiny, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t a “stretch out with room” size, either, and the room she was offering was barely larger than the cramped room I’m currently staying in. Oh, and the window was street-facing, so all of the foot traffic and the car stereos booming would have been right there to deal with. I had to bite my tongue when she commented on how it would be “really quiet,” and even more so when she said that there’s a 6 and a 9 year old, “but they aren’t there in the evenings on weekdays, or on the weekends.”

I asked her about the price, which she hadn’t said anything about specifically, but since she answered an ad that says “$700 is my maximum, including utilities” I figured it was that much or less. She surprised me when she said “Well, the room is $750… but… I really need to get someone in here right away so… I’m willing to work with you.” Ick… Bad sign. If she’s that desperate, I have to wonder what the situation was that led to needing an immediate roommate. I mention I’m not great with kids, since she brought up that there would be at least two of them around most of the time, and she says (incredulously) “Well, you don’t have to be ‘good with kids’ just to have a room here!”

I asked if I could get back to her within the next day or two with an answer, and I could see how much she hesitated, how long she drew out the initial consonant of her “….yes” followed by a small sigh. I shouldn’t have, but I launched into a long justification to her of why I shouldn’t make an immediate decision, how I needed a place to stay for a few years, blah blah blah. (I sent her an email wishing her luck and saying essentially “thanks, but no” about 3:45am.) Anyway, She directed me back to the exit, and I went to get some food (hadn’t realized just exactly how starving I was, even with the reminder from the fresh-cooked food smell.) Needed some comfort food, so I went to the Indonesian place I love. Pigged out and got some extra to take with me. Headed to the bar afterwards, had a drink and then headed back here — I had just barely called The Rabbit for a ride, since I’m stuck with this stupid curfew, when a super hot lady came walking over to say hello, asked if I was by myself, waiting for someone, etc. and was going to invite me to join her group of friends. She stayed and chatted for a few minutes anyway, even though I told her that I was already about to leave. And this, folks, is a big part of why I never get laid. Because by the time that there’s any chance of someone who might be interested, I’m on the road towards, or all the way back into, my own bed all by myself.

No home, no sex, my other needs all generally going unmet or under-met. It’s hell.

Wish me luck, here goes nothing.

Tomorrow (it’s not “tomorrow” until I’ve slept and awakened again, I don’t care what you say, even if it is just over 12 hours from now) evening at 6pm I have an appointment to meet someone who’s renting a room.  A real person who responded to one of my “housing wanted” ads on craigslist, who might — potentially — have a place for me to call home.

I’m working to keep my expectations in check; I know that my tendency when faced with a positive upcoming situation is to get blinded by the “new carpet smell,” if you’ll follow me through my mixed metaphors here, to only notice the awesome stuff and to minimize the bad things. I’ve ended up in more than a couple situations that really turned out shitty because of that — and I want… I need for the next place I move to be a long-term home, not something that’s going to fall apart because I was so full of NRE (of a sort) with the place I was checking out that I ignored anything that wasn’t “THIS IS MY PERFECT FOREVER HOME!!!!11one!!” I’m going into this knowing that the address is on somewhat of a main thoroughfare, which has the potential to mean lots of noise. I’m reminding myself of the things I need to bring up as interview questions — a moderate list of things that I’ve learned (mostly the hard way) that are important to me in sharing a living space.

And — for me, this is the most critical thing — when this little meeting is done, my last question will be “Can I get back to you in a day or two with my answer?” If there’s hesitation, or a push to get me to answer on the spot, I call things off. I know that I cannot make a rational decision in that moment, and I won’t try to do so. And if this is someone who I’m going to be living with for several years, then she sure as fuck better be able to handle “I’d love to discuss this, as soon as I am able to take the space I need to process things… and the more you push me to engage right now, the worse the outcome will be.”  Shit, that’s basically what destroyed MFP and I as a couple — she needed to immediately engage when she felt something was wrong (and to continue to engage until she was satisfied with the outcome,) and I needed to take enough space from the situation when something was wrong to be able to sort out my own thoughts and feelings about what was happening and how to proceed. You can imagine that this… didn’t work very well. So, if I’m going to live with someone for that long, I need that to be someone who can handle giving me the space to make decisions, especially ones as significant as making a home.

Anyway, I should be sleeping… so here goes nothing.

Posted in General. 1 Comment »

Wish I could get away

From all the pain on the outside — the noise, the messy rooms in this messy house, the stress, the stupid people (and the okay people doing stupid things) — because if I could escape that…

I could handle dealing with some of the pain on the inside. And there’s plenty of it, too. I just can’t get to it to even begin to think about, let alone work with it, when every moment is a constant struggle to barely cope with the external hell.

Just took sleeping pills again, different kind. Managed to stay awake through the Ambien.

Emotional equivalent of tableflip, fetal curl, cry.


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