So. I’m going to start something here, hopefully as a push to get myself writing here more often. The format is taken from something that author Julie Anne Peters used to do back when she was blogging on MySpace (remember that thing?) and encouraged her readers/fans/etc. to follow suit in the comments; I was a frequent contributor there. She did hers on Friday, but it’s a pretty simple concept: the good and bad things that happened during the previous week, presented as either “RAVE” or “RANT,” respectively. So without further ado…
RAVE: I spent Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning with Again. First time I’d seen her in a few months, even just for hanging out — and it was really nice to be able to hang out without trying to cram as much fun stuff as possible into just a few hours. Instead of knowing that it wouldn’t be enough time and she’d have to rush off to get some sleep and work the next day or whatever, we took our time, enjoyed each others’ company, and, yes, at some point we fucked. I hadn’t thought about the amount of time it had been for me with this dry spell until a couple weeks ago when I was sitting with a couple of other women and one of them mentioned that it’d actually been a few days since she’d really messed around with her partner; the other girl said “Ha! It’s been two weeks for me, with my boyfriend and I kinda-sorta fighting…” All I could do was try not to let my jaw scrape the floor as I registered that it had to have been early February this year the last time I got laid, and all I could manage was “Six months. No sympathy.”
RANT: Monday I walked away from someone who I’d considered a friend for quite some time, but had also frequently been frustrating, was really not good with communication, and who I just couldn’t keep putting effort into when that effort wasn’t met or respected. She and Again were the two people I’d invited to my birthday party this year. And Again has seen first-hand the way that this woman sends super super mixed messages and is tough to deal with. She’d talk almost every time we were together about how “I’ve always really been a lesbian, I think,” and she went on at length about how she was fed up with guys, that kind of thing. She was constantly telling me “You look fucking hot! Damn, girl!” Laying on the charm so thick it could have buried me, half the time. We shared a lot of explicit talk about sex, about our needs in that regard, and those overlapped in considerable amounts in a number of areas. She’s the one who made the move to kiss me at one point, though I certainly responded in kind, and she’d frequently invite me back to her place to pass along clothes that she had grown out of or was cycling out of her wardrobe… and insist (though it took very little convincing) that I try on each piece to decide if I really liked it… which left me mostly naked in her apartment with her watching intently as I stripped and dressed over and over. She’d offer to zip up the dresses for me, and at first I was like, “well, thanks, but I actually have pretty flexible arms and I can usually get all that myself,” until I saw that she was being all pouty about it, and I realized that “I can get that if you need help” was supposed to mean “I would really love to do that for you if you’ll allow me” and I was just fine with — I welcomed — being touched by her. I just wished that she could handle saying what she actually meant, explicitly asking for what she wanted instead of finding roundabout, indirect, not-at-all-obvious ways of trying to get me to guess what was going on in her head.
She’d also flake on me. Over and over. She kept talking about how it would be nice to do something besides just meeting at the bar we both frequent that’s down the road from her place, and I agreed that it would. She wanted to take me out to a nice dinner, or go see a show, or even go swimming, for example. And in fact, two weeks ago we’d made plans for dinner on Thursday. I mean, I knew Wednesday was her day off, and I’d initially offered “Hey, you know that dinner we’ve been promising each other for months? Why don’t we do that next Wednesday?” and she’d countered with “Mmmm, Thursday night, OMG!” So I said “Thursday works great! I’d only suggested Wednesday because you’d mentioned that was your day off.” No further message from her until Wednesday, when (as I mentioned) I checked in to confirm. And she tells me that she really couldn’t make it, but she’d be “down to go for sure next week.” Which, of course, is pretty much what she’d been saying for months. She tells me “we can still hang out,” and asks if I swim. I point out that I enjoy being in the water, and I’ve got the basics of water safety down, but that I don’t exactly know how to swim and I have to be careful to keep my head out of the water since I have a hole in one eardrum that will give me bad ear infections. Since it was a pretty nonspecific question from her, I figured that some of that information would be useful and some might not, depending on why she was asking, and as it turns out, she was asking because she wanted me to join her. She tells me the time blocks when it’s free; we were texting just after 2pm and I hadn’t even gotten out of bed, let alone dressed, and she’s asking suddenly if I could make it out to go swimming that day. But when one of those blocks was 1 to 3pm and the other was 5:30 to 7pm? That’s zero notice. And I’d just told her that I wasn’t even sure if I had any swimwear, that I’d need to buy something to swim in.
This whole conversation had started because I was checking in with her about the plans we’d made several days before, crossing my fingers that she’d finally come through! I told her no, that I can’t get out that quickly, that I need a little bit of notice if I’m going to make plans (since that also means The Rabbit being available with no notice to drop me out in civilization from this isolated McMansion up in the hills) and that I figured I’d go swimsuit shopping that evening if we were going to swim on Thursday. But then, even though just moments before she’d told me “we can still hang out,” she says that it would have to wait until next week! So, with all that craziness, I ended up going on Saturday (just over a week ago) to pick through what little was left on the racks and found something I thought I could maybe wear. Also pretty nervous, because as a trans* woman, wearing a tight bikini bottom means pretty solidly showing off in ways that other people have issues with. I love my body, and I don’t have any apologies to give for how well-endowed I am, but I’ve had to deal with a fair bit of shit from other folks because they can’t handle me existing proudly. So yeah, going to a family-friendly public pool was a scary thought.
Well, Wednesday came, we’d made made plans but nothing more specific than the day. I thought maybe I’d hear from her at some point, and I could have reached out to ask for more detailed plans, but honestly? I was kinda irritated by the previous time, frustrated by yet another “oh actually no sorry that won’t work but soon, I swear, I promise next time I’ll do it!” when I was the one reaching out the day before to confirm plans. So I figured I’d give her the opportunity to be the responsible one this time. I didn’t hear anything from her until the following Saturday night/Sunday morning, when she sent me a text to tell me that her day off was Wednesday (yeah, I know that part) and ask if I wanted to go to the restaurant we’d discussed so many times. I said that the Wednesday a few days prior might have worked, when I wasn’t nearly as broke, and asked her “What happened to going swimming this week?”
“It’s too cold and I’m busy” was her oh-so-eloquent reply. I recognized how angry I was, how hurt, and figured maybe I should step back until I could reply more calmly — and when I did, it was to tell her “If you’d told me that ‘let’s go swimming Wednesday’ had changed, I could have made other plans. But I set aside that day for you, and you never got back to me.” Just the simple facts. I didn’t even get into “and I’m angry and hurt by that” or “this is a pretty consistent pattern for you” or anything — just factual statements. I set aside that day; if’ I’d had a little bit of warning I could have made other plans; I wouldn’t have thought that was controversial. I followed that with another message referencing a recent comment she had made about how I “never” do the things she wants to do, and how I was giving the pool a try even though it made me nervous, because she had specifically brought it up as something that she wanted to do, and I figured that I could at least give it a chance. I finished by saying that “I guess catching you when I’m already at the bar is about as much as is going to happen when you don’t follow through or follow up on plans, though…”
Hooooooooly shit, that set her off! Tells me not to try to “make her feel bad,” says that if I choose to be upset that’s all on me, and tells me that I could have reached out because it’s a “two-way street.” (Nevermind the fact that just this one time I was fed up with reaching out over and over only to hear “well, actually, nevermind, cancel our plans but we’ll definitely get together soon!” and figured that she could either rise to the occasion or let me down again.) Tells me that she had hit me up to “solidify plans” but that I wasn’t “being fun” and so she would just leave me alone. She tells me that it was a “bullshit-ass text” because I was “trying to attack her.” Ummm… what? I thought over my reply carefully, drafted and scrapped and drafted and scrapped and tried a different approach and scrapped that too, and finally I told her that “I don’t know where you’re getting ‘attacked’ from, because that’s not what I’m doing. If you want to treat it as that, go ahead, but that’s you, not me. You ‘hit me up’ about making plans THIS week after flaking on plans LAST week. All I’m doing is pointing that out.” As an afterthought a few minutes later, I said “And plainly stating the facts of a situation is completely different from ‘trying to make you feel bad.’ But if hearing what you did makes you feel bad, maybe there’s a reason?”
So then things started to sink in, and I realized that, yes, actually, I was frustrated with her. Had been frustrated with her for quite some time. Frustrated by the hot-and-cold games, frustrated by the flakiness, frustrated by the multiple occasions during the time we’d known each other where she’d suddenly blocked me from every form of contact we shared, and eventually weeks or months later when we bumped into each other she’d eventually let it slip that she had felt like there had been something rude or insensitive that I’d said or done, and so she’d completely blocked me out. And in each of those cases, I had been left wondering what the fuck I could have possibly said or done wrong, and had no way to contact her, no way to ask, just… gone. And each of those times, when she finally got around to telling me what she thought had happened, it was something that had been a small misunderstanding over something relatively trivial, something that if I had known, I would have immediately apologized and kept that in mind as something to be aware of as potentially taken the wrong way, and I would have been grateful for the opportunity to become a better person. But when “you left no word, no message; I still don’t know exactly what went wrong…” I can’t help you, I can’t avoid whatever it was that hurt this time in the future. You’ve gotta communicate with me if there’s a problem. I can’t only be there when I’m “being fun,” because there’s no foundation for a relationship where the problems just get ignored, never discussed, never resolved. So I decided that letting go was about the only sensible thing I could do.
RAVE: Sunday night, I got to meet Nicola Scott and Greg Rucka — two amazing people who make lots of amazing comics. I could try to describe what the evening was like, but I don’t think I could manage anything more articulate than “asgfhhkdhjzfghjkgjhk!!! sigh…” Tonight, the primary topic was “Black Magick,” and it’s… wonderful. And I’m a little bit… speechless.
RAVE: I have this house pretty much to myself for a couple of days while The Rabbit is out of town; sure, it means more hassle in getting to and from things, but it’s a rare opportunity that I actually have anything resembling privacy or comfortable solitude, and the fact that she’s paying me to watch her house and her cat doesn’t hurt, either.
RANT: I forgot to get by an ATM to deposit the cash I got for housesitting, so now it’s going to be an extra-tough squeeze to get to my therapist appointment tomorrow. More likely than not, I’ll need to plan for 2 to 3 hours just to get the few miles from here to there, which includes starting the trip with a nearly two mile walk down a steep few hills just to get to the nearest bus stop. Not looking forward to that.
So… I should get myself to sleep! Shouldn’t be any trouble to just collapse into unconsciousness at this point. See you all next week, if not before!