I really want to skip this section and get right to the hotness, but it refuses not to be written. Sigh.
So I really didn’t know where this date was going, but just in case, I’d told Sweetie I didn’t want to be home until morning, and she was all settled in about it. I wasn’t having a good feeling about my chances, though. Whether that was a self-fulfilling prophecy or not, on the way to get dinner he told me it couldn’t be a late night because he had to help his mom with some stuff at 11 am the next day. When I type that sentence, it really doesn’t make sense at all.
I was not-getting-the-hint girl, and I said, “That’s still plenty of time to take me home in the morning.”
He got quiet for a few blocks and then he started to talk about how embarrassed he was about his apartment being a mess.
Okay, tell me if I was being paranoid. Have I just watched too many episodes of Mad Men or what? I just got a really bad feeling there was a lady at home who didn’t know about me, and I couldn’t stop myself from asking. He insisted that his apartment was really a mess, but it just didn’t ring true. Granted, he could be just going at a different pace than I was and didn’t expect to bring me home yet, but I really don’t buy it.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that he didn’t want to be there with me, and I couldn’t stop myself from probably ensuring he’d want to be with me even less. I felt like a mean teacher trying to show someone how to be on a date. When he texted and checked his phone all through dinner, I actually told him to put it away, and the emotion I felt was exactly like a bad day in the classroom, but without the reassuring knowledge that I could re-assess and try again tomorrow.
We did get our scene negotiating done though. I really like (and will probably miss) our safeword: albatross. I love it for the Monty Python of it all, and for the fact that it’s the thing that keeps the boat afloat, isn’t it? But also a haunting burden. (I just spent a few minutes studying the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” but it was inconclusive.)
When we got to the party though, more texting. Even after I’d lent him a collar to put on me and we had a nice moment about that. He explained “I’m texting (Nice Girl) to tell her I’ll be unavailable for a while.”
This was exactly what I had been missing from him—those little transitional texts that only take a second or two but make me feel oriented and cared for. I would very much like to say that I took a deep sensible breath and calmly talked about how that is something that would be helpful for me as well.
Instead: “You never do that for me. You just disappear in the middle of the conversation, forget to answer questions, I have to ask you two or three times where and when to meet you. What is it about her that gets her treated like a girlfriend? Maybe I should ask her. Maybe she should teach me.”
I had my own conclusions as to what the difference was—the fact that I’m not single. I was not being treated with as much respect as she was because it’s hard for single guys to see poly women as girlfriendy characters.
I explained a bit more about poly, about how I was looking for a real relationship and could belong to more than one person at once. He said that he hadn’t really understood that, and agreed that I didn’t deserve to be discounted that way. He said he was really going to try to be a better communicator, and we headed upstairs to rope class.
Even after all of the trouble and fuss, I was still really excited to be there with him. I changed into my outfit for the evening: short, soft, adorable light green pajamas with little flowers all over them, Hello Kitty nipple tape, lucky underwear and purple wedge heels. I had some hope in presenting myself to him that way, but I think he was distracted by the self-consciousness of rope class.
Sweetie says she really feels for him during this part—she says rope class can be a lot of pressure, getting the knots right and keeping your date happy is a lot to think about at once. It really makes me think about how much work I am to be with. I have a lot to offer, but still.
Unlike Sweetie, who is comfortable with the fumbling aspect of learning new rope stuff (“Practice makes pervert,” the class leader is fond of saying.) Mister Hazel Eyes clearly felt frustrated and embarrassed when it took him a few times to get a knot or when the ropes clung to a bit of velcro on his shorts. The lady who was acting as demo bunny came over to help, and I liked the times when they were both working on me.
He had to do some of the knots so many times that some of them started to become clear in my head and I started to learn them. Look! I made my own cat’s paw! I get a badge or something. He was having a really hard time and unfortunately this meant he kept apologizing for being “retarded.” I know! Am I a bad person for messing around with somebody who uses that word that way? A bad teacher? I sure didn’t have any desire to correct another thing, so I ignored it. But he said it a LOT. Ugh. As I write this, I’m feeling a little less like a harpy and a little more like it’s just a bad match.
Next: Somehow a bad match becomes a beautiful scene.