Last Wednesday, something really horrible happened to one of my students. It happened outside school, but it was very upsetting and shook me all the way down to my bone marrow. She’s okay now, but it’s hard knowing that it happened to anyone, let alone to a student I love.
When Sweetie and I got back from trying to visit her in the hospital Wednesday evening, we were sitting on the porch discussing whether or not I should call into work the next day to process. Just as that conversation was winding down to a yes, my phone rang, and it was Mr. Shiny Eyes, asking what I was doing the next day—he’d found himself an opportunity to drive in from out of town and visit.
Glad to hear joy in my voice, Sweetie said of course a visit was fine with her.
For most of last Thursday, I couldn’t move. I felt broken and guilty and devastated for all that I have that my students don’t have—a safe home, a loving group of friends and family, the ability to change my circumstances. I called Sweetie and apologized for needing to schedule some couch time, an apology she found ridiculous. I felt weepy and not-good-enough, hardly a way to go into a second date with someone I’m excited about.
Cleaning the apartment to get ready for him and making dinner for both Mr. Shiny Eyes and Sweetie (yay!) lifted my spirits a little but I felt really fragile and off when he arrived. Just like Sweetie had the night before, Mr. Shiny Eyes listened and listened as I kept on looping back to sad subjects.
After Sweetie had left us alone for snuggle time, I apologized profusely and repeatedly for being such a bad date when he’d come all this way, but he seemed shocked and dismayed with every sorry.
“I came here because I like you, the real you, and this is the real you right now. I didn’t just come here to have sex. But I’m still pretty sure we’ll have sex.
And we did. In fact, he asked if it would be okay to just forget all the kinks and “make gentle love” to me and it’s a little sad how seldom I’ve had that with guys. (But okay, I get other good stuff.) I relaxed into him and it was sweet and hot and satisfying.
Plus, once the lovemaking was accomplished, he was nice enough to end the night with a pretty thorough flogging that buoyed up my spirits even more.
And yet, I didn’t stop apologizing. There’s an annoying almost geishalike part of me that wants to be nothing but cheerful and pleasant and uncomplicated for men. I try to keep a cheery guard up lest they should think I’m difficult or high-maintenance or (that dirtiest of dirty words) needy. I have no problem sharing vulnerability with friends or with Sweetie, but when it comes to men I’m attracted to, there’s this irritating compulsion to behave. It’s insulting to them and stifling to me.
I’m grateful that life kicked my ass enough that I had no choice but to show Mr. Shiny Eyes my sometimes-a-wreck of a self. (I’m also grateful to anyone who reads the full wreck of it here, for that matter!) No choice even, than to at one point put my clothes on and just cry for a bit. He took such nice care of me, and even though second date tears aren’t my favorite thing, I’m so glad for the depth and difficulty that I shared during my second evening with Mr. Shiny Eyes. It’s a step towards learning to actually trust men, and it made my hoo-ha happy too.