Using Words

Remember last week I decided to not tell the Techie “we need to talk”? Yeah. Fuck that.

I did see him that night, though only for about an hour and a half. I should have brought up the things we needed to talk about. I didn’t. There was a somewhat pressing situation in our social group, and I’m really good at letting others’ issues supersede my own. So I figured fine, I’ll head home and we’ll talk next time, whenever next time is.

The week was busy, as predicted. Friday night I invited him for a dinner party/drinking game planned by Spouse and FWST, which he couldn’t attend because of work. I asked if he had free time this weekend, the answer was “maybe.” Things didn’t pan out.

All this should be genuinely fine, except I feel the need for a conversation. I hadn’t said anything about needing to talk though, and obviously the man isn’t a mind reader. Part of what I want to talk about is planning our time together better, maybe such that I wouldn’t always have to initiate it.

So I sent a text a few hours ago: “Remind me when I do see you next that I’ve got a couple of questions for you, yeah?”

So we’ll see. I’m not planning on trying to initiate anything soon (aside the usual offers to wake him in the mornings) because the asking if he’ll be free and hearing nothing but “no” and “maybe” that turns into “no” has made me feel a bit like a clueless creeper failing to take a hint and go away.

I am quite fond of him. My anxiety and obsessive-compulsive need to plan aside, I enjoy his company. I like the conversation, his serious attentiveness, the fact that there is always a project or ten to jump into rather than just turning on the TV. It’s just harder to focus on that when he’s so rarely around.

On the plus side, I plan to be too damn busy to be anxious about it. Once there is a chance to talk, I’ll be sure it happens. No more of this quiet worrying nonsense.

Scheduling Conflicts

I told the Techie about two weeks ago that it was important that we see each other before my classes start up again. Partly because oh my God the sex is amazing, it needs to happen more often. Partly because I’m seeing the man, I want to actually see him once in a while. I don’t know how much time I’ll have after term starts. Partly because there are a couple of things we need to talk about–logistics of scheduling, I’d like to clarify how we want to characterize our relationship, etc. I don’t want to send a dreaded We Need To Talk text, because those words are scary and I’m not evil. So instead it was “hey, I know life is hectic, but we need to make this happen.” He agreed.

First I invited him to join Spouse and co. at a bar after work. He was still working when we left the bar at eleven, so that didn’t exactly pan out. The conversation came with the reassurance that there’d be plenty of free time shortly, since he was taking a few days off to do some home improvement that had been put off too long.

Then I offered to help build a fence. By the time I left work he had all the help he needed, and he doesn’t much like asking me to do physical labor anyway, so things got put off. No big deal, it wasn’t exactly a date.

I had a busy couple of days after that, so we didn’t talk much except a few brief text messages. I eventually asked how full his dance card was for the next couple of days. (“very”). Things came up for him. My in-laws visited unexpectedly. He got called to work the last two times we had plans. And then I sulked.

The thing is, it’s not the usual paranoia with him. He says he wants to see me, and I believe it. It’s not that I have to see a person all the time to be happy. But I have a lot of obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I try to schedule my entire life, from class and work to social activities and exact meal plans, a week or so in advance. There are white boards and planners and a spreadsheet on the fridge. The only reason I don’t share a detailed Google calendar with people I see often is that Spouse says all our friends would think that was insane (as though they don’t know I’m kind of nuts already?). If I have plans and they fall through, it doesn’t exactly ruin my night–I can talk to people or bake or read at home alone, no big deal. It’s a little more frustrating when plans for seven become plans for eight thirty become maybe nine o’clock become sorry-I-can’t-make-it, but it’s an unavoidable occupational hazard.

My classes start Wednesday. I’m taking a lot–fifteen credit hours (with plans to drop to twelve after I decide whether to drop the one that may be too difficult or the backup). I’ll be working 20 hours a week. Studying and writing for class. I’m active in the kink community–organizing and providing games to the board game munch and cleaning the dungeon each take up a solid block of time every week. Spouse and I have dinner parties, and of course I want to spend time with him alone as well. So while I think I have time for the Techie about once a week, maybe occasionally more, it will not work if we can’t plan ahead.

So we have plans for this evening. I’m having dinner with Spouse, then heading to the Techie’s place at about eight. Fingers crossed that things don’t fall through again.

Bernoulli Trial

It’s quiet for a bar, or maybe I’m just not used to being out on a Tuesday night. There are six of us sitting around the table, loudly debating the relative merits of mathematics and the sciences.

Proof that maths is cool: Euclid III:16, Oliver Byrne translation

I end up huddled over the table with the one person I hadn’t met before, earnestly comparing notes on data analysis software. Two members of our party take this as their cue to stand and say their good-nights. He said something apologetic about this being a really nerdy conversation to have in a bar. I retorted with “I need someone to talk stratified sampling with. Also I’m wearing a t-shirt with a TARDIS on it. Nerdy is not a problem.” At this point I should note that I have no idea when people are hitting on me until it’s comically obvious to everyone else.

“I’m going to get a drink, can I get you something?”

“No thanks, I don’t really drink.”

“You drink something. Soda, water?”

“I’m good, thank you.”

“You sure? I’m only gonna ask once.”

“Dude, you already asked three times. Get your beer already.”

He walks to the bar. Spouse and his friend-with-sexual-tension wander off to play a game. I take the moment alone to text the Techie without being rude, and ask if he’ll be able to join us.

The statistician comes back before the Techie answers, so I leave my phone on the table. He looks surprised. “I didn’t realize they were getting up. Seems awfully rude to leave a pretty* girl alone at the table.”

I shrug. “S’ok, I needed to text someone anyway.”

“Still–” At this point the Techie texts back. I don’t have my phone set up for previews, but he’s programmed in under an overly adorable pet name. The statistician looks at it. “Is that your boyfriend?”

“Something like that.” He visibly deflates. It’s so cartoonish I have to bite back a laugh. I pick up the phone and message the Techie back. I’m breaking my text message etiquette rules, but I need a moment to decide what to say.

I could gently explain that he’s made an erroneous inference: the fact that a person is in a relationship does not always mean that he or she is unavailable for another relationship. I’m not looking for a new partner right now, and certainly not a monogamy-oriented vanilla male, but in a city with a significant poly community and a huge swinger community, it’s worth knowing.

But then, he was a bit pushy about that drink. If I admit to nonmonogamy, the rest of the evening could be more annoying than I want to deal with.

“Well, you’re pretty and geeky, no wonder you’re taken.”

Nevermind, it’s going to be annoying no matter what. Lucky for me, Spouse and FWST come back and announce that they’re getting tired a few minutes later.

The poor statistician looked very confused after Spouse and I kissed on our way out the door.

 

 

* The word “pretty” bothers the hell out of me, generally because it evokes an image of femininity to which I do not conform, in this case because it implies that it is less rude to leave a plain woman (or a man) alone in a social situation.