Well, two of the the last three weeks have been weird, and the other has been rather crappy.
And the weird ones were difficult to make into a non-rambling explanations. And the crappy one kept me from sitting up much. So despite my very best intentions (aka starting this post a couple of days into 2024), I’m just getting it dealt with.
Anyway, here’s the last few weeks in review. They’re out of chronological order because some are much faster to explain.
New Year’s Eve
A group of us went out to the Labyrinth masquerade ball* again this year.
It was fun, though I didn’t end up dancing almost at all. Maybe because — according to my ex-DJ friend — the DJ wasn’t great with transitions between songs. Or maybe it’s just because there was always someone at the table to chat with, even accounting for people taking bathroom breaks or going and getting another drink.
Anyway, one of the people who came with us is an ex-friends with benefits. It only last a couple of months, and we’ve been strictly platonic for more than a year now. (Though one of the time I crashed as his place after a party, he asked if I were interested. But he accepted my no and didn’t push.)
I figured he’d be a safe person to kiss at midnight. But apparently not because… well, you get the idea.
The next couple of days — over text and in person at trivia — he seemed a little cold. So I texted asking if we were okay. He said yes. And then proceeded to make a comment that made me doubt his answer.
But he’s a big boy, and it’s not my job to make him talk out any feelings e has. So I’m taking him at his word.
Besides, the day after that conversation, he asked for input about having been propositioned by a couple in a dating app.**
So I guess maybe we’re actually okay.
* Unless you pay for something they call the Labyrinth experience — no clue, other than it’s $35 to $40 — it’s just a night of masquerade outfits (or for the lazy, eye masks), ’80s music and drinks named after the characters.
** Unfortunately, I’m boring and had no input other than it being good that they mentioned recent tests were required and that I’ve talked to multiple guys who enjoyed the role of stud.
I didn’t really interact with Pirate Party Guy (PPG) for five days in the week leading up to Christmas.
He said something that, for lack of a better word, twanged in my brain.
I tried getting into the nitty-gritty details in one version of this post and it was… very long. So let’s just leave it at the fact that, despite being a completely acceptable and more or less neutral statement, PPG’s words hit a nerve.
I want to quickly make an important distinction: PPG didn’t hurt my feelings; his statement caused some hurt feelings to pop up. But they were, predictably, only a little about him and me.
Anyway, a few more texts were exchanged before I messaged, “Got it.” Which is never a good statement to receive from me. It means that I’m probably seethingly angry.
I had a friend come over and he helped me sort through some of it, but a lot of it just needed to process on its own. So I didn’t reply to PPG when he sent a few funny images over the course of the next few days, then one comment that was more or less rhetorical.
He text on Wednesday that he was worried and was I alright. I just replied, “Processing some things.” And he let me be.
I got through the last of the processing on Friday and realized that, yeah, this was mostly about my own stuff. But also realized that — ugh — I still had to talk to him about it because it was major tumult and he should know what was going through my head.
Did I mention that hate having to make myself vulnerable by opening up and being all emotionally gooey? Cuz I do. Especially when it involves the other person but isn’t really about them.
But good partner shares what’s going on in their head yada yada.
He was still getting over a nasty cold, so we did a video call wherein I poured out of the mental messiness. And because he knows me well, he thanked me a couple of times for opening up and sharing with him.
We’ve been back to normal for a couple of weeks now, so that’s nice. But it was a weird to not interact with him at all for the better part of a week.
Last Sunday morning, I had the hubris to spend 10 to 15 minutes sitting with my elbows on my knees, slightly hunched over my phone.
When I tried to stand up, I couldn’t straighten all the way. And it hurt. Oh boy, but it hurt.
Back pain is a scream… literally
I’ve dealt with a lot of pain in my life. And while I’ve never been one to suffer it silently, I tolerate it pretty well.
Usually it’s just a grunt/grumble during a pang, an “oof” accompanied by a deep exhalation of breath, or occasionally, a brief “owww.”
But this past week, there were numerous times that I either screamed or yelped so loudly that it was barely less than a scream.
And of course, I hadn’t gotten around to mounting my TV on my bedroom wall yet, so I couldn’t rest my back completely if I wanted any real form of entertainment.
I used the heating pad a lot. Then gave up and offered my masseuse $40 extra to come to me. That helped some — though it caused a couple of spasms during the massage — but right after she left, my back spasmed again. And I was back to being hunched over.
I ended up doing a video call for urgent care on Friday, but it turns out my various meds make muscle relaxers a bad idea. All the doc could do was prescribe Lidocaine patches.
Meanwhile, I’d found my old iPad, so I spent most of Friday lying down and doing a proper heat/ice rotation. I felt notably better — though definitely not healed — on Saturday morning, so I cancelled the patches, which would’ve been $90 even through GoodRx.
Saturday and a chunk of Sunday were mostly spent with the iPad, heat and ice; and I’m definitely seeing improvement, though it’s still a bit achy if I stand or sit for too long.
Still, clearly the universe has given up all pretense of subtlety in getting me to start working out again. So once I can comfortably get down to and up from the floor, I need to start at least doing muscle strengthening exercises.
A blast from the past
Readers who’ve been around at least a couple years may remember Movie Buff Guy (MBG).
MBG and I had this amazing connection early on. Honestly, I was uncomfortable with how much I liked him, and he seemed to fall just as hard himself.
Unfortunately, we weren’t a good match because texting stresses him out. (Don’t judge, we all have a least one mundane, everyone-else-can-do-it thing that overwhelms us for no apparent reason.) And the unreliable communication wasn’t good for my nervous system.
So I reluctantly ended things.
He and I tried to be friends for a bit in fall/winter of 2023. He came with me to a couple of events and to a game night at my place. But then he stopped responding to messages or invites.
I figured life got busy or bad (or both), so I let it be and figured he’d get back in touch when things were better, or if/when he decided he wanted to hang out again.
This time around
But when he posted something on Facebook for the first time in ages, I decided to text and say hi.
He responded back quickly and enthusiastically. He apologized for the silence, but it had been a really bad year and he’d barely socialized with anyone at all outside of his household.
Then he said he had finally started feeling capable of interacting with people and wanted to hang out when I had time. Which is how he ended up coming over the day that the PPG interaction happened.
After we talked for a bit, attempting to plumb the depths of my reaction, we switched to chatting about life in general. And I ended up mentioning that I’ve been checking social media a lot less these last several months, and that I’m just not texting as much as I used to for some reason.*
Later in the conversation, MBG said that he didn’t want to pressure me but since I was less text-heavy now, would I ever consider trying again?
And so it came to pass that he came over for several hours on Christmas Eve to chat and join in my annual viewing of Muppet Christmas Carol.
It was great, and we saw each other a couple more times too. Each time, we’d have long rambling talks, cuddle, all the good stuff.
* I’ve since realized it’s because I now actually see people during the week, so I’m less reliant on text-based human interaction.
A couple of weekends ago, I asked if he wanted to come over again that week, saying I was free every day except Thursday.
He said Thursday was actually best for him — and he was actually pretty exhausted since he’d gone out a fair amount in the past few weeks — so maybe we could skip that Thursday and shoot for another one.
I said to rest up, but, uh, Thursdays are usually busy. I have one, maybe two, open each month.
And so on Monday I learned that he’d actually be okay with seeing me once a month.
In the past, we had a standing Friday date, and seeing each other once a week is, I feel, pretty standard dating practice. So I had not seen this coming.
I understand that he’s easily wiped out by socializing after a year of holing up at home. But I still think once a month is a rather extreme preference.
So I replied that I wasn’t sure up for a “dating” situation where I saw the guy once a month and I’d need to think. He said of course, take all of the time I needed.
As a reminder, this happened Monday, the day after I became barely mobile. So only two days into the week, it was already a crappy, crappy week.
I chatted with friends and just did my best to be realistic, not let “but this way you won’t see him at all” sway me.
So that night I texted him that same night to say once a month wouldn’t work for me. Especially given that it’d be a weeknight, so I’d be lucky to get four hours with him.
I told him that I had no desire to push him into trying to give more than he can. But I wouldn’t be okay seeing him that infrequently. That even knowing it wasn’t true, that setup would leave me feeling like an afterthought. A distant one.
And I added, it’s a bit hard on the ego to find out that someone who really likes you is content to see you (maybe) 48 hours a year.*
* I feel like someone is bound to say it, so: No, once-a-month isn’t a sign that he’s cheating on someone. He has a partner, but they’re poly. We’ve met and she really loves some alone time. So this really is about his limitations.
I had gotten really excited/happy that we were seeing other again, so this stung a lot.
It’s especially difficult because I’m relatively sure that over time his social battery will be less easily drained and he’d be able to see me multiple times a month again.
But I’ve had far too much therapy to agree to something that doesn’t meet my needs in the hope that things will change in the future.
And I know that I won’t be able to get over him if I leave that door open even a crack. “He might reach out later” is going to keep me stuck in my feelings for him.
So I have to consider it closed. That it not working out twice is a pretty clear sign that it’s not meant to be.
Which makes sense, but it still stings.
How’ve you all been? Hopefully, much better/more normal than I Have.