I’m Bitey Too.

Cat_teeth

 

You know, I find myself writing on friendship a lot. Perhaps with the elimination of a romantic relationship I focus more on my friendships? Or as I think it to really be, perhaps as I get older the more they mean to me. In turn, they affect me stronger. When they are good, they are great, and when there is a bump in the road, I feel like the Princess and the Pea. I feel that damn pea with every move I make.

Add the socializing I do between Faire and Travel on top of my normal life, I am lucky enough to meet some really cool, interesting, — truly fantastic people. Some develop into real friendships. Some we don’t see each other much outside of these areas, but it’s always a warm reunion when we reconnect.

I guess ultimately I consider a friendship real if I would be willing to host you in my home. I take my home serious, and I take my friends serious. So combining them both is equivalent to having earned your badge in Friendship to me. I think my friends are pretty aware of this, because I seem to host a lot of small get-togethers.

Have I mentioned that I took badge earning in Girl Scouts pretty damn serious? 😉

There is also the flip side to these quick meeting friendships, because you are sizing everything up in very short spurts of time, mostly during times that consist of alcohol and frivolity. Two of my favorite things. 🙂  I love everyone after a cocktail or two, which is hindering, because I definitely do not love everyone the next day. Additionally it really doesn’t give you a good and true indicator of a person’s character if you only spend a few days a year with them, and maybe talk via text or Facebook.

Your bullshit meter reader, your intake of what sets these people off, what makes them good, bad or indifferent has to be pretty tuned up, or you’re bound to have hurt feelings or worse. Those who know me well, know I had a recent friendship born of my travels turn very ugly, and very southward. I regret nothing (she screams, as she is led to the gallows!) outside of allowing this charlatan of a person into my home. See, back to how serious I take my home. The rest is on me.

Sometimes it’s the little things that shine the most light.

I was having a conversation with someone I was bonding with this past weekend at the Opening Weekend of Faire. We were in those early moments of drunken friendship love when she mentioned to me quietly, “You know, I really don’t like many people…” and I responded back, “Me either!”, laughing in agreement, which is honestly how I felt that moment. Not that I hated everyone, but that I could relate to her comment about not liking everyone.

I realized in a more sober, less fawning moment I would have clarified that statement to say, “I like most everyone I meet, I just don’t become friends with them easily.” – Close friends I should clarify. Those few rarities where the friendships move at lightning speed?  They have a tendency to end like the above mentioned charlatan. I am a sloth when it comes to friendships that will last. I am moving very slow so that I can size things up, because if it moves too quickly and I get caught up in? I will ignore my meter readings, and ultimately – well I’ve explained it twice now. 😉

I think I am pretty damned friendly. I might be quiet when I first meet you, because deep down I am shy. I know, laugh your asses off over that, but trust me it’s true. I overcompensate that shyness most of the time with an overabundance of in your face love, but that’s usually only after a couple of drinks, and then I’m just like a big friendly Saint Bernard, licking and slobbering all over you.

I’d say most like me when they meet me. That’s how I feel when my confidence is at a normal rate. I’d say most tolerate me, on those days my confidence is ebbing low. And let’s be fair, some simply won’t like me for whatever reason. I have a few of those too. But through it all, my mother raised me to be nice and damnit I am, no matter the circumstances. Manners are a huge thing to me, and I try my best to abide by what I was taught.

What might change your meter on whether or not you like me is that I am direct. Very direct. Not Asperger’s direct, but a hair away from that. I won’t ever embarrass you (unless it’s something I think you could take, or if you’re embarrassing someone else, because I loathe meanness), but unfortunately If I get to know you, and feel comfortable with you, I might overstep some boundaries. More than likely it’s because there are times I really think we get one another and for that reason it’s okay for me to ignore those boundaries. Or think they don’t really apply to me.

Like I might try and counsel you, or give you unsolicited advice. I really am trying to work on that, and if you give me a moment to reflect I will realize my boundary crossing was out of line, and trust me I will slobber apologies all over you.

I did that with a new friend I had met on my last cruise; She was one of those super sweet gals who wouldn’t hurt a fly and I (inadvertently) got in her face (metaphorically because I’m not a physical in your face person unless you really piss me off. Like nuclear piss me off, which has probably happened once or twice in my lifetime) with advice she neither asked for, nor needed. Truth be told I was a little frustrated with her issue, and I liked her and I was a little too comfortable with her too soon. Honestly the second I looked back at not what I said, but how I said it, especially with someone I really didn’t know all that well, I couldn’t apologize enough to her. Today when I think back, I realize despite my intentions (which were good) I cringe to think I offended her.

So there is that. I stick my foot in my mouth way more than I should. That would be the side effect of having me as a friend. May cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, and foot in the mouth said the announcer off camera. And I feel horrible about it, because hurting people’s feelings is a big no-no for me.

I do get that I am not everyone’s cup of tea, and that either you will be on the end that gets me and loves me, or you will be on the end that is possibly offended by me. I offer sarcasm, a wretched potty mouth (that ironically is always at its highest volume carelessly, when a small child is around), a wicked sense of humour, linebacker sized shoulders to cry on, tons of humility and ferocious loyalty. I’m like if a Dog and a Cat could mate, this weird hybrid thing would be me. Not like CatDog the cartoon (for those of you who had children in the 90’s). I’m aloof and speak what I think a little too freely, but I will run and fetch that stick if it makes you happy. I’ll protect you, even if I am the size of a Chihuahua. (Which I’m not)

Catdog

When Eva, my cat, needs attention, she talks to me. When I am dense, or playing dense because it entertains me, she bites me. Not hard. Never broke the skin, but enough to say, “Hey! Stop being a total dick here and play with me or talk to me!” I don’t get mad at her for biting me for those reasons, because she’s not getting through to me in other ways, and I know she didn’t mean to hurt me.

Are you following the parallel here?

Now there have been a few times when I am being lovable, or tending to her needs and she is just in a crappy mood and her bites come thru a little harder. For no reason, other than she is being a dick. Once when I thought we were having cuddle time (or as close as cuddle time is possible, because this cat doesn’t cuddle) she almost bit my ear. Now I was the pissed off one, and telling her to stop being a total dick. Do I think she was aiming to maim my ear? No, I just think she wasn’t paying attention to how hard she was coming across.

Totally get that. Pissed me off, but I totally get it.

Sometimes I am irritated, or sometimes I am dense and I totally don’t get how I am coming thru. But the times that the bite came thru stronger, it wasn’t because I aimed to hurt more. I get that Eva doesn’t understand if I call her a total dick (which for the record I haven’t used that term with her. Not certain why I am using it here so much), but she KNOWS if she has gone too far. My words, my tone – they tell her. Does she care? Well, she’s a cat, so no, not really, but let’s pretend she has some human or at least dog tendencies. – Anyway, my point is getting buried in cat fur here – my point is that if I bite a friend I usually know based on their reaction. It’s rare that I find out “Whoa, that comment you made back there really offended/hurt/angered so&so” leaving me in absolute surprise and confusion.

But guess what? Sometimes I apparently have no idea my teeth brushed by you. Maybe I didn’t even bite. Maybe I growled. Fuck, maybe I smiled and you took it as a growl. I know with some animals you aren’t supposed to show your teeth, because it’s a sign of aggression. I think that must have been what happened. I smiled, or just apparently breathed wrong at this new friend and offended him.

That manner’s thing I mentioned above? I really mean I have good manners. I am an abundance of “Thank you” and “Yes, please” and “Excuse me” and “I’m Sorry”. I’ve never had an issue with saying “I’m sorry”. When I offended the sweet travel friend, I didn’t excuse my behavior by saying “Oh that shouldn’t have offended you.” No, I said, “I’m so sorry.” And I meant it.

Sometimes I will even say I’m sorry without knowing why I am apologizing. Not because I am a pushover, but simply because something I did – carelessly or by mistake – offended or hurt you. BUT – so that I know not to do this again, I really appreciate you at least fucking telling me what I did wrong. I mean, seriously.

This weekend during a conversation I offended a friend. I didn’t know because this friend said something, I knew because they didn’t say anything. I could only get out of him that I did something. I asked and got no reply. I groveled a little bit and asked again. Crickets. By the next day, we all pretended it was good. I wasn’t completely vested into the conversation that day, so I sort of let it slip thru.

Only by that next day, that VERY DIRECT side of me? She wanted answers. Not rudely. I tried to sit on her, because I realized “Hey, we apparently don’t know this person that well, and you might just offend again!”. I tried to muzzle my direct self. Muffle her questions, but to no avail. I didn’t think it was rude of me to ask what I did wrong, so that I wouldn’t do it again.

But apparently it was. I was overstepping those “boundaries” again. I was, I believe the word used was presumptive. About what? Your guess is as good as mine. I had fretted over it the first night, tossing the conversation to and fro. Re-reading it (because it was all online) and for the life of me, couldn’t find a thing. I looked at from an outside perspective and still came up blank. And just when I figured “Oh well!” and moved on, it happens again. Bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice, and — fuck you.

I could have been a bitch. I certainly toyed with the idea. Like Eva, I’m bitey too. Only unlike Eva, I do sometimes leave marks, and it’s nothing I am proud of. I figured if I already offended him without trying, what kind of damage would I do if I did try? So I rearranged the issue, and didn’t make it mine anymore. I figured this was something that I discovered about this person that ran absolutely the wrong direction of who I am. Instead of direct, this was evasive and well — to be perfectly frank and since we are so fond of the word in this post – a little dickless and cowardly — but “who am I to judge?”, she says in her most judgy voice.

It bothered me to think I hurt a friend, but later I realized I didn’t have the friendship with this person that I thought I did. A friend, even a burgeoning one, would have answered my countless questions asking what I did wrong? How can I fix this? Maybe I assumed too much. Maybe I was too freely Me. Thankfully, after this post, the issue is no longer mine and seriously I am okay with it.

I AM a good friend damnit. Confidence high or low. I am a flawed human, but a good damn friend. And if you don’t believe me, just ask my cat.

But watch it. She bites.

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A Hypnotist, The Italian & The Flu – Part Two

Italian2

So the story starts at a company holiday luncheon thrown at a nice hotel, where we are entertained by yours truly – ok, we are entertained by a professional Comedian/Mentalist who used me as part of his show. The lunch was pretty successful, spirits were pretty high, and the best part was we were told we could head home once the luncheon was completed.

Earlier in the week I had been talking via text a lot with The Italian. He was the last person I really decided to converse with from the online dating site. I hadn’t logged on in a couple of weeks, and had really given no thought when his message popped on my phone. He had intro’d himself as looking for a friend only, although his actions were starting to speak a slightly different language. I reinforced the initial friendship stance and once it was made clear we were not meeting for romantic purposes, I agreed to dinner on Friday night. We agreed to drinks, and if we wanted, we could move it to dinner afterwards. That’s code-speak for; Let’s see if things pan out, and if they don’t we can excuse ourselves after a drink or two.

As the week went on, and there were rumblings of the company being dismissed for the remainder of the work day once the luncheon completed. I realized I might end up available a lot earlier than anticipated, so I let the Italian know this. He had no problems moving things up, given about a 30 minute heads up. After lunch while walking to the car I texted him that I was about 40 minutes away from our meeting destination if he was interested in meeting early? I was really about 20 minutes, but given the time, it was perfect for me to run in and return an item at a store. Plus I really wanted no pressure, and I can as easily place that on myself, as allow someone else to. He was completely cool with things, and I was able to get the errand run and still take my leisurely time about getting there.

I ended up getting there first. I did the walk around the bar, and figured he would be easy enough to spot because of his height and all. I didn’t see him, so I slid up to an area that had a couple of empty stools and got ready to order a drink. Before I could place my order, there he was, right at my side. I have to say, simply thinking of him and the initial first meet, I laugh. There is something about him – about our energy or something, that just sort of clicks in this really goofy way. There wasn’t a moment of uncomfortableness from the get go, and it started with his ease from the from first moment we met. He doesn’t seem to have an uncomfortable bone in his body.

Physically, while he looked just like his picture, I think he actually looks better in person. He had this crazy, colorful loud shirt, that he carried off perfectly. I liked that he was confident enough to wear something like that without worrying about how it might come across. When he came up to me at the bar, he sort of slid in next to me, as if we had known each other for a long time. There wasn’t that awkward silence. But the energy levels I had mentioned before? How he seemed all over the place when trying to have a conversation with him? Still very much there.

We settled in; as best as one can settle with a very hyper lanky Italian, who as the name would suggest talks with his hands a lot. It’s almost like sitting there with one of those Water Wiggles – the Octopus you wire up your garden hose, and it slowly circulates as its crazy 8 floppy water arms go all over the place. I was certain a martini or glass was bound to go flying at some point during the evening, but it’s as though his arms have radar, and just know how to swoosh in and under and around glassware.

Conversation went pretty well, but it was almost surreal. Now this is going to sound strange, and it’s hard to articulate, but if it had been 1988, this guy and I would have been making marriage plans, I swear. There is something about him that screams the 80’s to me. I don’t mean he screams the 80’s. I mean the energy between us was very 1980’s. I wondered if it was our age bracket or what, but I could see meeting this guy in a loud music thumping bar thirty years ago (yes the 80’s were that long ago) and hitting it off to the point where we are living together in six months. Maybe it’s the speed at which he seems to move, physically and emotionally. Maybe it’s the mustache.  Maybe because it’s usually men in their twenties who seem to carry their emotions out in the open like he does, and I haven’t experienced that in close to 30 years.

After another drink or two, we decided to head to dinner up at my favorite Mexican place near my house. I texted my daughter that I was heading home, and would briefly have someone with me. She knew about the meet-up, how it wasn’t romance based, and made a joke or two. I made us a drink when we arrived, him having followed me perfectly the 10 or so miles to my place. We didn’t even finish half of it when we both realized how famished we were, so we headed across the street. Dinner was nice, but by this point I had caught him on more than one time with his eyes on my boobs. I called him out, because if you’re brazen enough to look, I’m not going to pretend I didn’t notice it happen. I think my calling him out startled him and as usual he tried the denial until I asked him, “Boobs, Ass, or Legs?” Every man has a favorite and I prefer one who can admit it, to those who call out “Oh it’s the eyes, or the smile”. Yes I agree, the eyes or smile might have it, but boobs, ass or legs? Being able to honestly answer gains you a point. Of course his answer? Boobs. What self serving Italian wouldn’t answer with that?

So the boob look didn’t make me uncomfortable, except to sort of cement that nagging feeling that his body language towards me was sort of calling out that this was leaning towards more than a friendship. I sort of faltered in my confidence at that point. Not that it made me feel less confident, but the ease of sitting with a male friend, is much different when you think they are looking at you in a sexual manner vs platonic manner. It goes from joining a lion for dinner, to being dinner for a lion. Dinner ended, and he again picked up the check. He had already dropped a small mint on martini’s for two earlier, and I really didn’t want him doing the same for dinner. I sort of verbally wrestled him for the check, but saw he wasn’t going to relent on this one, so I gave up and thanked him kindly. We headed back to my place where we considered listening to more music. I think my body language was screaming something my head wasn’t able to articulate.

The fact was my mind was bobbing a little bit now with the realization of where things were with us, and while I wasn’t too drunk, I was enough in my cups to get into anything too deep. I’ll be honest I don’t know how I made it clear that it was time to call it a night, I just know I was hugely relieved when he left. I climbed into bed and half-drunkenly and very giggly texted a male friend on how the night went, until mid-conversation I was in snoresville.

I woke up early the next morning, mouth parched from vodka, olives, and cigarettes, and there it was; a text sent that morning at 4:30. My first thought it always in situations like this, who the fuck texts someone at 4:30? Then his text sort of dropped that bomb that I knew was coming. To cut things very short and to the point he made it very clear of his attraction to me, and how much he enjoyed himself, but he did catch the feeling that I got a bit uncomfortable. If things were okay with us, he wanted to see me again that night. But that he wouldn’t push things and he was only interested if it were mutual. And therein I found the cadence for how he communicates with me.

Push – Push – PUSH! Then hastily retreat, either apologizing or retracting.

I put the phone down and didn’t respond. By 9 that morning he had responded that he was missing the credit card he had used the night before, and could I scope my place out for it?

I put the phone down once again and laid down one last time, because I had another Xmas party to attend that night. When I woke I looked for the card that I knew wasn’t there (hello Earring’s on the Nightstand) and then located the telephone number of the restaurant we attended the night before. I responded back and let him know I didn’t find the card (surprise!) and here was the number for the place the evening before, maybe they had it. Of course he ended up locating it in his car, but now that he had my attention. He asked if we could talk, so I called him.

He reiterated what he already had, and what I already suspected but I stopped him dead in his tracks. The conversation played out, me feeling like I had already done this, but calling him out on friend vs romantic intentions once again, and him responding in like and saying not to worry. Only this time he did admit, he was willing to follow whatever cue I threw his way. In other words if I wanted to keep it in the friend zone, he was cool with that, but if I was interested in taking it one step further than that, he was very interested in that too.

I can’t help but wonder if I really am thinking I am joining the Lion for dinner, not realizing otherwise.

By Sunday the flu hit. I didn’t realize it at first. I had attended a friend’s Xmas party the night before, drank much more than intended and came home with what I thought was exhaustion. When come Monday I could barely move, let alone breath, I missed a slew of texts from the Italian. Him worried about my state of well-being –and me unable, or unwilling to respond (I turned the phone on do not disturb) realized Houston, we may have a problem.

He decided it was imperative that he cook me homemade soup. And then he quietly delivered it.

It freaked me out at first. I mean really freaked me out. Like whatthefuckhaveIdoneinlettingthisguyknowwhereIlive? But then I cautiously opened my front door and saw the harmless bag sitting there, and the hot soup calling out to me, and like a timid little creature with whiskers twitching and eyes looking to and fro, I quickly grabbed the bag, ducked my head back inside, slammed and locked the door and sipped on what could have been Knock Out Rape Soup. I didn’t care. I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. I could only stomach about three bites before the coughing fell me, and back to bed I went.

When I woke up I wondered if I had dreamt the whole thing. See, if I was really digging this guy on a romantic scale, I would be floored at how sweet and grand the gesture was, but this feels … well what comes to mind is that it feels a bit wrong. Again, the whole Lion thing. I was able to rightfully so, use the remainder of the week and weekend and the flu I battled as a good buffer from him coming on too strong. But I need to make a decision here.

It’s apparent his initial friend stance has changed and while he states he is willing to work within my rules, I have a feeling this guy will test the limits. I don’t feel physically threatened by him, by any means. I really enjoy my time with him, but I’m just not looking for what he is, and I don’t think he can be honest with himself on what he is willing to limit himself to. If I tell him this – I either come across as completely full of myself (which I can be, but trust me on this, that is not the case) or I put him on the defense. Do I end a friendship with someone because they I know they want more than I am willing to give? Is that selfish of me?

I may give it one more shot. He has begged me for two weeks now to let him cook for me. Since the soup didn’t kill me, I might take him up on the offer.

 

Girl Code

Andy Boot

What if the opportunity to be with someone came at the wrong time, or for that matter the wrong life? What if you felt you were meant to be with someone else, but because of protocol, or timing, or rules, you missed out on that prospect? They were married to someone else. You were involved with someone else. They were dating your friend, or you were attracted to the brother.  Your lives just kept running afoul of one another with availability.

What if Girl Code came into play. Girl Code is simply Chicks before Dicks. Unspoken rules, like You don’t hit on, date or sleep with a friend’s ex without permission. You always take the side of the friend in the break-up, regardless of the issues. And between the ages of 12 and 20, you don’t date the guy your best friend is madly in love with, no matter if everyone knows she will never get him. There is no handbook on Girl Code, it’s just something you are born knowing. Most follow it. Some bitches don’t. 😉

When is it okay to break Girl Code and date someone’s ex? When is it okay to allow a friend to do it? Is there a certain amount of time? Years? Decades? Never? Is it the length of time you date someone that marks them as “Yours for Life”? Men for the most part seem to be okay with their guy friends dating girls they are no longer with. Women? Not so much.

I’ve had friends do it to me. Break Girl Code. I think the issue for me at the times that it happened was based more on the betrayal on the friendship vs. The Guy. It stung. It made the friendship feel less important than the potential for a hook-up. These all happened when I was young because young bitches are more deadly than older ones. In my youth I felt that whatever I touched, had my stamp on it. Like Woody in Toy Story, my name was indelibly written on his boot. Taking an Ex from me, even if I wasn’t playing with him anymore, was treachery. Maybe that was part of the appeal on the girls part. Having a bite of the forbidden fruit. Women I have learned, are a lot more capable of this than men. I have to be honest. I’ve danced along the line. I’ve been that girl who has become between male friends, but hey that gets into the rules of Guy Code, and I don’t worry myself over that. Simply put: Women can be beasts.

A few years back I considered setting up a friend with an ex, because I realized how much they were one another’s type. It was a sex thing for both, and I thought I was okay with it. It never happened, and later I couldn’t help but wonder if it really would have been issue-free for me. He had been pretty major at one time in my life. Maybe the idea of being so free-feeling in thought, wasn’t the same as living it.  Today this isn’t as much of an issue. Maybe it’s a lack of possessiveness. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s me realizing that what I had, isn’t what I want back, so go for it. Let my problems of yesterday be your problem of today.

Girl Code