I was at my mother’s house today. I went to go set up a VNC server and install a new anti-virus program on my brother’s home computer, which he access remotely from his college dorm room.
(Actually, I should really get around to writing an article about anti-virus services and programs. That’s another one of those cases where people usually end up paying for things they don’t have to.)
Anyway, I came home, made myself some pasta, and while I was eating it (I have yet to finish a bowl), Danica wanted to go out to get cupcakes. It was 11:10, and the bakery closes at 11:30, so we needed to hop to it. We were out the door a couple minutes later.
At the bakery, a male employee was in front of the door, holding a “Sorry, we’re closed!” sign. A few customers were still picking out pastries inside, though. I looked at him and said, “Just two minutes?” He looked back at me, glanced over at Danica, and said, “All right, go ahead.”
I thanked him, stepped inside, and then he said to me, “You have two minutes,” and when Danica stepped in behind me he told her, smiling, “You have four minutes.”
It’s not as if this is the first time something like this has happened to me. The most blatant example of people’s general pigheadedness in this regard I’ve encountered was by a doorman who wouldn’t open a door for me when I was carrying four (that’s 4, as in two more than as many hands I have) hot, large-sized Starbuck’s coffee cups, several dozen napkins, and some sugar packs. I was struggling with the door for at least 30 seconds when a woman walked by, for whom he opened the door, and I managed to slip into the building.
You know, I may not be much to look at, but that’s no reason to treat me any differently than someone who is. And you know what else? I’ve come to terms with the fact that it will mean I am treated differently, across the board, throughout the rest of my life. That’s just the fucked-up, cruel laws of nature and society that happen to make a lot of sense. Sucks for me, but good for the species, I suppose.
The really bothersome thing about the whole thing, and the reason it even stuck with me long enough for me to write this entry, is that I’m not usually affected by this—at all. Sure, it happens all the time, but I don’t usually get pissed about it. I’m pissed about it because I’m not in a secure place regarding my social and sexual abilities right now. This encounter was one of the things that reminded me about that today. The others were some of the things Danica has said about her male co-workers. (She just got a new job at a Barnes and Noble café.)
Again, I’m not usually upset by any of these things. It’s not as if she’s pulling her co-workers into the warehouse and screwing them, either. But apparently I’m insecure enough in this relationship to have that image pop into my head. That’s not good. That’s not the kind of person I want to be. That’s not the kind of relationship I want to have.
I want to be able to listen to her talk about the cute guys she works with and not feel my heart sink. I want to listen to her talk about the customers who wink at her when she smiles and not feel jealous of them. I even want her to meet someone she likes and wants to get intimate with and be happy for them. (Yes, really.)
But that’s not going to happen right now. I’ve felt too hurt from Danica in the past on this subject to make it a realistic expectation for me. I spent a good deal of time fighting off feelings of failure and guilt about that, too. Well, it’s not my fault. I have some fears and some irrational concerns. I’ve been working through those. Mostly, however, I’ve not got enough trust in her committment to me or our relationship to feel like it would be “no big deal” to have her having casual sexual relationships with other people.
That sort of thing is nothing to take lightly. There is nothing “casual” about a casual other relationship to your partner. And that makes a whole lot of natural sense, too. Sucks for her, but good for the species, I guess.