Went down to London for the earthlings birthday dinner, and shopping in Camden beforehand with doop. Shopping was good fun and I accidentally bought another pair of shoes. They're lace-up boots with very high stiletto heels, and right now I think they make my feet look like the sexiest things in the world. (The shoes are nothing very unusual, but it's the first time I've owned anything with such pointy heels, because I can't normally walk in them. Hoping to get more practice from now on.) Hopefully this foot-fancying will wear off a bit, because it may prove awkward to keep lusting after one's own feet.
Also bought a skirt with about a million pockets, and some stripy tights. The skirt looks like it should be combat-trousers, but is a skirt; hopefully the pockets will come in handy, but it does look very silly -- though I might take some of the daft traily strap-like-bits (which don't serve any useful purpose) off to make it look slightly less OTT.
Met up with other earthlings in the Rising Sun on Tottenham Court Road for a quick pint (and lots of innuendo) before going on to our dinner at Cafe Uno. It was lovely to see everybody again; I don't see the other earthlings nearly often enough. (Of course, that's partly my fault for being rubbish at turning up to social events; this was the first earthlings birthday meal that I'd actually made it to, and I think the only over meet that I'd got to since leaving Oxford was the one in Cambridge.)
Because it was a birthday meal (I wonder if anybody explained to them that we were celebrating the birthday of a computer and/or an internet community?) our table had lots of helium balloons tied to the chairs, which proved entertaining later when people started breathing in helium ... and using the balloon ribbons to tie other people to chairs. Ahem.
The food was nice, though I think the fact that I was wearing a 26" waist corset stopped me eating as much as I might otherwise have done. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, although I think the potential good effects of not eating too much pizza were outweighed by the potential bad effects of drinking far too much wine. There was lots of wine, which I suspect to some extent encouraged the lots of flirting. It was fun flirting with julietk and Chris Venus (sorry Chris, can't remember your LJ username!) and doop, all of whom seemed to appreciate my shiny metal claw. :-)
After Cafe Uno finally kicked us out (or rather poured us out) some time after midnight, a fair number of us went back to julietk and Pete's flat for more drinking, more talking, and more flirting. Most people wandered off at around 3 a.m., but doop and I ended up staying longer and eventually staying over. Which was fun. :-)
I'm now a) hungover, b) aching all over, and c) (last but by no means least) feeling very miserable and guilty. When I got back yesterday sion_a seemed to be upset about me having been tarting around elsewhere, but didn't seem to want to talk about anything, which of course made it a bit difficult to sort things out at all. I'd tried to get back as early as I could (despite feeling far too hungover to be enthusiastic about travelling) because he'd said before I left that it would be nice if I got back in time for us to have some of the weekend together, and I thought that was more important than sitting around feeling sorry for myself and nursing my hangover; but as soon as I got back he said we were going over to simonb's for post-party chillout, so we had no chance for any kind of conversation. It was nice to see simonb, ottah et al, and to steal a few hugs with lnr and daneel_olivaw (although I'm afraid I was just too hungover to be much fun), but I think if I'd realised that "post-party chillout" meant "sit and watch everybody else play Risk and other boring games" then I probably would have just stayed at home and gone to sleep -- after all at least then sion_a could have spent the whole evening with simonb rather than being forced to stay at home with me. And I tried to talk to him when we got back from simonb's, but he didn't want to talk, he just wanted to potter around the house. Fortunately I just fell asleep in the end so I couldn't worry about it any more (except during all the times when I woke up briefly and realised that I still felt achey and hungover and still felt stressed).
I dunno, I just feel miserable and useless, and everybody keeps saying how secure and confident I must be to be able to be poly, and I just feel like I must be some kind of a fraud. After all, we all know that real poly people don't have worries like this, because real poly people are perfect ... or at least infinitely better at relationships than mono people. Or so certain sections of the poly "community" would have you believe. :-/
I keep asking sion_a if he'd be happier being mono, and he keeps saying that he wouldn't (personally I know I'd be just as insecure if we were monogamous as I am now, probably more so), but I still worry that he's only saying that because he thinks I'll leave him if he says he'd rather we were monogamous. I also worry that it's in the nature of a test -- that he feels he shouldn't have to ask me to do what good girlfriends just do anyway. I mean, I shouldn't need him to point out to me that I'm a dirty whore, I should just realise it and fix it of my own accord; right? (And if I ask him whether this is the problem, then of course he's going to say no, because if he admits that it's a test, then the test won't work any more, and it just means that I've failed again. They are playing a game, etc. [apologies to R. D. Laing.]) I feel like he's waiting for me to say that I'd rather be monogamous because I don't need anybody else in the world when I've got him. Maybe he's right and I don't need anybody else. Hell, I don't need lots of things that I have or do. I don't need 1000-odd books. I don't need to drink alcohol. I don't need internet access. I don't need friends -- people manage without having any. I don't need to eat half as often as I do -- people stay alive without.
The fact that my libido is still so erratic is certainly not helping some of these problems. I still seem to have trouble getting through all the mental barriers without the aid of copious alcohol, but if I'm at home with sion_a then a) we don't tend to drink that much, and b) if we do, it's usually followed by us saying "right, let's go to sleep now then" rather than by us having time/energy/inclination to stay up and play. If by some miracle one of us isn't tired, the other one almost certainly will be.
Of course, he's been out of action recently for physical reasons, which totally isn't his fault, but it has been horribly frustrating not even being able to talk about sex with him for fear of making things hurt. At least when my libido is shaky I can usually still talk about stuff (up to a point). I just don't see why it's okay for him to have good sex elsewhere when I'm out of action for (mostly) mental reasons, but it's unfair for me to have good sex elsewhere while he's out of action for physical reasons. It's like what kaet was saying about devaluing mental suffering as compared to physical suffering: see, I'm just being useless and stupid, and need to buck [sic.] my ideas up and get back to performing my wifely duties; but he's had an operation, which is different.
To be fair, I don't really think sion_a sees it like that -- please don't blame him -- but that's how it feels to me at the moment.
The thing is, if he just said that he wanted monogamy, or even if he just said that he wanted to be poly but he didn't want me to have other partners, then I'd still try to work things out along those lines with him. What bothers me is that he won't ask for anything he wants, and when I ask him what he wants I never get a straight answer; half the time I don't get any answer. And when I do get answers, it's often hard to believe them; it's hard to take somebody's "no, it's fine" at face value when they look like they're about to burst into tears while they say it.
Part of me feels bad about posting all this here, but I need to talk to somebody, and a lot of the potential somebodies are reading here. I don't mean that I'm fishing for sympathy, nobody needs feel obliged to follow up, it's just that the way I deal with things is talking about them, so even if nobody's listening it helps me to talk stuff through. Including the one who I really should be talking to all this about, of course; but there's even less chance of him discussing things with me here than anywhere else... :-/