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earthlings are easy - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
earthlings are easy
... although earth.* Lings prove as difficult as ever. Ho hum.


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. :-)



However...

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... :-/
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Comments
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: February 10th, 2003 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I think you want chrisvenus (tags do work in comments, don't they?)... 'fraid I'm not going to offer anything very constructive in terms of advice, since I'm miles from that kind of situation, and when I've been even close I've handled it arguably very badly.

It's therefore probably bad that I would appreciate some advice. If a woman tells you that you won't understand what she's trying to explain until you've read RD Laing, you wander your way through 'Knots', and then are told that's just not the right bit of Laing, what might it be worth looking for. And where might one find it anyway? Not that I'd dream of taking people seriously, not me. Oh no.
j4 From: j4 Date: February 10th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Bah, I tried "chrisvenus" and got an error. Maybe LJ was just being crap. (Surely not!) Sorry Chris.

Re R. D. Laing... uhm, I don't know. Google for Laing and see what you find. :-) Or ask her what you should be reading -- she'll be flattered that you're so keen to understand her that you're willing to read two books by Laing. ;-) I've only read Knots and Do You Really Love Me? (which is more of the same only with more dialogue and less mathematical notation). He wrote lots of real psychology books as well as the pop-psych-poetry stuff, though, and I wouldn't know where to start with those. Could ask my parents (who are both Psych. graduates) about it if you're really bothered.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: February 10th, 2003 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)
> ask her what you should be reading

Now I'm quite sure that's not how it works. Serious conversations between us pretty much take a form reminiscent of Godot. She'd probably give me her detailed views on the relative merits of satsumas as against clementines or something. feh....
chrisvenus From: chrisvenus Date: February 10th, 2003 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Maybe LJ was just being crap. (Surely not!) Sorry Chris.

You should be thankful JDC got there first. I was just planning my sarcastic comments when I saw his and realised I couldn't. :)
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: February 10th, 2003 08:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Last paragraph re-read and noted, but:

I'd love to be able to help somehow though I don't know how to even start doing so, other than as an ear. Keep writing and keep sharing if you think it'd keep helping you. *hugs*

I did enjoy your description of the earth.li party. Not sure why I never got to know the earth.lings as a group - after all, I was in the right college and knew and liked a good four or five of them on an individual basis. (And at least one by proxy, Mr. Clemson!)

Oh, and for old time's self-deprecatory sake:
abc: haddock
bcd: catfish
cde: imc
j4 From: j4 Date: February 10th, 2003 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
abc: haddock
bcd: catfish
cde: imc


<giggle&rt; oh dear. Not sure why that's self-deprecatory (am I missing a Deeper Meaning here?) but thank you for reminding me of the ox.test test thread, because that made me smile. I wish somebody had archived it properly but I can't find it anywhere on the web any more...

[Notes that username "imc" on LJ hasn't been taken yet, and wonders...]
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: February 10th, 2003 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
If you don't remember the details then it may be in my best interest not to remind you of them and declare the (non-)storm in the teacup to have blown over at last. :-)

Here's to the new running jokes!
j4 From: j4 Date: February 10th, 2003 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry, I don't think I know what incident you're talking about at all! Either you're being too oblique for my poor hungover brain,or I just don't remember the details. My memory is going. Are you my granddaughter? They're stealing my string, you know.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: February 10th, 2003 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
For about a year after I left Oxford, I kept in touch with people through ox.talk and ox.test. One night, in an incredibly bad mood, I posted a severely vituperative document badmouthing all of ox.*, its traditions, running jokes and in-jokes. Bit of a shame, really, as I felt that I rather burned quite a few bridges and some useful friendships. (Some people saw the funny side.) addedentry probably remembers (and fivemack and lnr might) though he's being too kind to admit to it as on reflection it's not something I'm proud of. It's amusing how many ox.* folks and associated oxgeeks are meeting up on LiveJournal. :-)

Oh well. Y'live and learn. I am still capable of self-destructing from time to time, but at least these days it's in a less harmful form.
j4 From: j4 Date: February 11th, 2003 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Good heavens, if I had a quid for every time I've ranted about usenet on usenet I'd be able to retire on the proceeds. Certainly several of the people who've been on oxbridge.tat recently have ranted about that, although that was partly in the context of a flamewar which ran along the lines of:

"oxbridge.tat is crap because of the Cambridge crowd."
"no, oxbridge.tat is crap because of the Oxford crowd."
"Cambridge is tedious!"
"Oxford is pretentious!"
"you smell of POO and WEE!"
"yeah, but at least my dad's not gay!"

To be honest, ranting about injokery is practically de rigeur around here. (Even while indulging in it.) I certainly don't think anybody would hold what you said against you, if indeed they even remember it.

I mean, I don't mean to devalue what you said at the time, because it almost certainly needed saying at the time, but the time was then, and this is now ... (and that was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.)

Shall I stop digging now?
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: February 12th, 2003 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)
/me contemplates taking it just to confuse people...
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: February 12th, 2003 06:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Bah, can't cos can't generate an LJ code. Hmmm. Oh well. Probably just as well.
julietk From: julietk Date: February 10th, 2003 09:56 am (UTC) (Link)
First up: shiny claw *gooood* (is it fixable, btw?), ditto nice corset & boots :-)

You definitely have my sympathy about the libido issues - always made me feel horribly guilty (& contributed enormously to the Chris-disaster). I certainly always felt that it was entirely my fault, even though part of me knew that was unfair.

And I worry rather about whether Pete's really OK about poly-stuff. He tells me he is; and he doesn't seem to be doing any major-league moping; but, like Sion, he's pretty bad at asking for things. And when he says stuff like "it's more important that you're happy", that gets me *really* worried. But nor can I be enormously helpful in "how to get actual answers", cos I haven't worked it out either, nor established whether I'm just being paranoid & should take statements at face value.

Um. Not very helpful, sorry. But *hugs*. Also: might you feeling awful & guilty be partly exacerbated by hangover-related mental trauma? I know that reasonably often when I'm hungover it makes me feel entirely crap & convinced that I'm evil & have screwed up everything ever & everyone hates me.

more *hugs*
j4 From: j4 Date: February 10th, 2003 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
First up: shiny claw *gooood* (is it fixable, btw?), ditto nice corset & boots :-)

Thank you. :) doop reckons shiny claw is fixable, but I think I will have to appeal to sion_a's superior soldering skills for the actual fixing of it.

And I worry rather about whether Pete's really OK about poly-stuff. He tells me he is; and he doesn't seem to be doing any major-league moping; but, like Sion, he's pretty bad at asking for things. And when he says stuff like "it's more important that you're happy", that gets me *really* worried.

Nggghhh. Yes. That one always worries me too. It's the whole infinite-back-off of trying to make each other happy. Sometimes you (you-in-general) have to make yourself happy as well, and if everybody's always only trying to make other people happy, nobody ends up being happy, because everybody's too stressed about trying to keep other people happy.

But nor can I be enormously helpful in "how to get actual answers", cos I haven't worked it out either, nor established whether I'm just being paranoid & should take statements at face value.

*hugs*

I think (and this is theory, obviously, because I clearly don't get it right) that sometimes you have to take things at face value, otherwise you'll just always be worrying "but what if they don't really mean it?" -- but it's hard to do that when they often do say "Nothing's wrong" when something is wrong.

Also: might you feeling awful & guilty be partly exacerbated by hangover-related mental trauma?

Definitely. :-( Still feeling very flaky even now. Will try to get proper non-hungover sleep tonight, maybe that will help.
julietk From: julietk Date: February 10th, 2003 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the whole infinite-back-off of trying to make each other happy. Sometimes you (you-in-general) have to make yourself happy as well, and if everybody's always only trying to make other people happy, nobody ends up being happy, because everybody's too stressed about trying to keep other people happy.

I've kind of come to that conclusion, as well, by now. Bit of both, sort of thing.

I think (and this is theory, obviously, because I clearly don't get it right) that sometimes you have to take things at face value, otherwise you'll just always be worrying "but what if they don't really mean it?" -- but it's hard to do that when they often do say "Nothing's wrong" when something is wrong.

I've decided that for the moment, anyway, I'm going with face value. Pete doesn't seem in a particularly narky mood, & if anything has been being slightly fluffier recently, so I reckon currently we're probably OK. This will not, of course, prevent me worrying a *bit*, but I intend to attempt to minimise it :-)

Definitely. :-( Still feeling very flaky even now. Will try to get proper non-hungover sleep tonight, maybe that will help.

I reckon it's likely, myself. Sleep well! *hug*
emperor From: emperor Date: February 10th, 2003 11:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, as you know, I am f***-all use at poly-related advice. But have a *hug*, and the offer of an ear when you need one - I'm not a million miles away...
simonb From: simonb Date: February 10th, 2003 12:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hugs*

When it comes down to it, relationships can be hard. No matter *what* certain parts of the poly community think - I'm thinking of the "more evolved" crowd here - poly people fuck up as often as mono people.

From reading the above it seems that a lot of the things you're wibbling about come down to a lack of communication. All relationships need communication no matter what type of relationship it is and contrary to the beliefs of some parts of the poly community, poly people don't have a magical telepathic communication device implanted in them when they become poly. Hell if they do I'd like to know how I missed mine as it would've come in really handy... especially since I have this annoying habit of mentally saying something to ottah and my mind then thinking that I've told her IRL about it... I've scared/surprised her once or twice this way :)

Which leads on to something else; communication skills need to be learned. I can sympathise with sion_a as I used to have a similar problem with a lack of communication until ottah sledgehammered the skills into me (that's sledgehammering in a nice way :)

By way of reference its taken quite a few conversations spread over a number of years for us to get to the stage where we are now. We've never put limits on each other, instead we discuss things as they come along and if one of us feels uncomfortable about something then we find a way to comprimise and work until we're happy with it.

This weekend is a good example. Both of us got the other's opinion about anyone new and only if both of us were comfortable with the new person did anything happen. This worked for a number of years, however I've always trusted ottah's taste as her intuitions about people are far better than mine. This was crystalised in my head when ottah went to DWCon last year; essentially I told her that she didn't have to get my opinion before playing with anyone new as I trusted her judgement and her ability to not bring problems into our life together. At that time ottah offered to do the same for me; whilst this was very gracious of her, I declined her offer as sometimes my taste goes a little off course (my history has a very chequed past when it comes to my taste) and I very much appreciated her comments, intuition and good judgement about new people that I meet.

That said, when ottah wanted to play with someone over this weekend, whilst she didn't have to talk to me about it, she still did. Whilst I had no problems at all with the person, this was something I did appreciate since it showed that she respected our relationship and that my opinions do matter.

A simple overview is that "a snog is a snog is a snog", after this we speak to each other... if nothing else to say that we'd snogged someone and that we're off to play. Or to say that the person was crap and not to go near them :)

I don't know if any of the above helps at all, but we wouldn't be where we are now without the communication and honesty between us.

If you'd like to talk IRL about this then you're welcome to pop at any time (just don't forget your swimming custume otherwise our spa will get unhappy!).

*hugs*
j4 From: j4 Date: February 11th, 2003 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
communication skills need to be learned.

I agree, and I'm delighted to see that I'm not the only person who believes that communication skills can be learned. I get so frustrated with people who say "I'm crap at talking to people, I'm just like that, there's nothing I can do about it" -- all communication is learned; it's not like I was visited by Good Fairies at my birth and granted the gift of Communication. (If I had been, I hope I'd be a lot better at communicating patiently rather than merely volubly!) I'm not saying it's easy, but it's certainly possible.

I can sympathise with sion_a as I used to have a similar problem with a lack of communication until ejde sledgehammered the skills into me

Paging ottah: I don't suppose you could lend me your sledgehammer for a bit, could you? ;-)

[snip other stuff -- all sounds very sensible, & it's always interesting to hear someone else's ways of dealing with stuff like this, but I'm not sure there's much specific I can say in reply to any of it]
(Deleted comment)
j4 From: j4 Date: February 11th, 2003 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Secondly, some *hugs* for sion_a too.

Thanks for the hugs for me, but thanks even more for the hugs for sion_a. I know that sounds perverse, but he needs the hugs just as much as I do, if not more, and it seems unfair that he doesn't often get as many of them just because his emotions don't have such an enormous fallout zone as mine do. :-/

*hugs*
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