Weekend Coffee Share: Compliments are important.

This weekend, if we were chatting over coffee, I’d tell you that it has become abundantly clear to me that, yes, I do in fact need a summer job. I’ve been telling myself that it wasn’t a necessity, and that I’d be okay if I could just survive, but it’s a week until the next payday, I have ten dollars (which is all that is left of the thirty my mother sent to me), I just realized that all of my cheese has been eaten by my roommate’s kids, I’m going to run out of toilet paper (again because of the roommate’s family), and I have a workshop to go to this week, so I’ll be running more gas than usual…

Time to face facts: I gotta get a summer job!

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I have been looking… sort of…

I was just hoping that I’d be able to survive on my minuscule checks (diminished still because of my time on leave this year) until the next school year. I really wanted to spend some time on ME, like getting myself into a solid routine before the school year started, and getting back to a healthy weight, and taking time to do what I needed for my mental health.

Not that I’m crazy…for those of you new to this blog I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and, having been undiagnosed most of my life, I’m finding that a lot of the coping mechanisms that, as far as I knew were just a normal way of life, aren’t entirely healthy and so I need to find better ones. And for the first time in my life, I’ve found a therapist who I think will help me to get those in place.

She’s already helped me to realize that having a label wasn’t a bad thing, which I should have known because I am a teacher, but instead, I was seriously concerned. For instance, as I was filling out some job applications this weekend, one of the questions was about being disabled and Autism is listed as a disability. Asperger’s is a form of Autism; do I click that yes I am disabled?

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I’ve never considered myself disabled, and yet this condition does seem to hinder some of my abilities to do certain things. The new therapist explained how the latest test she gave me was so we could determine what accommodations I might need to include in my permanent file. For work purposes, or something.

Like to deal with some of the issues I had this past school year…

The point is, I need to get some coping mechanisms in place, and get my usual plans in order so that if/when the same type of thing happens next school year, I don’t absolutely crater. I was really hoping to have some time to work with this new therapist, and to meet with some of the Asperger’s therapy groups she had mentioned so I could get this under control over the summer instead of stressing over a job and money and stuff.

It’s been kind of cool learning about myself through all of this, though. Like a friend of mine (the one who took me to see X-Men finally, since the Pirate kept canceling on me) helped me to verbalize that my fixation on stories and archetypes helps me to analyze what’s going on in my own life. I use literary analysis techniques to figure out what’s going on with myself and with the people in my life.

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Everyone is a character, and based on how we interact, and my observations of how they interact with others, I determine whether they are a major character in my story, or if they’re only minor characters. If minor characters, what is their purpose? Because even minor characters have a purpose, and it tends to be to contrast, or teach the main character (in this case: ME) about themselves.

I kind of keep hoping that the Pirate is a major character in my life, but I don’t know yet, and figuring that out is taking a bit more time than I may have if I have to get a summer job.

Speaking of, in theory the Pirate and I are going to begin our morning exercise routine tomorrow. Well… I’m not sure if it’s going to become a routine, but we’re going to try going for a walk/jog in the morning. I have been fairly sedentary of late, so this will be slow going for me. My father suggested that if I’m not going fast enough for him, I should tell him to run circles around me while we walk. It’s called satelliting and my father had to do it a lot when he was in the Army… because he was always getting into trouble.

As he tells the story, his drill sergeant called him the “runningest white boy” he’d ever seen.

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Pretty sure even a drill sergeant can’t get away with a saying like that these days… Which is probably a good thing.

I was telling my dad about the Pirate, and about how he talks as much, if not more than I do, and my father told me, “you’re going to marry that boy…” Apparently, in my father’s estimation, all I need is a man who can keep up with me verbally.

That may be setting the bar a little low.

There’s plenty about the Pirate that I like, but I’m not going to marry him just because he can talk circles around me probably better than he can run circles around me!

Besides, it’s not exactly like he’s asked or anything. I’m not even sure if we’re actually dating! So let’s not go jumping about 20 steps ahead of things.

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Plus I do still have a date with the Teacher Monday night.

A date, that I originally thought was going to be totally safe and a just friends thing, but now I’m not so sure. He had originally told me that he wasn’t looking for anything serious because of his divorce. That has now morphed into this “I don’t plan that far ahead” mantra. He even told me that he hopes that things go well and mess up his pseudo-plan to go slow in the dating sphere.

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So now what do I do?

I guess it depends on why I’m going out with this guy, and I don’t think I’ve figured that out yet.

I think it’s because almost everyone I know has told me that it’s not exactly healthy to hold out hope for the Pirate, especially given the recent clusterfuck of misunderstanding with him.

We haven’t seen each other since the miscommunication. We’ve talked to each other through Instagram and over the phone, and I think I can sense a feeling of closeness, though it’s possible that it’s wishful thinking on my part.

Or we could actually be building a closeness, a relationship of sorts.

The point being that I still don’t know what his end goal is, or if he has one. I don’t know if us seriously dating is ever a thing he would even consider (let alone that whole marriage thing my dad joked about).

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Someone asked me the question the other day if I canceled the date with the Professor (who has since been unmatched) because of things with the Pirate, and I think I can say that was part of it. I feel a connection, and I want to further that connection with the Pirate.

But I’m terrified that maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe I’ve built it up into something it’s not. Maybe I’m making the same mistake as I did with the Boy, which is believing that my perception of what’s going on is what’s really going on.

And maybe it isn’t.

Maybe I just find him handsome and charming and I want to believe that someone handsome and charming would be interested in me, when in reality, that is so very unlikely.

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History has shown me that good looking men want to use me for their own purposes and that when they are done with me, they have no problem tossing me aside. Even not so good looking men have done that, though (with a few exceptions) I think I can say that I have exceedingly high standards when it comes to the appearance of the men I choose to date.

High enough standards that a former coworker told me that perhaps I should rethink my standards because (basically) I was being unrealistic in what I could actually get.

Doesn’t hurt any less to say it now than it did when she said it about five years ago.

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She said it in the middle of my four year drought, when no man would even show any interest in me for something as simple as a coffee date. I was ridiculously lonely, and was commenting that the very single new male teacher (who everyone thought I should date just because we were both single) was too short for my liking.

She gave me this incredulous look and asked me if perhaps my standards were too high because where would I be if the people who dated me had as high of standards as I did?

Not a direct quote, but that’s how I remember it. That’s what it felt like, anyway.

So imagine my surprise when that first hottie hit me up while I was walking my dog, and told me he’d been trying to get my attention for a while? I’d been in Houston almost a year, it was my birthday, and I was walking the dog while barefoot. The guy made out with me right there on my stoop and came back the next day.

It didn’t last long. He got a good look at me in the daylight and decided I wasn’t pretty enough. Kept pointing out some of my flaws, asking me if I’d ever thought about fixing them…

But he was gorgeous!

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And the look on the faces of some of my book club girls when I showed them his picture was priceless! They, too, were of the opinion (I think) that I shouldn’t have been able to get someone that hot interested in me.

After that brief tryst was over, I had some mixed feelings about my attractiveness.

Feelings that probably were part of the downfall with the Boy.

I needed the reassurance that he found me attractive, as it’d been (by that time) nearly six years since anyone had wanted to date me, like seriously date me. I’d been used a couple of times, but no one had called me beautiful (at least no one romantically interested in me) in at least six years. Probably more.

It’d been since Abilene since I’d had what I would have considered an even remotely successful relationship. I left there the year of my 21st birthday, so that would have put it at ten years since my last real relationship, where we were only seeing each other.

And even then, I wasn’t always the only one the guy was seeing… They were often seeing someone prettier, skinnier, less fuzzy than me. Or it would turn out that I was the Other Woman. That exotic beauty that they wanted to get an opportunity to experience…

And they would call me exotic which is not really a compliment…

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I guess that’s why it was important to me that the Boy couldn’t compliment me in any conventional way. Or why it was so intoxicating that the Bartender would tell me I was beautiful all the time. In more than one language.

If I think back, it’s probably why things got so bad with the Bartender as well. I could tell he was going to get rid of me like all the rest, and I really wanted to believe that wasn’t the case. It made me cry because he would tell me all the things I wanted to hear and some part of me knew it wasn’t real, because it’s never real for me.

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I guess that’s one of those fears in the back of my head: I’m afraid that the Pirate is out of my league, and that he won’t want to keep me because I’m not pretty enough to be kept. That he’ll be like all the others who finds me to be exotic, but too much work to keep around.

I think that’s why I freaked out when he told me I was being smothering, because it was the thing with the Bartender all over again, only worse because I was just beginning to see some glimmer of a possibility with the Pirate.

Besides, I was only trying to schedule the next time we’d see each other. I’ve been able to not bother him since we’ve had plans made, gone 2 days without actual conversation. The only form of communication has been liking each other’s stuff on Instagram and I did send him directly one thing that was funny. I sent it to some of my girlfriends, too, but on Facebook.

I am capable of not being smothering. If I know when we’ll see each other next. If I like a person, and I don’t know if I’ll see them again, it does cause a little mini distress. I’ll have to ask my therapist if that’s an Aspie thing, or if I’m just that broken from being used so much.

Maybe a little of both.

Side note: the Pirate totally complimented me when I came by with the bites from the food and wine thing. I came by, he had food poisoning, and yet he still told me I looked amazing. That kind of got swept under the carpet the other day when I was freaking out about the smothering comment… But it  feels kind of significant, seeing as I didn’t ask for a compliment. I did say something about my shoes, (which made me tower over him) and he didn’t compliment the shoes (rather he said he was glad I liked them, but they looked uncomfortable), he complimented me!

I think that’s a really good sign…

Anyway. This has gotten WAY longer than I’d originally intended. And taken all day to get right… Good thing today was just a lazy Sunday!

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Keep your fingers crossed for me that things with the Pirate aren’t as totally screwed up as I thought they were. And that I’ll figure out what to do about the Teacher!! Probably just going to cancel that one, too.

What do you think? Keep it or cancel it? Seriously, I’m asking.

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