This week, if we were catching up over coffee, mine would be Irish! You know, with a little Bailey’s in it. And I’d still be in my pj’s even though it’s nearly dinner time.
Because it’s Spring Break, and I don’t have anywhere that I have to be!!!
Seriously, though, I do have lots to talk about and lots to do, just I’m enjoying that I don’t have to do it in a rushed manner like most weekends. I can stay up late if I want to and sleep in if I need to. It’s going to be glorious!
When last I wrote, it was my blogiversary: 5 years of #JustAddTea, and all the changes that have come with that. I mentioned, though, that this post would give you an update on the Boy.
See, we had our first fight. Or I think it qualifies as that. Not 100% sure if it really qualifies since it was completely via Facebook Messenger and then when I saw him we didn’t even discuss it really.
We’d gone to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston the night before, on Thursday, when it’s free and there’s a happy hour.
I like going to the Thursday happy hour at the museum, especially for a date. The drinking makes everyone a little more comfortable, and the artwork gives you something to talk about in case things get awkward.
Not that I expected things to get awkward, and not even that this was specifically a date. I’m not good at distinguishing the difference between a normal outing and a date anyway, to be totally honest.
It’s just that a lot of our time spent together is just eating or watching movies, and this was to be our first outing like really in public. Not that eating out and going to the movies isn’t public, but there’s some idea of privacy in both settings. When you go out to eat, even though people are all around you, there’s this unspoken rule that your table is an island of pseudo-privacy. You can talk freely and flirt freely without anyone really paying too much attention. And at a theater, everyone’s focused on the screen, so if you’re holding hands or snuggling with the person next to you, it’s not noticed or commented on.
In a museum, however, you’re just kind of out in the open, and while there is a sense that maybe your conversation is somewhat private (if you’re quiet enough), people can see you. It’s a visual experience, so you will be seen, noticed, looked at. Even if it’s not entirely intentional. Perhaps someone walks into an exhibit and is trying to look at the same piece of artwork you are, they’re going to see you.
And if you look good together, that person might make a mental note of what a cute couple you are. It’s a visual experience, and your brain is on alert and notices things you might not be aware you’re noticing.
So yeah, it was our first outing as a pseudo-couple (since I don’t really know what we are).
First of all, I was anxious because I was running late. I bought a new outfit (well top to go with a skirt he hadn’t seen) since I wanted to look good, and most of my cute stuff is still in storage. I went about it as if it were a date. I wanted to look cute, and I wasn’t 100% confident in my outfit, even though I liked it. I don’t think it’s quite in fashion, and he always looks nice. So there was a little pressure there, at least in my head.
Plus, there were people. People everywhere!
I was lucky enough to get a good parking spot in the free parking (someone was leaving as soon as I drove in), and it wasn’t a long way from the venue, which helped ease my anxiety. And he was running late as well, which was good. I’d wanted to be there before he was, so he could see me seated and calm enjoying a drink, casually, coolly, like some put together, confident woman. Inside, however, I felt like a nervous Nancy.
Too many people, none that I knew, and it was loud… And I was afraid he would be anxious because he didn’t seem to know where he was going, and I didn’t really know how to direct him. Directions are not my strong suit.
So when he finally showed up, I felt better, but still nervous, and he seemed a bit out of sorts as well. There wasn’t any of the sweet, sensual touching like I’m accustomed to. I didn’t even get a hello kiss, which has kind of been a normal thing when we go out.
My anxiety shot through the roof.
So we started walking through an exhibit, one that was from his home country, at which point my anxiety, that I thought was already maxed out, went higher.
Irony of irony, I had an emergency Xanax in my purse, but didn’t want to take it with the wine, and also didn’t know how to calmly take a pill out of my purse without him noticing anyway.
So I dealt with the anxiety. Not well, but I managed.
Thing is, once I was in my element, talking about the exhibits and sharing my favorites, things were fine. On my end. But we still weren’t holding hands or anything to show we were together.
What’s worse, he seemed to panic when I ran into someone I knew who was from a meetup group that we’re both a part of.
He didn’t know the guy, but when he heard the guy mention a meetup group to see the exact exhibit we were on our way to go look at, he became visibly agitated. Enough so that I noticed, so more than just a slight apprehension.
And the lack of sweet, sensual touches became more obvious. I tried to hold hands at one point, and instead of saying anything, he just spread his fingers apart so it was obvious he didn’t want to hold hands.
It sent a particular message: I’m a secret. He is just like all the rest of them, and even though he seems to like me, no one can know we’re seeing each other.
And it hurt. Hurt a lot.
Especially when he invited me over for dinner the very next day, as if nothing was wrong. Dinner at his place, where no one could see.
And hence the argument.
I called him on it. Told him I didn’t want to be a secret, at which point he swore I wasn’t. He didn’t mind meeting my friends, or me meeting his, but he didn’t want our mutual friends to know. And that’s not okay to me.
He said it was because of his situation. If things didn’t end well (because he had to leave back to his home country, or because he did get stuck in an arranged marriage), he didn’t want to have to explain to them what happened, and he didn’t want to be lumped into a stereotype… even though in the event of either of those situations, the stereotype would become reality.
Some of the girls in our group had mentioned that they’d never date a man of his ethnicity because they always begin a relationship by saying they can’t commit to anything long term because they’ll eventually have to go home to get married to a girl from their home country… but I know that’s a possibility, and I’m okay with how things are at the moment. So what they think shouldn’t matter.
In fact that’s precisely what I told him.
After an on again off again all day discussion (via Facebook Messenger) he finally agreed that it was selfish of him to expect me to hide our interactions from our friends. And I did go over for dinner. And we’re getting together again on Monday…
So we’ll see what happens the next time we’re around our mutual friends.
He did invite me to a thing that one of our friends invited just him to, but I had plans already. Point is, I think he is sincere about his apology.
But it raises some uncomfortable questions that we even had to have that conversation.
I mean, initially I agreed we shouldn’t say anything to our mutual friends, because what if things didn’t go well? We barely knew each other, and it would make it awkward for our friends if things ended badly. But now, we’ve been seeing each other at least twice a week every week for going on 2 months. I think we’re kind of a thing, an item, almost a couple, at this point. Maybe not a couple, but at least semi-exclusive, if not outright exclusive.
And I’m just not going to lie to my friends. I don’t have to tell them who I’m seeing when he’s not there, but I shouldn’t have to pretend that I’m not seeing him if we’re in the same space together with our friends.
Friends… not strangers, not acquaintances, but friends.
Like I said, we’ll see what happens from here. That particular group of friends has events and things quite regularly, so we’ll see what happens next time we are at an event together. And if it turns out he can’t respect me enough to be honest with our friends, then I have to walk away, even though he makes me feel amazing. I’m not going to be a secret. I’m not going to be made to feel like I am something to be ashamed of.
I deserve better.
So, that’s the update this week. Hope your weekend is going well. And I can’t wait to chat with you again next weekend!
And if you’re not part of the coffee share, but would like to be, check out Nerdinthebrain.com. She hosts them (with her dinosaur companions/minions) every weekend.