the danish outpost
updated when time and inspiration allow. latest and greatest always in the blog.
no framework for that one...

2001-08-26

feeling kinda how a girl feels

so what exactly is the protocol for meeting an ex boyfriend's new boyfriend?

right. go back and read that sentence again.

it's not that i have any issue with the many flavors of gender and orientation that are out there. it just threw me in some unexpected ways (well, that's sort of the definition of being thrown, isn't it?).

okay, okay... back up a few steps. how did that even happen? it's not like it was on the plan. the plan for the day, actually was sleep. and lots of it. i've been running on empty a lot recently, and it was bliss to sleep in with no alarms today. also nice to get up long enough to feed my face and then take a nap. i thought i might do some chores, but other than vacuuming the couch and mopping up a few things in the kitchen, i left well enough alone. that was enough to make the house feel more home-like.

you know when you haven't done chores for long enough that it irritates you, but not in a get it done sort of way, more a pull the blankets over the head kind of way? things had gotten to that point. i didn't want to stay in the house, because it wasn't comfortable. too many tumbleweeds of cat fur and stanky dishes in the sink, not to mention laundry and trash and recycling and... augh! nap! nap! avoid chores at all costs!

pushing myself to get a few small things done was good. made me less scared to hang out in my own living room. and it got me motivated in time to go see the bike. BikeBoy had called in the morning and asked if we could reschedule, because he wanted to go out to Walden. 'go! by all means,' says i, in some facsimile of encouragement whilst eyeing my pillow. 'sure, we can meet up tonight.' he gave a call just as it was getting dusky, and i headed over.

what a pleasant walk that was... he's over in a section of town that i lived in when i first moved up here, a dog's age ago. it's not that i've been avoiding that part of town. there's just not much reason to go thru there unless you're From There. so it's been a good long time since i've been over there, and even longer since i've been thru on foot. gives you a different perspective, walking does.

it was a lovely balmy end of summer night, and the light was just perfect - dusk shading into a Magritte/Parish kind of evening. i had completely forgotten about the park in Powderhouse, with its Revolutionary War munitions tower. up on the hill, thru all the beautiful arched trees, is a stone tower, nestled right into the crook of the slope. something about the combination of lights and textures made me very, very happy.

oh, right - the bike! when i got to the house, i could see BikeBoy thru the upstairs window. but i couldn't find a doorbell. truly. i even took out my penlight to double check, just in case. no doorbell. knocking didn't make a diff. i finally stood out on the sidewalk, half in the road, and hollered out. dainty, aren't i?

turns out the doorbell is inside. please. would you have tried opening someone's front door to find the doorbell? didn't think so.

BikeBoy was very pleasant to chat up, and explained all about the bike. it's in decent shape, reasonable miles, and he's willing to throw in a nearly new helmet. just to make sure there were no catches, i asked why he was getting rid of the bike, hoping he wouldn't say something like 'it conked out on the highway the other day, and...'. turns out, in true crunchy granola fashion, he wants a bike bike. as in, with pedals. *giggle* most of us upgrade to cars, or bigger bikes. but he wants to commune more closely with the pavement. whatever works, my friend.

fortunately, i'd thrown the digi cam in my bag before heading over, so i could get a few snaps. came out pretty decently, given the lighting. don't you just love technology? (yes, when it's not biting my ass...)

headed back after that, with the intent of stopping for dinner along the line, and happened to see an old ex out and about. (see? i got back to the point eventually.) he waved me over, and introduced me to the guy he's seeing.

and i'm surprised that i've been mulling it over as much as i have. didn't make me uncomfortable; on the contrary, it was all quite pleasant. but i felt like i was missing something. Miss Manners doesn't cover this, and my parents certainly never went over that little scenario in all the Ps and Qs.

i mean, we have an idea of how to deal with second wives, ex husbands, new girlfriends, and the like. we've been given a framework for all that. (yes, our society is crushingly heterosexual, as are most of our ideas about manners.) this, tho? sort of new.

and the more i thought about it, the less it had to do with manners. manners have nothing to do with gender, or orientation, or age, or any of that. manners are simple human courtesy. no, what this had to do with was sizing up the competition.

competion?, i hear you say. thought you were done with him. yes. i broke up with him. i don't want him back. but that's not the point. haven't you found yourself doing this? no matter how the breakup went, no matter how long ago it happened, no matter how you've moved on - there is some small reptilian part of the brain that will size up the competition and try to judge why him/her and not me? it's not a very pretty part of the brain. there's a lot of 'she's a hell of a lot fatter than me, and i know i'm smarter' sort of thinking that happens there. hey, i didn't say i was especially proud of this impulse. but it does happen.

and there was none of that. i didn't feel anything, other than 'nice to meet you'. and it confused me. so, what's the problem? why do i think i should have more of a reaction? why can't i just leave it be? *meanders off to work on that one*

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