My almost, but not quite, relationship…

I’m curious about something
And feel free to say no … obviously
I’m looking to be in a relationship.

Do you think you and I are a possibility?

To say this was a surprise would be an understatement. Ann* and I had previously only messaged each other sporadically on Facebook (mostly her messaging jokes about Canada) and had never met. And I’m a demiromantic asexual. I need to know someone in order to be in a relationship. And yet… I’d never get to know her if we didn’t talk plus I’d never know if we were compatible if I said no. So…

I’d have to talk to you more. I don’t know you well enough. I wouldn’t rule it out though.

Then we started to talk about politics and camping and food and families. It was the most we’d talked ever. But I still didn’t know her. I mean I’d talked multiple times a day to L for three years before we started dating. How do you get to know someone through awkward conversation?

I messaged her “good morning” the next day and got a three word reply four hours later. The same thing happened that night (except I hadn’t texted good morning at that point). I was beginning to think she and I were on different pages when it came to learning about each other through messaging.

Then came a four am message. Nothing good ever comes from a four am message.

Hey

 I’m sorry for being slow on responding
 I don’t even know how to say this.
 Now that I’m working the day shift, I’ve rediscovered a crush I had on someone
 I’m sorry

What could I say to that beyond “It’s okay”? When L and I broke up I’d needed an Ativan in order to start breathing again but Ann? All I really knew about her was she liked chicken and camping and preferred the term progressive over liberal.

A short while later I was warned by a few people that Ann had a mean streak and could get quite nasty. A short while after that she blocked me when I pointed out it was rude to waste a cashier’s time just because she was mad about a bus delay.

It definitely wasn’t a match made in heaven. It technically wasn’t even a match. But it was interesting while it lasted.

me-in-winter-pjs

Me in my winter pjs, just because 🙂

*Ann is so not her real name

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At work today…

It was dark when I woke up this morning. All I wanted to do was turn off my alarm and drift back to sleep. My bed was comfy and my cats were snuggled around me like purring hot water bottles. But I got up because of rent and groceries and all those fun things. Jeremy had a P.A. Day and got to sleep in.

I walked to my first bus in the dark… and the second bus as well. Actually it was still dark when I got off that bus and headed into work. I opened the door and could feel my heart plummet toward my shoes. It felt like I hadn’t even left since yesterday, like I’d gone out the door after work then turned and came right back in. I wanted desperately to go home and still had an eight and a half hour shift ahead of me.

“Michelle!”

One of my coworkers saw me and waved. Then another waved as well. I smiled and waved back before heading into the staff only area.

“Michelle! I saw your Facebook post! I just wanted to say I think you’re such an awesome Mom!” A friend of me hurried over and gave me a hug. “There was one thing I didn’t understand though. In your post you said a word. Transgender. What does that mean?”

“Umm… it’s when your gender and body don’t match. Jeremy looks like a boy on the outside but doesn’t feel like a boy on the inside,” I replied.

She grinned. “You really are an awesome Mom. I wish you were my Mom.” Then she gave me another hug.

I’m not quite 3 months older than her. That would be interesting.

“Michelle!” One of my managers came into the staff only area and grinned when she saw me. “Did you look beside the computer?”

I drew a complete blank. All I could think of was the computer in our break room and I had no idea what anyone could have done to make it interesting. Heck, it’s been slowly dying for months now with no one paying it any attention. I’m guessing the occasional warning to replace the hard drive isn’t a good thing.

“I haven’t got that far yet,” I explained. “I only just got here.”

She laughed. “You goof, I mean your computer at home. Did you sneak a peek at what Jeremy’s making you for Christmas?”

Oh right. I called Jeremy before zie left for school yesterday. Jeremy asked me not to look by the computer because zie’d been working on my Christmas present that morning and left it sitting there.

“No,” I assured her. “I didn’t peek. I really don’t know what zie’s making me.”

She gave me a mock suspicious look. “Okay, I guess I’ll trust you.”

“Michelle! Guess what I made you?” one of my coworkers asked as she came around the corner of the break room.

It was Diwali yesterday so chances were it was a food item.

“Did you make me dal?” I asked eagerly and she nodded.

“I added eggplant and potato to it too,” she said as she handed me a still warm container.

“Thanks,” I said happily and gave her a hug after I opened the lid and sniffed. It smelled wonderful. It tasted just as good too.

And that’s why I commute an hour each way for a minimum wage job… because my coworkers are amazing 🙂

Happy birthday to me…

It’s my 44th birthday tomorrow and I had my party yesterday, which a whopping three people were able to attend. Ironically enough, two could only stay for an hour then they left and an hour later the third guest arrived, so I had my party in shifts.

P couldn’t attend as his husband M was working and he’s too shy to come on his own, but he sang happy birthday to me on the phone and promised we’d all get together soon. Emma’s at her boyfriend’s family cottage for the weekend but she booked my actual birthday off and is taking me out to our favourite Thai restaurant for lunch. And two more friends are taking me out for dinner on Thursday.

I was my usual scatterbrained self although, like usual, I went into the preparations with the best of intentions. I even made a list of chores just so we’d be organized. I was determined I would have all the veggies chopped for the tempura and start frying it by 4:30pm so I’d be ready for guests to arrive by five.

The morning started off quite relaxed. We both took turns eating breakfast and showering then I leisurely washed the dishes while Jeremy cleared all his electronic bits and pieces off the table, couch, floor, computer desk, and chair. Then he cleaned the guinea pig cage while I gave the piggies a bath and trimmed their nails. Okay, that part wasn’t relaxing for the piggies but they smelled a lot better.

By then we were both starving and took the time to eat at our newly cleaned table.

“You’re so pretty,” I blurted after watching Jeremy for a while.

“Not handsome?” he asked, looking at me quizzically.

“Handsome too,” I agreed. “Would you rather be called handsome?”

He shrugged then said, “Not really.”

“What would you rather be called?” I asked. He shrugged again. “How about fabulous?” I suggested.

Jeremy snorted. “Like that would even work,” he said with all the scorn a seventeen year old could muster.

“You look fabulous,” I pointed out. I could tell by his expression he knew I was right.

“Yeah, I guess…” he murmured. “How about good?”

“Okay,” I agreed. “You look good.”

We cleared off the table and went back to our chore list. I was still confident we’d be more than ready in time. I could see my table all set; a scattering of glitter sprinkled across, my rattan lights softly glowing, my cake all covered in the candles we’d bought yesterday (I’d been aiming for mini sparkler candles but Jeremy fell in love with the rainbow candles with coloured flames instead), and my snazzy paper straws.

Four thirty found me yelling at Jeremy, “What do you mean you used all the vinegar when you cleaned the guinea pig cage? What am I going to mop the floors with?”

He looked at the empty bottle and shrugged. “We’ve got red wine vinegar under the cupboard. Would that work?”

I pictured the apartment smelling like the dumpster behind a bar then realized it was moot, there was no way I could sweep and mop before five o’clock and I still hadn’t made the frosting for the cake, let alone decorated it… and hadn’t even started chopping the veggies that I was supposed to be cooking right this minute.

“Are you okay Mom?”

“Not last time I checked,” I replied. “Can you sweep?”

He made a valiant attempt while I got the frosting ingredients out. Then I pulled the cake out of the freezer and sighed. I’d already had to dump the centre of both layers because they were gooey (vegan here… I didn’t poison anyone with raw egg goop) but they’d sunk even more. I put a bunch of frosting in the centre, hoping to fill it out a bit then started spreading frosting over the top. Crumbs started rolling everywhere but at least I was coating the whole cake in Oreo crumbs so they wouldn’t show up. That was when I realized a cake covered in baking crumbs looks like it got dropped into the dirt then dusted off and stuck on a plate. Hopefully it would taste good.

Jeremy was quiet when my first two guests were here. He said “hi” then went right back to the computer and his game. Then my third guest arrived and he turned into a model host. He insisted on giving her a tour of the whole apartment, introduced her to all the cats, and showed off his electronics. She’s a new employee, he’s never met her before, but somehow they just clicked. He got out a charger so she could charge her phone then showed her some features. At one point in the evening he made a huge derp face.

“I’m so handsome,” he joked.

“I thought you were good,” I quipped. He looked at me like I’d completely lost my mind.

“No, I’m handsome,” he said patiently.

Alrighty then. He’s handsome in public and good in private… at least until everything changes again with no warning.

The evening moved on to sharing different songs. It turned out we all love Penatonix. We listened to a couple of their songs then my coworker had a song to share where everyone took turns playing the same guitars. I shared a version of Royals sung a capella by a teen using a cup for percussion. Then Jeremy plugged his speakers into his netbook.

“I have a song,” he announced. He could barely hold back his grin. That grin just screamed mischief.

“Let me guess, Diggy, Diggy Hole,” I said drily. “It’s a Minecraft song,” I added before I sang a bit of the chorus. I only needed to sing a bit, the song is very repetitive. Jeremy’s grin grew wider.

“I bet it is,” she agreed. “He’s got a suspicious look.” Jeremy giggled.

A few soft piano notes… this definitely wasn’t Diggy, Diggy Hole. Jeremy had put on Same Love.

He started playing Same Love about a week ago, ostensibly for me. I like the song but I’ve never hunted it out (other than when it first came out and I showed it to both the kids) and don’t have it saved on my computer. Jeremy has it saved on his though and plays it several times a day.

My coworker started singing along and Jeremy switched from an “it’s just a joke” grin to a genuine smile.

It was a great day.

My Oreo cake

So I’m now on Twitter

I also have no idea whatsoever what I’m doing. I have no idea how hashtags work. I have no idea how to retweet something, although I’m pretty sure retweet means to share something. I have no idea how to like a tweet or reply to one… or if those options are even possible. I’m sure I’ll sort it out soon. I have managed to set up my account and even add my picture and a header.

My twitter account is: https://twitter.com/secretmom2013 if anyone’s interested in following me. Considering how much time I spend on Facebook, I’m sure I’ll be updating there regularly.

Not enough chocolate…

I think I’m almost done with “one of those days”, although technically it started yesterday.

A few days ago I went to type something on my little netbook and discovered that suddenly my question mark key turned the monitor brightness down (as did one shift button) and my L key wrote J instead. Several keys didn’t work at all and some just made random symbols. Crap. Jeremy gave me one of his keyboards and that worked, although it meant I had a huge keyboard sitting on my netbook.

I wrote that whole blog post last night then went to bed. Moments later I remembered I needed to transfer my rent money from savings to chequing. Crawled out of bed and went to type my password. Hit shift and about five stars appeared. Umm… not good. I switched to one of my novels and attempted to type the password there. Shift made around five spaces and a space automatically appeared after every letter. Backspace didn’t work. I ran into the living room, used the desktop computer to transfer my money, then went to bed fretting about my netbook. I write on that computer and buying a new one was not in my budget.

Work was very quiet and I got sent home four hours early. I’d thought I was getting sent for my lunch break. I got home, tripped and broke the front door of the building (I’m fine). Then I went to pay my rent and discovered I was in overdraft. I transferred the money backwards last night. It’ll be back in my main account tomorrow.

Jeremy apologized for his behaviour yesterday.

“Mom, I was angry and just pulling stuff out of my ass. Don’t listen to me when I’m like that.”

I told him I was glad he’d apologized but he needed to not say things like that. He looked away sheepishly.

“I know. I really need to control my anger.”

Then we headed out to buy a handful of groceries and my new computer, both of us with our bundle buggies. Mine is just a standard one while Jeremy’s sewn an old car speaker into the front of his and set it up with a bunch of electronics so it’ll play his ipod. He fiddled with the wires and suddenly Pentatonix was playing. There was already a teenage boy in the elevator with us. He spent so much time staring at Jeremy he nearly missed his floor; I had to remind him he was getting off on the first floor. It took him a second to realize what I was saying then he looked embarrassed and hurried right out. Jeremy told me he hadn’t noticed the boy because he’s used to people staring at him. I don’t think he’s realized people stare for different reasons.

We grabbed our groceries first then went to buy me a computer. The last time I bought a netbook was four years ago and it cost just under $200. The cheapest I could find today was just under $300 (on clearance). So much for computer prices dropping. I was told it was the last one in the store. The sales clerk needed to find the box and then it would take a couple of hours to clear the hard drive. We live a block away, it’s not a hardship to walk back in a few hours. But maybe it would be longer… and he needed to check something. Then it wouldn’t be ready until Wednesday. Then they weren’t sure if they’d need to order it from another store. Then they decided on cleaning this one instead. Then they told me it won’t be ready until Thursday or Friday. Then they tried to hard-sell me three years worth of computer insurance for $70.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been diagnosed with anything. When I was in primary school my official diagnosis was being a square peg in a round hole. But I’ve wondered for a while now if I’m on the autism spectrum. Change really throws me and, not only had I already gone through a fair bit of “surprises” today, I was suddenly faced with all sorts of uncertainties regarding the netbook I’d just bought. I nearly started crying at the checkout, screaming was tempting too.

I don’t know how to explain the feeling of being overwhelmed, of having too much come at me all at once. I feel simultaneously all over prickly, like I’m itchy and uncomfortable while feeling like I’m dissolving, as if pieces of me are flaking away. I just want everything to stop. Meanwhile Jeremy was in an amazing mood today, wanting to chat non-stop about any number of subjects. I couldn’t focus on conversation. He hugged me, which helped, then gave me some space.

I went to sort out buses for Canada Day celebrations, only to discover the local transit department has absolutely no freaking idea what’s going on. Friends said there’s always buses leaving the fireworks while the transit department said they stopped running about a half hour before the fireworks were due to start. I shooed Jeremy back out of the room while I vented on Facebook. I figured if I started screaming, I might not stop. Plus it would scare the cats. My friend P messaged me and offered to have us over to see the fireworks by their place and said he’d drive us home. Then him and his husband M went out and bought frozen pizza for tomorrow. They even bought me Amy’s Organics Vegan No-Cheese pizza. So that was good.

Then I went to make dinner. I’d decided on making vegetable tempura for myself and crispy mock chicken strips for Jeremy. I got most of the veggies prepped then flipped over the box to discover I’d bought Panko style bread crumbs instead of tempura batter (very similar boxes, right down to the picture). Jeremy agreed to go back to the store to exchange it. He promptly lost the store receipt between the living room and the front door (five feet away). Then he called me from the store. Three times. The last time was to say they no longer sell tempura mix. By that time I had everything all ready. Then I went onto Google and found this recipe. It was quick, easy, and I had all the ingredients at hand (which was amazing considering I don’t usually have soda water). Thankfully it turned out well.

Jeremy’s been wonderful today, despite the fact I have been miserable and had at least one meltdown (including screaming at him over the phone when he suggested using a box of crushed corn flakes). He washed up the lunch dishes without prompting and, while he thinks it’s hilarious, has hugged me as hard as he can.

“Mom, are you trying to get shorter?” he laughed as he squeezed tighter. It helped.

So now I’ve eaten about fifty pieces of tempura battered vegetables (basically a whole onion, three mushrooms, half a zucchini, and half a sweet potato) and drank a mug of peppermint hot chocolate. Now I’m just waiting for my neighbours to finish their party, the bass is on really loud then I’m off to bed. Tomorrow has to be a better day.

Edited to add: And they’re setting off fireworks in the parking lot. Spiffy.