Fun Fact! The individual parts of the GOP political platform are called “planks”. Haha! Cute, right? And, yup, that is all the fun we’re going to be having this evening. Because oh, my fucking God, I’m probably going to need to breath into a paper bag just to get through this. Fuck, um, read at your own discretion. And, no, I’m not just being dramatic.
I felt really confident about today’s theme because it’s about Emotions and I’m actually a very calm person. I was very happy to share my “insert dragon” technique with someone. The conversation went like this:
You’d think I’d by now I’d be used to being the odd one out, the part of the venn diagram that doesn’t overlap. I’m the only red-head of my generation in my family, I’m aro-ace and agender, and I’m a liberal living in Texas. The problem is I feel like I’m living on the edge of the edge of all of my social groups right now.
I’m a nerd. That’s not unusual, most people seem to be one in one form or another these days, but I’m more of the “may the force be mass times acceleration” kind of nerd.
Magic the Gathering is HUGE at my work. It’s all Magic all the time. Even the supervisors play on game days when enough people are off to get together. I’ve tried, but it’s not my thing. One of my coworker’s even offered to drop 50 bucks on a starter deck for me. …Like, can’t you just give me the 50 bucks? No? Really? sigh~ Fine.
I spent half that on a travel size Mahjong set and I have to say, zero regrets. I love playing Mahjong, but I literally cannot find three other people willing to play with me because it’s “too hard” and “too confusing” for my social circle. I literally taught myself the Cantonese style in a week and I just use a scoring app because, yes, scoring can be a little confusing for beginners, but I’m not trying to be a pro or anything. I play it because I enjoy it.
A good chunk of my coworkers dress up and go to Comic-con every year. Meanwhile, I’m saving up to go to World Con once every few years (next year it’s in Dublin!). I’m less about the action and spectacle of Science Fiction movies and more about the philosophy and social issues they try and address. My coworkers watch anime; I watch cheesy Hong Kong movies. My coworkers quote classic 1980s action films. Meanwhile my Netflix que is 99% mystery films from every decade. I’m definitely a nerd, but somehow I’m not really overlapping with the rest of my local nerddom. I could try a little harder do fit in, I guess, but if I may quote a more recent movie:
“I have lived long enough to know what I like. What I dislike, I cannot abide.” –Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
There’s several LGBT folks at my work and as an aro-ace it’s really hard to fit in (again) because their usual pass time is clubing and drinking. My dad is an alcoholic so it’s a very touchy subject for me. Apparently music plays a big role in LGBT identity? Makes sense I guess, but my tastes in music are a little…odd. Mostly because a lot of popular music is about romance or some teenage angst I missed out on because I didn’t discover my orientation until I was an adult. I’m weird about music because it’s like it needs to age for a decade or two before I can really enjoy it. I casually mentioned to one of my coworkers that I was listening to an Everyly Brother’s album “because they have the best break up songs” and he looked at me kind of weird and was like, “did a dog snub you or something?” Which I guess points for acknowledging that I don’t date and stuff, but at the same time- rude, dude! It’s not like I didn’t experience a profound sense of loss after realizing that as an aromantic all chance of the fairytale romance I grew up believing in was never gonna happen and because of that Bye Bye Love really happens to resonate with me and I’m Not Angry always cheers me up because it’s so freaking ridiculous. It’s not like there’s any music specifically for aromantics and yet there’s millions of love songs, so I’m working with what I got.
It’s definitely lonely living on the fringe, but it’s tolerable for now. I don’t have an over abundance of people I truly call friends, but I don’t want nor can I to change to accommodate others. I’m hoping to at least find a compromise, but as of yet I haven’t really found anybody willing to give my interests more than a passing “gee that’s weird”. Maybe, I’m just a little too out there on fringe.
This is my Carnival of Aces submission for May 2018 hosted this month by Prismatic Entanglements under the topic of “Nuance and Complexity“. For more in formation about the CoA, to see past topics, or to volunteer to be a future host see the master post on The Asexual Agenda
“figuring out you’re asexual is like trying to find a nonexistent needle in a very large haystack except people keep trying to convince you that you’re just not looking hard enough or you’ll find the right needle eventually but the needle just isn’t there and yet everyone else’s is and then you wonder whether or not you actually have a needle and then you spot something that might be a needle but nope it’s just another hay strand and everything is confusing and now the haystack is on fire”
One thing I don’t like about identifying as asexual (and aromantic and agender) is I feel like my identity is defined by blank space. Other identities can say things like, “I like girls and I’m mostly a girl, so I’m lesbian” or “I’m pan, I like who I like regardless of gender.” My explanations feel like a fill-in-the-blank question on a test you didn’t study for. I am who I am based on attractions that aren’t there and more often than not that’s met with skepticism or lack of comprehension.
[This is my Carnival of Aces submission for April 2018 under the topic of “How did your (a)sexual and (a)romantic orientations impact your (expected or imagined) future?” Hosted this month by demiandproud. For more information about the Carnival of Aces, to view past topics, or to volunteer to be a future host see the master post on The Asexual Agenda blog.]
As soon as I finished paying off my first go at college I set three goals for myself for the following five years:
1) be financially stable, 2) get started on my career, and 3) be in a “meaningful” (meaning “romantic”) relationship.
As the saying goes, “If you want the gods to laugh, tell them your plans.
Five years later I’m “financially stable” in the sense that I’m flat broke, I’m going back to school to change careers, and surprise! I’m an aromantic asexual.
I’m flat broke. But that’s because I’m paying for classes out of pocket, so it’s okay?
I’m almost 30 and I still live at home. But I pay rent, so it’s okay?
I haven’t started “my career”. But I like my current job for now, so it’s okay?
I’ve never had a “meaningful relationship”. But being queer means I basically have life-time membership to an awesome club of people as weird as I am, sooo it’s…okay? I think I’m okay.
“All the birds have begun nests except me and you, what are we still waiting for?”
Well, if you know anything about birds, it might have taken a looong way to get there. Several bird species are known to migrate.
One thing about growing up in a small town that I thought was super weird was people who went to the same elementary school, same middle school, and eventually the same high school would hook up and marry young. Like, ew? There’s a major city with a population of 1.5 million just 35 minutes down the road. Seriously, ya’ll could have shopped around a little. My elementary school only had 300 students when I went there.
Both of my parents “migrated”, so to speak. They met in Denver. My mom had always dreamed of living in Denver, so she packed up herself, her few processions, and her dog into a car and drove there from Indiana. My dad moved to Denver almost by accident as he and his cousin were passing through with the intention of looking for work in Montana, but he found a job in Denver instead that hired him on the spot. It always seemed odd to me when people don’t have a “migration” aspect to their love story like “met while away at college” or “Met at comic-con” or something.
I attempted my own migration of sorts. I lived out of state for two years and traveled all up and down the West coast and the Pacific Northwest coast. Noth’n, natta. It wasn’t until a few months after I came back to Texas that I found out asexuality was even a thing. You’d think it would have come up sooner in my travels at least.
I’m not really sure what I’m going to do. I can’t exactly date other people because whenever somebody asks I get super twitchy and uncomfortable. I don’t want aro-ace to be a deal breaker, but having to explain ace/aro/agender to people before I’m ready definitely is.
The last time somebody asked me out it turned into a mess and I was very uncomfortable. It pissed me off that he just assumed I was straight and I didn’t know him well enough to come out as ace because he didn’t give me enough time to build up any trust. I don’t understand the whole “dating to get to know them” concept. I would need somebody to know before hand that I’m asexual, aromantic, and agender before I would be comfortable enough to even try to be emotionally close to another person. That’s what I’m missing in my life right now; somebody willing to understand and accept all three. Not even my family can do that.
I’ve tried using ace apps and websites to meet more aces, but there somehow always seems to be a snag. “But, you’re biologically female right?” was a memorable one from Acebook. Ugh, *shivers*.
So, I wouldn’t say I’m “waiting” for anything, but rather I’m still in the “migration” phase of my life. I guess some people (like my former kinder classmates) are like blue grouses and their nesting spot is right next door while others, like me perhaps, are more like Arctic terns.
We gotta looooooong way to go yet.
The drama with the guy at my work is continuing to unfold. I texted him back clarifying that what I meant by “formal” response was I wanted to give a polite answer in person and outside my department. The only time I see him (outside of the total three times I’ve hung out at his place for game nights with other coworkers) is at work. While I’m working. For me it’s strictly a manners thing. I didn’t want to say “No, because I’m not straight like you obviously think I am” over a text message.
So, in response he texts me saying “okay, will tomorrow work?” and uh, no, because “tomorrow” was Easter Sunday and I had family stuff to do. Common sense?
Also, because of this whole thing I’m no longer comfortable being alone with him. It’s not that I think he’ll do anything, I’m just no longer comfortable because I feel cornered. I realized that I can’t “be polite” about it anymore because that’s leading to some very serious miscommunication.
So, I mentioned a while back that somebody at my work asked me out and I thought the matter had resolved itself because I said, “no” and it wasn’t mentioned again for two weeks.
The matter is not resolved.
At the time I asked if he wanted a “formal reply” because he had asked me out over a text message ON THE DAY FROM HELL. Dude has no sense of timing. Serious, don’t ask people out on Daylight Savings day. Common sense, people, go get some. Also, that day I did NOT get enough sleep, I had an anxiety attack for unrelated reasons and was late for work, so if I could just block that day from my memory forever that would be just great. …And I’m off track.
So, I get a text at 1:33 AM saying, “Hey, been thinking about when you said no to a date and asked if I wanted a formal answer. I want to be able to set the record straight for myself so there’s no confusion form my end.” W. T. F. I said “no”. Where is the confusion.
Fortunately, there are places I can turn to and people I can ask when I’m having a miniature freak out. I’m going to go do that now.
Okay, I’m back and I’m much calmer than I was. 1) I found a really good PDF called “10 Steps to Becoming an Effective Ally to the LGBT Community” that I’m going to print out and take with me just in case. I’m not “out” per se, but I don’t consider my asexuality a secret. It’s just not something I like to talk about because it becomes “Asexuality 101” and I hate doing that. 3) I’m not going to respond to the text until I’ve had at least six hours of sleep and a half a pot of coffee. Lastly, 4) I’m going to be polite about it. Just like I can’t force myself to magically feel attraction towards somebody, he can’t just magically switch off his attraction. He’s only responsible for how he responds to those feelings and impulses (but the aro in me is still squicked out just a teeny-tiny bit, just saying).
That’s my game plan. I’m also working with my supervisor tomorrow so I can hide behind him in a corner if I need to.