Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Puppy

Oh, readers. I went wading in the kiddie pool this weekend and now I'm in several kinds of trouble.

It starts and ends with The Puppy: 22 years old, hot as hades, equal parts shy and swaggering. Musician. Running sound for my recent show. Oh, and in a relationship (as in living with) the woman who's running lights. And she? Is 19. (And also, for the record, pretty darn cute.)

I might be a bad person.

So, The Puppy and I have been flirting throughout the production. Fine. No big. It's a show. We all flirt with each other. It's like that. I flirted with his girlfriend, too. Though admittedly, not as much.

But the flirting escalated this weekend, to the point where it was like a performance at the post-party on Friday night. We wrestled (he won, did I mention how ripped he is? But I put up an impressive fight.). We bantered publicly while we all played I Never. (I should mention the girlfriend was not present at this party.) Finally, I pulled him aside and was like, what's your deal? He gets insanely shy but does manage to communicate that they have an agreement where they can make out with other people, and it's OK. Within 12 nanoseconds of this revelation, we are making out. Poorly. He is so nervous that I actually ask him if there's something I can do to help him relax. "You could be less fiiine." he responds. Needless to say, I couldn't help him with that.

It's Saturday night. We all arrive for the show. The girlfriend is going to elaborate lengths to not make eye contact with me. So I do the most adult thing I can think of -- I find a mutual friend of mine and The Puppy's and pull her into a stairwell to pump her for information.

She spills: there's trouble in paradise. The Puppy has been thinking of breaking up with the girlfriend, and things have escalated recently. And suddenly, I am The Other Woman. The Much, Much Older Other Woman. Do, do doo do, do do, do do, do do, do do, doo.

Seriously, you're 19 and things have been strained with your 22 year old boifriend (yes, The Puppy is trans, more on that in a minute), the one you live with and are in love with, 19 year old love with, and suddenly he's making out with the hot woman in her mid-thirties that you both know? HOW. MUCH. DO. I. SUCK?

Here's where I might be a bad person: I still have a serious crush on The Puppy. I told him Saturday night that I wouldn't be hooking up with him (or even hanging out with him) again until his relationship stabilized or ended. But I also told him he could call me when that happened. And yes, I know, if he didn't tell me about the troubles with the two of them, he might not be super great at emotional communication, but for fuck's sake, he's 22. No duh. I don't think we're going to ride off into the sunset together. I more imagine that I could train him in ways to live up to that swagger and then eventually release him back into the wild.

Meanwhile, let's count the kinds of trouble I'm now in:

1) The girlfriend hates me. And that sucks, because a) I like her and really didn't know how much what I did would suck for her, and b) she may well be lighting our next show and she could put my ass in SHADOW.

Should I seek her out and apologize or just let seething girlfriends lie?

2) Some other folks from the show are feeling protective of the girlfriend, as they should, I suppose, but that doesn't make them like me very much now, does it? And if she quits, and we have to find a new light person, they're going to like me even less. But here's the thing: I didn't know. And what's more, they really seem like they're headed to breakup anyhow, and while I may have been an incident along that path, I'm clearly not the real reason(s). So if she quits, it's likely to be for much larger things.


3) So, what does it mean that I'm waaaay more crushed out on this fairly clueless kid than I have been on any of the actual grown-up men I've attempted to date recently, with the possible exception of Mr. Helen Reddy? Just dumb, stupid luck? Is it easier to crush on people you've spent some time with? Do I prefer people with whom I have no real future? Or does it turn out that I'm really actually just more attracted to queers?

4) The real trouble: none of these other sorts of trouble are occupying nearly as much headspace as is wondering when/if he'll call me again...


ruby said...

o lordy. first of all, you are not--i repeat NOT--a bad person. if anyone is bad here it is the puppy, and he is only minorly bad for telling you only a half truth rather than the whole truth about his relationship.

my advice: talk to the girlfriend. she may be only 19 and maybe she won't take it like an adult, but i think you should give her the benefit of the doubt and treat her like one. so--have a private talk with her and tell her that becase you like and respect her, it's important for her to know some things: that you didn't know that there was trouble in paradise, you had/have no intention of making things uncomfortable for her and you're sorry if you did that, you're not out to intentionally come between them, and you have told him that nothin's gonna happen between you until he sorts his shit out. then it's all on the table. and i stress again the part where you make it clear that you are having this conversation with her because you like and respect her.

my other comments: i'm jealous! he sounds hot, and like just the kind of person that this 30something queerish girl with a thing for gender-ambiguous and -queer folks would be way crushed out on as well. and i can speak from waaaay too much experience when i say:

it's part dumb luck that he is the most appealing one you've met up with so far, but also, never underestimate the lure of the emotionally unavailable and/or just kinda messed-up and/or teeny tiny young and/or [fill in the blank of whatever it is that makes the person not a good long-term prospect]. esp after a long relationship, and when you're trying new things in general, it makes perfect sense that you're most attracted to folks you have an inking are "wrong" for you.

to wit: my recent crushes: a young young young, like, over 10 yrs younger than me girl who is just not that into me and lives in another city to boot, a too-cool-for-school bike messenger who dodges my calls and then friendsters me out of the blue [also a good 7 yrs my junior], and an also-younger manipulative freak who would rather have phone sex and tell me about his girlfriend problems than actually be in the same room with me. i went on two dates last week with actual grown-up men, both of which went really well--good conversation, common interests, fun banter--and though i plan to see both of them again, neither of them is lighting my fire like any of the other three BAD choices. so either we are both normal, ladyred, or i am so fucked up that my grasp of normal is impaired. take your pick.

ladyred said...

ruby, I don't think it hardly matters which is true, or at least I can't tell. I'm not sure I agree with you about The Girlfriend, though, since it would require me basically telling on The Puppy for not giving me the whole story. Isn't that sticking my nose where it doesn't belong? Also, they've now broken up (see today's helpless post) and she's skipped town, so me seeking her out might be a little drastic. Right? Or am I just trying to squirm out of an uncomfortable conversation? I just think my only motive for talking with her is to make ME feel better about myself and because I don't like people not liking me. But in what way would it help her? And might it not actually give her info she'd rather not know, and which is now moot?

The Mitten said...

hmmm lady, this is a tough one. i agree with ruby that you should definitely have a chat with the g-friend. even if it doesn't end in hugs, being a mature adult and presenting that behavior will hopefully help her feel respected as an adult.

you're not a bad person. it seems like there's a lot of miscommunication on the puppy & g-friend side. all you can do is be the person you are and hold up your own expectations of communication and respect in relation to others.

it seems totally natural to be more interested in the queer 22 year old than the other, older more set-in-their sets guys. you're adventuring and you're seeking others in that spirit. there's definitely something admirable in that.

ruby said...

i definitely agree that seeking out the gfriend now that she has left town would be overkill. that happened fast! it was advice meant primarily for the situation of working with her on the show. but if your paths aren't crossing naturally, i think best to skip it...

ka said...