What Is This Thing With Alexander?

Monday evening came and saw Alexander and me enjoying dinner at Barrafina’s on Adelaide St before crossing the Thames and going on to the National Theatre. It was a short play and we came home to mine by half ten. There was time for some tea afterwhich we went upstairs for bed and more.  He had to leave early in the morning but we still had time to indulge in a little more intimacy before he had a shower, returned me my shirt I’d inadvertently left at his last week and finally, most deliciously, he had kissed me goodbye until Thursday, before he closed the door and descended the stairs and went out the front door.

The previous evening we’d talked frankly about his home circumstances – the depression his wife suffers and how that affects her ability to cope with their children; the involvement of the borough they lived in to ensure that the children’s needs are met, the meetings with council staff to weigh up and consider the instruments for satisfying such outcomes. He clearly has a lot to contend with.  I’d suggested to him that he could just go home at the end of our date if it was easier to negotiate travel, etc for such a meeting the following morning.  He had given me so complete a look of anguish that I felt a mixture of guilt and satisfaction for proposing it.

He also told me about his past girlfriends and how he had always been attracted to strong and independent women. I observed that it didn’t seem as though the women he married had those characteristics. He said that when he first met her, his current wife had come across as such and it was only later on that he realised she was particularly needy and emotionally unstable. Like most marriages they had had good times, she was sexually adventurous and he had been attracted to that – they had enjoyed holidays in Europe at naturist sites.  He blamed his own optimism and hope that things would turn a corner for not leaving earlier.  When the atmosphere at home had reached a certain level of toxicity that saw some physical violence, he had realised then that it was time to walk away.  He had been unfoundedly fearful of outcomes which had actually borne an opposing result – he was more at ease, regained his confidence and ability to parent singly, met and tentatively formed friendships with other women, rediscovered his sexuality, and so on – as such none of the fears that had held him back from walking away had come to fruition.

Before he met his current wife he had been seeing someone based in Europe and the few occasions they’d met had been alluring and exciting until it all went wrong somehow.  I guess the more at arm’s length someone is kept, the greater the danger of miscommunication and misunderstanding.

For now we are on the same page –  this is clearly an arrangement that suits us both – we have dependents and commitments that keep us on our toes, maybe even test our stress levels at times, such that the intimacy and dates we have with each other offer release and a break from reality. That I can be content with. For now this is good enough.

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unethically non-monogamous

I’m currently a non-monogamous fraud.  Apart from Ewan who lives too far away, Max and his pull/push dating modus, and Jan busy with life and his gf, I have only pretty much been seeing A quite exclusively.  The other new men have fallen off the edge and I spend the evenings eating jelly or drinking some red, and text flirting with A.  I know I have swept him off his feet.  I know he likes the fact that I am independent and shoot from the hip and the complete opposite of needy.  I know because he tells me that is what he likes about me.  I know because now I can just tell.  So I think nothing of initiating chats with him and suggesting stuff to do on our dates.  He knows that I have dated a few people concurrently in the past and I don’t let on the fact that some of these men have faded away into the background recently as I don’t want him to think that I am sort of dating him exclusively – in case it freaks him out.  I do admit that my dating plate is full and that I don’t feel the need to meet anymore new lovers.  He tells me that he too feels the same, although we both know that he has only just started this dating malarkey and I am the only one he is involved in any form of how’s your father – an interesting euphemism which we both found had its origins in Victorian times, humorously related in the urban dictionary

According to Michael Kelly, a writer and historian in New Zealand, “the origin of the expression ‘how’s your father’ can be traced back to Victorian times. In those days any man with a daughter was so protective of her virtue that he would take extraordinary measures to safeguard it. Unmarried girls would be kept within the bosom of their family as much as possible, chaperoned on excursions, and on those occasions when they were let out of bounds for social events, their fathers would often accompany them discreetly by hiding underneath their voluminous skirts ready to pounce on any man who transgressed the bounds of propriety. 

However, a father with more than one daughter couldn’t be everywhere at once. Thus, a suitor having a discreet vis-a-vis with his beloved would cautiously ascertain her father’s whereabouts by asking, ‘And how is your father?’ If her father was currently under her skirts, she would glance downwards and reply, ‘My father is very well, thank you, and as alert and vigorous as ever, and maintains his interest in rusty castrating implements.’ Her beau would then say, ‘I have always had the greatest respect for your father, and of course for you. Let us hold hands and think about the Queen for a while.’ If, on the other hand, her father was elsewhere, she would reply, ‘The mad old bastard is currently stationed between my sister Constance’s thighs. Let us go into the garden and rut like stoats.’ 

Hence, ‘How’s your father’ became a euphemism for you-know-what.”

by BethBracken October 25, 2007

It was inevitable then that any mention of gardens or stoats had us both in hysterics – our merriment might have been aided by some red wine and the newness of this relationship.  It’s too early to tell how long it will last and after the last debacle over J I am suspicious of these warm feelings – they can cool quite rapidly.  I am now also happily recording this blog without feeling the need to share it with A, and resisting the urge to invite him to be a part of my social media network.

an uncomplicated coupling

Not giddy about my dates anymore, I detect a change in myself.  There’s a degree of selfishness in that I am no longer prepared to compromise.  These are lessons learnt since the holiday that shouldn’t.

I’m now dating someone closer to my age – Alexander, whom I might see as often as twice a week, midweek only though, usually on Mondays and Thursdays since I am happy to keep my weekends to myself and my family.  And he too.

We had a date last night at the BFI – did he tear up a couple of times during the film?  I didn’t refer to it but was secretly pleased – a man who can get emotional at poignant mother and daughter moments has got to be a keeper.  Shame about the young under tens with whom he comes, and a potentially mentally unbalanced missus he’s currently divorcing.  He’s still attached to his own domesticity and not a threat to my independence. Apart from that, he’s really good company and I like to think I offer him some RnR.

After dinner I went back to his place which is really out in the boondocks – we arrived after what seemed an interminably long train ride!  There I made friends with his adorable Señorita Donna Gato.    She was light footed and a soft purry mass of sleek ebony.  At one point in the night I felt her warm feline body by my feet.   She was unperturbed by our occasional exuberant friskiness and returned with the dawn like a rumbling taxicab awaiting her passengers.   After a couple more romps, we took turns to shower and had some coffee before leaving to catch the train back to the real world.

It has been a while since I rode on a commuter train and it was filled with men in suits.  The few women on it were also suited but wearing comfortable trainers which looked incongruous but I suspect these would be exchanged for high heels once they were in their offices.  I forgot to look out for the Battersea power station which had been clad in scaffolding and tarpaulin a few months back, but which must now have shed its ugly duckling down to reveal something modern and exciting perhaps.  I hope there’ll be another visit to Chez Alexander’s when I shall keep my eyes peeled for the new development.

When I got home I received a text from A to let me know that I had left a few articles of clothing behind and a promise from him to return them when we next meet up this Thursday.   I like our uncomplicated coupling besides the social evenings we have together.   And although it’s very early days, I rather think this very nice man will do quite nicely for now.

This dating blog is so last year

Having broken up with Goran I squirrelled off into a corner to lick my wounds declaring to anyone interested in listening to my maudlin whines of heartbreak that I was done with dating.  Meanwhile,  some DID imp resurrected Amy’s profile and reactivated my OkCupid notifications so that suddenly I’m inundated once more with offers of mid afternoon sex and trysts with young men who could qualify as my own daughter’s toyboy.  So I drag myself back to the app and was on the verge of hitting the button to disable the account when momentarily foiled by the site’s request for a password I’d long forgotten, I thought why not keep it.  Tweaking it so that she doesn’t come across as completely slutty I manage to reduce Amy’s inbox and garner interest from men who have slightly more to offer in terms of conversation.

Well the dating merry go round began its rondel with a message from the librarian who told me that he had decided on monogamy after all with someone else, but I caught him visiting my profile several times over the last week.  Clearly he was fibbing and I decided that he was not worthy of my time.  I might have been curious in the past and asked what had happened but judge now that Amy should conduct herself with a greater modicum of self respect and not go after men who cannot make up their minds, especially at five minutes after hello.  The next unsuitable date was with an American poly who was married and with several girlfriends. Interesting to talk to after downing several margaritas but just not that exciting in the sack.

There’s a date on Monday with someone who broke up last year with a transgender woman – I suspect my own motives for seeing him might not be entirely pure.  He might not have completely got over her, similar to me not having entirely got over Goran (as much as I loathe admitting it, I know that there are still evenings when I think about how great the sex had been with him and wondering if I could have managed the relationship better). There’s also a second date with long distance bloke who is flying down from Inverness to meet me again and I hadn’t said no because I don’t think it could amount to anything serious.  

Jan and I continue to meet up occasionally and talk about our dates.  We have definitely evolved the relationship into a friendship without benefits.  There’s a small amount of insecurity I suspect on both sides underlying our inability to ignite that sexual chemistry.  For now we’re content with the platonic since we are able to enjoy sex with others.  

Ramon has kept away out of a sense of chivalry I think, following his previous missive that he was still feeling stuck over the one who got away, and we have been unable to meet in any event due to mismatching schedules.  There’s no one at the present who fires my imagination or over whom I am willing to unlock that keep which continues to stand watch over my heart.