Skiing with Prejudice but not with Malice

I have a bunch of rants in my head about things but one that just came up.

I was riding in the car with Traveler to do some Christmas shopping and we were talking about scheduling.  I ask, “Oh yeah.. when is the Utah ski trip by the way?”.  He says “Well.. it’s Super Bowl weekend, so normally I’d be coming back Sunday night, but I think I’m going to stay Sunday night because of the Super Bowl, you know, to watch it there”.  Hmm.. all *I statements*.

“Has it turned into a boys only thing?”.

“No. A lot of people are going.”

“Is it just the guys though?”

“No…Quinky Girl is coming.”

Oh.

lego ski couple

lego ski couple from http://jestergoblin.com

He was puzzled.  I said, “Um.  I was invited to that.  We were all talking about going. Remember.  You said it would be fun if we all went, when your friends were here.  You asked me in the Irish place if I would come and I said I would.  And we told your other friend, when we were in Portland, that we’d see her on the ski trip. I thought.. I thought I was still going.  Am I not going?”

Silence.  “I’m sorry.  There will be some work people there I’m not out to yet. So, I’m only taking Quinky Girl.”

Bright smile.  “Oh.  Sure!  No problem”. Brittle laugh.

The car was silent.  I could feel that he felt me.

I hate moments like that. The air in the car is suddenly cold and it’s like a little kick.  I know he doesn’t mean it, but fuck does it sting.  It’s just one of those situations I guess, or it’s just people and their partners… and you can’t come.  Only my socially acceptable partner can come.  Of course.  Of course. Smile.  No.  I understand.  Breathe.

He looked kinda bad and I couldn’t take it.  I wanted to cry but I didn’t want to make him feel bad or ruin our day.  I was really looking forward to the ski trip and not only can I not come but he didn’t even remember that we’ve been talking about me going for a while now.  Two weeks ago we’d talked about how it would probably be the first time either of us skied this year.  He has to have remembered I was going.. right?  We wondered if my foot would be good enough to ski by late January or February and decided it would.  I liked his friends.  I always hear about fun from these trips.  It’s in Utah in a ski resort and I’ve never been to one.  I just learned to ski last year.  I figured Quinky and I would probably spend a little time in the lodge too because I’m a beginner and the others aren’t, and she doesn’t ski.  So I’d maybe ski half days or something in the bunny slopes and then hang with her, maybe people watch with whiskey drinks.  Nope.

sad lego from zgeek.com

sad lego from zgeek.com

I got into this relationship fully understanding and accepting that Traveler is in the closet in most areas of his life.  There are just a handful of friends that know who he is.  None of his family, and few of the people he works with.. almost none of them know how he lives.  Normally this really isn’t much of a snag.  It sucks when some people come to town or when he visits family.  It sucks when there are lots of work parties and such.  And I guess it sucks when I was supposed to go skiing and can’t.  This one wouldn’t have sucked quite so much except that I was really looking forward to it.  And it hurt more that he didn’t just tell me he’d decided I couldn’t come.  I stumbled across it in standard big dumb dog fashion.  “Oh.. do you want me to go home a day early or something so just the guys can watch the Super Bowl?”.  “Um.. no.. what.. what are you talking about”.  I tried to think of a way not to say I thought I was coming. “Oh.. heh.. it’s just.. it’s silly.. sorry.. I thought I was coming…  Remember? You asked me if I could come and I said yes?  We told your friends we’d be there? We’ve been talking about this?”  blink blink. “He he he.. silly me.  Sorry.”

You’re saying I’m not welcome and like an idiot I thought I was still coming.  I see my proverbial big dumb dog drool all over this.  You don’t want me there and forgot I was even excitedly planning to come?  My eyes were hot and wet and I was glad I was wearing sunglasses and driving.  I could not have looked at him or I’d have broken.  I could feel his pain.  I stole a glance at him and he looked terrible.  “I’m not sure what to do” he said.  “I feel like.. I well.. I hurt you”.

lego giving a happy face from http://farm9.static.flickr.com

lego giving a happy face from http://farm9.static.flickr.com

I smiled and grabbed his hand and tried to be lighter than I felt.  I admitted I was disappointed but told him that I understood.. and I do.  Something inside cracked again, another little crack.  He explained that he didn’t always want it to be this way but that some people were coming who were judgmental and he wasn’t out to them.  He said he envisioned a life where he was more open and that he’d like everyone to know about his relationship with me eventually.  And I see that part of him feels that way, but I also see he has no actual plan for this.  I asked him if he’s actually comfortable living as he does, and he said he was, but that it will take time for him to come out and to be honest with some people, and he asked for my patience.  I believed him, that he wants to be open, but I also see that he can’t or won’t take the action to do so.  He told me he was in love with me and that he didn’t want to hurt me, but that this is hard.  And with that, I reached for his hand.

I gave him my patience.  I signed up for this.  It is part of the price of admission for loving Traveler.  I accepted this when I chose to date a closeted person.  It doesn’t really matter that I had no idea that this would be this hard sometimes.  I signed on and I chose this by choosing him.  And it’s only one ski trip.. or all the ski trips.  And it’s only when some people visit, or when there is a party.. or a work function.. or a thing with certain friends or a dinner.  And it’s only with his family.  And it’s only every Christmas and every time he visits people he loves or they visit him.  I might, if I’m lucky, meet my partner’s parents someday as the divorced girl he and his wife took under their wing.

Of course it bothers me.  It cut me to the quick this time.  I had envisioned those ski days and the fun talks and drinks and nights I’d always heard about and I was so happy I would be there.  He chose to ski with people he feels are judgmental rather than being honest about who he is.  But it’s not my choice to make.  It seemed to bother him.  Maybe some day it’ll bother him enough that he’d choose differently.  Sometimes loving people means loving the parts of them that are hard to love too.  He does it for me.  And this is what blogs and good friends are for.  I admitted that I was disappointed and that I had wanted to go, but I held his hand and I didn’t cry or pout or try to make him feel bad.  I smiled.  I spoke warmly and told him I loved him too.  I kissed his knuckles.  I tried to smooth it over.  I held his hand and gave it a squeeze and I smiled.  I thought of something else to talk about after a little bit and enjoyed the rest of the day with him.

lego hand holding found at https://c2.staticflickr.com

lego hand holding found at https://c2.staticflickr.com

I’m not getting to go on the ski trip with my loves and I guess my Super Bowl plans are out the window too. Dammit.  We’d planned to watch it together since the first game we saw together this year.  I couldn’t do it with him and to him, but I’m doing it here.  Pout Pout Pout.

Thanks for letting me pout here a little in a better place.  Now.  To make Super Bowl plans.

13 Comments

  1. You said this is what you signed up for…the price of admission. And while I get the concept, I still think that people and things and situations and needs change and grow and evolve. Relationships are a constant negotiation and renegotiation. This is tough on so many levels. The hardest part for me, when reading your words, is that *he* didn’t get it. That the trip was a thing. That you felt like you needed to smooth things over, because this is what you signed up for…

    Like

  2. Sorry hon. Ouchy. Ellaria is not out either….so I am almost never invited out with her friends. My feelings are hurt sometimes- but I really just feel sorry for her. Closeted and secretive is not the way I want to live – and I don’t live that way. Urgh. This is a crappy situation!

    Like

  3. Virtual hugs. My partner of two years is mostly out now, but I had a shitty moment last week when his daughter was going to have a recital and he said it didn’t even occur to him that I’d want to go. And I couldn’t, because his in-laws were going to be there – or I could’ve as a friend I guess. The irony is him and his wife have been broken up for a year and a half but they haven’t told her parents yet. I’ve started asking my partner for a timeline – I don’t care if it’s a year or two or never, I just want to know what’s happening.

    That pains sucks a lot. Kudos to you for dealing with it how you did. That was strong, don’t doubt that – you didn’t whine, you didn’t give him a guilt trip, you didn’t tell him he was an asshole – you were sad and hurt and put it in perspective as best as you could, you signed up for this and he didn’t promise you anything different. You’re sure not an unwanted puppy, and you’re not stupid. You have a partner who forgets stuff, and isn’t as proactive as would be ideal in communicating about plans.

    Now I’ll just remind myself of all that when I’m in similar situations 🙂

    Like

    • I love this comment so hard! Perspective is everything, and even though idealism and reality don’t always match, we’re always better for striving to make the two mesh. And getting hurt is part of the process, but with every scraped knee, we learn. We get up, we learn, and we keep striving for that ideal. 🙂

      Like

      • I love thos comment pretty hard too. I think we all end up with hurt feelings sometkmes or hurting the feelinfs of others too sometimes. I think if you actually care its inevitable. Its just impossible to be perfect all the time. I think then its about how we cope with our bumps and slights, and loving ss an action, and forgiveness and communication, and kindness. I love too when we can see that the people we love are fallable humans, and that their own hurts and fears and challenges are sometimes affecting them and us. Its good to have empathy.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s