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Life On The Rocinante' (After Dark!)


Cynder
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I have been wanting to add this update here but keep forgetting.  I was rejected from O&C.  At this point all I can do is shake my head.  Last year I was so adamant about not breaking any rules.  I only used table covers and stuff that they approved.  I only brought art to the show that they approved.  All I have is a 6 ft table there.  There isn't a ton of room for mistakes.  And not a single staff member reviewed my setup last year. 

But in my rejection email I was told "We carefully reviewed your setup multiple times in 2022 and your booth and work just doesn't fit our aesthetic."  Ok, that's fine.  They approved everything beforehand so it doesn't make any sense to say things they approved don't fit their aesthetic.  Honestly, I'm not that broken up about it.  It's obvious they don't want me there.  I would rather devote my time and energy to events where I'm welcome and wanted. 

I am friends with several other vendors who had the same thing happen.  People who have done O&C for years are suddenly getting rejected because they "don't fit" there. 

I am not banned, though.  I am free to apply again next year.  They made sure to emphasis that in the email.  I might.  I might not.  If my ex is behind this he can have this little victory.  Maybe if he feels like he got me kicked out of one show he will stop going after me at other shows like CPPD. 

The situation at CPPD still makes me anxious.  The fact that so many other vendors had my back is the only thing that saved my ass.  Next year i plan on getting any interactions with volunteers on video and not utilizing volunteer help at all.  The volunteers last year offered to help me get my tent up.  Next year if anyone offers to help me I will politely tell them no thank you and I will record it.  That way if they try to tell me I relied too much of volunteer help I can say, "Actually no, I didn't and I have proof."  I have a GoPro.  There is a bench right across from my booth at CPPD.  I can tie my GoPro to the bench and film my whole set up from start to finish.  I can also film the opening and closing of the booth all three days.  I just plan on documenting everything as much as possible next year.  Since last year they just decided that volunteers spent too much time helping me when in reality they didn't spend any more time helping me than they did anyone else.  

They just announced the dates for Hell City 2023.  I really hope I get invited back.  The rumor was last year that they aren't going to have regular vendors this year.  By regular vendors I mean vendors who aren't tattooing.  I really hope that isn't true and that I get to do it again because that was an absolute blast.  And even if I don't vend it, D and I are still going.  We will just go and have a good time.  So either way, I will be at Hell City next year.  

 

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So, I wrote earlier that D is going through a really rough time right now. Around 5AM this morning we were messaging and he was talking about just being depressed and what it feels like, etc.  And I told him I know that nothing I say is going to help because I know how depression feels, and nothing anyone says helps.  What I won't do is try to fix it, though.  I won't say any of the stupid crap people say to depressed people, "Oh, just cheer up!"  "Snap out of it!"  "Other people have it worse!"  "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!"  And my personal favorite, "Only you can make it better. You're choosing this!"  Who the f would ever choose to be depressed? Would anyone ever tell a cancer patient they are responsible for getting better and they are choosing it?  

So basically I told him he can always talk to me and I won't try to fix it, or try to give him a pep talk.  I will simply be here and present in the moment with him.  He was really grateful and really appreciative. 

And I remember a year ago when I was in the darkest place I've ever been.  He was someone I talked to a lot during that time and I actually really liked talking to him over some other people because he wasn't constantly telling me to just get over it, and that I'm going to be such a better person because of this, etc.  He was just there. 

It is really refreshing to feel like I'm actually doing something right for a change.  Being with a depressed person isn't easy.  When Z would have her really down times I couldn't do jack for her.  I remember she was really depressed about not being able to have a baby.  And her whole thing was that she wanted to actually be pregnant and carry and give birth to a child.  That's not physically possible.  So one night I tried to give her some advice I got from the therapist I had for years.  (I would still be seeing her if she didn't retire.)  But my therapist told me that when something isn't possible, sometimes you just have to let it go, but also try to find ways to be content with not having that thing, or maybe having that thing in a different way.  So I basically told her that best thing to do is mourn the fact that she can't get pregnant and have a baby, and then try to figure out another way to be a mother, like adoption, fostering, etc.  She blew up and yelled at me.  She told me that's horrible advice and that I don't know what the f I'm talking about.  Any effort I made to help her feel better just made me more the enemy in her eyes. 

D was telling me he sucks the happiness out of everyone he is with, but not by his own choice.  He said that everyone he is with becomes depressed.  And maybe that's true.  But I doubt it's because of him.  It's probably just because a lot of people are depressed.  Those people have probably all struggled with depression throughout their lives and he just got with them when they were in a good place.  I told him I was depressed and miserable when I met him, so maybe it will be reversed with us.  And yes, I did meet him 5 years ago.  But at the time I was with my ex, the other vendor I dated who made my life miserable on so many levels.  So in the 5 years I've known him he has seen highs and lows in my life. 

He was talking about how everyone he is with becomes depressed.  For me, it's different.  I become the enemy in all my relationships.  A lot of people project their crap onto me.  I'm not saying I'm some perfect angel.  But I do get a lot of stuff projected on me in relationships.  I bring out people's insecurities, etc. 

And this has even happened with L, and there's never been anything slightly romantic with her.  20 year friendship, and suddenly I'm a horrible person. I haven't done anything to her.  If I did I would own it.  This whole situation with her makes me sad more than anything. 

But anyway... it's nice having someone in my life who I'm not constantly screwing up with all the time. 

I just got into a new location for consignment.  I'm excited for this one.  Currently I am only in one place.  This is the perfect time to get in someone new, too because the holidays are coming up.  When someone new starts selling somewhere usually sales are really high the first few months and then they balance out.  So, I will have the advantage of being a newcomer, and it being the holiday season. 

 

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It was a completely random thing, but last night when I was on break I started writing a list in a Google Doc.  I've seen the quote, "No matter how good a person you are, you're always evil in someone's story."  So I started writing a list of all the people who's story I'm evil in.  And boy are there plenty.  But I was also considering why I am evil in these people's stories when I was writing the list, and in a lot of cases it's things that were beyond my control.  There are a lot of family members on the list.  One of my friends from elementary school... A few exes... and a few random people I've known who just hated me for reasons I can't really figure out. 

I think this had to do both with the argument I had with L over the weekend (Me asking her to please clean her hair out of the bathroom drain apparently was enough to start WWIII in her head I guess.  The slightest little thing is such an attack to her.  But that and having a few unnecessarily rude customers over the last two days got me questioning what kind of person I really am.  This is something that has been a constant all my life.  It's not as bad as it used to be, though.  Therapy and Ayahuasca helped turn the volume down.  But for so many years I just thought I was a bad person despite trying so hard to be a good person. 

I hardly ever lie (To say I've never lied would be a lie because everyone lies.) I don't steal.  I don't screw around on my partners.  I don't stab my friends in the back.  I don't talk crap behind people's backs either.  I compliment strangers all the time.  I do random acts of kindness whenever I can. 

Genuinely nice people are such easy targets.  I'm not trying to say I am perfect or that I'm an angel.  I'm just as flawed as everyone else.  I just really try to make the world better.  I get so much of people's crap projected onto me.  Some of the people on my list are people who were literally projecting things onto me that I wasn't guilty of.  L is the one that is front and center right now.  It really does hurt seeing a 20 year friendship end over me having the nerve to put my foot down and tell her she can't just squat in my house anymore.  Well then I get told how irresponsible with money I am and that I'm an over spender, etc.  Um... no.  If I had a spending problem I would own it.  That's never been an issue of mine.  My bills all get paid, etc.  But that is an issue of hers.  Rather than just say it it's easier to go off on me about my spending problem than face up to her own problems.  

Anyway... I am fading fast.  It's night night time. 

 

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So, my app is in and my booth fee is paid.  I woke up early today and looked at my phone.  As soon as I saw that email I knew I wasn't going right back to sleep. 

Invitation only shows have such a sense of exclusivity about them.  There are shows who will let anyone who can pay the fee have a booth.  There are shows that jury people in.  And then there are shows that are invitation only.  And at invitation only shows, having been there once doesn't mean you are guaranteed an invitation again.  And then having an invitation still doesn't mean you are guaranteed a spot in some cases because they usually invite more people then they have room for, so it's first come first serve.  I just hope I got mine in on time. 

The booth fee jumped UP this year.  High booth fees don't intimidate me because the higher the fee, the higher the profit.  At least in my experience.  I don't mind paying a thousand dollar booth fee when I'm going to make insane money. 

It still amazes me how many people are shocked when they find out vendors have to pay to be at events.  Like hello... no festival would just let anyone come and set up for free. 

I remember once at an outdoor event in a park in one of the most dangerous cities in the US, I had two women talking crap about me right in front of me.  My prints were all $10 at the time.  Now I still have some that price but most of them have gone up.  This was like 6 years ago.  This one lady was holding up a print and she was like, "But why are they so expensive."  And she had this disgusted look on her face, too. 

I told her I paid $150 to be here for 6 hours.  And I have a house payment, utilities to pay, it takes me hours to paint these paintings, the paper they are printed on isn't cheap, etc.  Then her and her friend stand there 3 feet away and have this conversation about how my prints are expensive because I'm a wannabe arteest.  They were saying I'm not a rea artist because my work isn't in galleries.  I just smiled at them both and said, "Actually my work has been in galleries."  They just both gave me dirty looks and left the booth. 

Less nasty that that though, I have a lot of people ask how I got involved in this and how people get booths.  When I tell them they have to apply and then if they get in just pay the fee and sign the contract and then they have a spot.  There are so many people who are like, "What you mean you have to pay?"

But anyway... having done Hell City once already I know what to expect and what the people there are looking for.  Last year I took a little of everything because I didn't know what would sell.  Anything horror themed was huge there.  And Alice in Wonderland.  I have 6 Alice in Wonderland paintings that people went nuts over.  I didn't have any originals but the Alice prints sold like crazy.  And my trippy Pennywise was a big hit there also.  So, I have till May.  Wonder how many horror themed paintings I can crank out.  I have had plans to do a whole series of trippy horror characters.  Michael Myers has been sketched out for months and I just haven't started on him yet.  And next after him is Chucky.

Last year at Hell City I had one tattoo artist come into my booth and spend over $500.  That is my biggest sale to date to one person.  She is a huge fan of my work and has followed me online for years and she just bought a house.  She said she was waiting until close to the end of the show to come over and look at my stuff because she wanted to wait and see how much money she made that weekend before spending any of it. 

I know there are people reading this thinking I must really underprice my work.  Well, there is festival pricing vs gallery pricing.  These are festival prices.

I was messaging back and forth with D a few minutes ago.  He is so excited.  I really hope I can go back to sleep now. 

 

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I don't have a lot of time... but I do want to start writing about why some people see me as evil.  When I made my list I went in chronological order, and the first one was my Dad. 

In all seriousness... I believe wholeheartedly that if someone would have told him at some point, "Hey, I promise you won't go to prison, there will be no consequences.  Everyone will just look the other way if you murder your daughter." I think he would have done it.  The man absolutely hated my guts.  He told me when I was 14 that he loved me the least out of all his 5 kids.  And he broke it down, too.  He said he loves my sister the most because she's the prettiest.  (Because he was vapid af.) And he said after her he loves my oldest brother because he was his first son.  And then after that my youngest brother because a father always loves his sons the most.  And then after that my older sister because she was his first born, and then I'm the last in line. 

Talking about his shallowness... I honestly think he would have felt different if I was really pretty.  He was just huge on looks.  I saw him be really nice to good looking cashiers when we went to the store, while cussing out the unattractive ones and calling them stupid ugly b*tches, etc. 

He had this weird obsession with this tween girl who lived by us for a while because she was "so cute!"  And a few years later when that girl was 16 and took a student hostage at the high school (Literally... had her in a room with a gun to her head and the cops had to come and talk her out of shooting this girl)my Dad was so upset he was bawling even though that girl hadn't lived by us for years at that point.  He was crying and saying he can't believe she would do that because she's so pretty.  Um... pretty people do bad things.  He just couldn't fathom that.  But it was weird to sit there and watch my dad bawl his eyes out over this girl doing that not because he felt bad for the victim or because his daughter (me) could have witnessed the aftermath of a shooting... He's crying because the would be shooter is so pretty. 

Jesus... I haven't thought about this in a long time and I didn't expect to get emotional writing about it.  This post kinda went off topic.  I started out writing about why he hated me but this is turning into more about why he liked other people. 

I guess I haven't really thought about how messed up that situation alone was. 

But I think the biggest infraction I committed in his eyes was simply being born.  He saw me as a constant reminder of what a screwup he was.  He was a raging alcoholic, too and I'm sure if I wouldn't have come along he wouldn't have started drinking. 

My paternal grandma hated me too for this reason.  I ruined her baby boy's life. 

And if anyone is wondering... I know this isn't actually true.  I didn't ruin anything.  His actions ruined his life.  He just needed a scapegoat to be mad at. 

I could probably write ten posts just on him...  He died in jail and it was all over our town.  I was 22 at the time and people I worked with kept talking about that guy that died in jail, etc.  He had cirrhosis and was dying slowly from that.  But it was actually a heart attack that killed him. 

When we found out he was sick we all went to see him in the hospital.  When we all were leaving my sister was crying and I went to hug her and she shoved me really hard and I almost fell on my ass.  Like... thanks. 

He got out of the hospital and was doing rehab and all that.  And he called my Mom and told her he wanted to meet up with my sister because he knew he didn't have much time left and he wanted to tell my sister that he always loved her best.  My Mom told him no because it's not fair to single one kid out to show them love and not make any effort to talk to his other kids. 

He didn't even acknowledge me that day at the hospital when we all went to see him, either. 

I need to leave here in a few.  But since we are talking about my Dad I tried to think of a song that reminded me of him...  So here we go.  I can't hear this song without thinking of him because he was obsessed with Radiohead, especially this song.  And it's also fitting because he was a total creep. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, everything I can do as of tonight for CWB is done.  I am sitting here drinking a beer and listening to music.  I've felt so overwhelmed all week long prepping for this festival.  I worked 50 hours this week at my W2 job also. 

I didn't get done everything I wanted to today.  But the good news is some of what I planned to do tomorrow got done.  It is supposed to rain hard all day tomorrow.  We are supposed to get like 3 inches of rain.  (Cue Gins N Roses...  Walkin' in the cold November Rain... right?)  So, Jules and Russ were coming over tomorrow to load the trailer.  Well, we decided to do that tonight.  And this was a spur of the moment thing so I did this with hair color on my hair.  It's semi permanent color, so leaving it in for a long time doesn't damage hair or mess up the color itself.  I did this cool checkerboard thing with my hair.  I sectioned it on in triangles all over my head and then alternated between purple and Peacock green.  It looks amazing.  It's like I have nebular hair.  But yea... it was funny, I'm out in my driveway in sweatpants and a t-shirt from work, with my hair twisted up in these little tiny buns, alternating purple and green, while loading my whole booth setup into their trailer.  And then after we were done loading we just sat in my driveway and talked for a while.  It was fun. 

A lot of weight is being placed on this show.  Both for personal and financial reasons.  I took a gamble on this one.  It has higher overhead than most shows do.  And I am paying for two nights in a hotel, etc.  The booth fee was high, too.  As of this morning I had $12 in my main bank account.  I had to transfer some over from my savings for this weekend. 

And on a personal level, this show has a lot of weight to it, also.  For one, D and I are spending two nights alone in a hotel room together.  Considering we have been seeing each other since August and still have yet to kiss on the mouth, sharing a bed for two nights in a row is a pretty big deal.  I don't think we'll have sex this weekend.  We have our reasons for taking things so slow physically.  They are reasons most people reading this probably wouldn't understand. 

I have never taken it this slow on the physical end with anyone.  I mean, it's not like I go out and screw anyone interested in me on the first date.  (I have actually never screwed anyone on the first date, tbh.)  But I've never dated anyone for almost 3 months without kissing on the mouth.  And it's funny because we are so affectionate to each other in other ways. 

But yea...  two nights in a hotel room with him will be amazing, I think.  I know sleeping in the same bed is a huge thing for him.  He has talked about how much he can't wait to be the little spoon.  I don't even remember how that started but he has said a few times in the last week how he can't wait to lay next to me and be the little spoon.  He also warned me ahead of time that he snores.  Sorry but I think that's adorable. 

The bottle of wine I bought a while back with part of my Christmas bonus...  That bottle was for Z and I to drink when we officially got engaged.  For a long time I thought it would just never get opened and turn to vinegar.  It's a hundred dollar bottle of Rose'.  Limited edition from Caduceus.  A few months after she left I was cleaning out my fridge and found it.  I was really emotional about it.  And D and I were messaging.  Keep in mind this was long before I started dating him.  And I sent him a pic of it and told him I got it to share with her when we got engaged and now I feel like I will never even taste it.  And he said, "I'll drink it with you."  This was a year or so ago...  At the time it seemed like blasphemy to even think about drinking it alone, let alone with someone else.  But now, screw it...  I am taking that bottle with me this weekend for D and I.  It's my birthday on Saturday, that is enough of a special occasion. 

So tomorrow all I have to do is pack and then relax until D gets here and then we will go and pick up my prints.  He wants to throw some clothes in the wash at my house too before we head out because his washer is acting up. 

Ok...  so now I need to get some sleep. 

 

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So, last weekend...

Well, D and I know each other a lot better now than we did before.  And no, that's not insinuating anything.  We just know each other better now.  It's a result of traveling together.  I know there are people reading this thinking we slept together.  We didn't.  I mean, not in terms of having sex.  But we did sleep in the same bed for two nights.  He talks in his sleep in German which I think is so adorable.  I mean, it's not a huge surprise.  Anyone who talks in their sleep probably speaks their native language while doing so.

We did have our first actual kiss this weekend.  He is a very gentle and shy kisser.  Which is interesting because he's not a shy person in any other way.  He's an entertainer/performer.  He has no problem getting up in front of a thousand people half naked and spinning a flaming staff and breathing fire, etc.  For a lot of people kissing is really intimate.  I am actually one of those people and so is he.  My first kiss with him was like no other.  It's hard to describe.  It reminded me of being an adolescent again and having never kissed anyone before in my life, but also being good at it and knowing what we were doing, if that makes sense.  Like think of all the energy and vibration of a first kiss, but without it being awkward because both people know what they are doing.  It wasn't just one kiss, either.  We made out for a few minutes.  But it wasn't like, Omg, I'm so turned on I wanna suck your face off.  It was really tender and really loving.  I'm feeling weak in the knees just writing about it, honestly.  It was amazing. 

And later on that night when we both had drank a little we were talking about something else and he just randomly was like, "Kissing you was magic earlier.  And we're gonna talk all about that one of these days but not right now."  I'm fine with that.  We don't need to talk about it right now.  Talking about it might ruin it. 

The first night we were there we only got like 90 minutes of sleep.  We helped Jules and Frank set up the vendor hall and then we were up most of the night talking.  We opened up the bottle of Caduceus that I brought and drank that.  He also brought a bottle of Champagne for Saturday night because Saturday was my birthday.  I asked him if we could keep it on the downlow.  Last time I was at a festival working on my birthday I had three random groups of people sing to me.  It was really embarrassing and I just don't like being put on the spot like that. And he respected that and honored my request. 

The show itself was not the most profitable show I've ever done, but it was fun.  I mean, it wasn't a loss.  I broke even.  But we had a really good time.  The vendors around us were all really cool and we made a few new friends.  And having him with me at my booth was really cool too because like I said above, he's an entertainer.  He has that kind of personality that draws people in and when people are engaged and entertained they buy things.  I have one employee who also has that quality and oddly enough she's also a fire performer.  I should start actively trying to recruit fire performers to work for me, lol.  Just for the record though, D doesn't work for me.  He had free rain of the whole festival and was free to walk around and do whatever.  He stayed with me at the booth most of the day because he was having fun there.  He wasn't obligated to. 

The after party was interesting.  We got really done up for it.  I dressed to the hilt in Steampunk gear.  I mean, black and purple corset, black high-low bustle skirt, lace tights, pointy toed velvet boots, purple tophat and goggles.  I love going full on Steampunk.  And it's not something I get to do very often so I just really had fun with it.  And my hair is freshly colored, too.  It's a mix of purple, green and blue.  He didn't really have a specific theme to how he was dressed.  he wore a punked out black suit and a tophat and carried a flogger. 

The party itself was kind of a letdown.  Not a lot of people came.  A lot of people left early because there was a mead vendor who was going to be selling meade for the party and the Lodge told him he couldn't at last minute and everyone was told they couldn't only drink at the bar... where a Jack and Coke was like $12.  And the band that was playing was good, but the acoustics in the room were really bad.  So most people just ate and then left.  We stuck around for a little while after eating, but we decided to go wander around the Lodge and take pics all dressed up. 

This building is beautiful.  It's old and there's a lot of distressed wood, high arched windows, etc.  And there are a lot of small nooks with old furniture, etc.  So we walked around this place for a while just taking pics of each other.  There is one shot he got of me that is amazing.  I don't feel pretty very often but this pic actually made me feel pretty.  There was this one room upstairs where there was a balcony with a wooden railing and it overlooked part of the downstairs.  There were a lot of lights hanging from the ceiling that resembled Japanese lanterns.  And he had me lean up against the rail with my back to him and look over my shoulder.  So in the pic you see all the detail in the back of my corset, and the laces, etc.  And my skin and my tattoos on my back are visible in the center. And the way my hair is hanging off to one side, the soft light on my face.  Idk... it's just really pretty and really flattering.  I took one shot of him standing on a stairway that is awesome, too.  He looks like a 1920s gangsta.

Back in the room we stayed up pretty late again talking.  I love giving foot massages and I am really good at it.  I have a hair stylist's license and when I was in beauty school my teacher gave me almost all the pedicures because I was good at it and I don't mind touching feet.  But sadly, most of my past SOs didn't appreciate my foot rubbing talent.  I gave him a foot massage and he loved it.  I actually like doing it for people who appreciate it.  He was going to do mine for me but we ended up getting distracted and that never happened.  It's ok though.  He has brought it up since then and told me he owes me a foot rub. 

On our way home on Sunday we stopped at this Mom and Pop place out of the way and got breakfast.  We were told this place had really good food.  And the food was good.  But there were signs all over the walls that were very supportive of a certain former president who's name rhymes with dump.  And everyone there seemed really straight laced and conservative.  And here we are, two heavily tattooed weirdos sitting there.  And we were talking about linguistics and stuff while sitting there.  He was telling me that when he came over here there was this one restaurant he went to a lot and the waitresses all acted weird toward him.  He assumed it was because his English wasn't that good at the time.  But then when he felt confident enough, he asked the manager if he did something to offend them or something, and the manger told him it's because he doesn't tip them.  And he was so confused because he understood the word tip to mean knock someone down.   So the manager had to explain to him that waiters and waitresses here in the US only get paid a couple dollars an hour and that it's up to customer to pay them more. 

We were talking about our names, too.  Because his name is a pretty common male name in the US.  But the spelling isn't common at all because he uses the German spelling.  So people say it wrong all the time.  I'm not from Ireland, but my name is very old school Gaelic and it's spelled in the Gaelic way.  So people say my name wrong all the time, too.  And both of us just kind of accept it being pronounced wrong at this point because it's easier to just be called the wrong name than to correct people over and over all the time.  So we were talking about that.  And his first name is very German but he actually has a French last name.  My first name is Gaelic but I have a very Italian last name.  And for some reason this really offended the older couple sitting a table away.  They had been giving us dirty looks the whole time we were sitting there.  And they just got up and walked up to the counter and paid and left without even finishing.  They were complaining to the staff, also.  Like really...?  It's not like we were sitting there talking about murdering babies or something.  To some people just having an accent is offensive.  D has been here in the US for a while now so his accent isn't super thick.  But it's there. 

A lot of people in the scene have a scene name.  I don't because my real name is cool enough.  He does.  I'm not going to say what it is because then people could probably google him and find him.  But I will just say he calls himself Mr. Mystique, just for the sake of what I'm about to talk about.  Mystique isn't the word.  But he calls himself Mr. -something-.  For now we will just use the word Mystique.  And over the weekend when he was at my booth he referred to me several times as Mrs. Mystique.  This was only when he was talking to customers.  He would introduce himself as Mr. Mystique and then point to me and be like, "That's Mrs. Mystique, she's the artist.  I'm just the comic relief." or something like that.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  I mean, it's cute and endearing.  But he might also be getting too attached too fast. 

Anyway...  this is already a really long post and I need to finish getting ready for work.  Till next time...

 

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This won't be a long one because I am really tired.  But I want to keep up with posting about being evil in some people's story.  The next person on my list is my Mom.  Her reasons are the same as my Dad's reasons.  But I think there was a little more nuance where she was concerned.  I didn't find this out until about  years ago but my Mom was scapegoated as a kid, too.  She was the kid who got blamed for everything, etc.  And considering she was so young when she had me, I think in her mind she just thought, "Ok, after all these years of being bullied by my family, now I have a little person I can bully." My Mom was just as verbally abusive as my Dad but she also dolled out most of the physical abuse when I was a kid.  I got my noses bloodied multiple times by her and sometimes it was for something as innocuous as just looking at her wrong.  And she bragged about it, too.  Like, "Look at me I like to whoop on my daughter!" 

That ended when my step dad moved in with us though because he threatened to end the relationship if she didn't stop.  She didn't tell me this but I overheard her telling someone about it on the phone.  The walls in my house were thin and there are a lot of things I know that I wasn't supposed to know because my Mom seemed to think no one else could hear her phone conversations.  But I guess my step dad took her out to the garage after she slapped the sh*t out of me one night (If anyone is wondering this was because I said my sister looked like one of the Children of the Corn in this old picture."  And my step dad took her out to the garage and started bawling.  He told her he got beat a lot as a kid and he just couldn't be in a relationship with someone who beats their kid. 

Talking about her phone calls... that's also how I know she cheated on my dad.  I was  when I overheard that call... in the middle of the night.  That's a whole other story though. 

Basically she thought of me as the thing that ruined her shot at being a nurse and living this kooshy life.  Ok... nurses are paid well.  But their job isn't easy.  My Mom has talked a lot about how she could have lived so comfortably for doing this easy job.  She has talked about how her friend is a nurse and is raising 7 kids very comfortably.  Ok, that's great for her friend.  But I doubt her friend had this easy job like my Mom seems to think. 

And aside from that... it's not like there's a law that says someone with a child can't still be a nurse.  And even beyond that... condoms were a thing when I was conceived.  Adoption was also an option.  And abortion was legal.  No one forced her to get pregnant.  No one forced her to carry me to term.  No one forced her to keep me.  

She feels a lot of remorse now for things she did back then, though.  Which I give her a lot of credit for.  She was also pretty awful to my oldest brother.  And she has apologized to him a lot over the years too. 

I could write a lot more about her, too.  But I really need to sleep.  As far as a song that makes me think of her...  I remember her singing along to this song in the car when I was a kid a lot.  NOT this version of it, lol.  But I don't know who the original artist is and tbh right now I'm just too lazy to Google it.  I know there was a really poppy version with a female singer when I was a kid. 

 

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5 hours ago, Cynder said:

But I don't know who the original artist is and tbh right now I'm just too lazy to Google it.  I know there was a really poppy version with a female singer when I was a kid. 

Eurythmics. Annie Lennox was the singer. I like the Marilyn Manson version, but the original never gets old.

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So, I am still determined to write about all the people who's story I am evil in...  I made my list in chronological order.  So the next person is one of my aunts.  We'll call her S. 

For anyone reading this all the way through, at the beginning it might look like I'm just saying I'm an angel and never did anything wrong.  But since my list is chronological, we're still talking about when I was a baby.  I don't think a baby is capable of evil.  There are a few aunts on this list.  Idk... two of my aunts and my great grandma never liked me. 

But in the case of S, she is my aunt by marriage.  She married my uncle.  The town I live in is a college town.  And the college that is here is one of the most expensive in the country.  The son of a very famous rock star from the 70s graduated from there and a few other celebrities have sent their kids there too.  But, the children of employees get to go for free.  (Or at least they used to, I heard they've done away with that now.)  Bus S's Dad worked for the college for a long time.  And so her education was paid for.  I'm not saying that means she's any less intelligent or that her education doesn't count or anything.  But it will come into play later. 

She has a PhD.  She has written textbooks.  She was a professor for a long time, but is now the Dean at a really exclusive private school in Texas.  She makes a 6 figure salary and travels all around the world. 

When my cousin Michael, (her son) was born he was the first grandchild of my grandparents.  And the whole family fawned over him like families do when a new baby is born.  And her and my Uncle were really trying to have this picture perfect life.  They had the big Catholic wedding.  She had just graduated with her Bachelor's.  They had just bought a house, etc. 

And her and my Mom are polar opposites.  S is this mousey, nerdy looking woman.  And my Mom was an absolute knockout.  S always played by the rules and only did was she was supposed to.  My Mom was the bad girl in high school.  (It's worth mentioning that my Mom and all her siblings are really close in age, so they all went to high school together, and S went to high school with them also.  Her and my Uncle were high school sweethearts. 

So, here is S, this woman who is trying to make this picture perfect life with her new husband and her new education.  And then here is my Mom, this hot chick who smokes, drinks, dates older men, and is now pregnant by an older (and married) man. My cousin Michael was born in September and I was born in November. 

And when I came, my family fawned over me, too.  SO now there's less attention being paid to Michael and there's two babies for everyone to hold and coo over.  S hated this because in her eyes she did everything right and my Mom did everything wrong, so there was no reason everyone should be fawning over this new baby who was conceived in sin, etc. 

And now that I'm an adult, S still hates me. 

I got a scholarship to go to college.  It was a full ride.  This infuriated S.  And I have no idea why since she went to college for free too.  She made comments about how "That brat doesn't deserve a free education." etc. 

There was a time after graduating that I had a graphic design job but I also had a part time second job in a restaurant.  And she made comments about how my education went to waste so I could flip burgers.  (Which wasn't even accurate.  I was a waitress/prep cook in a Greek Restaurant that didn't even serve burgers.  And wow, sorry if I had to work a second job for a while.  It's called survival.  My lazy ass husband lost his job and sat around watching porn and talking to other women all day.  Someone had to pay the bills. 

She creates private Facebook groups for family., (Like, every time she goes on vacation she creates a private group for all of our family so she can post the pics there.)  I am not in any of those groups.  She has me blocked on Facebook.  My other Uncle asked her why I'm not in any of the groups once and she said, "Because it's for family only and I don't consider her part of my family." 

Her and my uncle were invited to my wedding, they didn't come. 

And I actually have no beef with her other than the beef she has with me. 

There is no song that reminds me of her, specifically.  So, this is just what I'm currently listening to.  They play this song at my job all the time and I love it. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, MK is this weekend.  I had to crack the whip on myself Friday night.  I had two paintings to finish and I decided I wasn't sleeping until they were done.  And I held myself to it.  As of now they both are done, digitized and prints are ordered. 

I also ordered my new signage for my Discontinued bin.  I have all these old prints that I am fazing out because my style has changed so much in the last five years.  And I can't just keep a print of every single painting I've ever done on hand with me at every festival I do until the end of time.  I faze out old prints over time.  They used to be called "Clearance Prints."  But i didn't like the vibe that gave off.  So I started calling them Discount Prints.  At CWB when D was at my booth he told me I should never discount my work, ever.  Even if they are marked down because they are older.  He said I should call them Discontinued Prints, because that's what they are.  He was like, "Please don't ever refer to your work as discounted.  That cheapens it."  And yes, to discount something literally means that.  But it also invalidates it in some ways, too.  Like, this is discounted because it's not as good as the full price thing.  And he was basically saying the prints in that bin are just as good, they are just old.  Some of the paintings that those prints are of were done ten or more years ago.  I look at them and think, "Good Gods... what the hell was I thinking when I painted that?"  But, someone bought them.  Those originals are hanging in people's houses somewhere. 

MK is going to be a blast.  It always is.  The costumes some people where there are just off the chain.  Last year there was a stilt walker there who was covered in vines and leaves.  And the way she moved was just so creepy.  I have videos of her walking around.  I took one of her from far away where there's this huge crowd of people and she was just towering over everyone.  This massive plant creature just wandering through the crowd...

Last year at MK I had just found out I was being laid off from my job.  My tattoo was infected and hurt like hell.  And Z had just decided to come back around after ghosting me.  So I was there but mentally not there.  This year I was be in much better spirits.  And I will have a mascot at my booth.  The skunky will be joining us.  Friday night D is spending the night at my house so we don't have to get up as early.  And Valentine sleeps in bed with him.  So Valentine will be sleeping in my bed Friday night.  That will definitely be interesting.  How many people can say they've slept in bed with a skunk? 

I wish there was a tactful way to tell L to go spend the night elsewhere that night.  I just wish she would get the hell out already.  She's been telling me she would be out by December first.  Obviously that isn't happening.  Since she gets off on messing up other people's relationships I am not entirely comfortable with her being around.  I don't think she would try to make a move on D.  But I do think she would try to make me look bad in front of him.  She did that with Z so many times.  She's not happy unless she's causing trouble for other people.  If I had all kinds of disposable income I would just throw her a hundred dollars and be like, "Go stay in a hotel tonight."  I also know she probably reports everything I do back to Z.  And I really don't want Z knowing I'm dating anyone.  But I can't hide forever. 

I have talked about everyone hating me in the long run.  But I have wondered if it isn't the other way around.  A lot of the long term friendships that have ended in my life were ended by me.  After 20 years of friendship, she chose to side with Z, so screw her.  She's dead to me.  And it usually is me who cuts people off.  It's something I've been thinking about lately. 

 

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D is an amazing artist.  But he hasn't picked up a paintbrush in over a year... until we started dating.  Since we started seeing each other he paints all the time.  And that makes me happy on so many levels.  This relationship is unique because there are so many layers to it.  The depth of it, etc. 

I have been in relationships with some really creative people.  But I've never inspired anyone.  I always wanted to, though.  And now I am. 

Earlier tonight he was messaging me, because he's been up all night painting, and we were talking about paintbrushes.  He was saying all his brushes are crap, he doesn't have the money for better ones right now, etc.  And all the brushes he uses are flat, squared off brushes.  It's really hard to get certain textures with those brushes.  So, I have a lot of brushes that aren't being used.  I'm going to give him some.  A filbert, a liner, an angle shader and a blender will make a world of difference for him.  His paintings look amazing with "crappy" brushes.  I can't imagine what he could do with good brushes. And he said crappy, not me. 

I always tell anyone that asks for advice about painting, the brushes will make or break your work.  People ask me how I get certain textures, etc.  It's all in the brushes.  I've been made fun of for buying Escoda brushes.  Escoda brushes are some of the most amazing brushes on the planet.  They are expensive for a reason.  The person who made fun of me was like, "Michelangelo and Divine didn't have really expensive brushes, etc.  Well actually yes they did.  The brushes they used would have retailed for a lot of money today because they were made of sable and badger fur mostly.  And I was fortunate enough to get a lot of my Escodas when a huge art store in my area closed down and everything was 60-75% off.  I did buy a few before that at full price though. 

Anyway...  I need to sleep so I can wake up and finish my inventory for this weekend.

 

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So, 95% of the prep for MK is done.  I got my outfit all washed and ready to go.  All the prints are boxed, tagged and packaged.  I also cleaned the whole first floor of my house today too. 

D spending the night here tomorrow is a whole new level of closeness for me.  I know that's weird.  It was different when we spent two nights in a hotel room together because that was neutral ground.  Him sleeping in my bedroom is a different story. 

And I'm worried about L.  Since L likes to mess things up for people and thrives on drama, I wonder if she will try anything.  I talked to him about this and he told me he understands why I'm worried and why I have some anxiety about her.  But he told me I have absolutely nothing to worry about.  He just won't be sucked into her crap.  And I believe him.  I think this is the first time I've felt any real trust in anyone in over a year.  I think trust comes in layers.  Right now I trust him not to take the bait if she tries to start something.  Would I trust him in another situation?  It depends.  Would I cosign on a loan for him?  No.  Would I trust him to watch my cat if I was going out of town?  Yes.  I definitely trust him more than I would trust L in any situation. 

I posted on FB that I was considering doing this huge show and I asked for opinions.  Well this lead to an interesting conversation.  When my ex (Now I'm calling him M.  He used to be referred to on this thread as D... but in that case D stood for Douchebag.  My current SO's name actually starts with a D so now he is D.  My ex's legal name (not one of the 57 names he calls himself) starts with an M.)But this guy (We'll just call the guy Ben, not his real name) who used to work for M messaged me out of nowhere.  I haven't talked to this dude since 2019.  And as far as I knew him and M were still friends and he still worked for M.  But he messaged me and asked what show it is.  And I told him I'm keeping that to myself.  He was like, "Well I was only asking because I live in GA now and if it was close to where I live I was going to offer to help you."  And I told him it's not close to where he lives.  (Even though it kinda is...  I don't know where in GA he lives, though."  And then I added, "I don't feel comfortable telling you because I don't know if you will go tell M and then he will try to get me kicked out." 

What followed was basically a b*tch session (mostly on his end) about M.  I guess Ben and M had a falling out and he doesn't work for him anymore.  Ben and Julie were roommates for a while.  Julie is the former friend of mine who hooked up with M like 2 weeks after I left him.  I'm about 99% sure they had something going on behind my back.  There were just a lot of suspicious comments made and the way they acted around each other, etc.  I could just tell something was up.  I actually confronted Julie about it once... at WF.  Probably not the best time but she was there and I was done with this crap.  She showed up (supposedly to see me) but walked right past my booth, ran straight up to M and gave him this really passionate hug.  Like, it wasn't a friendly hug.  And then she started playing with his hair and stuff and sat in his booth with him for over an hour.  It was disgusting.  I couldn't believe how disrespectful they both were being.  Confronting her in a calm way got her sobbing and telling me she can't believe I think she would do that!  Confronting M got me cussed at and berated for being jealous.  Well... what do you know?  I was right.  I dumped his ass on November 7th and they were together before December. 

But anyway... Ben was Julie's roommate around that time.  I didn't know that.  But he told me she cheated on M a lot and got caught.  And they decided tos tay together and try to work things out but all they did was scream at each other and act like two 12 year olds (these were his words, not mine.)  Man...  I consider myself a nice person and I want everyone (except a few people) to be happy.  M is one of those people I don't care about.  I don't wish bad things on him.  But I don't really wish good things for him either.  But hearing this made me so happy.  I love when assklowns get their karma.  Him and Julie deserved each other and they made each other miserable for over a year.  And I think it's hilarious that she cheated on him too since they started out as a cheating relationship, lol. 

I saw her about a month ago working at the Deli and Giant Eagle.  (That's a grocery store for those not in the US.)  I bought some cheese and pasta salad and acted like I didn't even know her. 

I see these people I cut out of my life continuing to live like trainwrecks and have lives full of drama.  I'm so glad I cut ties.  L is the last person from my old life left and I really hope she's gone soon.  If she's still here in January I'm having her formally served with eviction papers. 

This conversation with Ben was really validating.  M used to attack me on a personal and professional level.  He would tell me he "hates" the way I run my business.  He would say I don't know what I'm doing, etc.  And he also seemed to think I owed him for my success.  Yes, I will admit being with him opened a lot of doors.  But since then some of those doors have closed and I've found plenty of new opportunities without him being in my life.  I had never done and invitation only show before Hell City.  And he had absolutely nothing to do with Hell City.  And RCTC... that's invitation only too.  I got tapped for that one because they had a scout at Hell City who saw me and liked my work.  MK, too.  I got banned from MK when I was with him by default.  They decided they were never letting him back to that show.  And since the organizer assumed we were a package deal, I got banned too.  The same thing happened with PPP.  But after ending things, I was contacted by both those organizers and told I'm allowed back since him and I aren't together anymore.  So yea... he opened some doors.  But he also got me banned from some shows because of his bad behavior.  Organizers don't like vendors who throw tantrums like 5 year olds. 

He also can't keep employees to save his life.  He treats them like crap.  This is why Ben doesn't work for him anymore.  Ben quit long before he moved to GA.  Ben told me that he always saw how chill I am with my team and he always wished he could work for me instead.  I've had a few employees quit, but it's always been on good terms and it's always been for reasons like they are leaving the area, they got a job that doesn't give them time off on weekends, etc.  No one has ever quit because I treated them bad.  I couldn't do this without my workers.  So I spoil them, I'll admit it.  After a show I buy the whole team dinner, etc.  I understand people have different ways of doing things.  Like, if I have two employees putting my tent up, they might do it differently than I do it.  But if the tent gets put up I don't care.  I don't micromanage my people like M does.  And I pay well.  He pays dirt. 

Since M and I split up, so many conversations like this have happened.  Some of the people who even took Ms side when I left him have reached out to me to tell me they were wrong and they realized what a nasty person he is, etc.  To him his business is all about money and beating other people.  Everything is a competition.  To me, my business is my passion.  I've done shows where I barely broke even but had a blast and met some amazing people, etc.  I am not just in it for money.  The money is an added bonus.  This is the only thing I am really good at.  This is the only community I fit into.  And this is the only thing I've ever done that lets me feel seen.  I've felt invisible most of my life.  One day M is going to be on his deathbed and realize what a huge mistake he made pushing everyone away.  he can't take all his money with him.  And he doesn't even make his own inventory anymore.  He used to make some amazing leather journals and bags and stuff.  And he came up with his own patterns, etc.  Now he has people who do it for him.  He just takes a bunch of leather over to someone's house, says this is what he wants made, he pays them pace rate, and then goes and sells what other people made.  He pays people a couple dollars per bag and then sells the bags for pretty high.  One day he's going to look back on his life and regret a lot of things I think. 

I'm so glad he won't be at MK tomorrow.  I know if he was there animal control would probably show up since we will have Valentine with us.  It was be interesting having a booth mascot. 

Anyway... I need to get some sleep. 

 

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So...  the last 24 hours or so.  MK did not go as well as it could have. 

D has been having some issues with his blood sugar fluctuating a lot lately.  And when it gets low it's not safe for him to drive.  So, because of this he didn't show up at my house until after midnight last night. I understand, medical issues like this don't just go away.  And when D and I see each other, we are like teenagers sometimes.  It's not always easy to get things done.  When he got there we still had to pack the car.  Under normal circumstances I would have everything moved out to the driveway before he even showed up so it can all just be put in the car.   But last night it was pouring and really cold out.  Man... there are few things worse than having to load in the rain.  Shoes get wet, water runs in eyes, glasses fog up, etc.  It just sucks.  Luckily though, this was a small setup.  And I was told we had a corner space with walls behind our booth.  SO I brought a bunch of original paintings and damage free hanging  so I could hang them all up. 

So by the time this is all done, it's still 2 hours before we head up to bed.  We were playing with Valentine, etc.  So we get into bed and Valentine is being a little demon, wanting to walk all over the bed and borrow into the covers, etc.  He sleeps with D all the time at his house.  But since my place is a new environment, he just couldn't settle down.  So he got taken downstairs to his pen.  So by this time, it's like an hour before we have to get up. 

I don't think I slept at all.  I know he did because it took him forever to get up.  I got up at 6, figured it takes me longer to get ready than him, so I went downstairs and took a shower, got dressed, brushed teeth, filled water bottle, etc.  I went upstairs to wake him up at 6:30.  I was really gentle waking him up.  I patted him on the leg, "Hey D, it's 6:30.  We have to leave at 7.  Time to get up.  And he opened his eyes and said to me, "Did you get the detail in the rat eyes in that Satan picture?"  I was like, "Huh?"  He was like, "The detail in the rat's eyes?"  I said, "Yea I did." just because I figured that was the answer he wanted to hear.  Obviously he was dreaming.  When we stayed in the hotel for CWB he talked in his sleep in German, which was so hot and adorable at the same time. 

But I decided I would give him another 10 minutes or so to wake up.  So in ten minutes I go back up there, pat him on the leg and tell him it's time to get up.  He's like, "I'm trying to wake up.  I'm so tired."  And I felt bad doing this but I just sat on the edge of the bed.  I figured if I go back downstairs he's going back to sleep.  Eventually I was able to wake him up but we didn't leave until 7:20.  The festival was 90 minutes from my house and load in started at 8:30.  We got there at 9:30.  Doors opened at 10.  So what followed was a chaotic setup.  We were not in the spot they had us on on the map.  We were not in a corner or against a wall.  So there was nowhere to hang paintings.  So bringing them was kind of a waste.  They said they had to move a few vendors around at last minute.  I was miffed about this because I tailored my setup for that spot.  But we made it work.  No paintings went up. but we got everything else out.  It was not my best looking setup, but we managed. 

D is very extroverted and outgoing.  So I'm trying to get the setup done on time.  And he was helping, but he was also stopping a lot to have conversations with everyone walking by.  He was there helping me out of the kindness of his heart.  He's not getting paid, etc.  I put gas in his car, bought him breakfast, and I bought him dinner afterwords.  But other than that he's not getting anything out of this other than saying he is being a helpful SO.  So I didn't fault him too much.  But I was stressing out because we had so much to do and so little time.  

For the first three hours I barely sold anything.  I was getting genuinely worried.  Those first three hours we got tons of traffic.  But people were only coming to the booth to see Valentine.  So D said he was going to go walk around with Valentine for a little while so more people would come to my booth for my work and not just to pet, hold, take pictures of, and ask about Valentine.  So he did that.  And then I got slammed.  This was great.  But I was also by myself working the booth.  I did hundreds in sales in two hours.  My trippy Snow Leopard was definitely the star of this show.  I had three new paintings, and thus three new prints.  I didn't sell any of the new prints.  That was kind of disappointing.  D kept coming back to check on me and see if I needed anything, etc.  

For a while I was sitting at the booth holding Valentine and so many people asked me if he had his scent glands removed, etc.  I heard "what do you feed it?"  "Is that thing real?" so many times.  I don't like when people refer to animals as it.  But I don't correct them.  It's just how people speak sometimes. When I'm working it's not the time or the place.  

The stilt walkers were back this year.  The vine lady and the massively tall candy cane lady.  They are impressive. 

In the end, I made a good amount of money and we had a good time. 

We had the booth packed up and were out in 45 minutes. 

There was a really bad accident on the highway that we had to pass.  I mean, ambulance, multiple cop cars, fire trucks, etc.  We saw the cars involved when we drove by.  That was intense.  I always tear up when I see stuff like this.  I am too sensitive to suffering sometimes. I tried to keep it from him but he saw and I told him "Sorry, I just hate seeing that kind of thing." he told me he would think something was seriously wrong with anyone who liked seeing that stuff and that there's nothing wrong with feeling emotional.  All the same things that have pissed off most of my past partners don't upset him.  I'm so used to doing everything wrong (Or at least feeling like I do everything wrong) that this is a bit of a culture shock for me.  

We went to a place we both really like for dinner and then there was some drama on the ride home.  Not between him and I, but between him and his husband.  We'll call his husband Al.  (That's not his real name.)  So, Al called when we were in the car getting ready to leave after having dinner.  And he was asking why D isn't home yet, etc.  D said we sat and talked for a while and we are just now leaving.  So we drive for a bit, and he starts feeling a drop in his blood sugar again.  He said he felt drunk.  He was slurring his words a little bit.  So we pulled over and he asked me to set an alarm for 30 minutes so he could sleep for a little bit.  I will admit I know nothing about low blood sugar.  I have no idea what to do in that situation.  But it's something he has struggled with off and on all his life.  So I am trusting what he is saying.  So I set the alarm.  I was going to just sit and play a game on my phone for the half hour he slept.  But I ended up reclining my seat and going to sleep too.  His phone rang and woke me up and I was so disoriented.  I forgot where I was.  I get woke up suddenly in the front seat of his car parked at a truck stop.  And I had no idea it was his phone ringing.  He answered it, just as disoriented as I was.  It was Al, "Why didn't you call me back?  I thought something happened."  I had my phone in airplane mode during this time and I took it off to see a few messages from Al, "Hey can you tell D to call me?  Why isn't he calling me?" etc. 

So I am there for an awkward ten minutes listening to a very groggy D argue with his husband on speaker about why D didn't call him.  D swears he didn't remember saying he would call him, etc.  I don't remember him saying he would either.  But this escalated to Al cussing and getting kinda nasty.  And D was finally just like, "I'm not going to be cussed at Al, I'll be home when I get home." and he hung up.  Al kept calling every minute or so for a bit after that.  D just put his phone on silent. 

We still had a good hour or so drive ahead of us.  We ended up having this awesome conversation about life, relationships, etc.  And I really laid some stuff out on the table with him.  I told him all the reasons this relationship scares me and why I'm afraid to really let my guard down.  I told him I am afraid of falling too hard and being hurt again.  I told him I'm afraid because everyone I love ends up hating me.  I told him I'm afraid that maybe in the long run I won't be able to handle being just his number 2.  I don't have the energy to go into all his replies.  But I will for that one.  He told me I should never think of myself as his "number 2" but instead should think of myself as "one of two."  Like, I don't rank below Al.  He has a relationship with Al and then he has a relationship with me and he sees us both as equals.  It's not like he likes one better than the other.  It's more like what he has with me will never be the same thing he has with Al and the opposite.  We talked about past relationships.  We talked about what we want from each other, etc.  It was a great conversation and I feel less afraid now.  My guard isn't down though.  Thanks to Z my guard is rusted and the lever is broken.  My heart can't take what she did to me again.  And here I am letting myself get dangerously close to someone who has the power to do exactly that. 

I also feel like the honeymoon stage is starting to end.  There were times today that I was annoyed with him.  But I also was trying to do a 90 minute job in 30 minutes and he was getting distracted every 5 minutes and not helping like he could have.  I was able to shake those feelings off because like I said above, he is doing this for free, basically.  But beyond just feeling a little annoyed with him, on the other side of that, I feel like this relationship is layered.  There is depth to this that I've never experienced before now.  And now we are getting down into some of those deeper layers.  I've heard him and his husband argue.  I've seen him dealing with a health issue.  He has let himself be vulnerable with me, more than I have with him.  Now he is more of a real person and not just the hot, tattooed guy in a kilt who breathes fire and carries a skunk around at festivals.  And I'm sure on his end, I am no longer just that Goth/Hippie artist chick with crazy colored hair and tattoos who does those weird paintings. 

Before he left we stood in my driveway for a long time saying goodnight to each other.  We were like two teenagers who are about to break curfew but can't pull themselves away from each other.  Except we are not teenagers.  I feel like we are both old souls who never grew all the way up. 

I am falling for him.  I hope this is all worth it. 

 

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So... thinking a lot about these feelings I am developing for D, and why I am developing them.  And I am reflecting on past relationships and I realized that my reasons for loving a lot of people in my past were really messed up. 

My first love was a real doucehbag who pushed and pushed and pushed for me to date him.  And my parents pushed for this too because his family owned a business.  My Mom told me this was the best thing for me because this might be my only shot at marriage, etc.  And she added that his family owning a business was a good thing because then I would always have a guaranteed job if I married him.  Ok...  I started dating him at 17.  I had plans then that didn't involve marriage and working in an auto shop.  I was not the slightest bit physically attracted to him either.  But I basically got guilted into dating him and I ended up really falling for him.  I dated him from my senior year of high school to my junior year in college.  I lost my virginity to him.  Then we cheated on each other.  Not saying that like I'm proud.  Just saying it because it happened.  He is the ex who stalked me for a year and tried to hire someone to kill me.  And looking back, I can't even say why I loved him.  I did love him, though.  To the best of my ability for a 17 year old who was raised with a really messed up idea of what love is.  I got so tired of hearing, "You're just a kid.  You don't know what love is."  My therapist at the time told me I loved him only out of need because he was my ticket out of the house.  That wasn't it because I had no desire to live with him.  I guess it was because I had never had anyone act so devoted to me and he provided me with some escape from my awful home life.  I would go through 6 days of being bullied at school and at home and then there was one day (because I was only allowed to see him once a week) where I went to his house and could relax and have fun. 

After him, the next person I loved was my ex husband.  And I think I loved him because he provided me with some stability and security.  And he was so incredibly talented.  He was an amazing musician in this successful band.  I loved going to shows and getting in free because I was with the band, etc.  And the stability and security was because we moved in together really early in our relationship out of convenience.  When I started seeing him I was couch surfing.  My parents house was still my legal address.  But I was never there and my Mom had stated very blatantly that she didn't want me there.  And the person who sexually abused me was at the house all the time and he was on really good terms with the rest of the family.  I didn't want to be around him.  I couldn't afford my own place because I was a broke college student.  And so thanks to an awesome group of friends I was staying at like 5 different houses off and on.  This went on for two years and those were some of the best times of my life.  Then I started dating him.  And he was looking for a roommate.  And I loved the idea of having a place to live and not having to live out of a bag all the time.  When we first moved in together we decided we are not a couple living together.  We are roomates who are dating.  We had separate bedrooms and everything.  But it was because of those things that I ended up falling for him and later marrying him. 

My ex girlfriend Amy is next on the list.  She was the first woman I was ever with so that seems like a given.  It was so hard to not fall for her.  Her kindness, her laugh, her eyes, etc.  She loved animals.  She was beautiful.  She had lived quite a life, too.  But I broke her heart, not intentionally but I still did.  I couldn't be what she wanted me to be. 

And then there was Aaron.  Aaron and I were together for a long time and his humor was the thing I loved the most about him.  But I always felt like our relationship was doomed.  It was hard to explain.  I felt like he kept me at arms' reach and like our relationship was a convenience for him.  He was ambitious, another thing I loved about him.  But it was so obvious his future plans didn't include me.  I shouldn't have hung on as long as I did.  But honestly, if it weren't for him I might not have ever started doing festivals.  He was raised in a family of vendors.  His parents and his sister both work at festivals.  He was the one who suggested I do this one they all were doing.  His parents loaned me a tent and a table.  I think Aaron thought I would just do it once and then be done.  I think he regretted opening that door for me.  Because my business was one of the main reasons he ended things.  He grew up in the scene and didn't want to be part of it anymore.  He was a software engineer, very much the opposite of the people who work at festivals.  He was all about the office job, the 9-5 life, etc.  The other reason he ended it was because I did Ayahuasca.  He was ok with it under the condition that I would go on meds for my depression if it didn't help.  I agreed to that.  But he really was hoping I would back out and not do it.  He said up until the last minute he hoped I would change my mind.  But the night I walked into the woods in The Netherlands and didn't come back until the next morning was the night he decided he couldn't be with me anymore.  He said he just couldn't be with a drug user.  TO me, it's not a drug.  Drugs are made in a lab.  But there was no way to get him to see it even just a little from my perspective.  I was a drug user and drugs were a hard no for him. 

Then there was M...  I fell in love with him because he was a vendor and it was awesome sharing such a huge part of my life with someone who also does it.  It is really hard for people in my line of work to keep relationships.  Most vendors have their whole family involved in the business.  Most of us have a SO who helps out at the booth and vendors with kids usually have their kids at festivals with them.  Not everyone wants that.  So it's a matter of finding someone who does.  This is also a reason the festival scene is so (for lack of a better word) incestuous.  I know that's not what the word incest means.  But since the scene is like a family, and a lot of vendors hook up with each other and date each other it seems incestuous.  I know it's in bad taste to use that word in this context but I can't think of another way to say what I mean.  Being with him opened a lot of doors.  And he inspired me so much in the beginning.  Most of our dates were "art dates."  He would come over and work on leather stuff while I painted.  We would drink wine, listen to music, order food, etc, it was great.  Almost everyone else I dated previously complained about me buying art supplies.  This was something I never got.  I couldn't imagine complaining about something my SO spends their own money on that makes them happy.  He was the first person who didn't complain about it.  In fact he loved going to the art supply store with me and helping me pick out stuff.  I guess to sum it up, being with him was such a breath of fresh air in the beginning.  And that' why I loved him.  But over time, it was like I needed a little bit of affection and kindness to keep that cup full.  And the cup just kept getting more and more dry over time.  And it got to the point where I was licking the smallest amount of moisture off the edges to quench my thirst... and then there was just nothing.  And so I dumped him. 

And then of course there was Z...  And I realize now that I loved her because of how she made me feel about myself.  She actually made me feel beautiful and intelligent and all the the things I was told I wasn't growing up.  But that was all a game.  I don't know if people like her know what they are doing or not.  But (and it was like this with M, too) once she knew she had me, she stopped making any effort at all, and started expecting a lot more from me.  She fell in love with me knowing I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl 90% of the time, and knowing I don't wear makeup every day, etc.  Once she had me she stopped caring about how she looked at all.  She would sit around in her pajamas without even combing her hair, etc.  But she started expecting me to dress up and wear makeup every day.  And when I did she would either ignore me or get mad because I am flaunting my femininity in her face.  But, I loved her for making me feel confident and wanted.  I didn't love her drinking, and her mean spirited attitude toward me once she knew I was in love with her.  I didn't love how she twisted everything around to make me into a bad person.  I didn't love her scapegoating me, etc. 

And now, here we are...  I think this is the first time I've loved someone simply for who they are and not what they bring to the table.  I think the closest I came to this in the past was with Amy.  Because a lot of why I loved her was for who she is.  But I also loved her for letting me really be true to myself.  For a long time I was in denial about my orientation.  And when I started dating her it was like, "Ok, this is who I am, and it's ok." 

Does D do things for me?  Sure he does.  But he doesn't do anything for me that I can't do myself or pay an employee to do.  I love him simply for being himself.  I love his way of looking at the world.  I love that he's such a good artist.  I love that he can breathe fire.  I love that he meets people where they are and not where he thinks they should be.  I love how he shows kindness to every living thing.  I love that he gets really excited about trivial things (this is something I do too and it gets on most people's nerves.)  I love that he is so self aware.  He knows he has issues and he is working on them every day.  I love his sense of humor.  I love that he seems like such an old soul some of the time but acts like a teenager some of the time, too.  I love how loving he is to Al, his husband.  I love the way he interacts with his son.  I can't believe he picked me of all people.  He could get anyone.  And I used to think that about Z, too.  And D has been all over the world and there's nothing he can't do and be good at.  That's another thing I used to say about Z.  I think that is why I am so afraid to really let my guard down with him because he has some similar qualities that she did.  The other night I almost said it.  When he was leaving he said I Love You to me probably three times.  I just can't bring myself to say it back yet.  Because I'm afraid once I say it back everything is going to change and the sweet awesome person I've known for 5 years is going to becomes this... thing that I don't recognize.  I'm sure the fact that he's trans too doesn't help the situation either.  I mean, it's obvious I have no issue with trans people.  But who else was trans?  The other night I told him I m afraid of falling too hard and being hurt.  And I told him I'm afraid of him hating me.  Because most of the people on this list hate me now.  He swears that will never happen.  I mean, he said he can't predict the future and it's always a possibility that our relationship will end.  But he says he could never hate me.  But you know who else said that?  Z.  And she hates me now like most of them do.  D says he's been carrying a torch for me for years.  That makes me feel like maybe he won't ever hate me.  But you never know. 

The song I put at the end of my last post, Ohne Dich,  (Without You in English...)  He specifically asked me to listen to that song and to find the English translation.  I already knew the song.  But it's rare that I ever look up English translations because it usually ruins the song for me.  But since he asked me to, I did go and read the English translation.  He told me that song makes him think of me whenever he hears it.  It's a love song, but it's kind of a sad love song.  It's about loving someone but being apart from them and the longing we feel when we aren't with the one we love, etc.  But some of the lyrics also seem like they could be about the death of a loved one, too.  So obviously that song has a whole new meaning for me, now.  And it's funny how many times I've heard it and thought nothing of it.  I listen to Ramstein all the time. 

So now, here is a song that reminds me of him.  And I have no connection to this song or this band at all, other than some of the lyrics reminding me of him.  They play this song at work all the time.  One night  (It was actually the night he told me loved me for the first time) I just happened to notice it and it reminds me of him.  The lines "I can't believe you picked me." and "I feel like I can fly standing next to you." were what really got me. 

Ok... so now I really need to sleep. 

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Wow... I have no Festivals until April.  I am considering doing OM in February.  But what happened at the last OM kinda has me being cautious.  I wasn't there but I heard all about it.  A lot of people I know were there and the venue really screwed everyone.  And I tried to do OM last February and I got screwed over because the organizer gave my space to someone else even after I paid.  I had this amazing space picked out right by the food and the bathrooms.  And the night before the event I have everything out in the driveway waiting to be loaded.  Kyle was on his way here to pack up, etc.  I get this message from the organizer and he's like, "So we have a problem."  My heart just sank.  I knew right then I wasn't doing this show.  He's like, "I just realized I didn't hold your space for you after you reserved it.  But you can still come.  We will find somewhere to put you."  In my experience that never ends well.  Because the place they find to put you is a really bad place.  You either get shoved in a corner somewhere where no one sees you, or you are off to the side in some tiny alcove or something, etc.  These are places they don't put vendors for a reason.  And considering my spot at MK got given to someone else and I was shoved somewhere just last weekend, I don't want to deal with that again.  Idk though... I need something to fill this huge gap.  I normally don't go  months without doing any shows. 

I hope this doesn't come off like OM is some terrible show.  It isn't.  I've been doing it since 2015.  And it's a show that happens all throughout the year.  So whenever there's a gap, there is always an OM show somewhere in there.  They do it about once every 6 weeks, but in different cities all over my state.  The organizer has a lot on his plate.  And what happened at the last one in October wasn't his fault at all. 

 

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12 hours ago, Cynder said:

I love that he meets people where they are and not where he thinks they should be.  I love how he shows kindness to every living thing. 

Wow, Cynder. Speaking only for myself, I think of these two qualities as the rarest of rare, and they mean the world to me.

Of course I know kind people, but to own the combo plate of consistent respect for all living things on top of meeting people where they are without imposing a 'should' behind their backs is a blend of compassion and maturity that was modeled for me by my Dad and my step-Mom when I was a kid. But they didn't even realize it--it wasn't something that they pointed out to teach me. They just did it.

For one example, there were so many people with an 'appearance' of some degree of disability that my Dad befriended over the years and either paid to help him out in his auto or woodworking shops, or he'd invite them to our dinners or parties or weekend travel events, and he'd treat them like gold--without ever patronizing them or taking advantage of them--as though this was the most natural thing in the world. He never made some kind of 'show' of these relationships for anyone else's benefit.

Not sure whether any of your exes ever owned these qualities. It sounds as though Z certainly did not. It's a gift, and it's one that would engender some trust from me, because these qualities are not likely to coexist in someone with a mean streak. (I'm just guessing--I have no basis for that statement.)

As for your February option, it could turn out to be a good experience because you may have wracked up some special handling given the fallout from last year. Other than the thing that rendered it a 'no' experience, has this venue ever been a 'bad' experience?

Might be a nice stagnation-breaker to shoot for in boring ol' winter.

 

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18 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Wow, Cynder. Speaking only for myself, I think of these two qualities as the rarest of rare, and they mean the world to me.

Of course I know kind people, but to own the combo plate of consistent respect for all living things on top of meeting people where they are without imposing a 'should' behind their backs is a blend of compassion and maturity that was modeled for me by my Dad and my step-Mom when I was a kid. But they didn't even realize it--it wasn't something that they pointed out to teach me. They just did it.

For one example, there were so many people with an 'appearance' of some degree of disability that my Dad befriended over the years and either paid to help him out in his auto or woodworking shops, or he'd invite them to our dinners or parties or weekend travel events, and he'd treat them like gold--without ever patronizing them or taking advantage of them--as though this was the most natural thing in the world. He never made some kind of 'show' of these relationships for anyone else's benefit.

Not sure whether any of your exes ever owned these qualities. It sounds as though Z certainly did not. It's a gift, and it's one that would engender some trust from me, because these qualities are not likely to coexist in someone with a mean streak. (I'm just guessing--I have no basis for that statement.)

As for your February option, it could turn out to be a good experience because you may have wracked up some special handling given the fallout from last year. Other than the thing that rendered it a 'no' experience, has this venue ever been a 'bad' experience?

Might be a nice stagnation-breaker to shoot for in boring ol' winter.

 

Most of my exes definitely did not have those qualities.  A lot of them were trying to change me.  That isn't meeting me where I am.  My first boyfriend who I started dating in high school wanted me to be something else.  He wanted me to marry him right out of high school and start popping out babies.  Which was so ironic because later on down the line the reason he cheated on me was because I wanted kids and this other woman was "fixed."  Those were his words, not mine.  The woman he cheated with was also old enough to be his mother and had kids his age. 

My ex husband wasn't necessarily trying to change who I was at the time.  But he was stuck on who I was going to be one day.  I was in college when I started dating him and I got married and graduated college around the same time.  After we got married he started talking about how I need to get a high paying job with my degree so he can quit his job.  And I just remember thinking, "Hold on a minute here, that wasn't part of the deal."  Because I never said I was just going to work and support him while he sat at home.  He wanted a sugar mamma, not a wife. 

Even Amy...  she held on to what she wanted for a long time and what she wanted wasn't who I was at the time.  I started dating her when my ex husband and I had an open marriage.  And she knew going in that my husband was my main partner.  But she had this expectation that I was going to leave him and be with only her. 

Aaron was all about the 9-5 life and the office job, etc.  I was a quality inspector in an auto plant for years.  He hated that that was my job.  He was embarrassed to be dating a manual laborer (Even though what I did took a lot of skill and there was a lot on my plate, and he used to get a real kick out of the fact that he would spend maybe two hours of his eight hour day actually working and the rest was spent browsing social media and playing games online.  He wanted a white collar girl.  He had fantasies of being part of a power couple.  Me getting into the festival scene and being a "drug user" just wasn't what he envisioned.  He thought artists are pretentious assklowns, too.  I don't even know why he started dating me.  

M...  I would say M came the closest to meeting me where I am out of all of them.  Everything about my life was fine in the beginning.  But then instead of wanting me to change, it was more like he wanted me to scale things down.  We would do shows together and I would do better than him and he would rage about it, etc.  It was like he wished I wasn't good at what I do. 

In the beginning it also seemed like Z met me where I was.  But she didn't as time went on.  And like with M, it was almost like she wanted me to scale down my life.  At first she loved that I own my home and that I'm a business owner, and that I'm a college grad, etc.  But I have also done my share of partying, etc.  But then as time went on, she resented all that.  Because all she had ever done was party, get high, etc.  Around the same time I was in college she was in prison.  Over time she really resented that this was the life I built for myself.  She left right before the biggest festival I do, CPPD.  And I remember her complaining about it a lot before she left.  CPPD is about an hour from where I live.  She was complaining about having to drive up there.  So I got us a place up there.  Then she complained about the money I spent on a place to stay.  Her and L both were acting like CPPD was this huge inconvenience and I'm scratching my head wondering why.  But it seemed like whenever I got excited about something, Z had an issue with it.  I think she just wanted me to lower myself to her level and just sit around drinking and playing video games all the time.  And the fact that she tried (on more than one occasion) to talk me into transitioning to male is mind boggling.  I have absolutely no desire to put my body through that or to be a man.  She basically wanted to turn me into someone just like her. 

Oddly enough it was at CPPD in 2017 that D and I met.  And I met him the same day my ex husband died.  And I don't remember it.  I know it happened though because he was able to describe exactly where my booth was that year, what paintings I had hanging out front, etc.  He came into my tent and really wanted to talk to me but got tongue tied and left.  And then the following year was the time we met that I remember.  That was when I ran up to him like  a 5 year old all excited to see Nugget (another skunk who was just a baby at the time.) 

As of now it doesn't seem like he wants me to be anything other than who I am.  But I am still afraid things might change one day.  I wish I could trust him more. 

It's awesome hearing about your Dad and how he treated disabled people.  The way we as a society have treated a lot of different groups of people has changed so much in my lifetime.  The way we treat the LGBTQ community now vs when I was a teenager has evolved so much.  And the way we treat mentally disabled people has come so far, too.  But not much has changed with how we treat physically disabled people, sadly.  I have a friend who's in a wheelchair.  She has multiple college degrees and is a literary agent.  But people talk to her like a child when she's out in public.  And when she goes places with her girlfriend, people assume her girlfriend is a caretaker. 

I have had people literally throw things at me just to "test" me and see if I'm really visually impaired.  (Thankfully that only happened once... but still.)  I get accused of lying about it a lot because people think that a visually impaired person has to be walking around with a cane and dark glasses. 

So it's always awesome when people treat disabled people like people. Good on your dad and good on you for picking up on that.  The world needs more of that.  

As far as OM, the October show ended up being a disaster because the convention center it was at had two events booked, and idk if they were paid more by the other event or what.  But people were showing up for OM and the people working the door were telling everyone OM was canceled.  So no one showed up and all the vendors got screwed.  The site says the February show is at the same location.  That's why I'm really hesitant to do it.  I don't want to spend a couple hundred on a booth and take time off work, etc, to not make anything.  I messaged the organizer last night and asked him if it's still being held there.  He is trying to find another venue.  But in such a short time I doubt that is even possible.  So, maybe.  Their December show is this weekend.  I am interested to hear how that goes.  I am an moderator in the vendor group on Facebook, so I'm sure I will see a lot of posts about it. 

 

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5 hours ago, Cynder said:

As of now it doesn't seem like he wants me to be anything other than who I am.  But I am still afraid things might change one day.  I wish I could trust him more. 

It's a sign of maturity to allow people to earn your trust over time. I mean, it doesn't make you damaged or anything. You're seasoned.

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1 hour ago, catfeeder said:

It's a sign of maturity to allow people to earn your trust over time. I mean, it doesn't make you damaged or anything. You're seasoned.

So many ppl don't get that either.  Z was completely disgusted that I didn't trust her right off the bat.  She made me feel like this awful person just for keeping my guard up in the beginning.  But I really should have kept it up. D gets it.  I told him I am still guarded and he knows I have a really hard time trusting people.  I wouldn't expect anyone to trust me right off the bat either.  D has told me he promises to never hurt me on purpose, but he has added that he is only human and everyone makes mistakes, and if he ever does hurt me he will do what he can to make it up to me.  Sadly if anyone hurts anyone in this relationship it will probably be me who does the hurting.  It usually is. I am usually the dumper.  I am usually the one people are disappointed in.  I am usually the one who makes more mistakes in relationships.  And I am not afraid of being single either so I am not desperate to hold on to anyone.  I think if Z wouldn't have left me I would have probably ended things if they continued the way they were.  Z and Aaron were the only two who ended the relationship in my past.  It was me every other time.  

D and I click on a whole new level.  I wish I could just relax and enjoy it.  

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Sometimes at work I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I am not at a festival.  The urge to be a smartass is pretty strong sometimes. 

Last night I was changing the trash bags and some lady asked me a question about one of the machines.  I answered her and went on my way.  Well later on I was up front behind the desk doing something on the computer and the same woman comes up front and is just standing there.  I asked her if she needed help and she said, "No I'm just waiting."  Idk, maybe her husband is in the locker room and she's waiting on him or something.  She starts looking kinda annoyed after a few minutes.  And then she's like, "I want to sign up to tan.  Isn't there anyone here who works up front?"  All I could think was , "Uh... I'm working up front ***."  But I didn't say that.  Instead I smiled at her and said, "I'm working up front."  And she's like, "Isn't anyone else working?  You don't seem like someone they would put up front."  I said, "I'm the only employee here."  So she tanned and all was fine.  But the whole situation got on my nerves.  Like, sorry none of the conventionally attractive cookie cutter looking employees are here to help you.  Because you know, the glow and dark skin you get from laying in a tanning bed is somehow better when a normal looking person sets and starts the bed for you.  You're stuck being waited on by the tattooed weirdo with purple and green hair.  I know your day is just ruined now and you probably just want to die. Enjoy your skin cancer and premature wrinkles.  

I know the way I look is partly my choice.  I say partly because I can't help it that my eyes look so weird.  I know that gives a lot of people weird vibes.  And it's such a goof of nature too because my eyes are such a beautiful and rare color.  I have amber eyes.  But they are also crossed and very intense.  I can't help that.  But I choose to be tattooed and I choose to color my hair.  I guess I have no right to complain about being treated this way because of how I look.  But it's still annoying.  I have never seen this woman before.  She isn't one of the late night regulars who all love me.  I am curious if I will see her again and if she will ask if someone else is working next time. 

 

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So...  got 21 weeks until Hell City.  I don't know why I always measure the time left until a festival in weeks.  But I always do.  So, 21 weeks.  Tonight I sat down and made a list of 11 paintings I want to get done for Hell City specifically.  I know I can do it.  Hell City isn't my next show, though.  I have SMF in April.  But, SMF is a filler show.  It's a cool show.  It's easy and it's a decent money maker.  But I am not going to make any special prep plans for it because anything I do to prep for Hell City will also go into that show, since they are so close together. 

I am not sure yet where I am staying for either show.  Staying at the venue where Hell City is held is ungodly expensive.  I know I will make the money I spend back and it will be worth it.  But If I can find someone cheaper and close by and lower my overhead costs, that would be great.  SMF is a filler show, but it's kinda far away.  So I need to get lodging figured out for that one, too. 

All the money I spend on hotels is a tex writeoff, thankfully. 

I am getting so pumped up for Hell City, though.  And it's still so far away.  And then RCTC will be my next big show after that... and then the BIG ONE...  NF.  If NF goes well, who knows how much things could change for me after that. 

I am a member of a group on FB for vendors all around the US.  I posted there asking what people think of NF and if it's worth the high overhead.  It was a mixed bag of answers.  Some people said it's amazing.  Some people said it's a complete waste of time.  A few people said it's not the same since the pandemic.  Well, no festival is the same since the pandemic, so I don't put much weight on a statement like that. 

So... on to another topic...  I saw that Netflix released a new season of Tiger King.  And this got me thinking of all the flack I took just for admitting I watched the first season.  Ok... when I paint I usually have something in the background.  I listen to audiobooks or documentaries most of the time when I am painting.  Documentaries are easy to listen to because you usually don't need to see what's being shown.  And most of what they show is stock footage anyway. 

But when most of the nation was sitting at home on lockdown, a lot of people watched Tiger King.  And I will admit that I put it on in the background while I was painting.  Yes, I know it was sensationalized and exploitative, all that crap.  A lot of documentaries are.  But I had friends who ripped me a new one just for having watched it.  ( got a lot of, "And you call yourself an animal lover!" Some people I know were saying that by watching a show like that I am just promoting the cruelty of the exotic animal trade, etc.  Which is total BS.  I'm sure a lot of people had no idea the exotic animal trade was so corrupt until they watched Tiger King. 

But the thing that is really sticking out in my mind right now, is all the crap Z gave me about it.  Her and I weren't dating at the time.  But at some point it came up in conversation when we were dating and she was so disgusted with me.  And she couldn't even tell me why it disgusted her.  She just was disgusted and disappointed in me.  Those were her words. 

Idk... I guess I am just a radically different breed of human.  But I could never imagine telling someone I supposedly love so much how disgusted and disappointed I am in them because they watched a stupid Netflix show.  It's just not in me. 

And this got me thinking of all the other things she made such a huge deal about that really didn't need to be made a huge deal about. 

I was telling her once that when I am all done up in full costume at some festivals I keep money, my debit card, my ID, etc in my corset because I don't have pockets.  That was another thing.  That got a response of, "Oh my God, you're one of THOSE people?  That's so disgusting.  I can't believe you are one of those people who pay with boob money."  OK...  I am not some nasty chick who pays with sweaty money from under her boobs on a hot summer day.  And I always wear a tank top under my corset.  My stuff is always tucked in between the corset and the tank top.  Explaining this meant nothing.  She's like, "Yea, but it's still right up against your boobs!  That's gross!"  Ok... so if my shirt had a picket and I kept it there that would somehow make it ok?  And if it's in my pants pocket it's still right up against my ass.  How is that any less gross?  But nope... putting stuff in my corset when I don't have pockets is disgusting and therefore I'm disgusting, according to her. 

She was also so disgusted with me when I told her I used to be a cutter.  Ok... I haven't cut myself in over 20 years.  That didn't matter.  I was a cutter when I was younger and that makes me disgusting.  I wasn't the stereotypical cutter.  I don't have scars all over my body.  I worked at a job where I had to cut boxes open at a fast pace and I accidentally cut myself all the time.  So if I was having a stressful time or whatever... it was really easy to walk around a corner where no one could see and give myself a cut with the box cutter just to relieve stress, and it always just looked like an accident.  I'm not saying now that I am proud of myself or that it was a good thing.  But I don't deny having done it.  It's part of my past.  But she was oh so disgusted when I told her. 

And toward then end of our relationship she would "test" me a lot.  She would sing a few lines of a song and if I knew it, well then praise, hugs, kisses, compliments, etc because I'm so awesome for knowing the song.  If I didn't know it then I would be made to feel like dirt for not knowing it, and if anyone else present knew it then they would get praise lavished on them. 

SO much of our relationship was transactional toward the end, too.  She was always complaining about her feet hurting.  I give awesome foot rubs.  I would offer to rub her feet for her and get an answer like, "No because then you'll want me to do it for you and I'm not doing that."  I remember once we were sitting out back and it was really hot out.  I was thirsty and I asked her if I could have a sip of her drink.  She's like, "Well only if you give me something of yours."  I just remember thinking, "Are you serious?  It's a sip of a drink." 

I catch myself thinking a lot about how D would never treat me this way.  But then I also find myself thinking things like, "Never say never." because I can't fully trust him yet. 

I wish I could be put in a room with Z, for just an hour, where she couldn't leave until I said so.  And I wish there was a paint of glass in between us that wasn't sound proof.  And I wish I could just say everything I want to say and she would be in a situation where she would have to listen.  I know this will never happen and I know it would be pointless as far as she is concerned.  It wouldn't be about her, though.  It would be about me.  I just have all this anger.  And as much as D is an amazing person... being in this relationship with him has just made me more angry at her.  It's like I didn't realize a lot of things about her until someone better came around.  She is so good at manipulating situations that she had me thinking she was so innocent. 

But karma is real.  I know I will never get the chance to tell her all the things I want to tell her.  But one day she will know.  One day it will hit her like a brick in the face.  Either someone will do the same thing to her or she'll have a massive crisis of conscience and realize all the bad things she's done to people, me included. 

I have considered spending some more time out in the woods around a fire with a shaman and a cup of medicine.  But I don't know if I need that to release my anger.  A psychedelic could possibly help me let go and really say all the things I'm afraid to say sober.  But do I really need it for that?  I just need to find the right time and place and get comfortable. 

 

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