Well, Trump is president.
Reading the news is horrifying and my Facebook feed is giving me a heart attack and Trump just keeps signing more executive orders (the pipeline! Abortion! the ACA! the environment! Immigration! the wall! Refugees!) and I’m calling my senator and speaker and biting my nails to bits when the line is busy and the Women’s March was good but also very problematic and I love you all and I’m so sorry and terrified.
He’s been president for one week.
I’ve been curling up behind Samson, my huge Rottweiler roommate, lifting up one of his ears, and whispering “everything’s OK, no one can get you” regularly now since November, but this past week it got so bad I could hardly stop spooning him long enough to go to my job.
Besides hugging big dogs, you know what else is great for avoiding dealing with massive worry and a general sense of impending doom?
That’s how I’m dealing with my own Terror Level: Red, anyway.
A few times a week, when I’m not anxiously reading aloud particularly appalling news headlines to strangers on the bus, I come home from my day job, take a bath, shave until I resemble a baby seal competing for an oil-wrestling title, and then take my sweet time curling my hair and putting on makeup.
(OK but my soul would notice, I should wipe this off and start again.)
Then I go on a date. Sometimes it’s with someone brand-new-to-me, sometimes it’s with someone I’m—shall we say—getting more familiar with.
These dates usually go late, and if they go really well, they run so late that I cannot imagine how I’ll make it through the coming work day.
Then I go home, take a shower, go to sleep, and wake up at 6 a.m so I can squeeze an hour of writing into my morning before I go to work again.
I’ve found that if I do this often enough, I can stay in a continuous delirium of exhaustion and sex-induced haziness, and nothing—not work meetings held under fluorescent lights; not a searing awareness that no one’s rights matter except those of rich, white, cis men; not even the hellscape that is Day 7 of our current political regime during a slushy grey January in Minnesota—feels 100% real.
Is this what Peaches meant?
This probably isn’t the healthiest way to deal with stress, but it feels right, for now.
It doesn’t feel right for everyone, however.
Last weekend, after an extended ::cough cough:: session in bed, someone I’m dating sent me a series of concerned texts.
It seems that, after they returned home from our time together, their lower lip immediately began to swell to comical proportions, and their hand broke out in a gruesome red rash.
The only places that had come into contact with my ~holiest of holies~.
Eh. Maybe my date was mildly allergic to a perfume or a soap I’d used.
“Take a Benadryl,” I said, breezily certain that the skin pictures I was seeing over text were allergy-related and nothing to worry about.
Silly little rash.
Wee swollen lip.
I mean, my skin is so sensitive that even looking at a bottle of scented laundry detergent makes my neck erupt in a festive celebration of hives, so I think I know my way around a slight allergic reaction.
The next day, I got the text:
The lip was worse. The hand rash was much worse.
I became alarmed.
Was this an allergic reaction? Was there a problem with my pH—had I suddenly become caustic? More basic?? Was this an STI? What was this?
It had to be from sex.
It had to be from sex with me.
I did what I always do when I have a question regarding my sexual health—plead for free answers from my queer crotch-doctor friend, Lola.
I explained the problem to Lola and puked all my worries onto her and sent over the rash pictures.
She calmed me down immediately.
Lola said she thought it was a clear case of bangover.
I was soothed, but not entirely.
My date miraculously got a doctor’s appointment right away, and went in. I was so nervous, sitting in my work cubicle, waiting for the diagnosis.
This was my fault, it had to be.
I was venomous. I was made of hot lava poison, I was Rogue from the X-Men—no one could touch me without dying.
Then my date sent me this:
Apparently, you can fuck too much.
The doctor had seen this before.
Dry winter air + very dry skin + spending too long banging the hell out of one another when perhaps *someone* hadn’t done a perfectly smooth job shaving = a friction/irritation rash on several of the body parts that had done a lot of, um, frictioning.
The moral of the story: moisturizer, y’all. And take some damn breaks.
And make a choice: either shave or don’t, but the in-between? in the winter months?
Don’t do anything rash.
I’m going to take things a bit easier for a few weeks, gays.
That shouldn’t be too difficult, because I am experiencing another Dating First: subtracting someone from your dating life.
How do you stop dating someone?
I honestly don’t know.
When I had a partner and was just fooling around with people, it was simple. If you didn’t want to fuxx anymore, you or the person in question just stopped answering.
A few unanswered texts and it was done—you knew.
But how do you stop seeing someone you’re friendly with and have been very casually dating for awhile?
It’s not “dumping”—it’s too early to call it dumping, as nothing serious or relationshippy has happened.
It’s also too rude to do the fade-out at this point—you were certainly mature enough to do *mature things* multiple times, so you’re probably mature enough to alert the person that you are henceforth uninterested in judging the art in their bathroom ever again.
We’re queer. This is Minneapolis.
I will for sure see whoever I stop dating again.
But do you call?
It’s 2017, who calls?
This feels unchill — what would that text look like?
|You can borrow this to use as your breakup script if you want.|
Do you arrange a date specifically to say you don’t want to date anymore?
This is too weird—the person who has no idea what’s happening will think this is a regular date because you want to keep dating, which is actually the opposite of what’s happening.
It feels like a trick.
I will see any person I stop dating everywhere for years.
It is the gay curse.
I’m at a total loss here, lesbiqueers.
I can’t take any more carnage this week, either.
I hope you have a big dog or a warm person to hold onto in these dark days.
And if you have a great idea for how to respectfully and lovingly “break up” with someone you’re not even in a relationship with, do let a girl know, eh what?