Sunday, 21 August 2011

Of Vegetables and Termites

I have a zucchini.

I never thought I'd be lucky enough to find anyone, let alone the wonderful person I have found, let alone someone who understands that romance/sex is never really going to be on the table from the start. (eventually, we'll see. I suspect not, but I can't see the future.)

(By the way, for regular readers of my blog, I suspect none of you will be surprised to learn that my zucchini is S.)

However, this has lead to some unexpected issues.

The least of which is what the hell do I call what we're doing now?

We're not dating (not a romantic relationship, even if S assures me he doesn't expect it to be). It's not friendship, either. I hesitate to use the phrase 'more than friends', but we're not, strictly speaking, purely friends any more.

We're something other than both of these, and while I have a word (actually, I have a word and a phrase!)* to attempt to convey what we are to each other**, I don't have any words to explain what we are actually doing. (again, can't use dating. It's not the right word, and I have this strange need to attempt to label things).

One larger problem I have is the lack of visibility about said relationships. I went to my cousin's the other day, and nigh on the first thing I was asked was if I had a boyfriend.*** And I totally dodged the question. I was the roadrunner to the Wile E. Coyote of the question, that was how much I dodged it. (If I remember correctly, my answer was "How's uni?" Not the most subtle topic change, but it worked, so I'm counting that as a win.)

But as I was lying in bed last night, I got wondering. "How would I have answered that question?"**** I thought to myself. And the answer I received was "I don't know." I probably wouldn't have answered yes, because technically speaking I'm don't have a boyfriend. I will never have a boyfriend. Asking me if I will is like asking a fish if it will ever have a spaceship - mostly pointless.


Society says that if you do not have a boy/girl friend*****, you have no important relationships in your life except those you have with your blood family. And, in my case (and others' cases), this is not true. And so saying "No, I do not have a SO." is generally taken to mean "I do not have a primary relationship outside my family."

And I'm not cool with that. I'm very much not cool with that. I have a primary relationship. I will not stand for people assuming I don't. I will not stand for people disregarding it. It is my relationship, and it is important to me. It is just as worthy of respect as any other.

So I can't answer "No, I do not have a boyfriend."

So my choices of answering is either taking the 3+ hours to explain first asexuality, second being aromantic, and third queer-platonic relationships (and fourth my own said relationship), or dodging the question.

A third, and more worrying, issue that I have recently become aware of, is the fact that  at least one of my friends does not, and has never, believed me about my orientation. The most worrying, and frustrating, thing about this is that she hasn't said so directly to me. (She has actually said so to S though. Which is so far beyond the pale it's not funny.(pro-tip: do not doubt a person's stated orientation. Pro-tip two: DO NOT DOUBT A  PERSON'S IDENTIFIED ORIENTATION. I don't care if it "doesn't make sense". I don't care what you think. Another person's orientation is not something you may have an opinion on. It is not a book, or a piece of art or a movie. IT IS THEIR ORIENTATION, and you must deal with that.)) Even if he wasn't my zucchini, and even if she wasn't assuming we were shagging (which she quite obviously is), this would still not be acceptable******. (Also the fact that I suspect she never intended for me to know that she didn't believe me. As if (what she is assuming) my 'boyfriend' wouldn't tell me. -_-)

It's the fact that she's passive aggressively doubting my orientation that's really pissing me off. (Although it does explain her reactions to my previous comments/linking on Facebook...) If she said she didn't believe me, I could take that. I already have taken it from other people, some who are much closer to me. Obviously, it's not the best state of affairs. It's still better than assuming she's supportive, and then finding out she's not. Now, there's a bit of me that wonders what else she doesn't believe me about. There's a rather large bit of me that wonders who else doesn't believe me, that wonders how many of my support pillars that I thought were strong are actually riddled with termites.

And I hate that. I hate that so much.

But, other than these issues, none of which are my zucchini's fault, I'm beyond ecstatic. I'm in (aromantic)love with the loveliest man on earth, and through some extreme luck he shares my feelings and is willing to wander down this unknown goat track of a path with me.

*Zucchini and queer-platonic life partner, respectively.

**even if only a tiny handful of people will ever understand what the hell I'm saying.

***There was a rather large bit of me that wanted to comment on the heteronomativity of that question, but I really couldn't deal with the fall out that'd potentially cause. My cousin would probably take it in the spirit I meant it (i.e., not as a confession of my sexuality but as a blanket statement), but my aunt certainly wouldn't.

****Assuming I was the type to actually answer a question like this when asked by my relatives or someone I don't know very well. as I'm not, it was really more a thought exercise than anything else.

*****I am aware of the binarism inherent in that statement, but it is the societal view. It is not my view.

******The fact that she is assuming we're shagging also really pisses me off. Because it means she was, in essence, congratulating my zucchini on "turning me" sexual. She also hadn't been informed (as far as I know) about us starting this relationship, and so was assuming based upon the fact that we were sitting together at a party (not an unusual thing for us). If she had been told, the only other people who knew also knew that he was my zucchini. So she was either drawing her own conclusions (again. this is not the first time she has assumed we were shagging), or she had it explained to her and then disregarded it.

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