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Disaster strikes

  Sun 30th October 2011

Denise's gorgeous blue-green, just above the knee, wrap-around skirt opened along her thigh as she sat down and crossed her legs. She was also wearing a vermilion knitted cardigan with toggles as fasteners, black tights and long brown high heeled boots. I smiled with delighted, sexual pleasure, scanning her as she sat down. "You are a good-looking woman Denise." "I know. They can't all be as foxy as me."

We chatted for a couple of hours; as usual, as the drinks disappeared, it turned very flirty and touchy and stroky and hand-holdy, talking about sex, the sex we like, the sex we've had, things she does with her boyfriend. I told her all about Mary-Ann, the first real-life person who knows any of the detail. As we parted she kissed me on the lips and for that few seconds my mind seemed to disappear.

Last night it was the closing party of the Fortnight Project. Very sociable and a cornucopia of food and drink. Walking home, I sent Denise two of the very detailed texts we share. Starting with the removal of the skirt.

Except that I sent them to Mary-Ann. They both mentioned Denise's name.

Despite the hour, I immediately rang Mary-Ann. It went to voicemail and I did my best to explain, although there isn't anything much I can say apart from the fact that Denise is, and will remain, a friend, and that I would hate it the other way round. At home, I sent an email reiterating the same points, apologising profusely, and saying that I'd understand if she wanted to call it off. She's sent an almost painfully considerate reply, saying how it did hurt her, but not ruling out our meeting on Sunday.

I bitterly regret it. I've shattered a lovely spell that was bewitching us. If this is going to work, there's got to be a good deal of remedial work on my part.

This isn't the first time sexting Denise has got me into trouble. Frances once went through my phone and found the texts to and from Denise, and sent Denise a text from my phone saying "Fancy a fuck?". "I know you do, looby, but you wouldn't put it like that," Denise said later. Yes, I was sexting another woman whilst having actual sex with Frances (well, not literally, which might have taken a fairly understanding woman to allow), but going through someone else's phone is unambiguously wrong, and the incident greatly hastened the breakdown in our relationship.

But I feel far, far worse about this. Mary-Ann doesn't deserve it at all and I think if anything did develop between us, it might be an idea to tell Denise that in future, we perhaps ought to suspend this type of communication.

I have spent all morning trying to find the words to reply to Mary-Ann, and must continue to do so.


As you live by technology, you shall die by technology.

On Friday night I saw a spectacular production of Love’s Labor’s Lost. One of the plot devices involved two love letters that were miss-delivered. It would seem that this sort of nonsense has been going on for quite some time.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 14:11
Comment from: [Member]

That’s coming to Lancaster soon - really looking forward to it.

Mary-Ann today has been acting with such decency, generosity, and uncompromising openness that it’s just making me like her more, and at the fringes of my vision, a little bit of the former fairy dust is returning to our writing. I’ve told Denise what happened and said we need to just stop this for a bit.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 16:20
Comment from: [Member]

sometimes such a screw up is a catalyst to very serious conversation… where you sort things that are important. seems to me that Mary-Ann is up to the challenge.

small, mindful steps will help you navigate this rough terrain! good luck!

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 16:34
Comment from: [Member]

Thank you, and yes, you’re right, it’s speeded things up and has led to a frank discussion of things that might otherwise have caused greater problems later. One thing she said was about how relationships are not about the problems in them but whether you both want to deal with them, and then the way in which you do that.

Fucking hell, I hope she’s good looking because she is pressing a lot of my buttons at the moment.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 17:07
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

‘Going through somebody else’s phone is unambiguously wrong’ - I utterly disagree. That’s the lame counterargument of the caught-out philanderer; not worthy of a sixth former, let alone an adult.

I read every text my husband sends or receives, and consider it his fault for not making me feel totally secure in his love.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 20:38
Comment from: [Member]

It could be the lame argument of a philanderer, true. But even with someone I loved (and I have absolutely no idea what it is to love someone - it seems to mean obsession, sexual desire, or a way of exploiting a brief flare of sexual attaction in order to combine your incomes in a way that enables one to raise children), I would want to respect her privacy and her life apart from me. Also, I would have no *interest* in reading her texts. Surely J’s texts (like anyone’s) are mainly mundane?

Is going through J’s phone the only way you have of knowing he’s not a philanderer? It obviously works for you two but if I felt a need to read everything my putative girlfriend sends and receives then I’d have to have a hard look at the relationship, and what I would see as my paranoid need for reassurance.

Mary-Ann actually said that I shouldn’t stop sexting Denise (it’s more complicated than that but that was the gist). And partly because she said that, I will stop. I will keep to that, because I have promised her that and she matters to me, even at this inchoate stage. I want us to trust each other in a way that doesn’t depend on checking each others’ phones.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 21:00
Comment from: nursemyra [Visitor]

Checking someone else’s phone messages is really wrong. Sorry, Homer, I just can’t agree with you.

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 08:01
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

Oh, dear. Is there any chance of getting some sort of drinks-cornucopia lock on your phone?

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 09:22

Third tme lucky.. I’ve already tried to put a comment in twice.

You lucky yet surprisingly unlucky sod. How on earth do you have time to work on your thesis if your playing two at the same time?
I’m surprised you’ve got enough strength left to even lift up a pen, yet alone any other sort of tool.
Seriously though, I hope it works out. To quote the famous lines:
“Greater love hath man for a woman which makes the world go around and diamonds are a girls best friend”

I said I quoted the lines. I didn’t say it made any fucking sense. Or even the right bloody order.

As quoted by Jane Goodsell:
It is a known fact that men are practical, hardheaded realists, in contrast to women, who are romantic dreamers and actually believe that estrogenic skin cream must do something or they couldn’t charge sixteen dollars for that little tiny jar.

As Yoda said:
Known fact that men are practical, is it, hardheaded realists, to women in contrast, who are romantic dreamers and actually believe that estrogenic skin cream must do something or they could charge sixteen dollars for that little tiny jar not. “

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 09:24
Comment from: [Member]

TSB: Thank you. I’m pleased at how we’ve dealt with it and I am delighted to report that a heady text from her this morning indicates, amongst things which are not unsuitable for the driven-snow cleanliness of this blog, that I have received absolution.

SB: There’s probably something out there to do that which would work on a more sophisticated phone but it’s a very old Nokia. It’s a tricky one because what was said passionately at midnight might not sound the same at 8am when she’s on the bus to work.

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 09:30
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

first thought - “you idiot!”
Second thought - “well it cuts through a load of stuff and encourages an open and honest discussion”
third thought - “good luck”

Now - re Homer’s comment. I side with Looby on this. I never read my partner’s texts or open her mail - except by pure mistake as happened the other day - it was only a credit card bill but I couldn’t apologise more. It is not about trust but respect.

Once her phone beeped right next to me when she was in the bath and I glanced at it. It was early morning and the text was from my son who lives away at uni. I quickly opened it fearing some hideous issue. It said he was on his way home. I told her. She tried to cover it up… it was all a surprise for me as I had a gig lined up the next day and he was going to surprise me by being there. It was still great but the surprise ruined … validated my old position. “If it isn’t addressed to me it isn’t my concern.”

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 13:07
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

Admittedly I do tend towards the ‘insanely jealous’ end of the continuum, but I absolutely stand by my right to read my husband’s texts - as I would unquestioningly let him read mine - because at the end of the day the only people who object are those with something to hide. Oh, and Furtheron - I open all his post too, but that’s more in the role of secretary.

Mon 31st October 2011 @ 16:18
Comment from: [Member]

No-one has a “right” to go poking around in other people’s communications. That’s not a right, that’s a demand you’ve made, to which J has acceded. If that’s a successful modus vivendi, then that’s OK I suppose.

But I think most people would be outraged at such a request. I was shocked when Frances did that, and it ended the relationship. It would still have ended it if I had previously deleted all Denise’s texts, leaving only mundane ones to Kirsty about the children.

And doesn’t it spoil the surprises a bit at Christmas and Birthdays?

Tue 1st November 2011 @ 09:29
Comment from: Furtheron [Visitor]

As Looby says - it is a choice that if it works for you then fine but I stand by the same thing that for me it is a line not to be crossed - I have nothing to hide - my wife can read any text on my phone and I expect I could do the same on hers but it is all about trust and respect for me.

Different strokes for different folks and all that

Tue 1st November 2011 @ 09:38
Comment from: heybartender [Visitor]

I’d apologize for finding this hilarious, but it does seem to have worked out for the best. My question for Homer: Where do you find the time? My god, I can barely keep up with my own messages, never mind bothering with his. My husband doesn’t even read my blog, though he could. We each have access to the other’s stuff, and neither of us bothers.

Sun 6th November 2011 @ 23:55

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
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