Gentle Reader, K was visiting me at one of my recently-coined Sunday Salons, and in the course of conversation, this post came up – for, um, reasons. Let me present to you once more, for your reading pleasure, A Misadventure in Deciphering Sexuality.
Gentle Reader, I have something new and exciting for you today. I’m sure you all remember Miss K, who appears in numerous posts on this blog. I was asking her to remind me about an adventure we’ve had that I haven’t shared yet, and then I had the BEST IDEA. Miss K’s going to assist me in telling the story, because:
1. She remembers parts of it better than I do, and
2. She is hilarious.
I will be in red, and she will be in blue.
For several years, K and I – along with Ex-Husband – hung out with what we less-than-affectionately called the Jemilly Crew*. They weren’t our favorite people in the world, but they lived close, entertained a lot, and we had several friends in common – well, we did at first. Over time, more and more people that we would see at their functions would get driven away by Jem and Emilly’s atrocious behavior.
They were charming people, really, and in retrospect it’s just SHOCKING how many people
they’ve driven away were jealous of their beauty and intelligence.
There came a time when we were essentially the only friends that they had left – well, except for my next-door neighbor, Mr. King, who I’ve known since childhood. We’d been out of touch for years, though – until Emilly started bringing him around her place.
It should be mentioned that Emilly had dated Mr. King several months prior. It didn’t last long, and they weren’t a great match – he enjoyed philosophical discussions, whereas intelligent conversation flew over the poor girl’s head, and after a month she just stopped returning his calls. He called her twice after that and she called him a stalker, but she was his first girlfriend and he was infatuated with her for a bit. When Emilly learned that Tyler thought Mr. King was attractive, she used this to get him to start coming around.
Over one of innumerable cups of coffee shared in that dingy, smoke-filled room, Emilly shared the latest word in gossip – Mr. King was questioning his sexuality, and found me kind of attractive. He was “very confused” by this, and “wasn’t sure of his feelings” about the matter; under no circumstances should I directly say anything to him. Everyone thought that I should subtly flirt, and see what developed.
Emilly continued to spend a lot of time with Mr. King alone, although I recall that she seemed to say that she spent more time with him than seemed probable, especially since I was over there often and she was never out with him or having him over during those times. I only saw him with her at social functions. I figured Emilly was probably exaggerating how often she spoke to him, but kept it to myself – Team Covenwolf* did not respond well to criticisms of any kind and tended to throw a fit whenever anything of the kind came up.
This went on for a month or two. Mr. King spent more and more time in our little circle; people found pretexts to leave us alone together. We had some wonderfully stimulating conversations, I must say. I desperately tried to decipher the signals I was receiving.
Mr. King is a very intelligent young man but wasn’t great about picking up on other people’s social cues. He doesn’t have a lot of guile to him and prefers to ask people directly when he has trouble interpreting their actions. This is why Emilly’s mother, Jem, did not get on well with him, though she pretended to (badly), and led to her making the infamous remark after he left one evening, “He doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence. It’s like people who are too smart don’t have souls.” I should point out that this woman home-schooled her daughter, which is probably the reason why Emilly can’t grasp basic grammar or spelling, but can write runes (if she has a guide in front of her).
Things finally came to a head, the night of Emilly’s birthday. Mr. King’s behavior had been exactly as flirty as before, and after a bottle of champagne, I decided it was time to finally attack the matter directly. I was sick of being lovesick, and so, as the party started to break up, I took him outside to confront him, and ask him on a date.
Tyler notified me of his intentions and headed outside as Mr. King was leaving. Emilly was elsewhere in the house, probably redoing her make-up or changing outfits for the sixteenth time that evening. As I was gathering empty cups and other trash, she resurfaced and asked where Tyler was, so I told her that Tyler was asking King out. Her face dropped instantly and she began to panic and pace around exclaiming, “It’s too soon! He’s messing it up! It’s too soon!” I thought this was a strange reaction, but then again I prefer to deal with situations head on, as opposed to her method of dealing with people by talking to everyone else but the person involved (who needs their insight, anyway?). It was clear that she had didn’t think that Tyler would be successful – odd, considering the way she had gone on about King believing he was might be gay and found Tyler appealing. When Tyler came back in, he informed us that King told him that while gay people didn’t bother him, he found the idea of being with another man disgusting. Emilly immediately said, “That’s not what he told me! I’m mad because that means he was lying to me!”
I found her reaction rather off-putting – never once did she express regret for encouraging Tyler to believe that King was interested in him, nor any actual confusion over what he said. She simply reiterated her anger over King ‘lying to her’, as if that was the most important aspect. She claimed that she was going to call him later after we left to tell him off, although she had never shied away from making phone calls like that in our presence before. I would have thought the normal reaction would have been, “He told me he was interested in you, I’m so sorry. I had no idea.” But all we got was, “I’m mad that he lied to me!”
Because his lies are what were revealed here, Emilly. His machinations, and his two-faced scheming. Yup. For me, this is when I stopped considering the Jemilly Crew actual friends, and started considering their home a den of iniquity.
*The Jemilly Crew and Team Covenwolf are one and the same.