1. How can I tell if you're angry?
I get this look on my face that I know is there but I don't know if anyone else can tell that it's there. If I'm really moved to say something I will say something with somewhat uncharacteristic vehemence and then at some random time shortly after I will cry. Yeah I thought the testosterone had changed that but apparently it was just my general zombification after the Big Crash.
2. How should I behave around you if you're angry?
By listening to me gently if possible; help me de-escalate and it will be better for all of us. I know that is not necessarily easy to do when someone is angry but the quicker we get to safe ground the softer the landing will be. Please don't yell at me for mixing my metaphors.
3. How do you want me to behave when you are hurting emotionally? How is it best to comfort you?
Ask me if I want to talk about it. If not, make me laugh. Show me a good lolcat. Ask me if I need space. If so, help me find a secluded place or let me sit alone in my room if I am anywhere near my room.
4. Are there things we should not discuss?
If you happen to be a Christian I probably don't want to hear about how great it is. Politics can be the general minefield that politics usually are but I like commiserating with other radical lefties so that varies.
5. How should I treat you when you are ill?
Bring me fizzy water and miso soup and tell me I am not going to die. Tell me if you think I should go to the doctor. Come with me if you can.
6. What makes you happy that's in my power to grant you?
7. How would you like us to recognise your birthday?
An intimate gathering at Lisa's house, of course! Beer is good; raspberry lambic is wonderful.
8. Are there any standing categories of presents that would be appropriate or unwelcome?
Electronic/computer gadgets are a sure hit but often expensive; I love books but am sort of picky about what I will spend time reading, so Powell's gift certificates might be good. Coffee. Coffee acoutrements. More coffee. Paper. Unlined bound notebooks. Mechanical pencils. Extremely fine-point pens, black ink. Oh gods I think I'm missing my old office supply job!
If you think I would like it, I probably would. If it is just a gift to fill up space, please don't bother; my spaces are crammed to the gills. Just get the coffee. I can make room in the fridge.
9. Are there times of the year that are difficult for you? Please explain if you are comfortable.
Any time of year that features warm weather is hard for me. Here in San Francisco that would be October, which after 13 years I still have not quite gotten used to. Summers in GA sucked in many different ways and heat is ruined for me now. The winter holidays are also hard but I do like the rest of winter very much and I really wish our global ecological crisis was an impending ice age but what can you do.
10. Are there important anniversaries in your life?
Well, only Lisa and I understand what our relationship is, except we don't quite have an idea what to call it. But it began on Jan 19, 1983.
11. How do I cater for you if you are visiting me?
Lots of coffee, cereal with yogurt, plus kefir if you are feeling indulgent. Broadband internet. I can bring my own ethernet cable in case your wireless does not play nice with Macs. I need approximately 10 hours to myself for every 1 hour spent socializing. If we are comfortable enough to ignore each other, we can be in the same space, though, and it will count as non-social.
12. If I want to contact you, how should I do it?
Via one of the internet's many channels. I answer my phone for 3, maybe 4 people in the world. If you are one of them, you already know it. Nothing personal; talking on the phone scares the living crap out of me.
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