The Pet II

“Ugh, this again?” Matt says, it’s The Notebook. I’ll admit, I kind of ruined it for him after I pointed out that the relationship between Noah and Allie was anything but healthy. It was so clearly toxic and so fresh for me that the first time I saw it, I simply walked out of the room.

He manages to find Dirty Dancing instead – now that’s a movie that I can get into! “Pink case movie!” as I once excitedly called it, he hasn’t let me forget.

“What kind of dance do you think Hungry Eyes is?” Matt asks. I have to feel it in my hips; the steps, the rhythm, the beat.

1,2,3,4… 1,2,3,4…

It’s a four-step, but you “don’t step on the one”, according to Johnny Castle. It feels like a rhumba to me.

My father was a dance teacher for a time, but he taught dances from movies much more than he taught dance styles in themselves. Grease, Night Fever, Dirty Dancing, certain dance floor fillers. I was allowed to learn Night Fever, Grease, Agadoo and the birdie song at Dad’s leisure, but I was never supposed to learn to dirty dance.

I kinda did it anyway.

I guess it was unintentional, but Matt was behind my corruption. He knew that my Dad taught some of the Dirty dances, so he took me to see the performance on stage at Bristol Hippodrome – twice – believing I’d seen the film. The first time, we were in the cheaper upper circle and they did the lift in the audience. Matt was so keen for me to be close to the action that the second time he forked the extra on aisle seats in the stalls and instead they did the lift on stage. I wasn’t allowed to watch Dirty Dancing at home, it insinuated sex and rebellion and romance that might lead me astray. I went my whole childhood and early teens without ever watching Dirty Dancing, until…

There was something about Dirty Dancing for me, of course there was. It was sexy and intense and it was exactly the kind of dancing that I wanted to do. That chemistry? I lived for it. Seeing that taught me what my Dad saw in dance.

And once I started, I didn’t stop.

“Be My Baby” was a favourite anytime we went clubbing, but I do remember shamefully dancing around (and on more than one occasion) to Merry Clayton’s “Yes” when I knew sex was on the agenda. I guess once I discovered that, in fact, I did enjoy sex, I even became quite celebratory about it.

“I feel like the issue with the casting of this film is not that it’s a bad relationship. Dare I say it, I feel like Patrick Swayze is simply wrong for the role.”

Matt considers my proposition; it’s not impossible.

Patrick Swayze was a known dancer, a known good dancer, but he and Jennifer Grey were also known to have a lot of tension. That, I feel, carried forward onto the stage, and Johnny’s irritation with Baby was sometimes real. Johnny is proud of Baby and who she is and becomes, it’s just that his face has a funny way of not always showing it.

Growing up in a family where I was very protected, I knew how Baby felt in the “nobody puts Baby in the corner” scene. I knew how it felt to be overprotected, frustrated and punished for doing the “wrong” thing, even if you felt it was the right thing. At the same time, I also knew how it was to have a man who you save, who paradoxically ends up saving you, who teaches you things you didn’t know about yourself and turns you into something you didn’t know you could be.

While we watch the film, I’m reading and I’m frustrated. Matt asks why.

“Just stuff from the past” I explain, “he once called me predictable and that’s kind of long bothered me. I’ve never wanted to be b-“

“Humans are creatures of habit, Kitten” he begins. “Think about it, he probably puts the same key into the same ignition slot in the same car and drives the same route to work. He probably talks to the same people, does the same jobs, has the same responsibilities. He’s predictable too. It’s not whether you’re predictable or not, it’s whether you’re predictable good or predictable bad. You’re predictable good: Ponytail, diamanté ear studs, v-neck t-shirt, black trousers, kind, witty, gets up each day with world peace in mind but just about manages to make the bed. Any further questions?”. I run my tongue across my teeth while I try to come up with an argument but alas I come up dry.

I love it when Daddy talks wisdom.

My C-PTSD therapy book arrived this morning, though I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. I probably have, but therapy is going to be a “gets done on a Thursday” thing, I’m not approaching it like one would read a good novel. I need to be applied, I need to study it and take it in in order to really benefit from it. I can’t do that when my mind is elsewhere.

I did have a moment yesterday, a moment where Matt spoke to me in a way that, to me, felt a bit terse. I’m not trying to overdo it and I’m feeling cute, so I resort to my ‘cute speak’.

“I not likes angry hoomins” I say, “they spoopy.”

“I’m not angry, kitten. See?” he says, kissing me on the nose, “Daddy’s not mad.”

“Hmm… spoopy hoomin” I repeat distrustfully, then it washes over me: the realisation. My fear of ‘spoopy hoomins’ is my avoidant attachment style speaking. Angry humans scare me. Angry humans are scary and mean. You can’t trust angry humans, I knew that. I’d learned that. Even mad-seeming humans made me pull away.

I also made some chops, tweaks and changes today, little things here and there that allow me to keep doing better and being better. I changed my “wash the (microfiber) duster heads” task from a ‘once every 3 months’ task to a ‘once every 12 weeks’ task, on a Saturday. The reason? I can toss them in the wash then and Matt will wash and dry them for me when he does the laundry, then I just have to pull them back on their handles after. Don’t hate the player, hate the game 😉

But also it saves water doing it that way.

I’ve extended my morning and evening routines, adding body spray, perfume and a choice of ear studs to the morning, rather than simply whatever will keep my piercings open. I made more of an effort today and I felt good. I felt like I’d actually showed up instead of, you know, just existing.

And because I made an effort? Matt made an effort, too. Ahh, the power of an influencer.

Tomorrow is a back garden day, and in a weird way then I’m actually quite excited about that. I haven’t been out in the garden in a good while and it’s something that I need to start doing if I want the garden to be ready for the summer. I don’t even plan to do a lot – half hour tidying, a bit of weeding (if there is any to do), top up the bird feeder and back inside. This is something I’ve learned in life, and in contrast to my mother: little and often, it gets it all done.

Just to check, how are we about online things?

I think I know – Sir has always seen online harmless fun as online harmless fun, but it still pays to ask. It’s basic courtesy, and it avoids any ugliness later on.

What do you think the answer will be pet? I smile. This is so, so different now. I have the freedom and the ability to be me and to be perfectly imperfect and to have fun and to just… live.

Pet is a new name for me, but it’s heady and addictive and frightening all in one. I feel like I am more than a pet, or I want to be more (no, I am more!) and yet sometimes, a pet is exactly all I want to be. It’s stripped me, exposed me to an existence where I can just simply… be. I am not a slave, or a whore, or anything debased. Pets are loved, pets are valued, pets bring character and they can do tricks. This pet wants to bite and fight and pull on the leash sometimes, and yet on others she’s so perfectly happy.

I guess I’m not scared of who I am so much, but frightened of what I could be.


It was never a word I imagined of me.

Where has the fight in me gone? My spirit is staring at me with folded arms and an eyebrow raised. She wants to know, why am I so willing to play their stupid game?

I don’t know, but fuck it feels so good. She can judge me if she wants to, I like this too much. I like belonging to my Sirs.

I know where Sir gets his pet ideas from, he intrduced me to the book. I was admittedly unsure of it at first, ‘interesting’ was the word I think I used. There’s a lot of sex and I guess that scared me, coming from where I came from. I needed to be more than sex.

But I don’t feel like I’m all sex. There’s pleasure and satisfaction and acceptance and reward. There’s no being bad, not yet anyway, just being acceptable and learning better. Pet is learning what pleases her Owners. She strives to please them.

Today for a gathering with my father-in-law, I opted for a pair of diamanté pawprint-shaped ear studs. It was a subtle nod to my newfound “pettage”, an indication to who and what I am. I planned to wear some ear studs anyway as a part of my efforts to look and feel better, and yet seeing them on the hanger? They were perfect.

I plan to get some others of course, various styles that all indicate towards my role.

A visible marker of my new identity, hidden in plain sight.

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