I'm not going to sugar coat this. This is likely going to be a long, messy, angry, petty post. I'm not apologizing for it, just giving you fair warning.
I woke up around 4:30ish this morning to pee. And for some completely inexplicable reason that I have not been able to work out, Lanie popped in my head. Not only that, but I almost had to get up and type out a post right then because I was already composing it in my head so much I had a hard time falling back asleep.
I sort of wish I had. Because I am super cranky today and the only reason I can truly think of is because I've been thinking about her and I need to get this off my chest so I can move on with my day.
So yeah. You've been warned.
Daniel and I met Lanie in 2009 or 2010. I'm not certain of the year but it was New Year's Eve. We were selling Vamplets at Ikicon (I think? Maybe A-con?). This was maybe our second con ever - I know we had not been doing it for long. Lanie was there as a fan and she wanted to know if she could sell Vamplets in her shop (at the time she worked for the now defunct Kirby Lane Doll Shop).
One thing led to another and next thing you know, she's actually working with Daniel to sell Vamplets at cons. I was grateful he had someone else to help because as fun as it is to dress up in faux Victorian garb, there is nothing about a corset that is comfortable for 8-12 hours a day. And somehow Lanie was given permission to be the Vamplets Princess and dress however she wanted. (It wasn't Daniel or I that gave her permission but the owner of the company that had really strict rules about what image she wanted the booth to have).
The full Vamplets story is for another day. At any rate, I would sometimes help at cons but it mostly became a Daniel and Lanie thing. I was fine with that.
Lanie was only 18 when we met. And she carried around her BJDs and treated them like they were real so no, I never considered her a threat. In truth, Daniel and I would make fun of the dolls and her weird obsession with them.
Sidebar: BJDs are ball-jointed dolls and Lanie is actually a recognized expert on them. Which would make it less weird except that she takes one with her everywhere, they all have names and backstories, and she does photo shoots with them (and gets celebs to pose with them too). While this was a little weird for an 18 year old, it became weirder the older she got. Also they are ridiculously expensive.
Over time, I began to think of Lanie as a sort of daughter. She was weird and quirky and doll obsession aside, I kind of wanted to protect her. For years, she would even refer to Daniel and I as her second parents.
Daniel and Lanie started travelling to more comicons without me and with my blessing. They almost always shared a hotel room and no, I still did not consider her a threat. I don't know if I was naive. I know she is a very pretty woman but I also don't think Daniel ever saw her as anything but a kid. I really don't. However I NEVER approved of them sharing a hotel room and he never cared. They couldn't afford two hotel rooms and I either trusted him or I didn't. And I'll be honest, a part of me thought well, if he's sharing a room with her then he isn't bringing someone else back to his room.
Trust me, there were many arguments about this over the years. I could never get him to see that it wasn't even a matter of trust to me but appearances.
Over time, Vamplets petered out. Again, that's another story. But Lanie and Daniel decided to start their own talent agency to bring actors to comicons. They were tired of seeing the same old same old and wanted to bring some fresh faces.
IDDS Management was born (aka I Don't Do Subtle Management). It wasn't overnight, but they were successful. And I was so proud of them both for starting this from the ground up. But it also meant more travel. At one point, another female partner was brought in and instead of getting one room for the girls and one for him, they just all 3 shared a room. You know, to help with expenses.
NO. I emphatically did not like it. But there also really wasn't anything I could do about it. I didn't want to tell him he had to stop doing IDDS. He loved it and was proud of it and I loved and trusted him and I was SO PROUD of him.
It literally makes me want to vomit right now. I feel like such a fool.
Eventually they started booking gigs in Europe. And once a year, I got to tag along.
I don't think there is anyway to say this without sounding spoiled, but I'll try. Evidently I could never get Daniel to understand which he used a contributing factor for why he left.
I NEVER expected to go on every European trip. A lot of them were just 4 day weekends crammed with con and traveling with no time for sight seeing. But every now and then, the trip would be longer. Sometimes he would be gone for weeks. I just wanted to join him on some of those longer trips - for just a portion.
And sometimes he would use the excuse of I'm going alone this time but you can come next time except he almost never let me come next time. Except once a year.
And to be clear , I am immensely grateful for those trips. I am well aware that without Lanie and IDDS I would probably never have made it to Europe (until Magan and Darrell let me tag along last year).
But that doesn't change the fact that for the last couple of years, he was going to Europe probably an average of once a month. And again, sometimes he would be gone for weeks.
He even went to South Africa and New Zealand (not the same trip) without me.
Going to cons had been our thing. But once he started selling Vamplets, and later bringing guests, cons were no longer fun, just work. I missed that. Plus I hated him having all of these incredible experiences without me (like going on a photographic safari in South Africa literally the one thing I asked him NOT to do). If I sound jealous, it's because I was. I didn't want him to stop going, I was proud of his success. I just wanted to be a part of it.
And he almost always shared a room with Lanie, unless she wasn't going for some reason.
Back to Lanie.
Lanie did not go on the first Europe trip with us - the Mediterranean cruise. But the next year, when I finally got to go to Paris, Lanie was there. At least she had her own room. Keep in mind, I still adored Lanie at this point.
But I also wanted some alone time with my husband while there. I guess I should be grateful for the one day I got - we even were able to have meals alone which meant I didn't have to worry about it being gluten or lactose free.
Yes - she really is gluten and lactose free for health reasons. I just hated planning all of my meals - IN PARIS - around those restrictions. Hell, we even spent one day traipsing all around Paris looking for some stupid doll shops and gluten free crepes. And I do mean all day.
If I sound bitter about that, maybe I am. A little. I don't know why she couldn't do those things on the one day we weren't with her.
Anyway, we left Paris and I still loved her even if I was annoyed with her being with us ALL THE TIME. It was, at least partially, a business trip after all.
The next year I received a near last minute invitation to go back to Paris for Mother's Day. It was only going to be a three day weekend and while I thought it was extremely generous of the con organizer to offer, I suggested Lanie take her mother instead. It was Mother's Day and she'd always wanted to see Paris. I could go next time.
I confess I was more than a little pissed when Lanie's mom couldn't go so she invited her roommate instead. Spoiler alert - there never was a next time for me.
Daniel and Lanie went often though.
At some point Lanie was complaining to me that none of the other agents ever take her seriously. She said everyone assumes that she's a girlfriend or fucking her clients. I suggested maybe she stop dressing so provocatively - I mean really, I'm all for woman power and body positivity and wear what you want but don't get mad at people thinking you are the girlfriend when you are wearing stripper shoes, mini skirts, and low cut shirts. To a comicon. I also told her she should consider toning down the flirting and to leave the fucking dolls at home. I said all of this in a kind and diplomatic manner - I know it doesn't sound like it here. And I honestly wasn't trying to shame her for her wardrobe choices. But the saying is "dress for the job you want" and she was not dressed like she wanted to be taken seriously as a manager.
I don't know. I still don't feel like I am saying it right. Just please trust that it was less about me judging her and more about me just trying to give her some advice. Which she did ask for.
Some time after that, we had a falling out. And it was HUGE. We were at a comicon and Daniel was showing off and taking us "backstage" to get from point A to point B (our friend Jess was with us this trip and he always liked to show off his "con privileges"). While walking through a greenroom, Stephen Amell was in there relaxing. Mind you, I was purposely not gawking or looking at anyone while "backstage" - I was trying to be respectful. But then Daniel stopped to talk to Stephen and said how much we as a family enjoyed watching the show and he was so kind and I sort of fangirled for a moment and asked for a photo.
I crossed a line I wasn't even aware I was crossing.
Lanie muttered something about it being unprofessional. I profusely apologized and tried to get away. He said no it's fine, took the pic, and we went on our way.
Lanie took off. She stormed off. Refused to speak to me. What's worse, Daniel did too and I still had no idea what I had really done wrong. I went back to my hotel room, Daniel eventually came in, read me the riot act, and told me Lanie was waiting on my apology. Then he left.
Lanie is still waiting on that apology btw.
She and I were never quite the same after that. Eventually we stopped talking altogether.
We still exchanged pleasantries but we stopped going out of our way to speak to one another.
Then last year, when I found out he'd been having an affair with the French Whore for who knows how long, I texted Lanie. Asking if she'd known.
She didn't answer me quick enough and I was hurting and needed answers so I went to Facebook to IM her. That's when I found out she'd unfriended me. Who knows when. I might have noticed sooner except I had stopped following her because I was tired of either seeing her dolls or her boobs all the time.
So I followed up my first text with a really nasty one. She never responded to either but she had Daniel tell me that she "had nothing to say to me and no further communication was necessary".
Yep. We went from she's like a daughter to me to friendly acquaintance to abandoning me on the worst day of my life (at that time). That's the kind of person Lanie is. In case you are wondering.
It sickens me to read people talking about how sweet and wonderful a person she is. She isn't. She's garbage - just like he is. She knew he was planning to leave me at least TWO MONTHS before I did. And yes, maybe she'd become more his friend than mine by that point and maybe it wasn't her place to say anything but the fact remains - she knew. And she didn't even have the decency to admit it once I found out.
She considered us by her own declaration her second parents and couldn't waste one second of her time to express her condolences or outrage or anything to me. She had to relay a message through the ONE PERSON I didn't want to speak to. Who does that?
I don't understand how people can be such garbage. Am I the only one that remembers the Golden Rule? It definitely feels like it sometimes.
So that's what I'm mad about today. Which is being compounded by inane questions by people at work today. I am so annoyed and angry and frustrated today and I just want to tell everyone to fuck off.
But I can't. So I wrote this post instead. And hopefully now that I have everything off my chest I can take a few deep breaths and move on with my insanely busy day.
Post script - I just re-read this and I realized why she's on top of my mind. Facebook has been reminding me that 4 years ago this week I was in Paris. Clearly I still have unresolved issues with her. It still blows my mind how much my life changed in 3 years.