“Red”, I write “is the color of life. It’s blood, passion, rage. It’s menstrual flow and after birth. Beginnings and violent end. Red is the color of love. Beating hearts and hungry lips. Roses, Valentines, cherries. Red is the color of shame. Crimson cheeks and spilled blood. Broken hearts, opened veins.” ~ Mary Hogan, Pretty Face
I bought a new red bag tonight. I was on my way home from Meta’s birthday dinner, and I felt good. I felt comfortable, and I felt content. I found myself happy, and I wanted to celebrate by finding myself something new and pretty. It’s silly, but a red bag is far from practical, and allowing myself that small pleasure felt indulgent and well, maybe a little naughty. Like I should be at the grocery store buying milk and eggs. Maybe toilet paper. You know, practical stuff.
Polyamory is hard, and if anyone tells you otherwise, please send them my way so that they can teach me their magic. It takes commitment, it takes effort, it takes intention. And even if you are doing your absolute best, with every ounce of your being, it may still be hard. We don’t grow up knowing the rules for social interaction with our important person’s OTHER important person. We don’t grow up seeing examples of metamour relations that are healthy. Hell, many of us don’t even see healthy relationships in our families of origin.
What I realized tonight, is that Meta and I keep trying. We are both committed. We didn’t choose each other, but we are linked, and I really really like that. Our relationship has gone through many phases: non-existent, polite, tolerable, uncomfortable, even hateful. (Hey, this is the real poly. And poly is hard. I’m not ever going to sugar coat it.) Tonight I walked away from dinner feeling the best I’ve probably ever felt after spending time with my little poly collective. I wasn’t overanalyzing myself, or anyone else. I felt good. I felt happy, and I felt proud of all of us for still being here, and for still trying.
So the red bag is mine. It’s a celebration of effort and intention. I looked around tonight at a collection of people I hold up as family, and it was an amazing feeling.
I like my life.