Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory



I’ve read that Sara Bareilles wrote this song after her first heartbreak. But I have always internalized it as a love song, and have associated it with SMF in my head since early in our relationship. I think it offers a beautiful image of a deep love with heartache woven throughout. There’s a longing that I hear, that I feel sometimes for SMF. I used to wonder what might have happened if we had met when we were twenty. (Alright, when he was twenty and I was twenty-one.)

I’ll tell you what would have happened:

…nothing. We would not have connected. We would not have fallen in love, nor would he have “saved” me from my marriage. We met at exactly the right time. I was divorced for some time, and was near the end of my relationship with the Preacher. SMF and CC were nearing the end of their first serious attempt at a polyamorous triad. We connected on OKCupid and talked online for a few months, sporadically; politely. We talked about polyamory in general. We talked about his experiences with poly. We set up a date in July, and at the last minute, when he was unavoidably held up and running late, I chickened out. I wasn’t ready. We didn’t talk for a few months, and late one September night I got a text from him out of the blue. Are you still interested in getting together? he said.

Yes. I typed back. You intrigue me.

We met for sushi the next night. I can look back on it now, and see that he was flirting, but at the time, I thought he was just very talkative. He ordered for me, which I liked, and I drank two glasses of wine because I was nervous, even though I knew he didn’t drink at all. (Also, I’d had one glass of wine before he got there, because I was really nervous.) All in all, the stars must have aligned and something clicked. I liked him. He was easy to be with.

And he liked me too.

So here’s to love. Not fairy tale love. Not romance novel love. Real life love. Love that is good and strong and worthy. Love that works hard and keeps trying. Love that laughs and cries and screams at the top of its lungs. Here’s to grown-up love.



“Stop inviting walls into wide open spaces.”

I saw Buddy Wakefield a few years ago, in a tiny dive bar in downtown Boise. He was too large for the shabby venue, and there was so much awesome in his words that I’m sure the dozen or so people in the audience may have missed it entirely while drinking cheap beer and weak drinks.

I always come back to “The Information Man”, as it about as perfect as can be in giving me blissful ideas and beautiful words. If you don’t like it, that’s okay. Because I will love it enough for both of us.



Today is not my birthday.

But it is the day I gave birth to a small child, fourteen years ago. I called him my angel baby from the beginning. He had such a soft and shiny way about him. Now I look at him and my heart worries. He is still soft and shines bright. He has no pretense, no social cunning, no persona. He is brilliant, awkward, and unguarded.

He is just the kind of boy who appears as a bright blip on the great and terrible radar of the worst kind of life’s bullies.

We had a conversation, he and I, about life and relationships. He might want to have children, he tells me. He’s not sure if he will get married to a woman. We’ll see, he told me, he might want to be with a man. “We’ll see,” he said, matter-of-factly. “Maybe both.”

“Maybe both.” It was interesting moment for me, as a mother. I flashed forward, ten years, then twenty. It’s true, the masses who follow societal expectations, pass unnoticed, for the most part. They fall into line, and float along, reaping the benefits of privilege in return for their conformity.

But not this child. With just two words, his “We’ll see,” spoke volumes to me about his character. His open mind, his open heart. All at once, I wanted to scoop him up and lock him high in a tower, a la Rapunzel, just to protect his sweet small heart. I want the world for him, however he chooses to live out his life. I will keep the tiny part of my heart quiet that secretly wishes he would take the path of least resistance. Because the rest of my heart is happy and proud of this boy who has his whole life in front of him, and who isn’t automatically buying the first thing that’s presented to him.

“Maybe both.” That’s my angel boy.

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I sleep alone, most of the time. And, mostly, that’s okay.

I love feeling him curl up behind me, as he fits the length of his body to mine and I sink back into him. It’s one of my favorite things.

“You’re just so soft,” he whispered to me once, many months ago. At the time, I took “soft” to heart. I took soft to mean fat. I took soft to mean a bad thing.

But I am soft. I am round and plush. I am full and lush and abundant. And fat is just a word. I’m the one who attaches meaning to it. I’m the one who internalizes it as either a character judgement or simply, a descriptor. I’m a plump, middle-aged goddess.

I can work with that.

Oddly, I sat down this morning to write about sleeping alone, both the good and the bad, but sometimes words and thoughts veer in other directions. As I lay in bed last night, exhausted but awake for hours, I wrote essay after essay in my head. They were brilliant, funny, profound. (And I don’t remember any of them.) Intermittent insomnia comes with the territory when you’ve worked nights for so many years. It was frustratingly lovely, to have so many quiet dark hours to myself. I looked at my phone. I daydreamed about sex, and writing, and public speaking. I got up and ate a fish taco. Finally I fell asleep, and dreamed of swimming pools and marble columns.

The morning came quickly, with children and puppies needing love. I don’t want to go back to bed, but I may have to, in order to function later today. They say that working night shift shortens your life. I’m not sure how anyone can determine that, but it sure feels like I am absent sometimes, when I’m necessarily sleeping when the rest of the world is awake and the sun is bright.

Related: http://lamentsandlullabies.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/a-plea-to-the-women-who-know-girls/



This is where my real relationship and my blog writings intersect.  Everything I write is true.  All of it.

It is not, however, the entirety of my relationships.  I cannot write enough to adequately represent the fullness of my life and the love that is between me and Special Man Friend.  I self-edit, I pick and choose how I portray myself and the people I love. I try to maintain most of my anonymity.  How open can I be without possibly hurting someone I care about?  My metamour, CC and I have an amazingly complicated relationship.  It’s not something I can work out in this public forum.  I blog from a place of openness, but I never forget that by putting my life out there, other people risk exposure and examination and even criticism.

This is for Special Man.  He is very special.  He is important and loved.  He is also kind of annoying, really really likes to be right, and his ankle makes this cracking and grinding sound which makes me cringe when he chooses to point it out to me.  He’s often late, and he doesn’t plan ahead very well.  As a mother with a large family, that drives me batty.  He mispronounces words sometimes, and I don’t correct him, which takes a lot of self-control.  When we argue, he likes to be right.  (He loves to be right.)  He’s a coffee snob and an intellectual know-it-fucking-all, which is maddening, because he usually does know (it all.)  He’s stubborn, opinionated and, well, can get kind of self-righteous.

I’m a real person.  I’m writing about real poly.  And some days, it bites.  It’s not all flirty fun and first dates and shared Google calendars.  I get lonely.  I think about walking away.  It gets complicated.  I’m not an easy person to be with.  My brain is constantly processing and rethinking things.  I don’t think I get everything I need, and worse,  I don’t think I even know what I need exactly.

We try to be there for each other.  Most of the time we do okay.  Sometimes, we don’t and life gets messy and frustrating.

(I hear I can be pretty fabulous in the sack though, so at least there’s that.)



Conflict is painful.

Everyone thinks they are right.  Nobody wants to be wrong.  If you can get to a point that you can even admit that maybe you were wrong, you certainly weren’t that wrong, and there was a very good reason for what you did, or what you said, or how you acted.

I can’t stand it.

It makes my stomach hurt.  It makes my eyes ache and my brain noisy.  I can’t sleep.

There’s a rift among my little poly constellation.  I’m involved, and I’m not.  I feel like everything is spiraling wildly off into space and nothing will ever be the same.  We don’t exist in a vacuum.  All our individual relationships, romantic or otherwise, make up this larger creature that becomes maimed when conflict finds parts of it.  I’m trying so hard to know what to do, what to say.  Right now I’m frozen, as I watch my people move farther and farther away from one another.

One of my favorite things about poly is the idea that we can be close to our partners, and our metamours, and their partners.  There’s a secret part of me that would have fit right into a commune in the 1960’s.  I adore the concept of the extended poly network.  The chosen family.  The clan.

I can’t talk about all of it.  But it is heavy on my mind, and my heart hurts.  I can’t take sides, except for my own.  I can’t talk to any of my people.  It’s a lonely place to be.  Events are being cancelled because this person can’t be around that person, or these people are mad at those other ones.  I’m stuck in the midst of it.  And I want out.

People aren’t disposable.  People shouldn’t be disposable.

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Announcing: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest III!

Passing this on to my gentle readers. This looks like a fun project to participate in if anyone wants to join me! ~Ginger

Girl Boner

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”  — Philip Pullman

Love for book

Like many writers, the preciousness of words and story led me to become one. They were my escape from difficult times in my youth and helped pave the way to my recovery from anorexia. As many of you know, Sam Levinson’s poem, The Beauty of a Woman, holds a special place in my heart for that reason. It found me at the seemingly precise right time, becoming somewhat of a mantra when my battle with ED (my eating disorder) seemed futile.

When I shared a story of my personal turning point with ED two years ago, I was so blown away by readers’ support, I decided to launch a celebratory fest that had ended up reaching thousands. Each one of you who’s participated is a tremendous gift! Not just to me, but…

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No.  I’m not doing a podcast.

I did, however, get mentioned on the Poly Weekly podcast over the weekend.  I noticed a flurry of hits to one of my writings, and traced it back here:  http://polyweekly.com/2014/01/pw-380-advice-secondary/

Oddly, I haven’t been able to listen to it.  Special Man Friend listened for me, and said it was fine and that I should listen to it, but I’m nervous and self-conscious about the whole thing.  I feel like a little girl who is suddenly looking at her feet and shuffling her toe in the dirt when she gets noticed.  It’s kind of scary.

I’m considering a trip to the Atlanta Poly Weekend in June.  I’m debating submitting a class proposal, but I’d love to just attend and absorb too.  I can’t make my mind up about anything lately.  SMF and I had a big blow up a few days ago, and everything feels tenuous and unclear right now.  I told him tonight, that I needed to take a step back, and figure out what it is that I really need.  One of the last things he said to me earlier, was “Thank you for not breaking up with me tonight.”  I know it was a little bit tongue in cheek.

But only a little bit.


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My New Year’s Resolution, or theme for the year, is “Do good things. (But not all the good things!!)”

I’m a bit of a failed perfectionist, as my daddy called me once when I was much younger. At the time I didn’t understand, I thought he was making a joke that wasn’t very funny. And maybe he was. But I have often not started projects, or attempted new things, out of a sense of impending failure. After all, if I wouldn’t be able to do it well, (or perfectly) why even try?

It’s horrible reasoning.

I cleaned and organized half of my pantry. I stood back and smiled and felt okay about it. I enjoyed how nice it looked. I need to learn to embrace baby steps.

Here’s a good little resource I found:


My “good things” theme also extends to my relationships and to learning new things. I’m shopping around for a good camera. I’ve wanted to get back into photography for some time. I’ve got a few other things brewing as well.

As far as my relationships go, at this point I know I just want more…of…something. It’s difficult for me to admit that I really do want something different than what I have, right now. Special Man Friend has said it, almost from the beginning. I need more. I want more. And he can’t give it to me. I’m just not sure what that looks like, and I’m a little scared. Our level of entanglement is complicated and I don’t know where to go with that.

So here’s to finding more good things. As hard as that may be.



I have a small aversion to talking on the phone.  I can’t remember a time when making phone calls didn’t give me pause.  It’s an odd anxiety, and I have no idea where it came from or why it exists.  The good news is that it doesn’t stop me from doing the things I need to do.  It doesn’t affect me at work.  The bad news is that it is the root of some of my rampant procrastination that manifests in my day to day personal life.

I tackled a few calls this morning.  I felt myself starting to cry when I had trouble making one of my appointments.  Then I felt silly for a little while because of it, before moving on and finishing the things on my list.  I feel okay about the things I got done.

Humans are funny creatures.