Poly Nirvana

Love, Life and Rational Polyamory


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/poly/not poly/

One of my most pleasurable tasks in school, was diagramming sentences.

(What can I say, I was an odd child.)

The compound predicates and the gerund phrases. The modifiers and the prepositions. Adverbs. Interjections. Subjects and verbs.

Every word, analyzed and mapped out. Organized. Every single word had a place. It was perfect.

It was a task that suited my brain; my need to understand the way things fit, in relationship to all the other things. It was logical. I could figure things out, put things together. There were rules and standards. There was always a right answer and a wrong answer.

It all made such glorious sense. It might have been the last thing that truly made perfect sense to me.

Fast forward to me, all grown up.

Nothing really makes sense, and you can forget about logic. Politics, taxes, war. Religion. Crime, hate, mental illness, world hunger. Cancer. Teenagers.

I want things to make sense to me. Everything. All the things. I can accept things that I understand.

I want polyamory to be more logical. I want black and white simplicity. I confess, I miss mono-normativity. Or, rather, I miss the acting without thinking.

I miss auto-pilot.

I don’t know if being poly or mono is an orientation, or a learned social construct, or maybe it’s a choice. I’ve heard arguments for each. I don’t know whether or not jealousy is really just fear and insecuritym but I can sure deconstruct and reframe my own feelings. I’ve got all the new language down: compersion, polycule, metamour.

I’m in a poly relationship. But I don’t think that necessarily makes me poly. In fact, I’m not sure I am poly. I can do poly. I can communicate, self-analyze, be kind. But I could do all that and be monogamous too. So where does this leave me?

I’m a small circle person. I like intimacy. I like the known quantity. First dates are absolutely the antithesis of the know quantity. New relationships are kind of part of polyamory, and, truth be told, I’m not a fan.

Is poly something you are, or is poly something you do?

In the end, what I worry about is that maybe the answer doesn’t matter. If poly is something that you are…then maybe I’m just Not Poly. And that would be a real bitch, considering how enmeshed I am in poly: I write a blog, I moderate groups, I’ve presented classes. It would be like coming out again (except I suspect if I “came out monogamous”, my mother would weep with joy). If poly is something that you do… well now, that’s another beast all together. If poly is something that you DO… what if I just don’t really want to do it any more?

My love, my heart, My special Man Friend will read this, and though these thoughts of mine will be familiar to him, he will probably feel kind of sick. Maybe angry. Certainly worried. I’m not sure. But I do know I love him, and I have for a long time, and I am not ready to be without him.

But that’s not really fair, is it.

All I AM sure of is that I don’t know how to map this out. Nothing is clear to me right now, except that I am missing something, and I feel like I’m looking at apples and oranges, and I want both, but I can only choose one.

Someone draw me a diagram.


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Save yourself.

The air hostess
with her smiling fingers
sings the speech of The Oxygen Mask,
of putting your own on first
which, of course is (not) selfish
but
we tend to be of no use
to anyone
if we are gasping for breath.

I breathe, somewhere
between
lightheaded, and useless
the soft plastic of the face mask
sweating in my hand.

But the drift is selfish, and I
am not allowed to be
useless
so I pull the mask close to my mouth
and continue to
suffocate.


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~Hi~

I’ve got holiday burnout.

(What?  Already?)

Yep.

I think my enthusiasm tank was running low after Georgia’s surgery, which I haven’t written much about.  There were complications.  She’s fine.  Mostly.

Yesterday we had our “official” Christmas dinner.  We did it early. I am working the Christmas holiday this year, which means I work 12 hours on Christmas Eve, and 12 hours on the night of Christmas Day.  And that’s really okay.  It’s my turn, and I’m fortunate, being in healthcare, that I only work every third Christmas.  Anyway, Special Man and CC came for dinner and movies.  I had a puzzle for the kids.  Rabies kitten the kids had named it, for the whipped cream froth on the kitten’s mouth (from drinking hot chocolate, while wearing a Santa hat, of course).

It really was peaceful. Low key.  Nobody had to entertain anyone.

I am working on my own peace. I’m starting to feel like the crotchety old lady who is always yelling at the youngsters to “get off her lawn!”  Everyone kind of annoys me.  It’s not a pleasant state to be in.  Friends, family, strangers.  I want them all to go away;to go live their small lives away from mine.  People are loud, and stupid.  They say stupid things and make stupid choices with their stupid faces.

So do I, I suppose.

This will pass.  I’m being nice to myself.  I’m managing expectations for a quiet low-key Christmas with the kids.  Mostly though, I’ll be asleep on Christmas day.

And that’s okay.

My poly has settled into something that doesn’t feel like Poly with a capital P any more.  It’s just life.  It just IS.  It’s a good place to be.


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The elusive orgasm of words.

I am trying to get something out into the universe, and it’s just. Right. There.

It won’t come.

I get close. There’s a tingle that starts to build. A beautiful, complete, sentence materializes, and I feel a small rush. I wait. But what comes next is a brittle collection of words that sends me back into myself, quietly berating the little girl, who thinks she can write. Who has the audacity to take “Writer” on as one of the roles she pretends to play.

There are small pieces and parts, sentences and phrases that make her giggle with delight, and flush with pleasure. There are flashes of ideas that wash over her, making her moan and writhe, but then leave her cold when the words ignore her.

The harder I try, the farther away it moves, this slippery seduction that mocks me. I get weary. I want to give up, drift to an impossible sleep, and just stop thinking about the fucking words.

But I also want it. The pleasure. The satisfaction. The shuddering, toe curling knowledge, that I am the only one in the universe, who put these words together, in this space, in just this way.

So I keep trying. I write. I write. I write.

And sometimes, I come.

 


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~Distance~

I was talking to a nice man on OKCupid, who lives in Washington.  I asked a few questions.  You see, not only do I not want to waste my time with an impossible or potentially difficult connection, I also do not want to waste HIS time.

I’m considerate like that.

We are a high-ish match. 91%. He was polite, respectful, conversational, interesting. The distance, while challenging, was not a dealbreaker for me, for the right connection.

Me:  So tell me about your open relationship… You don’t mention it in your profile, but it’s in your relationship status.

WAGuy:  A little while ago, my wife and I decided we were comfortable pursuing other relationships. We have both dated and found that so far we are comfortable with it. I know some people are not OK with it, so totally understand if you are not.

Me:  How long is a little while ago?

WAGuy:  Probably about 12 or 14 months now. We had been both thinking of it for a while, but were afraid to bring it up

Me:  Ok, and can I ask, what kinds of rules, if any, you two have between yourselves? Like what exactly is your ideal “open” situation?

WAGuy:  Hmm. Not so much rules, I guess, more of a set of agreements or understandings.
No hiding or lying.
We can share as much or as little as one asks, but if they ask, they can’t get upset at the answer. If that makes any sense.
If you learn something new, you have to come home and share. (this is the best part).
People we meet have to be aware of the situation, and that to the extent we are open, we don’t share it with those outside our group. IE -Discretion.

Me: I’m just curious to know how you see yourself. Polyamorous? Open? Swingers?

WAGuy:  Probably more open, with a leaning toward poly. I think our ideal situation would be another person, or couple, who we would both be into. Not really swinging, as to us that implies randomness, as opposed to building multiple relationships that are external our existing one.

We talked a little longer, but really, I had already decided.  No thanks.  Factor in the long distance, the brand new to poly, the absolute discretion, the desire for a common partner to be into”, even the idea that “if you learn something new you have to come home and share…”

Me:   I’m going to bed now.


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~Cookies~

I stayed up late last night, baking mediocre cookies and building a gingerbread house.

I was so tired.

I didn’t want to bake cookes.  I wanted to have cookies for today’s monthly poly potluck, which was a holiday cookie exchange, but I am not a baker.

I should stick with what I know. I should have just bought some amazing bakery cookies and put pretty bows on them.

The gingerbread house, was an obligatory holiday thing I needed to do for the kids.  It came from a kit, and it wasn’t a big deal, really, but I had promised the kids we would do the decorating today, and I wanted the house to dry overnight.  So I did it.

When I woke up this morning, my throat was hurting, along with everything else. I was tired and a little weepy. Special Man Friend suggested I stay home from the potluck.  It was such a relief. I had a running list in my head of other things that needed to be done.  Leo needed a book from the library for a book report and new shoes for his band concert this week.  Georgia needed patches sewn on her Girl Scout sash.  The gingerbread house needed it’s candy decor, and it’s Necco wafer roof. There’s laundry, and a clogged bathtub drain, and I’m back to work tomorrow night and Georgia needs a blood draw and prescriptions picked up and I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas, and I’m trying to keep my head above water, but it feels like I’m drowning.

Just like almost every other single mother out there.  This isn’t a poly thing.  It’s a me thing.

SMF stopped by just little while ago and brought me cookies.  Special flourless peanut butter cookies, because he knows I love them and too much flour makes me feel sick.  He’s having his own stress, and wants to withdraw. He says I’m pretty good at not letting him though.

“Oh yeah?” I said. “That’s just because I kick my feet and throw a fit if you do.”

“That’s not a bad thing, Love,” he said.

*Good answer.*

So today I got a few things done, and left a few for tomorrow. I made an easy dinner of breakfast burritos, watched a distracting show (*”Helix”*, a series from SYFY that is available on Netflix, two thumbs up for solid entertainment), and I’m almost done with the Girl Scout sash,

(Here’s to small victories.)


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~Insipid~

nothing
tastes good
any
more

Salt my fingertips, and take them into your mouth.
Let me feel the wet
thick
of your tongue as it moves
over
and
under.

Pull my mouth to yours
remind me that I am still here
and that a little salt
can save

anyone


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~Purple~

After we had been together for three years, he gave me a thing. He had been talking about it for a long time. He wanted my thing to be perfect, so he looked, patiently, with no regard to how long it may take, or how impatient I was with the waiting.

It was a lot of pressure. What if I didn’t like this thing he brought to me? I held the box in my hands, it was small and solid. I watched his face. He was nervous too. This man, this love of mine who also loved me, did not want to ever lose me. This thing was important.

He and I were the same in that moment. Tentative, somehow. Happy.

It was silver and heavy, with a purple stone. He put his favorite color on me. He knew I would like it, but it is not my favorite color.

It is his.

And that made me smile. wpid-2014-12-11-19.52.09.jpg.jpeg


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~Date~

I had a date.

A FIRST date, no less.  Now, maybe this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really was.  I think I have first date stage fright.

It doesn’t matter if I know my date previously or not, though I will say that blind dates are particularly painful.  Especially if it’s someone I’ve met through OkCupid.  Anyway, this guy did, in fact, find me on OKC.

I’m very, ummm…, selective (fine, picky).

I don’t have the time or energy or desire for lots of dates.  Or people.  Or anxiety.

So when The Hippie (hey, he proclaimed himself a hippie, so who am I to argue with such an easy nickname) and I hit it off via messaging, I thought, Ok.  Let’s do it.  At the very least, I have a new friend.  (Because I genuinely do like him.)  But then you get the big D word in there (DATE, you perv), and I get all weird.

Except I wasn’t really weird.

It was fine.  Pleasant.  Easy.  Chemistry?  I’m not sure.  (Man, I sure hope he doesn’t read this, I don’t think he even knows I blog…) I didn’t find myself watching his mouth and wanting to know how it felt on me.  I don’t think I noticed his hands or his fingers, and wondered what his touch felt like.

Okay, so no white hot chemistry.  Damn.

He walked me to my car.  He kissed me a little. It was good.  I may see him again.

May.

Turns out he also has seen Mrs. A a few times. And I don’t know what the future holds for them, but I don’t really want to be involved with someone whose partners overlap to that degree.  And honestly, I asked him if he had gone out with CC as well, since there’s such a small poly community here. (He hadn’t.) This doesn’t have as much to do with my discomfort with Mrs. A specifically, as it does my unease with the sometimes “too close for comfort”, everyone knowing everything, poly network.

Tonight SMF is out on a first date of his own.  And I’m not jealous.  Not really.  A little distracted, when I realized that it was 9:30 and he was three hours into his date, and what on earth were they doing for three hours and was he having a good time, and was she amazing and beautiful and sexy, and I bet they didn’t just have a fight and say sad and scary things to each other like we did, and she probably thinks he’s awesome, because he IS awesome, and I should have just let him wear the dirty socks because then if they went bowling, she would be unimpressed but NOOOOO, I had to tell him to wear clean socks because girls notice those kinds of things.

And now it’s 10:26 and he said he’d be home by 10:30, or would text me if it went later, and I’m watching the clock  and wishing that I wasn’t.

But I’m not jealous.

I’m uncomfortable.  I know he loves me.  And I know he loves CC.  And eventually, at some point, he will probably love someone else as well.  

I hope I find more love too.

(Epilogue: I got a text at 10:41 and I really wish that 11 minutes didn’t make me nervous. It must have been an awesome date. )