We ate steak, at 4:15 in the afternoon, two days before Valentine’s Day. When you’re polyamorous, you have to be flexible; creative. It only bothers me on Christmas, this holiday flexibility, but even then, not as much as in the beginning of my experience with polyamory. I gave him a stack of books, individually wrapped, chosen on a late afternoon trip to the bookstore. I wandered the aisles, running my hand along the spines, pausing on the shelves that held stories about things that he loved. I chose a book about puppies. A novel with a deep sea fishing theme. A coffee table book that showcased Idaho, a compilation of cult movie classics. A hardbound book all about wind and weather, with beautiful pictures and scientific explanations.
It felt good, to know someone that well. It didn’t feel boring, or old. It felt comfortable and stable. I had tickets to a showing of “Say Anything” at The Egyptian on that night, the night that wasn’t Valentine’s Day. I planned ahead, I wanted to do something fun.
I didn’t print the tickets soon enough, technology kind of screwed me. We missed the movie.
We ended up having an intense conversation about our functioning parameters as a poly contellation…about comfort levels, and discretion. Special Man asked me if I wanted things to be different.
I said yes.
We are more compartmentalized than I would ideally like to be. It’s just what we developed into over the years. Early on, there were many struggles, things between CC and myself that I never expected we could come back from. We have a comfortable relationship now, which still feels a little…polite. We are both cautious with each other, and I feel an underlying tentativeness when we are all three together. While it is not distressing, it is there. Still, there is an comfortable ease that is not unfriendly.
Do I wish it was different? Yes. And that was hard for SMF to hear, and understand.
Polyamory is hard. That doesn’t mean it’s not also good. I think he gets that. I hope he gets that.
Later that night, we stopped by a bar where our local poly group was getting together for karaoke. Montana was there alone, and as I watched Special Man Friend talking with her, I realized that this compartmentalization has been the norm so long that I haven’t had enough exposure to seeing him at ease and enjoying another partner. I felt a little awkward and out of place.
Which really only proved my point. To myself.