The Things We Do

I’m thirty four thousand feet above the earth.  In a few hours, I’ll be in Phoenix. My sister, will pick me up from the airport, but I’m going for Special Man Friend.

His Dad is dying.

“Is his wife here?” she asked me when I said I was coming. When I said she was not, Sister said, “Well that’s weird.  I don’t understand it, but I’m glad you’re coming.”

He’s important to me and I’m going. I think I can be helpful.  I have tried to pinpoint why that comment bothers me so much. It’s mononormative, yes. But it also somehow made me feel like Just The Girlfriend.

Sister is accepting and supportive. She offered a few days ago to take SMF’s family dinner or anything else they might need. SMF has told his family about me.  His momma has seen pictures of me.  She wants to meet me.  I’m tickled.

And terrified.


I love that it’s January.  I love that each year has a beginning and an end.  There’s a little bit of a mental reset button for me.

January 9th marks one year since my exhusbands suicide, and I am feeling it.  The kid are too, though only one has actually said anything.  I’m not sure exactly what to do or say about it.

I’ve been kind of lonely lately.  I’m not sure exactly what to do about that either.

I’ve got a new project in the works that I’m so excited about! More about that coming in the next few weeks.

The local poly community continues to grow here.  It’s starting to self propel, which is pretty wonderful.  We are still faithfully having monthly potlucks and discussion groups, plus other assorted social gatherings, and our online local group is up to 170 people, which is pretty amazing considering we don’t advertise or actively recruit.  It’s fun to watch everyone come together and form friendships and relationships.  I feel like a mother hen.  (A cute mother hen.)

PS If you are in Idaho and would like to connect with local poly people, send me an email at

Waking up.

I am binge watching Hoarders.  I have been in the middle of a huge purge in the last weeks.  I am far from a hoarder, but seeing the  extremes is motivating.  I like the things the therapists say about Things being tied to Feelings.  

When it comes to Things, I do hold on.  As I’ve been slowly emerging from a significant depression, I am starting to feel again.  As I am sorting through old familiar Feelings, I have a strong urge to let go of the stuff.  Lots of stuff.  All the stuff.

I want to simplify.  Streamline.  I want to prioritize and only keep the beautiful and the useful.  I want space for creativity, and emotion, and relationships.  I want space for me.


But what about the sex already?

We’ve all heard it.  The Polyamory-ites love to tout “Love is infinite.”  Then of course we also hear, Love may be infinite, but time is not.  Thus the poly culture phenomenon, Google Calendar, which has become some sort of social poly icon at this point.

“We’re sharing Google calendars now”, which roughly translates to we are poly-committed.  Or poly-vested. Or poly-something.  (I love how you can just put poly in front of any word and make it kind of poly- relevant. But that’s not really what I want to poly-write about.

I want to write about SEX.  Sex, desire for sex, energy for sex, time for sex, sex drive, sexual creativity…All these things are absolutely NOT infinite. (Sorry, but they aren’t.)

I love sex with Special Man Friend, and right now he is pretty much my only sexual partner.  It’s not that I’m not open to other partners, it just hasn’t happened.  I’m particular, I’m discriminating, I’m picky.  Maybe I’m too guarded, maybe my marriage left me with trust issues.  I suppose the why of the matter is irrelevant, this is who I am, today.  And right now I’m worried that my sex with him will be affected by his other relationships, or maybe even has already has been affected.

I feel like I need to qualify things, by saying that I’m coming out of a deep depression, my stress level has been through the roof at work, I’m exhausted, and I have grief issues surrounding my exhusbands suicide that are slowly resolving.  But still.  This is about my fear.

I fear that I am not as sexually interesting as his new girlfriend.  I used to BE the new girlfriend.  Now I’m the old girlfriend. And I kind of feel like I’ll get lost somewhere in the nebulous space between wife and new girlfriend.   So… maybe she’s getting the sex that I used to have.  Hours and hours of ridiculous, hot, sex. If he’s spread even thinner, doesn’t my slice of sex pie get smaller?  I don’t want a smaller piece of sex pie!    I want ALL the sex pie I can eat.  All of it.  Sex pie is my favorite.

Of course, there are a million different pies out there that I could fill up on. (I really like this metaphor.) But I know I like this specific pie and I could eat it all day.  I’m a picky eater. I do want to find new and delicious sex pies, but I’m simultaneously afraid to try something new that might taste horrible.

Alright, done with that metaphor.  Sex pie. I love it.

The last time I saw SMF we had a fantastic, instant-combustion quickie that left me dizzy. It was exactly what I needed.

Except that I still need more. Curse my picky tastebuds.

Wherein I surrender to poly cynicism…

I broke my own rule, and went out with someone new to polyamory.

He was easy to talk to, didn’t seem to have an agenda, and had some seriously attractive silver hair.  He also had a wife who was nice and friendly.  They had some experience with swinging, and so I justified that they at least had done some real life work in the non-monogamy arena, and surely that had to count for something.  After all, I live in a place where the dating pool is tragically shallow, and I am incredibly particular.  I have a busy, full life, and if I invest my time in someone, I generally feel an authentic connection.

We made it though enough dates (three) that I was really (really) ready for sex. We made plans for the following weekend.

Then things got weird.

He got quiet.  I tried not to make assumptions. I went with it.  Then he said he needed to put things on hold for that weekend.

Since I am a person, and not a telephone call, “on hold” didn’t sit well with me.  It didn’t feel good.  He and his wife had things happening.  I was curious to see what would happen next.

Now they are “stepping away” from poly.

This is why I am cynical, friends.

Yes, I am glad we did not get any more involved, I am happy that they pulled back before I became any more vested in New Guy.  I want them to be happy and have a healthy relationship together, whatever form they choose to pursue in the future.

But seriously, I need some new connections.  I am lonely.

Lonely and cynical, that is.


Special Man Friend is spending time with new people. I want to be happy for him.  I want the elusive Compersion Fairy to visit me in the middle of the night and wave her glitter wand over my sleeping little self and when I wake I will sing of love and metamours and the joy that I feel when he spends time with others, and cartoon deer will gather around my feet while birds fly around and help me get dressed.  Oh, and I should be singing about how wonderful and perfect poly is.  And how easy.

I don’t have compersion.  Does this make me the worst polyamorous person ever?

Or just maybe, it makes me a better polyamorous person.  I have to work HARD at my poly.  I have to absorb and process and choose my behavior, even when my stomach hurts and my cheeks are hot because he’s been on a date with someone who isn’t me, and it’s late and he’s not home yet and that means he is probably having The Best Time Of His Life and I’m just the dumb old girlfriend.  Keyword, dumb.

These are not reasonable thoughts.

But, there they are.

PS.  I have a date in a few days with my own someone new.  Does it change how I feel about SMF?  No.  But can I extrapolate that concept and apply it in reverse?


I’m going to bed.  I need to mull.


I need some happy.

The weight of the Not Happy of late is making my knees buckle, though I’m still standing.

Yesterday, my children and I released red balloons into a blue sky for their father who ended his life earlier this year. I bought birthday cupcakes for them to mark the day, and we played Queen and The Beatles for him. For them.

I wrote “You can suck it.” on my balloon, in tiny letters so they couldn’t see, and I sent it into the sky.

After friends and family went home, I began to walk up the stairs to my room. On the sixth stair my legs began to slow. By the eighth stair, I began to weep. I planted my feet solidly on stair number nine, and didn’t move until the tears stopped. It didn’t take long.

This morning I am reminded that Horrible Things happen to many people, and that both eases and adds to my grief. I am craving real smiles and belly laughs. I want to see eyes that are twinkling with joy and life and pleasure. I am malnourished and I need to be fed.

Feed me.

The Art of Spooning

She was married to a man who loved her with ugly words and angry hands. At night, they slept, confined to a bed, seventy-two inches long, eighty-four inches wide, and named for the state they lived in. She slept on the edge of the california king, with her arms tucked close and when she heard his breath move slow and deep, she slept, with twenty-two inches of mattress between them. Some nights he pulled her to the middle of the bed, where she opened her legs and turned her face away; when he was finished, his weight lifted off of her and she returned to the geography of her allotment of bed, she could breathe again, safe on her side. She married him because it was her duty to be a wife, she stayed because it was her obligation as a daughter of God, and she could not bear the thought of denying her children the glory of eternal life by leaving. She knew the price was the space she guarded while she slept.

She did not think that she would ever live a different life, even on the day she left. She slept on the edge of a new, smaller bed, and wept quietly, for herself, for her children, and for the life she hadn’t deserved. She mourned her blind obedience; grieved the years she spent sleeping with someone who left her feeling raw and numb. She patched her children back together, tucking them into their own beds every night, determined that they would be whole and safe; knowing she was not.

She met a man with soft eyes. He knew she had stories to tell but he never asked for them. He moved gently. She felt like she was holding herself together with kite string and scotch tape; he told she was beautiful. Late one night, in a dim hotel room, she turned away from him and curled into the safe space on the border of the bed to wait for him to find sleep so that she could rest. The man moved to her, his body travelling across the space between them, until his skin reached hers. He molded himself around her, his nose at the nape of her neck, his chest to her back. His knees fit into the angle at the bend of her legs, and he pulled her into him. His body curled around her body.

She hesitated, confused with this unfamiliar touch that asked for nothing in return. He was present with her and she was overwhelmed. She focused on his breath on her neck, matching her breathing to his, in to in, out to out. She allowed herself to relax into him, as she started to cry without sound. He didn’t speak. He placed his hand over her eyes, and rested it there as she wept. When her grief began to slow, he smoothed her curls away from her face and waited, unmoving, until her breath became rhythmic and deep, and finally she could sleep.


I have been rewriting my personal story of late, or rather, mercilessly editing.  The pages of me, are marked with heavy slashes of red, arrows pointing here, paragraphs moved there.  There are typos that make me cringe, and places where I’ve used the same word over and over, repeating myself mindlessly. I sit, with fresh eyes and a mental thesaurus, reviewing and mulling.  

I admire people who can critique themselves, and come out the other side better for it.  I sat with an old friend recently and listened to some of her regrets, and watched her beautiful face as she acknowledged mistakes she made during an ungraceful time, and she did this with such utter grace,  that I wanted to hug her and whisper “Shhh. Water under the bridge, dearheart,” but I knew she needed to say it out loud.  I listened and I was taken in by the moment.  It was lovely to witness, this self-awareness and growth, and I can only take her personal revelations to me as an example of how grown-ups assimilate their life experiences and then move forward.

I am not always as graceful as this.   

But at least I’m still trying.

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