Monday, August 30, 2010

The House Mate Situation

So, having put it out to the community at large, I was very pleased to have gotten a response to our request to help find a house mate! We were referred in a single dad with a daughter in the same age range with mine, who is in our age range, and is both poly and kinky. Thank you to Ms A!

This looks like a pretty good fit! He was over last week, loved the space, put the deposit down and signed the rental agreement. We all had dinner together, including his daughter's mom, and the kids got to scope each other out as well. The dogs were even relatively well-behaved.

It's going to be another new situation to be sharing space with someone that is still a relative stranger, but the basics all seem to be in place, and it was such a relief to be looking at this scenario with someone who is relatively versed in basics of poly and kink, who isn't attaching negative moral judgements to multiple partners, marks, the chains that hang in our laundry room (which are actually for hanging laundry, but look really kinky), and seems interested in possibly participating in community stuff etcetera.

We have a month before they move in, and I think all of us around here can use the time and space to take many deep breaths, establish a new routine, and become more comfortable with different kinds of freedoms, like weekends that are largely kid-free. The kiddo starts school next week, and I think the additional structure will help her to continue to acclimate to the changes in family life. Getting used to another child around will be interesting for all of us, but it looks like the kids are going to get along pretty well, especially on a part-time basis.

While I'm not totally certain how this is all going to shake down, I'm pleased that so many things are falling into place as desired. One step at a time, one foot in front of the next.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thinking in Multiples

Sort of an odd thing I noticed the other day- My daughter and I were out visiting a friend, and as we were conversing, the daughter-unit was feeling a bit shy, but wanted to have certain stories shared, so was requesting that I recount the stories to "them". There was just the three of us present, and she's pretty good with pronouns, but I just wrote it off as misspoken. This occurred several times during the conversation though, and it became apparent to me that she thinks of other poly folk in the multiple sense. Even if you're partners aren't present, or if you're poly-single, she seems to apply plural pronouns when speaking with poly types.

Hmmm... that was an interesting idea! "We"us", and "them" sort of come as part of the package for her when around others that are poly, and I realized that I often think of other poly folk in the plural as well. It's an expansion of the couple dynamic that often develops when there is a longer-term connection that is palpable to others, where you begin to think "maryandjohn" instead of Mary and John. Typically for me, it's more highly related to the information that I have about someones relationships sphere. Let's say J has three other partners that I have met, I often think about J within the context of their connections, and not only as an individual. For her, it's a community thing. If she knows that someone we are around also is poly, she thinks of that person as a portion of the community that is around her, and therefore likely plural in some fashion.

There isn't really a value judgment to attach to this habit, but I think that I will be more conscious of my verbiage regarding others for a while. Fuzzy words lead to fuzzy thought, so the saying goes, and clarity is a quality I value. At the same point, there is a sense of comfort with the idea of belonging to a community, a family, a pod, unit of socialization, part of something bigger than myself that is accepting of how I choose to express myself. We think that's worth a few plural thoughts every now and again. ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pragmatism and Polyamory

This week was the discussion group at our home. One of the topics we were looking into was being partly closeted, and what the advantages, disadvantages, simplifications and complications that being halfway in or out could engender. As I listened to the accumulated wisdom and experience being verbalized, it became fairly apparent that the vast majority of us are highly motivated by pragmatism. In other words, we tend to do what makes the most sense on a practical level at a given time.

While that may sound like a no-brainer, the interesting thing to me was that so many of us had different definitions of what was practical, and some even defined their ideals as practicalities. Here's an example: "My goal is to be out of the closet to everyone, no matter where or who I am with." A person who holds that as an ideal may feel diminished or put upon when attending a function with a partner who isn't as fully out, or opt out of such events, or even decide not to date anyone who isn't out as fully as they are. It isn't pragmatic to them to be closeted with anyone, as it infringes on their personal freedom, requiring them to censor poly stuff.

On the other hand, someone may define their ideal in similar terms, but have areas that are exceptions, "My goal is to be out of the closet in as many places and spheres as possible, but the fact that I am poly isn't the business of those that I work with, and I choose not to disclose that there." Or perhaps there is family that they aren't out with, due to safety concerns.

Another exception to being out that came up was the idea that sharing about poly with people who would then want to process it, ask questions, understand it, was too complicating, and being less open was a way to keep complications in life to a minimum. In short, to keep things simple, some people choose to stay in the closet to certain people or groups.

These were all interesting points, and I found that for me, a pendulum has shifted in the past couple of years. It used to take more effort for me to be out, and a conscious energy was put into sharing that information with people. Now, I find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum, where it requires concentration to edit myself regarding poly to others. It's harder to be closeted than out for me now. There are still a few spheres that I am not out in, primarily things that pertain to work (major sources of business are LDS), and a desire not to shock my frail grandmother to an early grave!

Not to wish ill on my grandma, but the day will come where I won't be concerned for her health, and the rest of the family I am either out to already, or I have no concern for over this topic. My goal over the next several years is to continue to cultivate my community, and orient my business to rely on clients and referral sources that I don't fear will shun me for my poly ways, leading me to actually be open and out in every sphere of my life. That shiny day is on the horizon, and I look forward to it with anticipation!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Head Out On The Highway!

Today I am heading out on the open road on my way to the coast! It's day two of child-free time, as my daughter is on a family trip with her dad's extended family, and I have planned a get away for myself to hit the reset button on life a bit.

Here's how the whole thing works as a poly person getting away on their first vacation following a split, or at least how it's working for me: S and his/our sweetie already left for the coast yesterday. My other sweetie, D, came over yesterday, and we enjoyed a nice date night together. He'll be house sitting and taking care of our dogs while we are out of town. I'll head out today, join up with the two currently on sand, and spend the next couple days trying to relax a bit, then she is heading back home, and he and I will spend a day just the two of us before heading back to pick up the kiddo and resume responsibilities of daily living.

How do people without additional partners do this whole vacationing thing? It seems like quite a lot of logistics to cover either way, but this way, I've got tons of back up. I am truly grateful!

So far the week has gone very well. I'm adjusting to life without the person I've lived with for the past 15 years, and it's feeling fine, but then, I'm also not digging too deeply into my feelings just yet. S and I are still looking for a roommate to fill the gap left by PG's departure on a financial level, and next week looks to be full of interviews to find that special fit for our household in terms of personality, reliability, responsibility and capacity to pay their bills. Oh yes! They have to be good with the whole poly thing, the dogs and kid as well! Wish us luck!

Well, I am off to pack my bags and explore the single-ish life! See you in a few days.