It's been an odd week thus far. The documentary aired, then an outtake was used as the basis for an article over at the Huffington Post. Today, there are more people than ever aware of my personal life, and that of the rest of my family. At times, there's a slightly uncomfortable sense of exposure. Still, I am happy and satisfied with our decision to participate in the project.
So why bother with all of this? We all took time off work, completely unpaid, to have a documentary crew hole up in our house for three days. That involved a bit of extra cleaning time, let me tell you! I needed to negotiate repeatedly with my co-parent about the level of involvement our daughter would have in the project. Then, I got to hold that line firmly with her, even though she wasn't particularly thrilled with it.
There's been concern about whether there would be a negative impact on our businesses, and how unhappy various family members might be about the whole thing. Organizing the community gathering and pulling that off took extra time too, and many people that would have enjoyed participating opted out because they aren't prepared to be this public.
Then, we got to wait. For months. Post-production follow-ups, requests for pictures, verification of timelines, facts. Waiting. Did I mention there was waiting?
Cut to this week: We are prepared to see the showing at F and A's place (Mr. "I've never been monogamous. Ever", and Ms. "When I was 4, I told Sister Gertrude about the poly family I wanted to have when I was all grown up."). They had a technical issue that was not able to be resolved, and we ended up missing the show altogether. Just as emails and such start rolling in with responses, comments, and questions from people who HAD seen it! Talk about frustration!
Finally, the next day I hear through the grapevine known as Face Book, that another poly friend , remarkably nearby, recorded it, and they're planning to watch that evening. I beg shamelessly for a piece of their floor for me and mine to crash their cable. At the last minute, Camille is able to join us as well. The living room is cozy, and we're all piled in to watch. Dave is pretty uncomfortable. Here's a guy who doesn't like pictures of himself, and is on camera. Russell is in attention-whore heaven, with a show about him, and two of his partners available. Colleen is dying to see what of her has made it to the final cut, and I'm just thrilled to be done waiting. I want to know: Did I seem like a complete dolt, or someone who could put a sentence together that actually conveyed the concepts of poly that we were hoping to share?
Turns out, it went reasonably well. Sure, it's a little light, and WAY too focused on my perspective on the family, which is likely due to the piece being filmed by the fine, female-centric folk at OWN. Yes, I wanted to hear more from Dave, Russell, and my metamours. Indeed, some of the more important pieces were left out. However, given the available time, it came out well. We got to talk about responsibility and commitment in poly, and parenting, model a functional poly family, and share bits of our community with society at large.
It's a win. It's a win for us, and hopefully, a win for the poly community. I will never be back in the closet again. I will not fear public, or familial censure. I will stand proudly on the lawn of my suburban home and embrace my partners as the neighbors gawk with some attempt at subtlety. My dogs will be the poly dogs at the dog park. My child will continue to be proud of her weird family, and try to make the system of "more adults, less children" work in her favor.