This morning I opened up a long lost book of Billy Collins poetry and out popped this roughly scribbled poem I'd written on the back of a paystub two years ago. I don't remember writing it, but I thought it was worth sharing.
This morning I opened up a long lost book of Billy Collins poetry and out popped this roughly scribbled poem I'd written on the back of a paystub two years ago. I don't remember writing it, but I thought it was worth sharing.
You know how when you're playing Wii and you can create your own Mii people? You can add facial features and hair color and mustachios? All the Mii's just sit there chilling in a line on the home screen, right? And if you create a Mii you don't want anymore, you can just pick that Mii up, drag and drop them out of the frame and they permanently cease to exist?
I don't think it will hurt his feelings to know that for the last few years of our marriage, I would lay in bed at night and fantasize about picking my husband up by the scruff of his Mii, dragging him out of my life frame and dropping a new person into his place. I mean, I LOVED my life. Why do you think it took me so long to let it go? I had the perfect kids, the perfect house, the most wonderful friends, work that fulfilled me and everything I ever needed. I just didn't want to share it with that particular man. I wanted to share it with someone else. Someone who knew how to hold my heart just the right way. Someone whose kiss lit me up inside. Someone who saw the real me and wanted to change NOTHING. Someone I LOVED.
Someone exactly like Patrick.
It's been a few years now, but I feel like my life has come full circle. A week ago Patrick and I put a deposit on a house in North Portland and we're moving in at the end of the month. It's the most beautiful house, you guys. In my favorite Portland neighborhood. Right across from a park and half a block from Portland's best running road. Five bedrooms, a kitchen with granite counter tops, a GAS FUCKING STOVE, enough parking for ten cars and a fully fenced, gorgeous yard. It's pretty much a dream come true.
I've often said that I've done that big house in the suburbs thing and I'm over it, but apparently I'm not because here I am doing it again.
Only this time it couldn't be more different.
A) North Portland is a suburb of Portlandia, sure, but it's not The Suburbs. The kids down the block won't all be rich and white and THANK GOD. We're only a block off Lombard Street. We'll still need to lock our cars.
B) I'm scared. Actually, we both are. We've been together almost a year now and this is the best relationship I've ever had. It's still magical to me and I don't want to fuck it up or ruin it with the day-to-day sludge of real life. With noisy, smelly kids (his AND mine). With money worries and scheduling drama and all the stuff.
C) Patrick IS my home. I don't see that changing any time soon, if ever.
Now that he's working full time at a crazy busy job, I'm greedy for him in ways I never knew I could be. We used to have these long, amazing mornings together and now he has to leave for yoga at 6:45. I miss him. He misses me. I've been finding myself more jealous of the time he spends with his other girlfriend. He's more jealous of the time I spend with mine. Polyamory is infinitely more complicated when you don't share a roof. We've had to go out of our way to make an every-other-day schedule happen. For every night we spend away from each other, we require a night together to reconnect. But in our current living situation, that only works half the time! Which means it's crazy-making to keep all of our buckets full. I just want to come home to my HOME, you know? To HIM.
So we're jumping in together. Leaning in. Saying yes. Thriving on discomfort.
And we're doing our best to be wise about it. We're talking and talking and talking. Discussing our fears and expectations. I don't want a crabby step dad situation like I had with my last boyfriend. So we're gonna have separate bedrooms so we can each have our own space (but not separate beds). My Red will stay over with me in my room as often as possible. My kids will have their own rooms and bathroom upstairs. His kid and their partner will live in the basement. Patrick will take the master bedroom and I'll have that bay window bedroom at the front of the house. He'll be able to disappear when the kids get too loud and vice versa. I'm still hoping that someday my girlfriend can live with us too.
It's pretty much the magic hippie commune of my dreams.
My life on my terms. But more full of love (AND BRUNCH) than I never could have imagined. I wake up almost every day and can't believe this is (going to be) my life. I wish everyone were so lucky.
Yesterday I was in the shower when it occurred to me (stay with me here) how much I LOVE my breasts. They're probably the only part of me I will brandish willy nilly with nary a regret. I'm proud of them. They fed my babies. They give me insane pleasure. And since i've put back on almost all the weight I lost during the Year of the Breakups™, THEY'RE BACK, BABY!
It's been a bit of a struggle for me with my body, I'm not gonna lie. I LIKED being skinny. It was fun and all, but I've TRIED to do the work required to get back down to my size 6 self and FUCK THAT. I prefer bacon and champagne to small pants. Bacon TASTES good. Small pants are stupid.
For a while, it bugged me. I mean, Patrick met me 20 pounds ago and I KNOW he likes tiny women, something I will never be EVER, no matter how much I starve myself or how many miles I pound out of the pavement. The beauty in our relationship is that those 20 pounds could not possibly matter less. Hips don't lie, you guys. And neither do boners.
And therein lies the magic of polyamory - I don't NEED to be everything he ever wanted in a partner. I just get to be me. He can go right ahead and mack on the tiny little woman next door and I will do nothing but smile and high-five him. SHE doesn't have to starve herself or spend 15 hours a week at the gym to be a size four! She's that way NATURALLY. Just like I'm NATURALLY a 38D. the funny thing is that it's not even so much about my weight! Patrick just likes women he can tuck under his arm. We're the same height, so that's NEVER gonna be me and I still genuinely want him to have that.
I'll just HAPPILY be his home base. And he'll be mine. And I'll date tall dark, bald men and he'll date adorable, shorter brunettes.
I can only hope we'll date the redheads together.
Sweet merciful velvet Jesus, the redhead. I'm falling for her and she knows it and just the smell of her perfume and I've got shivers. Don't even get me started on watching her kiss my man because I will probably die RIGHTNOW just thinking about it. That much beauty should be illegal. (And frankly, probably is in Texas.) (I REALLY DO enjoy doing things that are probably illegal in the South.)
The beauty is that I'm building this community, this FAMILY. I love Patrick's kid. I adore Reds' kids. They adore mine. We're all slowly but surely becoming a family. Love isn't a zero sum game here because it isn't a math problem at all. And if it is, it's exponential. Seeing my redhead's smile on her baby daughter's face is an expansion of affection I never could've prepared myself for.
It's pure magic. You have no idea.
As a caveat I certainly don't mean to imply that whatever lifestyle you've adopted is wrong or lacking or insignificant. I really don't. I think monogamy works great for most people. I'm just supremely grateful that I've finally found the life that works for me. My only wish is that we could all be so lucky.
Sorry for the hiatus, you guys! Feel free to blame my favorite distractions at the moment - stand-up comedy and Sunday brunch, two things I've committed myself to doing WEEKLY for the duration of 2014. Posting may continue to be light. I'm not sorry. You wouldn't be either.
The comedy is pretty obvious. It's probably the craziest, most intense and cheapest art you can make that people will immediately see and respond to. You write the jokes. You find an open mic. You get on the list (always FREE!). You get up and tell your jokes. People either laugh or they don't. Rewrite, rinse, repeat. In Portland there's a free open mic almost every night of the week, usually two or three.
The fun part is I've committed myself to SUCKING for an entire year. It turns out you can't get good at comedy without doing A LOT of it. I'll be happily inflicting my suckage onto audiences all over town for the foreseeable future. Be warned. The thing is, this isn't a new year's resolution at all. It's just that I want to know if I can do comedy and there's only one way to find out - by DOING it and seeing if I can make people laugh.
I'm not even sure I ever wrote about what sparked my interest in comedy, but last summer I tried to go to a jazz open mic in the basement of the Blue Monk (a rad jazz club on Belmont Street). I was there alone and it was during the peak of my Joel woe(l??) and I figured a good jam session would help lift my luggage. But I'd read the schedule wrong and it turned out to be a comedy open mic, not a jazz one. It didn't take long for me to realize I was the only civilian in an all-comic audience. I'd never had comical aspirations myself, but watching a bunch of squirrely, awkward, dungeons and dragons nerds nailing one liners about current events made me realize that not only am I a writer, but I am sitting on a comedy GOLD MINE.
My life, you guys! I've got all the material anyone could ever possibly need. Divorce. Children. Single motherhood. Vaginas. Men. Women. Dating. Polyamory. Running. Sex. BDSM. ALLTHETHINGS.
When I started I had no idea how to write a punchline, so on the recommendation of my comic friend, Shawn, I took a class. It was really helpful and I got over what little fear I had of making an ass of myself. Of course I STILL need to learn how to write a punch line, but I'm no longer terrified of learning the hard way. Right now I'm working on a set about losing weight and how it's fucked up my body. This involves an Octomom joke, you guys. Writing this shit is FUN. It keeps me up in the middle of the night and causes me chew my cuticles into oblivion. It's fantastic.
The other huge distraction this year is brunch, which I'm hosting every week here at House of Hijinks. We've got a Facebook group going and as of now we're at 165 members and growing. Which means every Sunday I host breakfast/lunch/shenanigans for everyone on that list, all of whom are invited every Sunday. So far our largest crowd has been around 50 people, but I see us growing even larger (and into the backyard!) as the weather warms up.
I know what you're thinking and no, it's not expensive. I'm not using food stamps to feed my friends. I make a dish or two every week, usually something involving a bag of flour and a bunch of our chicken eggs and almost everyone who comes brings food. And champagne. And OJ. And BACON. Last week we went through over a dozen pounds of bacon. I made BLT's and a big vat of steel cut oatmeal. That brunch cost me less than $40 to host. Seriously, if you're going to invite people over for a meal, make it brunch. It breaks the fast, not the bank. (HA!)
The best part is that this house is so full of love you'll get a head rush your first Sunday here. The kids run wild and crazy with big shit-eating grins smothering their syrup-crusted faces (both kids beg to come to brunch even when it's not my week). The grown-ups aren't much better. We drink mimosas. There's an abundance of kissing and hugging and general cavorting. HONEST conversation. REAL friendship. Phenomenal story-telling. It's probably the best thing I've ever thought of.
You know how often you run into friends and you're like, "WHY DON'T WE EVER HANG OUT ANY MORE?"
I don't have that problem. My answer is always the same: BRUNCH. It's every week. It's casual. It's a standing, forever invitation. It means I get real life FACE TIME with the people I care about every week. That's how you build a community, you guys. When Patrick's old friends ask him where he's going to church these days, he always answers: The Brunch.
If this isn't a church, I'm not sure what is.
I just registered yearofbrunches.com, too, so expect to hear more about brunch. Not only my recipes and who is here and what they cook, but how I hope to make brunch club into something a lot bigger than me and my tiny House of Hijinks. Stay tuned.
Tuesday I'm pretty sure I experienced the full range of human emotions.
I started the day to the tune of a much-discussed sex alarm (you know what I'm talking about, right? The alarm you set extra early because you know that's going to happen anyway and you might just as well not be late for work?) (Patrick is convinced I'm weird (and awesome) for always setting that alarm, but I feel like it's just pure logic.) When the real alarm interrupted our snugglefest, he made me coffee while I got dressed.
Then I went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned for the first time in six years. SIX YEARS. I was terrified. It HURT. (TARTAR BUILD UP MUCH?!?!) But it turns out I get to keep all my teeth! Sure I need eight fillings, but not a single root canal. My fear liquefied immediately into relief.
When I got home Patrick was still there and I made all of us omelets. Bacon and cheese for Cynthia; bacon, feta, sweet pepper, red onion and MAGIC for me and Patrick. We shared a bottle of mimosas and then headed back to bed in the middle of the day for a "nap." You'd think we'd be getting sick of each other by now, but you'd be wrong. I wish I had more writerly words for the safe, connected, cared for way he makes me feel, but I really don't. All I can say is that if you've had it, you know I'm not just being cheesy when I say we both feel "cherished." And if you haven't, I only hope you get to feel it some day.
After much laughter, love and cardiovascular shenanigans, I dragged my ass out of bed with a warmed up cup of stumptown and drove over the bridge to pick up the kids. Who were full of it all the way home. We stopped off for milk and apples at New Seasons and I almost had to strangle them for playing karate chop madness in the deli section. "STOP KICKING YOUR SISTER IN THE FACE" is not really something I ever expected to say in a grocery store.
Then the sun went down on our drive home and that's always bitter sweet in the Pacific North West. Because oh sad, the sun went down! But DOOOD, did you see that?! I'm pretty sure that was the sun!
At home I somehow managed to convince both children to immediately finish their homework before we baked chocolate chip cookies together. Then I made them a few boxes of Annie's mac n cheese while summoning up my most favorite of pasta recipes for Patrick and I. We actually toasted Joel with our Pinot Noir because it was his recipe and I will always remember it with a heart (and belly) full of love. (I let my food blog domain expire, but you can find the recipe HERE if you scroll down a bit...)
Then I got an e-mail from the Silver Fox hitting me up for date, which gave Patrick and I a good chance to talk polyamory (which we haven't had much time for since he got back). That always leaves us feeling more connected.
After dinner, I tucked the kids into their rooms and left them home with Cynthia so Patrick and I could head over to Al's Den to hear some friends play a show. Moorea sings like a goddess (you might remember her from American Idol) and Allie has this one song that makes me sob. The first time I heard them together I was snuggling Genoa on a couch in front of a fireplace at a friend's house. After Genoa passed out (it WAS two AM, so yeah), Allie told me the story behind that song and it was so close to my own, I can't hear it ever again without feeling that loss right along with her. Even in public, apparently. Patrick held me while she and Moorea sang it and he said he felt my body temperature rise at least ten degrees. I guess sadness makes me sweaty.
After the show we got home to find kids playing with a rainbow loom HAPPILY. Like, ZERO DRAMA. I have no idea who those children were, but I tucked them in bed, kissed my boyfriend goodbye and stayed up late to sign up for my first comedy open mic (which was last night - it went well!).
Even WITH the dental work, it was a good day. They seem to just keep getting better and better. No complaints here.
Tonight Genoa and I made tortilla pizzas with tomato butter sauce, fresh mozarella and honey-smoked deli ham. And as I was buttering her tortillas to make them crisp before adding the sauce, Patrick snuck into the house and surprised me with a hug. We laughed, we caught one another up on our respective days while Genoa refused to eat the very same pizza she had made for herself and then, while Patrick and I talked happily did her math homework on the kitchen stool Cynthia has had since college. He went home with (a dozen) kiss(es). I'm on my way to bed.
Life is calm. Strangely, absurdly calm. I'm healthy. I have health INSURANCE. (THANKS, OBAMA!) I get to see a dentist on Monday for the first time in over FIVE years. Dave and I always need to make adjustments to the annual schedule in January so we've separated the kids this week, which means I get Genoa alone until Saturday morning, then Alex alone till Monday, which shouldn't be, but is my favorite way to be with my children. Individually. I have NOTHING to complain about. Even when my poor Lola's water pump broke and cost me a fortune in car repairs, I was too happy with the mechanic for saving my favorite car ever that I wasn't phased. And my turn signals work! So everyone on the road can finally stop flipping me off!
Not that I don't have issues, because oh hell yeah, I do. Only this time, they're all mine. I blame no one but myself. I have ONE New Year's Resolution and it's to finally, once and for all, figure out my body/weight/size/dismorphia shit, because it's no fun. No fun at all. I'm a healthy, attractive, average-sized woman who once, for the briefest of magnificent, fleeting, sparkly years, experienced the holy grail of thinness.
Even worse - I understood what it was like to feel beautiful. NOT "you have such a pretty face." (SAY THOSE WORDS TO A FAT GIRL AND PREPARE TO DIE, AMIGO.) But beauty by conventional standards. Stupid, unrelenting, completely media and male-libido-driven standards. THIN standards. Standards that are unfair to my ego. Unfair to my athleticism (which still means I will SO FUCKING KICK YOUR ASS) (and I will be hungry, no let's make that STARVING LIKE A FOX, to maintain your ridiculous standards of beauty). To my daughter (who will no doubt inherit my inherent weakness).
Unfair to myself.
I don't like that the experience of thin privilege (thanks, Sis! I now know EXACTLY the hell of which you once spoke!) has given birth to new standards within myself. Standards I had never understood in other women, but now understand all too well. That last 20 pounds means something different to a fat girl than it does to a woman who has always been thin. I'm frustrated that the misery and anxiety I had due to my life circumstances sucked my hunger for life from me in such a way that I shriveled to an impossible-to-maintain size.
I hate that I LIKED it. Loved it, even. I shouldn't have. It SHOULDN'T MATTER. I'm smart. Beautiful. Capable. Privileged.
And that's my work to do.
I am happy. Truly content. Nothing to complain about! I have so much love. I AM loved. SO fucking loved. I feel ADORED even. And yet... this. All I can feel right now is that my belly (which is still 90% skin from losing so much god damn weight) is hanging over the waistband of my old fleece, kitty-themed pajama pants. No one can see me - I'm alone - and I'm sucking in my gut as I write this. Which makes breathing rather uncomfortable.
Let me say that more clearly - my body issues sometimes make it difficult for me to breathe.
So my only resolution for 2014 is to stop sucking in my motherfucking gut. To tell myself that I am both beautiful AND strong. My imperfections are what make me the woman I have always wanted to be. That I can run hard and fast and long. That I am more than any number ANYWHERE. Not on a scale. Not on a pedometer. Not on a calorie counter. Not on a treadmill. And definitely NOT in the back of my pants.
Happy 2014! Watch out. You are so going to be my bitch.
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I hugged a tree.
I ran a half marathon. Or three.
I fell in love with a forest.
And a bridge.
And a town.
I wrote and performed a five-minute stand-up routine.
I bought a biodiesel.
I downsized my possessions and upsized my freedom.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can't remember making any, so no. My only resolution for 2014 is to run. Just... keep running.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My oldest bestest friend had a baby girl on December 6th. Her name is Piper. I have waited to meet her for a very, very long time. Decades. I was honestly a little terrified that my friend wouldn't ever get to be a mom and I can't even express how grateful I am to the universe for making it so. I've never been this excited about a baby that didn't come out of my own vagina. I got to meet her on Christmas day and she is the most beautiful child I've seen since my own. I was the one sobbing like a baby.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Unfortunately, yes. Oh Fred. It's still strange that I wasn't as close to Fred before he died as I feel like I am now that I'm living in his house. But he is missed daily. (Nobody tell him we're running the furnace this much, mmmkay?!)
5. What countries did you visit?
The People's Republic of Portland. Isweartogodthisistheyearirenewmypassportforfuckssake.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I feel like I should remember some sad dates, but without looking any of them up, I think of The 4th of July because it was my first real date with Patrick. Alex's birthday is up there too. Our trip to Disneyland was unforgettably awesome.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I chose my children and my happiness over romantic love. It sucked. Unfortunately there's no epidural for the human heart.
9. What was your biggest failure?
See number eight above.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Healthy as a fucking horse. And not just ANY horse, one of those Budweiser Clydsdales.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Lola. Best car ever.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Samnterry. Again. I don't call them My People for nothing. (Patrick, who scraped Genoa's barf out of the back seat of my Dad's car on our trip to San Francisco, was a close second.)
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My own. Again. I'm the only one capable of ruining my mental health.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
St. John's. I've never loved a town this much. I'm gonna try to live here for the rest of my life.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Fucking Problems by ASAP Rocky. I did so much awkward twerking to that song, you guys. You have no idea.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my kids, my boyrfriend, my oldest friend, her baby and my big extended family. In California. It was rad.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yup. Even better is that my kids love Patrick as much as I do.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
Same response as last year: what is this "TV" of which you speak?!?
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. I can't think of ANYONE I hate.
24. What was the best book you read?
The Ethical Slut.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
26. What did you want and get?
27. What did you want and not get?
Joel. New year, same shit. Only this time I only miss having him as a friend. He won't speak to me, which is strange because at this point I only want to see how he's doing and pat him on the back for his nerdy Hitchcock writing.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Love Actually. TEN years running! It practically took an act of god to get my schedule to allow for it, but Patrick and I watched it right before Christmas. (Right after he showed me It's a Wonderful Life for the first time. We both cried at both movies.)
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37. I was in California and Joel and I spent the day in San Francisco together.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Purple haired Penelope the pussy comic from portland.
32. What kept you sane?
Ramona. (My magical therapist). Always.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Queen Bey. Dayem.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
35. Who did you miss?
Joel. Although less now than when we were still together.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
One Mr. Patrick Curtain. Sure, it wasn't the first time we met, but still. Keeper.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Just. Keep. Running.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I don't have my kids on Thanksgiving. Ever. Because holidays dedicated 100% to gluttony are simply not my thing. Never will be. As much as I love to cook, I HATE the traditional meals. I don't like how they taste and I don't enjoy preparing them. I haven't cooked a turkey or a ham or a roast beef in four years and no part of me misses spending all day worrying about and hovering over a slab of dead animal that I don't even like eating.
So instead of the traditional turkey, I made a vegetarian Indian feast for 20 of my closest friends. Homemade cheese for Saag Paneer! Homemade Naan! Vegetable curry! Indian rice! Mango dahl! It was epic and THAT was a meal I enjoyed preparing (especially since Sam, Terry, Sophie and Ginger all got covered in flour helping me with the naan). It was a perfect Thanksgiving. (Even sans wine, thankyouverymuch.)
And holy sheeeeeeet, do I have a lot to be grateful for this year. So much. Such a sharp contrast from last year. Last winter was... hard. I will forever refer to it as The Winter of Ill Repute because that's exactly what it was. Joel and I got into an epic text message fight last Thanksgiving. Oddly enough, the fight was because he told me he wasn't coming for dinner, so I invited Daniel* to join us and then Joel decided to come at the last minute and that set off an unfortunate series of events that led to us getting back together only to break up again three days before Christmas. Then the day after we broke up, Joel lost his main source of work. So we stayed together just to make it through the holiday without anyone slitting their wrists. I couldn't afford to heat the house. I wasn't talking to my family. SamnTerry were in Washington DC for two weeks. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, I had to return the only gift I'd gotten for my kids so my utilities wouldn't get shut off.
It was fucking AWFUL.
This year it's all come full circle. I have so much to look forward to! Patrick gets back on Tuesday. (TUESDAY!) (Only four days!) Then we'll have December together with the kids - brunches and parties and dinners, oh my. THEN! As if that isn't enough, I'm taking the kids home for Christmas for the first time in seven years. My mom sent us tickets and we're going on Christmas day at noon. Patrick was asleep in Vienna when she did all the booking, but when he woke up, he bought tickets too, so he'll get to meet my parents (and the ENTIRE extended family) on Christmas day. (We're surprising the kids, so don't say a word!)
Here I've been dreading December all year and just knowing I'll get to be with (most of) the people I love is enough to change my entire outlook on Christmas. (SamnTerry will be out of town. AGAIN.) I'll even get to hold my BFF Jill's newborn baby girl because SHE'LL be home for Christmas too. I can't wait. I'm actually excited instead of terrified. It's the strangest thing.
Less strange and far more sappy is how grateful I am for all the love in my life right now. There's my children, of course, and I love them in terrible, infuriating ways. There's Patrick, who loves me better even from another continent than any man has loved me yet. There's the budding romance with Lela, which is sweet and new and special to me. There's the extended group of friends who let me feed them and Cynthia and Gigi who put up with our crazy loud house every Sunday.
There's Daniel! Who came to Thanksgiving dinner for a do-over of last year's epic drama. He brought the bald and the homemade bread and the college stories (and the smooches for alllllll the ladies).
There's even Patrick's tribe of People, who I'm slowly but surely getting to know and love and who've included me even while he's been away. There's also the rekindling of the relationship with my parents, which is better than ever.
Most important, though, are My People. Terry had her own series of unfortunate events over last few weeks and having the privilege of being there with her through the shitstorm made me love her in deeper, more heart-twisty ways than I ever thought possible. (And Sam, too, for being such a damn fine husband to her.) There's something incredibly poignant about being let in to the lives of the people you most love and admire. It fills me up with the exact kind of gluttony that Thanksgiving is supposed to be about.
Thank you for that.
One of the things I'm learning in my stand-up class is just how alternative my lifestyle really is. I'll get up in front of the mic and do a bit about vagina waxing, then one about how all my boyfriends are bald and then one about lipstick lesbian manicures. But when it's time for feedback, everyone's like, wait. HOLD THE PHONE. WHUT? They can't laugh at my sexy nail-clipping bit because they're still stuck on the fact that my clients call me the Vagina Whisperer and I have more than one (bald) boyfriend.
"I realize making women get on their hands and knees to wax their butt cracks is totally normal for you, but give the rest of us time to catch up!"
"I make men do that too," I say with a shrug. "Duh. It's the best part of the wax."
So maybe I am a little... different.
I prefer it this way. I didn't just fall out of a tree and decide to be weird. I'm actually doing all of this on purpose. With intention. I'm not a "normal" girl and I don't have traditional values. I thrive on chaos and noise and excitement and I am passionate to a fault. I'm lucky to have a job where it will never matter that I have purple hair and tattoos. No one cares how weird their waxer is (nor their comedian, now that I think about it).
So after a few years of fucking it up royally at every attempt, I've finally decided to go ahead and give up on monogamy. I know I'm not the only one doing it wrong. If the divorce rate has anything to say about it, it's that monogamy rarely works out the way we think it will, forever and ever and always, amen. Hell, maybe it works for you, but it has done nothing but suck for me. So there's my insanity plea - why keep trying the same thing over and over again and expecting it to make you happy? I am happiest when I'm in love. I am happiest when I am dating. I feel strongly that those two phenomena don't have to be mutually exclusive.
So here's how it works... Patrick is my boyfriend. My Person. In polyspeak he'd be my Primary Partner, but that's just a fancy way of saying he's the one I'm in love with. The first and last person I want to talk to every day. Fortunately, since Patrick isn't monogamous either, falling in love with him didn't mean I had to suddenly disconnect with all my other partners. We both still date other people. He's in a band, so he's pretty much set when it comes to finding cute fan girls to flirt with. And I'm still seeing the Dom, the Muse, the Silver Fox, the Russian(s), the Redhead and most recently, the Friend(s).
Sure, I'm a fan of the sexytimez (BIG FAN), but I haven't picked this life for my libido alone. It's not just about letting my slut flag fly. I've known or have been seeing most of the other people I'm dating on and off for almost a year. I still love meeting and connecting with NEW people. And none of this is a zero sum game. Intimacy certainly isn't. Why expect one partner to be your everything when it's possible to spread that love around a little?
Basically, I get have my cake and eat it too. And so do all of my partners.
So why isn't EVERYONE doing this? Seriously. WHY? Most people never even CONSIDER non-mon0gamy as a lifestyle.
I think that's because polyamory is really hard. It ain't for pussies. It's not all cake. It requires solid egos all around and the kind of communication skills most people only acquire after lots and LOTS of therapy. But miscommunication happens. Jealousy happens. And even then it's still mostly a matter of trial and error. You don't know something's going to hurt until it hurts.
I have a LOT more to say on this topic, including a story about a recent set back, so I'm going to keep writing about it and probably make it a series. If you have questions, ask them. I'll do my best worst.