rory - It's lovely to have such happy things happening
Thanks for your replies. Sounds like you had a great NY too! Yeah, I'm very glad to get things feeling better around Ella. Unfinished business can be pretty draining.
Wedding last night was fun! One of the chosen readings was an excerpt from some US law on same-sex marriages (can't remember what, I think it may have been a quote from the Goodridge
case in MA). This sparked a conversation at the reception, with a cousin of the bride, about the function of marriage. I brought up the complication of what marriage could mean in non-monogamous relationships, too, and his eyes glazed over a bit. I realised it would be easier to make it personal instead of hypothetical, so I started talking about my own situation. Was useful as a case study, and made for a really good discussion.
Later, I saw him having a lengthy tete-a-tete with Ocean, and at the end of the night the bride mentioned that she had thought
the two of us would get along with her cousin, and would arrange a meal to catch up with him again at some point. I enjoy making friends with people who both Ocean & get along with, and I especially liked starting off on the right foot with him re: being out as poly... If people meet Ocean & I as a couple, it's usually a while (if at all) before that comes up.
Christmas this year was great. Could have been tricky, but ended up wonderful. I read some advice elsewhere on this forum, to discuss expectations for celebrations that are important to you (e.g. Thanksgiving) well in advance, months even, to avoid unnecessary stress. I like this idea and have stored it for the future!
Unless I'm visiting my parents (who live overseas) I tend to have a relaxed Christmas, spending the day hanging out with Ocean, family and/or friends. This year, Grotto was initially planning to make it back to our home city for Christmas, but the cost of flights meant he actually left on Boxing Day. So. He was here for Christmas and wanted to see me on Christmas Day.
But I had a couple of family commitments. My aunt has recently come out of 10 year relationship and wanted to spend Christmas together. She lives a wee while out of town, and I knew she'd love if we were there for Christmas eve and stayed the night. My uncle (her brother) is in a nursing home so we decided to visit him together on Christmas Day itself. As Ocean & I were flying out in the evening (to go camping at a festival over New Years), I wasn't sure if I'd have time to see Grotto on the 25th.
I told him this, and he was sad about it. He really wanted to see if we could make time. I suggested that he come to my aunt's place too and stay the night with us. I'm out to her, we're pretty close and she's really non-judgmental. She's met Grotto, and always invites him to things when she invites Ocean & me. Given how far she is out of town, Grotto wasn't sure about coming but said he'd think about it. We left it at that.
A few days later, he said he'd come! My aunt was really excited
Okay, I was too. She came into the city on Christmas eve at night and picked us all up. Back at her place, we had a cheese platter, champagne, strawberries, watched shitty Santa movies, had a spa, opened presents at midnight (my aunt got Grotto something he loved, a great present, he wasn't expecting that and was quite touched.)
There is just one spare room at my aunt's, so we'd prepared by having a discussion about sleeping expectations. Didn't want a repeat of the other day. Ocean said that three in the bed was okay if it was just sleeping. If Grotto and I wanted to fool around we'd use the couch (or elsewhere, heh.)
Ocean went to bed early as he was tired. Grotto and I stayed up, fucked about in the spa, passed out by accident on the couch around 3am. I woke up a couple of hours later, and we slipped into bed with Ocean. So cosy, so good! We call it a sleepy sandwich
In the morning, Grotto made his signature brunch (eggs benedict) for the four of us. I got up and helped while Ocean slept in. We made mimosas, took our time over food, then played Scrabble (Ocean just
beat Grotto) before going to visit my uncle. He'd organised food for us, was very sweet. We're not out to him about Grotto, but he knew he was a friend of ours and didn't have any family here, so it didn't need explaining. My aunt dropped the three of us back to the city, then Ocean & I rushed to get to the airport in time (the drive back took longer than expected) while Grotto went home to get spruced up for a Xmas party at Bijou's flat that night.
Being with both Ocean and Grotto for Christmas was very special. I'd recently heard this quote, which is cheesy but I like it - "the best Christmas present is the presence of family & friends wrapped up in each other". That's very true for me. That said, for the first time, Ocean got me a Christmas present! I was surprised, as we don't usually do presents (and I hadn't got him anything). He admitted that he thought he should since he had got Menrva something. Hah. Grotto had been saying the same thing to me earlier in the week (as he'd got Bijou a present) and I assured him that he didn't have to get me one to balance it out. I don't like the thought of anyone stressing about what to get me as a present. Spending time on each other is what I love the most.
A couple of quick snippets to round off the holiday tales:
- As Ocean & I were hurrying to get organised for the airport, I got a message from Ella: could she, her brother & niece stay at our place? Turns out things weren't so fun at her other brother's place (who lives here). I said, sure, I'd leave the keys in the letterbox. They apparently had a grand time, and left the day before we got back. Our apartment is now studded with cute artificats of their visit - drawings on the wall, exquisite corpse
stories under the sofa, a packet of sparklers on a side table. I'm glad we could help them out, and I liked the connection of Ella being here while I was away.
- Camping over New Years with Ocean was excellent! A perfect way to round off the year, and refocus. The festival was packed with things we wanted to do and see. Of the offerings on NY eve, there was one show I really
wanted to go to, a tribute to a early 20th C songwriter... I told Ocean I was close to non-negotiable on that, and he was surprised. He was a fan too but had no idea I was into that person's music. A blissful way to discover another common interest
We saw the sunrise on 1st Jan and dozed for most of the day. 2nd Jan was our wedding anniversary (three years this year) and we treated ourselves to a fancy brunch before making our way home.