Ugh. I have never been this impacted by the winter before, but this year, I am feeling it creep up and just engulf me. So much snow, it seems like we're shoveling/snowblowing every night or every handful of days. The snowbanks at the end of the driveway are about as tall as I am (which doesn't say much, but still). It's dark, it's cold, and my finances are such that I'd rather put my money toward April vacation with the kids and not go out and do something that requires money (so my signing up on Meetup.com is a bit of a big fat nothing right now, since the photography meetup costs money, the woodworking meetup costs money, and the one stained glass thing I signed up for was cancelled... boo...). I have not been motivated to do anything around the house, and then I feel like a slug because I'm not doing anything around the house... other than lug wood and push snow around.
After not even getting a proper January Thaw, I'm looking forward to the three days of 40-50 degree temps we'll be getting, even though it'll all freeze at night and make things a bit treacherous.
Last night, we celebrated P's birthday. I wish it were as idyllic as I'd hoped (or as, I think, P believes it was), but of course it had its share of hurt feelings on both sides.
The plan: a beer tasting and gourmet pizza. P's son (who just turned 21) was supposed to make it, but the coworker who was going to switch shifts with him was unable to. I attempted to make custom etched glasses (the association with P and ravens has been going on a long time, so M1 drew up a silhouette of a raven with a stein, and I was going to etch them on glasses with "Raven's Flight" on the back - word play is fun
). Sadly, the glasses didn't take the etching chemical, so we had plain glasses with a story to tell instead. And good beer. And good pizza. And a food/beer coma. And some tipsiness (which didn't help the hurt feels).
We shot the shit a bit, and it was interesting to see that when M1 gets tipsy, all that Facebook stuff I was angsting about ("She's so much more verbal and OUT THERE on FB than in real life") shows up in person. Except it felt less interesting the more I started to feel like the odd man out. As she got more flirtatious, making a couple of jokes that were really between them, etc., I started backing off more, which didn't help my feelings any.
We ended up on the couch just kinda sitting around. Someone suggested coffee, so I put on a pot. I wasn't sure if M1 was going to crash on the couch or drive home (or if she was okay to drive home), and this led to some upset on her part, thinking she got shooed out when I was just waiting to see what she'd decided (and how to make sure the door was locked, etc., if she stayed and left after we did) before breaking up the party.
As it was, without going into TOO much detail, she felt like she'd been politely shooed away, that she wasn't welcome to crash on the couch for the night. I felt okay with her staying, but wanted to know when she'd be leaving so we'd know if she should have a key to lock the deadbolt or if she'd leave in the morning when we did. I felt like I needed alone time (given the odd-man-out feeling), but P was enjoying his time with both of us so much, I didn't want to break up the party, and P was so cooked by the time we did get to bed, there wasn't much alone time to be had before the snoring began.
It was a fun night (for the most part) up until we didn't know how to end it. M1 sent out an email this morning, and I sent out a reply, so hopefully we clear the should-I-stay-or-should-I-go thing up in short order. Next time, I'll just ask what she'd rather do, rather than wait around for something to get said or asked.
So, as a somewhat related aside, something got said last night that really bugged me...
When we were all sitting around the table, shooting the shit, P brought up how happy he is (which isn't the part that bugged me - I know he's happier than he's been in years, which DOES make me happy). I forget the exact wording, but sort of went down the path of how he's happy to have us both in his life, and that he could never go back to just one, and having a nagging, awful relationship again.
And that just struck me, hard. Is he saying that, if we had gotten together before he knew about Polyamory, that we would be destined to have that sort of relationship just by virtue of it being monogamous? M1 was mm-hmming and nodding her head the whole time - I know she's not big on marriage in general, as she felt too stifled in her own, but I don't feel that a relationship structure dictates the type of relationship you're destined to have with that person, period. I've seen references to poly relationships that were super-controlling (OPPs, rules put in place that would have made me run screaming), and I've seen monogamous relationships where the individuals were free to be who they are and are very happy, for the most part.
I have always felt that, if there is a problem in the relationship (not so much with external factors like time or distance), then that is a problem with the PEOPLE in the relationship, and not the structure.
I felt I was sitting at the table among marriage-bashers. That P was insinuating that, if we had gotten married, that we wouldn't be able to have the relationship we have, and that was just insulting to me. That the relationship structure would dictate what kind of partner I'd be.
But it was P's birthday, he was happy, M1 was in total agreement with him, so I figured I'd let it drop for the moment. I didn't want to shit on his birthday.
We'll talk about it, like we always do, but I was really hoping for a birthday celebration that didn't end up with crappy emotions. I guess we'll have something to shoot for next time.
And I keep telling myself that the weather is not helping these emotions. Spring can't come soon enough.
Edited to add: Well, I just sent out a dump regarding what I was feeling. M1 asked, P seemed concerned about what we were going to talk about, and I didn't want to drag it out and raise anyone's stress levels. Still, I find it kind of pointless to talk about the flirty behavior, since we were all tipsy and that shit happens - I tried to make it clear that I wasn't blaming anyone and wasn't asking anyone to do anything different, but that since I was feeling like a third wheel at times, I should have asked for alone time when I needed it, rather than worry about ruining his "together time" on his birthday. I brought up the marriage-bashing thing as well, and I'm not sure how it's going to get taken... I prefer talking face to face, but we're not seeing each other until Saturday and it's way too long to drag this out and walk on eggshells. I guess we'll see...