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  #141  
Old 05-03-2014, 06:16 PM
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YouAreHere YouAreHere is offline
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Thanks, Ry. I will admit that I *would* like to get back to EPCOT for the food and wine festival, but sans kiddos. I have a friend who's a big foodie, and he likes to go fairly regularly. I should try to hop a flight with him and check it out.

We actually skipped the world pavilions this time around, because the kids just aren't into it (while mom enjoys trying the different beers from around the world, oddly enough, it doesn't capture the kids' attention quite in the same way ). We stayed in the front half of the park, and getting from hither to yon is an enormous pain in the ass, because even though it looks like you should be able to get directly from point A to point B, there's usually a building or somesuch in the way, with no thru access. GREAT design for a "Community of Tomorrow".

Kudos to you for getting through the panel, BTW. Haven't replied to your blog yet, but wanted you to know I'm reading.
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #142  
Old 05-04-2014, 11:07 PM
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Odd day today...

Chops and I had a great time last night at my boss's dinner party last night. I think his wife talked with him about automatically refilling everyone's glasses, and I actually remembered my meal this year. Hooray for small victories.

This morning, we slept in, had coffee out on the back deck, and then watched the clouds and wind roll in. Since he rode the motorcycle up, that was his cue to leave (boo). Noodled around a bit until my daughter's soccer game (where we got sun, rain, wind, cold - the whole gamut!), and then went back home.

I'm not used to having a weekend day alone - I usually have the girls on weekends, but their dad and I split the weekends on their school vacation weeks. After a whirlwind week, a day of having nobody around felt strange. I wasn't motivated to do anything (even though I have plenty to do), and actually took a nap for a bit.

Decided I was through feeling sorry for myself (or just blah), realized I need to save my pennies for household stuff (so no going out shopping), so I went out to do some yardwork. There's something about totally losing myself in yardwork that is SUCH a catharsis. In a few hours, I got some old leaves and junk raked up and removed, moved some day lilies from a bad spot into a better one (for me, anyway - maybe not for the lilies), and laid down some grass seed. There's something fulfilling about being covered in dirt and seeing results of something you did.

So I'm feeling a bit better about being alone at the moment. Hanging out on the deck with a beer and the laptop before I go find something else to do. It'd be nice to have a fire tonight, but it's way too windy, unfortunately. Setting the yard on fire isn't how I want to end the night.

Ah well... Back to work tomorrow after a week off, and I'm kind of looking forward to that. Time to get back into the swing of things.

Oh, and the lilacs are budding. Yay! Hopefully, the hydrangea blooms this year.
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Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #143  
Old 05-05-2014, 01:59 PM
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Default In other, random news...

This has absolutely nothing to do with Poly, but my "stupid meter" is going off the charts and I need to just vent some steam...

I have a direct report who cut his finger on a light switch a couple weeks go. He, being a good do-bee, reported the "incident" to the nurse and subjected himself to reams of paperwork (sigh).

I come back from vacation to find that I now (as his supervisor) need to open an "incident report" and we have a meeting to determine the root cause.

I don't know if I should be amused or annoyed, but I'm leaning toward mind-boggled with a side of irritation. Seriously? Root cause was a light switch plate that needs to be replaced. Done. Dude got a band-aid and went about the rest of his day. Done.

Apparently, we're supposed to report things like slipping, even if you don't fall. So if I trip over invisible gremlins on the carpet (as I am wont to do from time to time), it's a reportable incident, even though there's no injury (except to my pride).

It's stuff like this that takes a once-meaningful policy and turns it into something people ignore because it's gone over the edge of hand-holding. The mind boggles.
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #144  
Old 05-08-2014, 02:24 AM
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Default On analogies...

One of the more prevalent communication issues I've seen (first hand and on the Mono/Poly Yahoo list) between Mono and Poly folks is explaining Polyamory to someone who just doesn't get it. Some folks use the "but you don't love your kids any differently, do you?" analogy to explain the way they love their partners, but that analogy can fall flat with many, including me.

Why? It's very difficult for many of us to equate love for a partner with love for a child; they're two very different types of love. When I love someone like a partner, I want to share my life with them, integrate with them somehow. My love for my children is completely different - I want to raise them, guide them, protect them, but ultimately raise them to be functional human adults with the goal of them growing up, going out on their own, and leaving to live their own lives. Not with the goal of growing old with them, retiring with them, and don't even try to equate a sexual relationship with someone using this analogy. It raises an "ick" factor that's hard to get past.

Many folks try the friend analogy instead: you have multiple friends, and your friendship with one doesn't suffer when you have another friend, right?

Well, sure. But you still have very different relationships, and why not just be friends with people if you want that connection? Why does sex have to be involved? Why does it have to be a romantic relationship to be able to enjoy that person's company?

It still falls flat, because the interpersonal relationships in the analogy overshadow what the person is trying to say. Both sides end up frustrated at times, unable to just get the other person to see what they're saying.

With a recent change in Chops' life, another analogy popped to mind, and I shared this on the Mono/Poly list during a time when a few new folks were struggling with having the "poly bomb" dropped on them by their spouses (and for some, in a pretty spectacularly awful way).

If we're going to be talking apples and oranges anyway, let's go all the way to comparing apples to elephants and just focus on the feeling behind it, not the relationships.

Motorcycles.

This is what I posted recently to the list:
Quote:
My ex-husband made me promise to NEVER ride a motorcycle - that they were too dangerous. I'd end up with a messed-up leg, walk with a limp, die and my children would have no mother, etc.

Now, my partner has a motorcycle. He loves the feeling of riding a bike. There's a freedom he feels, an openness, and a bit of a brotherhood (you wave at EVERYONE ELSE on a bike - LOL).

Where my partner sees freedom and enjoyment, my ex saw sketchy people, potential death, "stupidity", and pain.
And I'm somewhere in the middle, where I know that not all people who ride bikes are morons, but getting on the back of a bike at highway speeds terrifies the CRAP out of me. But I'll take the test, and I'll learn, and I'll get out there until I can't take it, or I get hurt - because I want to enjoy the ride, even if I never drive a bike myself. And I'll have a few scares, no doubt.

Some folks wouldn't want to take the chance - too risky. And that's okay.
Some folks would go, "OMG, I can do this too?" and go out and take the test the next day. That's okay too.
And some folks would swallow down their fear and go for that ride, and see how it feels.

But if a crazy rider and a risk-averse person are trying to ride together, it's going to fail miserably unless you get some ground rules in place.
There aren't any helmets in Poly, though.
After the "juggling chainsaws" analogy someone else had posted (in the frame of mind that she was being hurt but her husband was dead set on juggling the damned chainsaws, other people nearby be damned), this one seemed to resonate. Not trying to toot my own horn here, but it was nice to find something that people could relate to.

It also seems to work when people make the comment, "Well why does it matter where I go when I'm out? Why is it different if I'm out with a friend versus being out with a partner?"

The circumstances DO matter, though, when it's something that causes you stress. If you're concerned about motorcycles, then it's a huge difference between your partner taking a nice long drive and taking a nice long bike ride. You may be completely stressed out (worrying about their safety, in this case, but the reason isn't what matters here - it's the emotion).

The worried partner may ask for the partner to not go. They may ask for their partner to drive. Or they may ask their partner to check in at regular intervals, so they know that they're safe.

Some die-hard bikers may find any of those options unbearable or controlling, and may completely chafe at being restricted in any way. Others may be willing to compromise and call in, or drive up with their bike in a trailer and just bike around smaller, slower roads... or they may give their partner time to get used to the idea of a longer ride with the hope (or plan) that they will ride again later.

Some worriers may never stop worrying. Others may ease up over time, but still want the check-ins. Others may just stop worrying over time and let it become the new normal. At any rate, though, the circumstances (travel by motorcycle) are the thing triggering the stress, not the action itself (long trip).

Apples and elephants, but the emotions are expressed in a way that doesn't bring almost-comparable-but-not-quite relationships into the mix. It helped me relate a bit better, anyway.

Thoughts? Maybe I'll post this to the general board and see if it garners any discussion...

Anyway, moving on from analogies and into real life, Chops *is* enjoying his motorcycle more now that the weather is getting better. An interesting side effect has been that I miss the talks we'd have on his commute to and from work - it was a nice (and fairly regular) way of getting some time with him, especially on the days he's with Xena. Except, now we don't get that time when he's on the bike. We barely spoke today - a couple short phone calls to say he's on his way, a text to say he's safe, but that's it, and I've noticed myself being a bit more clingy (for lack of a better word) when he is home. I'm thinking it's related.

It's better than being emotional and moody when I don't get to talk with him much, so I guess that's an improvement.

I'm hoping we can spend a little time on the phone tonight to make up for it a bit, but the goodnight phone call can be a bit wonky if he's tired, so we'll see.

In completely unrelated news, we had our "root cause" meeting re. my coworker's light switch incident. Note to self: never, EVER go to the nurse for anything (I have band-aids in my desk, so I'm good there ). Going to the nurse guarantees an incident report gets written up. Safety and Health is appeased, but I'm dying inside with the money that gets spent on this stuff. The nurse even indicated that a paper cut would have to be written up. Glad I'm not the one reading all these incident reports. I'd gouge my eyes out with pencils and have to write one up myself.

Ah well... The laundry calls. Have a great night, all!
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #145  
Old 05-08-2014, 03:23 AM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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Hmmm. I guess I don't see poly as being more risky than monogamy. (I assumed the 'crazy rider' person is the poly person and the risk-averse person is the mono person. This may not be a correct assumption on my part.)

Any way, both are subject to disappointment, relationship failures, people behaving stupidly or thoughtlessly. There is more opportunity for people to be people when there are more relationships, or potential relationships. I suppose that could be perceived as more risky. Still, I just don't perceive poly as being inherently more risky - the risks are pretty much the same as mono relationships.

Interesting!
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  #146  
Old 05-08-2014, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opalescent View Post
Hmmm. I guess I don't see poly as being more risky than monogamy. (I assumed the 'crazy rider' person is the poly person and the risk-averse person is the mono person. This may not be a correct assumption on my part.)
I realized after I posted it that this could come across as offensive, but I decided to leave it in, and not have to put a (sic) next to my edit.

The context this came out of was a new list member whose husband had dropped the poly bomb rather badly - this is what's happening, having her meet the couple he was talking with without understanding what was happening, and getting the "I love you but I'm not IN love with you" bomb dropped on her all at the same time. She reacted to the friend/child analogies with one of juggling chainsaws, so the "risky" thing was already built up.

However, from many mono people's point of view (not trying to make a broad generalization here - this is just from observation and experience), it *does* feel risky, though. What does our newly opened marriage even mean or look like now? Are you just going to leave me? Are you shopping around? Am I going to get an STD? Am I going to feel trapped and displaced in a financial/living situation with someone who moves someone else into my home? What does retirement even look like? What happens when I'm old? Can I count on you to be there for me?

It all deviates from script - the "I will be there for you, loving you, forever."

That said, it isn't just motorcycles that can run into problems; there are many more car accidents on the road. Likewise, monogamy isn't a silver bullet that eliminates these issues. It just makes you FEEL safer, even if you're going at unsafe speeds. Being on a motorcycle brings all those vulnerabilities to light.

I think I'm going to bring this discussion forward on the other thread, too - if you don't mind.

(Link to other thread, for those who are interested: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69928 )
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk

Last edited by YouAreHere; 05-08-2014 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Added linky-poo
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  #147  
Old 05-08-2014, 02:25 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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FYI I didn't find it offensive. And I realize it would have been better to have put my comment in that other thread. Ah well. I'm going to copy it over there and comment some more.

And, nope, no worries on bringing the discussion over there!
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  #148  
Old 05-09-2014, 11:41 AM
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My mom passed away yesterday.

After all she'd been through with two bouts of breast cancer, it was a heart attack that took her. Almost like death had to sneak up and sucker-punch her because when she saw it coming, she told it to go screw.

I'll be off-grid for a while... maybe on and off here and there, but I probably won't be around the boards much for the next few days.

Hug your moms, folks. <3
__________________
Dramatis personae:
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops: My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena: Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa: Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).

My navel-gazing blog thread: A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
My slightly more polished blog (external): From Baltic to Boardwalk
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  #149  
Old 05-09-2014, 03:35 PM
opalescent opalescent is offline
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I am so very sorry YouAreHere.
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  #150  
Old 05-09-2014, 09:12 PM
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RainyGrlJenny RainyGrlJenny is offline
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So, so sorry, YouAreHere I lost my mom about 3.5 years ago, and it was devastating. Sending you lots of hugs.
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35/bi/f

- Moonlight, single, leans monogamous, girlfriend since 6/2012
- Punk, married guy, poly, FWB since 9/2011 with an emphasis on the "F"
- No longer lives with ex-boyfriend Fly (1/2006 - 12/2013, my introduction to nonmonogamy), and his 9-year-old son Kiddo
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