hollymath: (Default)
Both the questions I've been asked so far -- How did you get in to being poly? and When did you decide to move to Uk? -- have the same (short-version) answer:

In general? LiveJournal. And specifically? Andrew.

Long version got long! So here's the poly bit. )

And here's the getting to the UK bit. )
hollymath: (Default)
Sometimes the word "friend" feels really inadequate when you're poly.

Sometimes something happens to someone close to you and there are people you can't tell, or at least you can't tell them how excited or devastated you are at whatever kind of a thing it is (they've won an award, they have a serious illness, whatever) because you're not out, or they're not out. Or maybe because you wouldn't use a word like partner for them...but friend isn't enough, either.

We don't have the vocabulary.

And when it's a happy thing you're affected by, this might seem less of a problem because at least you're happy. When it's a sad thing, it seems extra sad that you can't even explain why you're so sad.


Nov. 11th, 2016 06:05 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Me: "I'm starting to think [person] has a crush on me."

Andrew: "Well that would make sense, because you are best!"
[This is pretty much what he's told me every time this has ever happened. It still makes me smile, even though I don't believe it.]

Andrew: "I'd rather you didn't get any more boyfriends right now!"

Me: "I'm not planning on it!"

Andrew: "I'm not saying you can't. Just that I'd rather you didn't."

Me: "Yeah, I know, but it's still not gonna happen! I don't have time or energy for anything as it is!"

Andrew: "Polyamory is for people with spoons."

Me: "Yeah."
hollymath: (Default)
...you have a dream about randomly snogging one of your friends (the kind where even in the dream it makes no sense and upon waking you feel a bit like you should apologize to your friend for your subconscious) and then in the dream you ask them "What does this mean?" and they start talking about how to talk about this with all the existing partners.

hollymath: (Default)
My emerging from upstairs after an attempt to sleep off a migraine meant [personal profile] miss_s_b had to explain to the Geeky Games Night newbie about me and James and her and James and said "this is where you find out about polyamory."

"I was warned about this!" the new person said. "I asked if this was really a board game night or an orgy."

There were the requisite "that could be arranged!" comments from the peanut gallery, but I like being an example that people can be in more than relationship and still like playing board games. It reminds me of Eddie Izzard's story about being harassed by people who that a bloke in a dress is the most risible thing ever, and when he said he was just trying to buy some crisps they were like "what, you eat crisps?"
hollymath: (Default)
Andrew's able to smugly tell me that "everyone who's dating James likes my blog post!"

I didn't tell him that I liked it! I think he just assumes that.
hollymath: (Default)
Andrew and I finally got around to watching the last couple of Doctor Whos this evening.

The first one, with all the trees, was bobbins. But I did like the beginning, where all the kids were having a sleepover in the museum.

"I want a sleepover in a museum!" I said. Andrew laughed, of course. "Can't I have that for my birthday present? My friends can come too, of course, if they want."

I texted [personal profile] magister (who's been keen to know what I thought of last night's episode): "Now, as well as a space train, i want a sleepover in a museum."

I watched Mummy on the Orient Express with him, and as soon as I saw that first shot of the train zooming into CGI space, said, "I want a space train!"

James didn't even look up from his phone or computer or whatever he'd been doing, and said with an utter lack of surprise in his voice, "That's exactly what Jennie said when she saw it."

"Ha!" I said. "You clearly have a type!"


Oct. 26th, 2014 11:06 pm
hollymath: (Default)
The wedding photographer looked worried when our table burst out laughing when she suggested taking photos of each couple around the table. I'm sure this isn't much like the reaction she usually gets, and I didn't blame her for saying "What? What'd I say?"

None of us could think of a good answer for her. So she tried again: "How many couples are there here?" Our laughter this time was if anything louder and more hysterical. Finally [personal profile] miss_s_b was able to help the poor woman out. "I'm in a couple with him, and him, and him," she said, pointing at a different person with each "him." "And she's --" (pointing to me now) "-- in a couple with him and him..." and of course by this point one of the "him"s had been pointed to twice.

The photographer just went with it, took a photo of Jennie and the three boys she had with her, and then [personal profile] magister, who'd been standing behind her, walked around the table to stand behind Andrew and me for our picture. And then the photographer looked at the two people left at the table who hadn't been part of any of these photos/couples so far, asked them who they were with, and they said they weren't with anybody there, but they didn't mind having their photo taken together either. Since they were sitting on the side of me where Andrew wasn't, it was a short stroll over for James to stand behind them, too, and so in those pictures we're all cracking up. "Just call me Benedict Cumberbatch," James said afterwards, which worried me for a while (I am not a fan!) until he reminded me of this Cummerbund Bandersnatch beautifully photobombing U2 at the Oscars this year.

And the photographer probably thinks we're all insane.
hollymath: (Default)
I am very glad that one of my husband's few good friends also happens to be my boyfriend's girlfriend. It leads sometimes to nice overlaps of care and consideration, to the easy transmission of news about our lives, to us all being there for each other to lean on in different but mutually beneficial ways.
hollymath: (Default)
So yesterday people are turning up for the wedding feast/party and milling about with drinks and such (I have now tried Pimms! it just tasted like cucumbers...) and I find myself close enough to where [personal profile] magister is standing that I hear my name so wander a bit closer and find him laughing at something someone-I-can't-remember-who-it-was said. She explains to me that she was just telling him "we'll have to get you married off", so I hide my startled open mouth behind my hand, but can't keep from giggling, and the more I think about it the funnier it gets and it takes a while for me to stop laughing.

We hadn't really thought about how this poly thing might complicate things. I only got told once that I'm probably called Janice (close enough...) and that I live in Brighouse, but people seemed to have the rough idea that we lived together and have been together possibly longer than we have. James rightly didn't want to scandalize or confuse his relatives on a day that was supposed to be about his sister, and it wasn't really a problem, but that 'we'll have to get you married off" line is still making me giggle for so many reasons.

This is the second wedding I've been to since my own and the first one I enjoyed. Probably not being invited to The Actual Wedding helped. But also enough time has passed now I think that my own doesn't make me so sad any more (I'm happy I'm married, but everything about my wedding was miserable and I hated it). I was a little wistful hearing the father-of-the-bride speech, but I realized this is more because I couldn't imagine my dad doing anything like that. I'm mostly content with the alternatives that choice and circumstance have led me to, but sometimes I I do get a twinge of longing for convention.

Then we raised our glasses in a toast to the bride and James jogged my elbow just as my glass touched my lips, sprinkling cider (we were using a lovely dry fizzy cider for champagne) all down me and, worse, making me laugh which caused more ripples in my drink that sloshed onto my borrowed posh clothes and up my nose. Yes it would be nice to do everything "right" but that's never gonna be me, and at least I was laughing.

The food was amazing. My hopes were not high when I found out it was a hog roast, but everything else was vegetarian, and there wasn't a thing I didn't devour --lentils and beetroot, new potatoes with chili flakes, green beans with some very light orangey dressing, butternut squash with a bunch of lovely stuff I don't remember (everything was really well labeled but I couldn't see the labels so James read stuff out for me and I basically forgot everything immediately after I was told), including some kind of actual nuts. And gorgeous moussaka! If aubergines were always like that, I wouldn't have to work so hard at trying to like them (I taught myself to like mushrooms cos they're in so much veggie food and that worked so well I'm now trying courgette and aubergine, with less success so far). I basically ended up eating two platefuls because James gave me his and went back for more moussaka.

Oh and our table won the quiz, much to my astonishment (not least because James, who set it, was told by his mother to fix it so someone (I can't remember who but I think it might have been the person who called me Janice) won because he'd put a lot of effort into it). We might have been at something of an advantage what with the bridesmaids being at our table so they could answer all the "how did the lovely couple meet?" kind of questions. I wasn't even paying attention because, never having even met them before, I knew I'd be useless. But my ears pricked up at the first line of Pride and Prejudice and then there was a question about Jane Eyre and the bridesmaids (and, I think, partner of one of the best mans) were dead impressed with me for knowing these things. They said if we won it'd be down to me, and indeed no one else wanted to take the wine and chocolates home so I've got them.

I had a nice drunken conversation with the Australian bridesmaid, who seems to live some kind of complicated bi-hemispherical lifestyle, about how hard, but also nice, it is to have two places you belong. James's sister said at breakfast this morning that I'd apparently made a good impression on her, which really surprised me because it turns out losing my inhibitions only makes me talk a lot of depressing garbage these days (well, it still makes me want to kiss girls too, so there's hope for me yet), so it's nice if baffling to hear that I wasn't too off-putting anyway.

I needed a brilliant weekend, to get me through the week now ahead of me. I'm glad I got it.
hollymath: (Default)
I got a card from [personal profile] magister's parents with sympathy and good thoughts for my mom. It really surprised me (though not James, who thought he knew what it was before I'd gotten it out of the envelope) and I found it really touching.

This is exactly what I grew up with (jokes about whisky-acquisition are a more recent development in "how to be nice to someone who has bad news"): you buy a nice card probably with some pastel watercolors on it and you write a sentence in it and sign your name (and that of your husband, yes, this is not a perfect system, just my native one).

Also, I've only met his parents twice and I am the first example of poly not just as something their son's put up with from his girlfriend for the last few years but as something he's interested and involved in himself. I want them to approve of that even more than of me, because that'll be good for James in ways more far-reaching than those which directly affect me. And they have certainly been nothing but welcoming and kind to me. I really enjoyed the Easter weekend James and I spent at their house.

But his parents and I don't otherwise talk -- as evidenced from the fact that the card was sent to his house and had only my first name on it -- and it hadn't occurred to me that James would've told his parents about my mom, though of course it seemed perfectly obvious that he would once I gave it a second's thought. So it was an unexpected kind of loveliness, and a reaffirmation not just of the network of love I feel privileged to be surrounded with, but also of how important the kindness of other families is to me at the times when I feel furthest away from my own.
hollymath: (Default)
"James thought of one I didn't," Andrew said, because these two are continuing this idiotic conversation from a pub last night that neither of them were in (which planets has the Doctor visited in more than one story on TV?). "Which is the planet River Song was imprisoned on."

Andrew seemed very dubious about this -- of course it being The Welsh Series he doesn't know, care, and/or remember -- so I pointed out that it makes sense because most prisons are on a planet.

"Yeah, but it has a name," he said. "Apparently."

"Oh, it needs a name now too, huh? Like the Bechdel test of Doctor Who?"

When I was young and naive and monogamous, I never would've imagined I'd have a husband and a boyfriend. But even if I had, I probably wouldn't have expected one to ring me to talk to the other about pointless trivia of a TV show I'd never heard of at that point.

This makes me smile.


Dec. 31st, 2013 09:15 pm
hollymath: (Default)
Oh wait, I thought to myself, deleting the last couple of words I'd typed and replacing them with "my boyfriend." I can say this again!

I don't know what it is; maybe I really underestimated the negative effects of not being "out" or maybe they're getting worse as I get older. But something means that just being able to include that in a text message felt awesome. It was a huge weight off my chest.

I'm really not surprised that all kinds of mental illness is caused and exacerbated by having to hide sexuality or gender identity or relationships (as I keep telling people in regards to the "bisexuals have worse mental health overall" work I do).

Speaking of my boyfriend, he sent me a picture of him in his fetching new clothes and it's so adorable. I've made it the background picture on my phone, so now whenever I pick the thing up I see him and smile. It's pretty cool.
hollymath: (Default)
So many text messages I sent and received this morning that I sent one to [personal profile] magister that was meant for Andrew's sister. I didn't even realize I'd done it until he called me, all confused (because the text said I wouldn't see him today when I'd just gone to such lengths to arrange when and where and how I would see him this evening, not an hour before!).

I felt really idiotic, and mean (even though of course I hadn't meant to be!) but I also thought that it was probably better to send him a text for her than the other way around, especially because Andrew doesn't want his family to know I'm poly and thus (because while most of our texts are entirely prosaic, sod's law would dictate I'd mis-send one that'd arouse suspicion) much hilarity could have ensued.
hollymath: (window)
I wrote two things yesterday I wanted to post but couldn't; here they are.

I went to a seminar today where the class was split in half and told to argue opposing sides of a debate. My half got, among others, negative consequences of the Great Migration of African-Americans in the early 20th century.

One of the points made by our side is that however difficult, harrowing, traumatic, etc African-Americans found their experiences in the South to be, there was among some a longing to return to the places they were from, where they grew up, where they thought of as "home" in some way, however idealized it might have become in the intervening years, ghettos, and shattered American Dreams. The guy talked about Ray Charles saying that the thing that mattered most to him was being able to go back to Georgia.

And ever since then I have been feeling that way myself. I know how imperfect it is, but I want to go back to Minnesota and stay at my parents' house and watch football with my dad and go along with my mom when she's running errands and take advantage of the fact that my parents never knew Stu was my boyfriend so they won't know that he isn't any more. That seems a very comforting world to live in right now: the one where my life is a lot simpler because there's no boyfriends, no activism (I can't tell them about bi stuff or Delga because I don't want them to think I or my friends are anything other than straight), not nearly as much mental illness as there really is, in me or my friends...

I'm having a difficult time feeling as happy as I usually do when I hear happy things from friends and acquaintances. Particularly, I'm troubled by examples of the outward rippling of love and happiness of people that I know are in poly relationships. I used to tell people that being poly was twice as much fun and four times as much work as monogamy, but it's really worth it when it's going well. Joy shared really is joy multiplied.

And I want to be happy for my friends' happiness. Usually I am. But where there used to be some vague awareness that the e.g. Facebook update I was reading was from a girlfriend of my boyfriend's girlfriend's boyfriend. That kind of ridiculous chain of connections is exactly what brings about the fear and dread in some people (behaviorally poly or not) but it's something I've always found cozy and comforting.

And I miss it. And it's not fair to take that out on perfectly innocent acquaintances who haven't done anything to deserve gloominess from me. But keeping it to myself is making me a little crazy too.

Dan is going to PolyDay this weekend. He was worried about fancying people/being interested in a new partner so soon after I have lost one of mine, but he shouldn't. It makes me glad that he is thinking about things that can improve one's life in the way that I enjoyed and will surely enjoy again when I forget I saw such riches and live with being poor.
hollymath: (dinosaur)
Okay, it was funny to contemplate what would have to be hidden in our house before my parents get here tomorrow morning (Andrew even helpfully looked at the bookshelves to make sure things like Alan Moore's history of pornography were not too obvious on the shelves). But it's also bothering me in some ways that are decidedly unfunny.

First of all, it's more than just a few books, a stray valentine card, and some paraphrenalia from the Lib Dems' LGBT group or Biphoria that needs to be tucked away (though I've left the rainbow-colored "Love counts more than gender" postcard in the corner of our corkboard that has been its home; an inexplicable sociological experiment on my part).

It's people.

Last time my parents were here, I was functionally if not theoretically monogamous. Not letting them know about my multi-relationship predelictions was like not telling them I fancy girls sometimes: what they don't know doesn't hurt me. But now that I have two actual boyfriends, whose status if not whose existence (they've both said they'd like to meet my parents... which I suppose is fair enough after I've gone on about them so much) I have to conceal, it's hit me a lot harder than it did back when it was just one of many things I don't talk about with my parents. (Yes i've been home a few times since i acquired these boyfriends, but not slipping up is easier there, and not just because there's no chance of them being around so there's no chance of me forgetting to curb my instinct to hold hands or say" or whatever. It's also because it's so easily to slide back into the mindset I had when I lived there, and all that time I was not only blissffully unaware of polyamory, but unable to get even one date in the first place.)

Dan and Stuart could not be more lovely and understanding about this; they both accept the situation and seem unfazed. But this just makes me feel that little bit more guilty for having to suppress their loveliness for the week and a half or so that we'll have to pretend to be just friends. They mean a lot to me, and so do my parents, and it doesn't seem right for this relationship to be a one-way mirror: where the boyfriends see the parents clearly but are not themselves seen, at least not as what they really are.

This isn't all I have to watch out for this week. I am unhappily reminded of my mom reacting so badly to the fact that one of my high school friends was gay -- looking very nervous whenever I said I was going to the movies with a group that included him, or going to a party at his house, repeatedly pointing out that he'd be "the girl" in his relationships (which is even more infuriating for being completely unfounded, even though that shouldn't be the point) -- that I just stopped telling her about them after that. A couple of years later she thought I made encouraging noises whenever anything came on the TV news about gay marriage only because of this one gay friend of mine.

The only non-straight person I know.

Yeah. The chasm grows ever wider, and I know that children are meant to go their separate ways from their parents, but still I love them and I'm sad to see them recede into the distance.
hollymath: (Default)
I had the worst nightmare I've had in a long time last night.

As usual for me, it was not the kind where monsters are chasing you or even where you're going about your daily school or work activities totally normally except for being naked.

I dreamed that I actually alluded to the whole poly thing around my mom (in a very 'me' way too, by talking with a friend of mine who was also there and making some offhand remark about comparing the people I'm sleeping with...that this seemed so exactly how such a thing would come about in my waking life added to the horror of it because at no point did I think I was dreaming until I'd woken up in a ball of misery) and she... oddly she first got angry at Andrew, and said she wanted him there so she could talk to him, and then I tried to explain what it was really like but all she got out of that was that it wasn't him who was doing the naughty stuff, it was just me, and then she said something odd -- even for the dream! "So you are a lesbian after all then!" And she said I had to leave their house right away, but in a strange jumble of circumstances that you get in dreams, I was living with them but close enough to my boys that I could ask the one with the car to come pick me up (when I stopped crying enough to do so) but then he didn't live in his normal house, it looked more like the house my dad's parents had, a few miles from here, and anyway it was full of strangers and no one noticed me even though I was crying all the time, my heart breaking at losing my family and most of my belongings...

...I'm tempted to add "all over again" there, but it was the possessions I lost, not the family. Still my mom's been saying, more often this time, that part of the reason things have been so difficult in the past few years was "it was like... we went from two to zero. We lost both our kids at once." It's really starting to have an effect on me.

I know what she means. I know I couldn't possibly live close enough for them unless I was, if not in their house, at least no further than the Cities (an hour or so's drive away). I know that a week in the summer and a week at Christmas doesn't really cut it for them.

But I would also like to think I'm a better daughter than my dead brother is a son. I talk to them every Sunday, with a scattering of e-mails going both ways in between. I send them cards for their birthdays and Mother's and Father's Day. I buy my mom little sentimental gifts; there's a refrigerator magnet that says a lot of things I can't or don't, not as often as I would like anyway, and this time with her Mother's Day card I slid a little angel pin in the envelope, because she loves anything to do with angels, which she now wears every day next to the one she got for my brother after he died.

But then there we are again, two little angels, as distant as each other in her way of thinking.

Maybe that's where the dream came from. Even so, I can't imagine my mom doing anything so dramatic if she did find out, even if I was still living under her roof. I've always said that, more than the certain disapproval (and my parents would be so disapproving I'd rather be four thousand miles away if they had to find out, and even then I'd be sure to feel the effects) what really bothers me is that they'd just worry about me even more. Anything new to them is going to make them very uncertain and while it's working fine for me, they don't know that and haven't been able to see that. And they already worry so much I don't want to give them anything more, spurious or not, to add to that.

I woke up sweaty and breathing fast, eventually realizing it was still the middle of the night and I was still in my own bed at my parents' house, the damage all undone. It's rare enough that you get to experience a big knot of stress untangling, that I decided to enjoy it while I could, even if I was cursing my brain at the same time for serving me up this cocktail of fear and distrust and ignorance and my own goddam ineptitude.

I got back to sleep and had a much nicer dream about getting VIP tickets to see a play and going with some glamorously dressed friends, so that's all right.
hollymath: (eyebrow)
I continue to laugh at the people who think polyamory is all about having lots of sex.

Lately for me it means at least two of the HABs* are ill at any one time, and I swear I had this same cold a month ago.

* A term coined by [livejournal.com profile] tartful_dodger; “It’s the male equivalent of WAGs!” he explained.
hollymath: (comma sutra)
I told [livejournal.com profile] tartful_dodger last night that I was sorry I hadn’t seen more of him, at least without Dan, lately and told him I have a plague of boyfriends.

Later I got to inform [livejournal.com profile] shinydan that I had a plague of boyfriends. He said “Oh no, I’m not having ‘plague’ be the collective noun for boyfriends!” and I said “Oh, that’s a great idea!” so now it is.

[livejournal.com profile] doctorstewie has already picked out his particular class of disease for the sort of plague he’s being. I think that makes it official.
hollymath: (tanpint)
I still wish for more and better furniture in our living room, though often it seems a moot point as we so rarely have people over. But tonight for once the fact that three people can sit comfortably on our couch only if they really like each other -- or at least if two of them like the one who’s sitting in the middle -- worked out rather nicely as it meant I got to sit between Andrew and Stuart this afternoon and evening, which meant I was treated to lots of hand-holding and smiles and cuddles and at one point laughing so much my stomach hurt.

We even had a flying visit from Dan, to ask questions about projects of Andrew’s that they -- we -- are all involved in and which are starting to take shape. Most interesting shapes.

My life is, in increasingly many ways, an embarrassment of riches. Don’t think I don’t know it.


hollymath: (Default)

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