Rings and Things

Being separated is hard, but we’re doing our best to keep as chipper as possible. The DDC is helping lift our spirits and support all round, but its still no substitute for when we can get our polycule back together.

In theory, we can after relaxation of restrictions were announced, but given how high infections and deaths are – exceeding what they were when we went into lockdown – there’s a wariness of believing the UK government’s competence and motives. In some ways this makes it even harder, but we’ll get through and it’ll be all the better for it when we do.

In the meantime, I finally had delivery of a set of rings that the core triad of myself, Lady M and mre S wanted to adopt to signify our link. We had some issues with a lost shipment and needing to reorder among the chaos of lockdown, but we finally have three simple matching rings that are staying in their boxes until we can all get together. They’re enamelled steel with the polyam symbol etched and painted on them – simple, discrete, and one more reason to hope for better times to come.

I was talking to a colleague yesterday after an LGBTQ+ staff network Teams meeting about the DDC and our gaming group.

On describing the mix of characters and their quirks I was told that it was a group they’d love to read a novel about. I think thats a wonderful tribute to the invention and warmth of the players and their alter egos. My little writeups here barely scratch the surface of what a joy they are to DM and game with.

Spoons Management

Yesterday wasn’t a fantastic day – one of being low in energy and mood, and it wasn’t helped by diabetes starting my day with an upset stomach that led to copious vomiting mid-morning. Still, at least when that was done I wasn’t as bloated and queasy and merely had a headache, lethargy, and a general feeling of worthlessness – so a reasonable trade-off I guess.

Part of the low energy and dip in self-esteem came from the enforced distancing and general ill health between us all. A big part of my love language is physical touch with those I’m close with – not necessarily intimately, but just the brush of hands or quick hugs or joking pokes in the ribs that cross the gaps between us and at least in my head remind and reassure of acceptance and comfort. So with Lady M having a bad fibromyalgia day and physical distance from myr s, it was a bad day to be having my brain throw a tantrum on that front.

Then there was just the part where I was physically tired as well as emotionally exhausted. I’ve been doing a lot between preparation for the D&D game, cleaning the house/decluttering, and generally being a supportive and positive person for everyone – and I just needed to collapse for a bit. Being typically introverted however, I’m generally not fantastic at communicating this coherently, which can lead to a bit of a spiral of my own making.

But that was yesterday – and today the sun is out, and we’ve spoken at appropriate distances with neighbours. They’ve all asked how we are doing now from when we’ve posted on local facebook groups about going into isolation. There’s been the affirmation that our experiences are not so different, and that generally people are choosing the positive view of how to deal with these weird times.

I have the game tonight, so I’me doing some minor tweaks and preparation for that, and I’ve started recording some odds and ends for a channel on our discord, telling stories. I’ve even written an experimental new beginning for the book and recorded that:

I think what I may start doing as I transcribe more of my short stories is also do recordings of them too as an ongoing process – partly to get practice in, but also to offer another form of accessibility to people who can’t read easily for whatever reason. It’s another creative form, and one that I hope people enjoy.

Roll on the Weekend

I’m working in a quieter library this week, so while there are fewer people around it does still make for a reasonably steady rate of use, even with people starting to twitch about potential illness. I’ve had two people this week mention they’re stocking up on books to read if they have to isolate themselves, and our numbers for events are down. So far though the very British shrug is being deployed.

That said, I am looking forward to having the weekend off, especially as I’m going to go see myr s for a couple of days. Getting away and letting the sea air clear the lungs a bit is definitely in order – and it’s also the second anniversary of my collaring them so there are some small presents to exchange which is always fun.

At least I’m generally aware of what my body’s usual range of complaints is so I’m not panicking when my fluctuating sugar levels give me sweats, or my sinuses complain when I shift stock and boxes around, disturbing dust in the process. Here’s to as calm a weekend as possible.

They Know

Being a geeky little polycule, sometimes the best gifts are simple, and sometimes you just have to embrace the madness. In the run up to Valentine’s Day I was browsing Etsy and found someone making little lego-style lightsabers for keyrings with accompanying tags that recreated the famous exchange between Han and Leia: “I love you.” “I know.”

Although there were options to buy multiples, the site would only make them available in pairs, so rather than just getting us one each I got two identical sets – and then as I gave them out, invited both Lady M and myr s to select one for their keys and I’d have the other.

As you can see, they both opted for the same piece and so now I have this double token to put a smile on my face. Simple things please me.

A Filthy Mind Is Good To Find

I was chatting about internal lives recently, especially where it comes to issues of attraction, and fantasy, as you do. Innuendo and sometimes not even single-entendres feature heavily in many of the conversations I have with partners and friends – so this always means keeping at least half an eye on boundaries.

You might think that this is particularly true with regard to some of my older colleagues, but as they spent some time trying to see if I was shockable I consider them fair game for as much veiled near-bone ribbing as possible. One of the great joys of getting older has been finding people generally not being particularly precious, or at least being more thick skinned. So while still remaining within the bounds of decency, the jokes and conversations and can and do get a little pointed.

So far so normal in general, but the real debate was around recognising the internalised tensions that some people have about recognising and owning attraction and boundaries. The conversation then meandered around the differences between ethical non-monogamy and cheating and how this informs mainstream representation of relationships in the media, such as the ubiquitous love triangle that always has polyam viewers wanting to throw things at the screen.

This belief that someone who is polyamorous will uncritically listen to and support someone in an affair is one of the major annoyances that I and my partners have encountered again and again.

Even with my hyperactive brain and ability to fall in love several times a day, I have no guilt over crushes and attractions – and I’m lucky enough in my dynamics that I can even mention them and it becomes a source of amusement or sometimes mutual quiet agreement where we fantasise out loud for a brief period before getting on with the day.

I long ago accepted that I have a filthy mind, and that fantasy is a strong element of my internal life. That’s just who I am. But breaking trust and hearts? Causing hurt? Why add to the cruelty of the world? It’s selfish and destructive.

It generally boils down to this: even if you can’t pin down where the line in the sand for your relationships is, you know when you’re crossing it. If you don’t know, then you need to have some sober conversations to check in and make sure you’ve agreed where those lines are.

Stop Breaking Her!

I’ve been asked to stop breaking Lady M. The comment came from our metamour, the inimitable Lady J, in response to pictures and video I posted earlier this evening of Lady M after we watched the finale of The Good Place.

Side note: If you haven’t watched The Good Place, I highly recommend it to you as an intelligent and witty story that hides behind a facade of goofiness.

There were tears, and blocked nostrils from a light cold, and snot, and laughter in frustration, and giggles from teasing. All at once. Which of course I had to share with lady s, and then with permission on social media – and now here, because I think you’ll all join me in laughing with her, and commiserating if you’ve seen it too.

Just… How..?

I Get Bored

Some routine is a good thing, allowing for a stability upon which to have the flexibility to interact with and influence the world around me. But I also get bored incredibly easily – mostly I think out of a sense of how many other things there are to be doing and exploring.

I therefore try to keep a middle ground between order and chaos in my life so that I can slide between them for respite. Sometimes that manifests in a frenzy of cleaning and reorganization that you may think is imposing order, but is in fact shaking things up when they’ve been static too long.

I see elements of this around me at work when I observe the effects of changing or moving displays. People notice and react to the change for a short while before tuning it out as the new normal. At which point we change things around to grab people’s attention again.

This is generally why I embrace change whenever it happens. My romantic and platonic relationships are constantly evolving as we ourselves change and grow both in relation to each other, our lives, and circumstances. Sometimes these are scary as they challenge assumptions, and sometimes these changes ease things. The same goes for work and my relationship to it and it’s demands.

Today I am fairly mellow towards work, even with its challenges (did I mention that I had to call the police toy?) – but who knows what tomorrow will bring. It’s unlikely to be boring, and I’m thankful for that.

Not as might be expected?

We’ve had a very lazy Sunday, Lady M and I. Mostly because it’s been a bit of a full on week again and colds are still trying to either linger or set in.

With all this feeling run-down it’s probably not too surprising that Lady M currently has some form of opportunistic inflammation of the joints on her wedding ring finger. This has made removing and replacing the rings while washing and so on really quite painful, so she has reluctantly not been wearing them while she treats the swelling with a topical cream.

This morning she told me that someone at work had noticed her bare ring finger and had in hushed and horrified tones asked if we had split up. On being reassured that this wasn’t the case, they then expressed that they had been worried that I had run off with lady s but we’re relieved everything was okay – especially when Lady M gave a robust rebuttal to that notion.

It did prompt me to, somewhat tongue in cheek, coin the word ‘monogonormals’ in response, but it is actually appreciated that her colleagues have such concern for Lady M’s well-being. Thank you. You’ll be relieved to know that Lady M did not disclose your identity to me.

The stereotype of polyamorous relationships having any more of a temporary shelf life than ones we are socialised to accept as ‘normal’ is one that can appear at any time. Accusations of being a commitment-phobe, or of being greedy are not uncommon for people with this relationship model.

My truth is that I love my partners and know that they love me too. I have as much of a crystal ball as the next person for knowing what the future brings; but as long as we carry on with talking and listening, reaching out and giving space, and evolving with our experiences then that’s a good strong basis to face the future with confidence and trust.

It really is that simple.

Rainy Monday Wake-up

There’s nothing quite like the sound of what might be a river outside your window to add a certain frisson to the decision to open your eyes in the morning. Half-buried under duvet and a small mountain of soft toys, that was my first conscious sensory input this morning.

The knowledge that it was an Inset Day, and that lady s and I wouldn’t have to do battle with the cub to go out in that weather arrived soon after. It didn’t stop me opening my eyes to check that there wasn’t actually a river flowing down the wall. As it turned out, the auditory confusion was coming from driving rain against the window panes and sill, a fast flowing drainage overflow pipe, and some kind of outlet releasing steam from somewhere.

Content that the room wasn’t about to flood, I’ll admit I did then turn over and do my best to burrow back into the nearest pillow and snuggle for a little while longer. There are worse ways to start a day, even if you know you’ll be spending the rest of it on the train home.

Neither of us wanted to get up, even though daylight and pre-booked train tickets wait for no one – but I was at least already dressed when the cub burst in wanting morning cuddles. I was honoured with at least ten seconds of enthusiastic cuddles before he bounced off in search of breakfast, a charger, and his Switch (more or less in that order). He is never that bouncy on a school day. To be fair, neither am I.

Soppy Moment

I change the backgrounds on my phone on an occasional rotation of things I’ve downloaded, taken as a picture myself, or from photos taken at conventions. At the moment, my phone wallpaper looks like this:

My amazing partners

It is, of course, Lady M as Anne Bonny and lady s as Max from Black Sails. It’s a fun reminder of our group cosplay at MCM and a lovely shot of them both. Seeing them just puts a soppy smile on my face.

I am very lucky to have them in my life.