Monday, December 3, 2012

Raising a Gender Neutral Boy

This showed up in my Facebook feed this morning  It's about a preschool in Sweden where the kids are placed in a strict gender neutral environment.  It's an interesting concept.  Gender roles and how to raise gender neutral kids has been on my mind since I started thinking about having kids and even more so now that I'm pregnant.

I think I was well prepared on how to deal with gender stereotypes if I was having a girl.  After all, I'm a girl and I was raised with a lot of boyish influence.  My dad raised me as a single father.  He taught me to ride a bike, tolerated me building very dangerous and unstable forts in the backyard, enrolled me in softball year after year, sent me to summer camp and never yelled at me for getting dirty.  I also had pink carpeting in my bedroom, got Barbies for my birthday when I asked for Ninja Turtles and X-Men action figures, was encouraged by my mother to dress to "show off my figure" and never had anyone properly explain my aunt who wore her hair in a duck tail and always had a female "friend" with her when she visited during holidays.  (I figured that out when my aunt and her friend adopted a child together.)  My parents made no deliberate attempt to shelter me from gender stereotypes, but they didn't strictly adhere to them either.  It's a foundation that I could easily build on if I was having a daughter.  Something I looked forward to, even.  (As if buying her all the Ninja Turtles would somehow make up for my bitterness over only receiving April O'Neil.  Good thing I had a brother who got the rest of the figures and didn't mind a playmate.  What does one do with a single yellow-jump suited April figure?  Collect expose stories on Barbie and Ken?)

But, as fate would have it, I am not having a girl.  The genetic screening revealed XY chromosomes and hopefully, when we have our 20 week ultrasound, we'll locate his penis.  People love to tell you that boys are easier than girls.  I'm not sure I believe that.  For some reason, this makes the whole gender neutrality issue much different in my mind.  I had no qualms about giving a toddler girl dinosaurs or Legos or Nerf guns, but I don't see myself buying a little boy a baby doll or fake makeup.  If only he had a sister that he could guiltlessly borrow those toys from!  Perhaps part of my hesitation is that desire to protect your child from the judgement of others.  I was teased in grade school for a lot of things, but wearing Ninja Turtle shoes was among them.  I can only imagine what a boy with a Barbie would face when walking into a Kindergarten classroom.  Then again, conformity is not how you prevent bullying.  That's not a lesson I want to teach my kid at all!  Dammit, there is so much to think about with this parenting crap.  No wonder everyone screws it up at least a little bit.

Perhaps part of my bias is just because boy toys are cool. Dinosaurs and robots and action figures and trucks and projectiles...  I want to play with those!  I don't want to play with baby dolls and change fake diapers.  I am already projecting my personal toy bias on my child when I eye up the Imaginext toys at Target and look forward to buying armored dinosaurs with human riders. 

And so, I think the best way to approach this is to let my kid make his own decisions.  If he wants a play kitchen so he can pretend to cook like his daddy (he does not want to cook like his mommy, that's for sure) then I'll hook him up.  If he wants to decorate his room with sports balls, then he can do that too.  He can watch My Little Pony or Batman, either is fine.  If he wants to wear pink socks and carry a satchel, I'll support that.  He will already be given a strong example with parents who don't conform to gender roles.  His mom will be the primary wage earner, albeit in a gender stereotypical role, and his dad will be his stay at home caregiver.  He'll grow up seeing our poly lifestyle, which is empowering for all genders and orientations.  He will be raised around our friends, some of whom are gay many are bisexual.  He'll watch football games with his grandpa and play fantasy themed board games with his grandma.  He will be surrounded by influence.  I think the most important thing will be to foster a sense of independence of gender and of societal roles in general.  This would be no different for a boy or a girl.

Conclusion:  I need to get over my gender biases and focus on letting my kid pick what he wants to wear and what he wants to play with.  Gender neutrality is not determined by toys.  Personality is not determined by gender.  I still wanted the rest of the X-men, even if they only bought me Storm.  Not having them didn't make me enjoy the show any less.  I was genuinely confused as to why they didn't just get me the toys I asked for.  Why have a box of Barbies in closet and leave me to sneak off to my brother's room to play with the rest of the X-men?  If my boy wants to play with a baby doll that wets itself, then his desire won't change and whatever it is in his personality that lead him to make that choice isn't going anywhere either.  That piece of his personality might leave him open to ridicule from other kids, but so might a speech impediment or a liking for books or being bad at sports.  Gender really isn't the issue at all.  It's about letting my kid be who he wants to be and properly preparing him for a world that may or may not accept him for who he is.  It's about arming him with confidence and conflict resolution skills and emotional intelligence, not about keeping him safe from the opinion of others.  These are the more important lessons and gender roles will fall in line behind those lessons however they need to.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Primary and Secondary: What the Hierarchical Terms Mean to Me

Titles often weird me out.  I don't know why.  When my Hubby decided to start going by a shortened version of his name, it took me years to use it properly.  I still use the name I knew him by first about fifty percent of the time.  When we got married, I had to say "husband" over and over again before it felt right.  When Not-My-Boyfriend became my boyfriend, it was weird to use that term as well.  That's why I've put a lot of thought into the use of the hierarchical terms of the poly world. 

There is a lot of controversy about this.  I can understand why some poly people are opposed to them.  They prioritize people and that's sort of wrong, but it's also sort of natural.  We do it from the time we are kids, organizing our friends into "friends" and "best friends".  We do it on Facebook now with a range of intimacy.  I can have "close friends" and "acquaintances" and decide what I want to share with each group.  We do it with family.  The fact is that we are forced to prioritize due to the limited resource of time.  Sometimes friends only become close friends because of close geographical proximity, correlating schedules or situations which place you close to that person on a regular basis, such as working together.  Although we may have the same feelings of love for all of our friends and family, we must make choices on who we see more often.  This fluctuates depending on life circumstances.  I see my friends more often when my husband and I work opposite schedules as I am more likely to stay home with him if we have the time off together.  I will make an effort to see a friend more often when they need extra support or I need support from them.  Life circumstance brings friends closer together too.  I expect my friend circle to shift when my baby arrives as I will spend more time with people who are tolerant of children or have children of their own.  

We tend to prioritize the people we care about based on life circumstance and what our needs are and what their needs are at the time.  This is necessary and not morally wrong.  Human brains are programmed to see patterns and organize things and people.  That's why stereotyping comes so easily.  It's innate and it's necessary to have some organization in your life.  A large part of my job is deciding what the priority problem is and how to organize my work and time most effectively to get things done.  I do this in my life as well to maintain relationships.

Having been in two relationships for several months now, I feel I've finally come to a conclusion on how I feel about hierarchical terms.  Saying that you are in a primary relationship doesn't mean you love or care for your secondary partner any less, but it does mean that you organize your life around one person more than another.  This isn't a bad thing.  One needs priorities and organization in life to reach goals and maintain order.  I don't like drama in my life.  As my marriage will expand into a small family soon, I want that family to be my priority.  I want my boyfriend's family to be his priority.

To think that every poly person can and should reach this ideal of total equality across relationships doesn't make sense to me in the structure of our society.  The exception is poly groups.  If you are in a poly group and everyone is functionally an equal, then the terms primary and secondary do not make sense.  However, for people like myself, who started out in long term monogamous relationships, who have or want families, who don't desire to upset the status quo and invite huge upsetting life changes (not always preventable, I know), who live with one partner...  it makes more sense to me to apply the labels "primary" and "secondary" and maybe add "casual".

This is not something I have discussed with my boyfriend, though I'm certain we will after this post, but I feel like this is how we naturally organized our relationship.  I never had any desire to upset his life, family or marriage.  I consider myself a secondary and I'm comfortable with that.  I am respected and loved in his life, but living an hour away from each other and each of us having preexisting life priorities, it just doesn't make any sense to say that our relationship to each other is on equal grounds with that of our marriages.  We've each asked the other to change plans around our spouses and always confirm with our spouses before we settle on definite plans. With the exception of my early insecurities, this relationship has been easy to enjoy and I think the acceptance of each others lives and the ease of falling into these roles has contributed to this.  There are many other factors at play here, but that deserves a blog post of it's own. 

I have finally drawn my own conclusions on how I feel about hierarchical terms in my poly world.  I'm okay with them.  Unless I someday end up in a triad or a quad or some sort of poly group that lives together, I can't see myself being able to practically treat all of my partners exactly the same.  That doesn't mean I love my boyfriend any less, but that love is certainly different than the love I feel for my husband and the love I feel for my friends.  It doesn't mean it's inferior.  It doesn't mean it's less important in my heart.  It does mean that my husband and my impending family are my priority in my day to day life.  This is no different than the way my marriage has always taken precedence over my friends, but I also choose friends that support my marriage, just as I've done with my boyfriend.

Perhaps in a differently structured society or a commune-type situation, the hierarchical terms wouldn't make sense.  Right now, in my life and the society that I live in, they make the most sense and that's okay. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Pregnancy Super Power is Squirting. It's ridiculous. Seriously.

I've been a squirter since I became sexually active.  The first time it happened was with my loser high school boyfriend who said, "I think you peed." Since I didn't really know what happened, my only argument in response was "It doesn't smell like pee."

Anyway, it tends to happen during sex once in a while.  Usually it comes along with a really strong orgasm, but not with every really strong orgasm.  Certain positions and clitoral stimulation along with penetration make it more likely to occur.  I don't always feel it when it happens and I can't usually predict it. 

Since I've hit the second trimester of this pregnancy, I squirt like a crazy person.  I mean, copious amounts of fluid...  Soaking through layers... Squirting out against my boyfriend with enough force that small droplets ricochet back in my face.  I slept in the middle of the hotel bed last night because the one side was soaked through to the flat sheet.  There was also a large wet spot on the floor next to the chair.  I could feel it through my socks when I walked across it.  Seriously.  Those poor hotel housekeepers have no idea how much body fluid I left behind in that room.  I should have bagged the sheets in biohazard bags.

I can also feel it more.  I feel it when it happens.  I can feel when it's going to happen... sometimes.  I'm going to use this to try to get more in tune with my body so I can better feel when it's going to happen and maybe gain some control over it.  Right now, there's not much that I can do about it other than knowing the activities that make it more likely.   

I could assume that the increased awareness of the occurrence and the increased occurrences of squirting themselves are a result of the increased blood flow to my genitals.  Vaginal lubrication increases with increased blood flow, as more fluid travels out of the blood and through the tissues with the increased capillary pressure of more blood.  Since increased blood flow also causes increased sensitivity of the genitals, these two mechanisms could be working together to cause the increased frequency of ejaculation.  I come harder from the increased sensitivity and there's more fluid there to squirt.  It's also possible that the increased blood flow and pregnancy hormones have caused growth of the glands that are responsible for female ejaculation, but I'm just speculating.  I have to do more research.

There's so little information out there on female ejaculation as it is, the only sources I can find for this during pregnancy are on pregnancy message boards where other women mention it happening to them.  I haven't been very good about reading my pregnancy books, but I doubt they mention it in there.  I'd love to learn more about this.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Consequences of Hitting on Cute Young Servers at Your Local Denny's

I hadn't seen DK in a while and I had started to believe that he may no longer work at my local Denny's.  I had unfriended him on social media and ignored his request when he attempted to refriend me.  Seriously, I have zero interest at this point.  He's a joke. 

Last night I traveled to Denny's for my usual standing date with Joe.  Unfortunately, I arrived before him.  I see DK outside the restaurant as I pull in.  I walk towards the restaurant and I see him quickly put out his cigarette and go in the other door to get ahead of me and hold the inner door open for me. 

"Hey" I say. "I'm meeting a friend."  I'm trying to be cool, but I stumble a bit and have to clumsily catch myself by reaching for the wall.  (Stupid shifting center of gravity!)

"Whoa!  Be careful.  You're meeting a friend, huh?" DK is already starting in on being a douche.  Apparently he hasn't figured out that I have self esteem.

"Yep.  He's not here yet.  I'm just gonna take this booth, is that cool?"


I sit down and immediately text Joe.  "Oh gawd.  Get here please.  That server is here!  Help me!" 

DK gets me a coke and then leans against the bench across from me.  At this point, I have taken note of Joe's care in the parking lot.  

"So, your friend is coming up here, huh?  I don't have anything to do right now.  You could just wait around for an hour or I could be your friend."

"Actually, he's walking in right now." 

"Oh, I see." He replies.  I can't hide my amused smile.  Is this guy for real?  He still thinks that negging me is going to get somewhere or maybe his conceited little butt actually thought that I was just coming up there to see him and I made up the friend.  He walks away and Joe slides into the booth across from me just a moment later. 

DK continues to try to flirt once Joe arrives.  He quickly figures out that he's not welcome in our conversation.  Joe picks up on this too and even made a protective comment under his breath as the guy walked away.  "Dude, how do you know that's not my girlfriend?" 

"Well, he is aware of the open relationship, but it would still be bad form to flirt like that if we were on a date."

I order off their ridiculous "Hobbit" menu and I receive this skillet piled high with pot roast and veggies.  DK sets it on the table with the following comment, "I hope you're hungry enough."  I ignore this comment, but I take note of his apparent interest in how much I eat. 

Joe and I had our usual conversations. Work, education, mutual friends, sex, his dying cat, my pregnancy...  It goes on and on.  I continue on my quest to convince him of the realities of female ejaculation.  DK eventually arrives to take my plate.  Now, maybe he just has no idea what else to say to me, so he again comments on my food. 

"Wow.  You must have been really hungry."

"Is that serious or sarcastic?"

"It's sarcastic.  I'm always surprised when someone actually finishes their food.  Like him.  He did a good job."  I clap for Joe and his clean plate in response.

"Maybe you shouldn't make so many comments on what a girl eats..." I offer this unsolicited advice to DK.  He offers a to-go box and I accept. 

"Joe, you cleaned your plate.  It's gonna be a sunny day tomorrow!  That's what my grandma used to say."  Which is only one of the weird things my crazy grandma used to say.

"My cat's going to die tomorrow."  He deadpans.  I love Joe.

Months ago, in the beginning thralls of my new freedom to flirt, I flirted with a young disrespectful playa and I'm still dealing with the awkward consequences.  He was butt hurt over it.  He shut down.  When he cashed out our tickets, he said as little as possible and although I was avoiding eye contact, so was he.  I don't feel the least bit guilty about this. I'm a cool chic and he could have at least made out with me if he had treated me with respect.  The negging, the standing up... yeah, he's not that cute.  I'll still check him out as he walks away, but I have no interest in anything other than looking.  I'd like to think this older lady taught him something about how to treat women, but the reality is he'll probably just stay butt hurt and call me a slut if anyone asks.  Silly boy.

The lesson here?  If you want your local Denny's to stay your haven for meeting good friends and lovers and study buddies and family members for late night coffee and pie, don't flirt with the servers.  You're just setting yourself up for awkwardness in the future.  Especially if you are clumsy and trip over your own feet when you are trying to act cool and blow someone off.  There are exceptions to this rule, as there are with all rules.  Years ago, I flirted with a server at my local Denny's and had a short, but very fun relationship with the guy.  The sex was great.  I'd do him again if I had the chance, but that was years ago and he was older than me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Come On Ladies, Let's Demand Some Quality with our Sexual Entertainment

The other day an acquaintance posted a Facebook status gushing about Magic Mike.  She acknowledged that the story was bad, but forgave that for the opportunity to see hot men dancing around shirtless.  I replied, "If you want hot naked men doing sexy things with no plot, try porn.  You can skip all the awkward conversation and shots of cars parking."  My reply was deleted almost immediately.  Why?  Why does it cross the line in polite society to suggest that women simply watch porn to get what they want?  You might make the argument that it might be an unprofessional thing to say, but I don't think that's it.

Every night, I see coworkers and patients reading Fifty Shades of Grey without shame in the open.  It's okay to admit that reading about being tied up and taken advantage of turns you on, but it's not okay to watch it.  Why?  You can gush to your friends and blow up Facebook when a movie about male strippers debuts, but it's not okay to admit you want to watch men in a more graphic state. Why?

In this day and age when porn is so easily available on the Internet.  You don't have to go out and rent it at a store where someone might see you.  You don't have to go out and buy it where you might run into someone you know and have to pretend not to see each other.  You don't have to pay for premium cable channels and tune in late at night and hope that there's something on that appeals to your interests.  You can hop on your computer in the comfort of your own home and pull up whatever vanilla or kinky thing that turns your crank. 

Is it because women aren't allowed to admit that they masturbate?  Does it cross the line to admit that you enjoy sex?  Fifty Shades of Grey is wrapped neatly in a Twilight-inspired love story, making it okay to enjoy the sexy parts.  Magic Mike allows you to appreciate sexy men without having to admit that you want to have sex with them.  You just want to watch them dance around.  Porn crosses the line as it involves actual nudity and actual sex acts.

At least if we are going to talk about liking things that turn us on, can we please seek out something of quality?  Why do we have to wait for everyone else to like something before we can admit to liking it to?  And why when I state that I don't like Twilight or Fifty Shades or Magic Mike am I looked at like I'm a party pooper?  I'm not judging you for your sexy interests, that's for sure!  I'm judging you for your apparent inability to recognize your entertainment as vapid and poorly written, or your failure to think for yourself about what you are consuming and just agreeing with the rest of your circle that it's good. 

If we are going to agree on something as a culture, ladies, lets agree that it's okay to like what you like.  Most importantly, that it's okay to like sex and it's okay to like whatever kind of sex you like.  You don't have to like the sex that's popular.  And if you don't like sex, that's okay too, but it doesn't make those of us who do any better or worse.  Maybe that's what we are working towards and maybe I shouldn't be so critical of these popular things when they may lead to the sort of open society that I'd like to see.  I just don't understand why it's okay to like Fifty Shades, but it's not okay to like some kinky porn to help you get off when you're working alone.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have something to attend to...

Side Note:

I wanted to include in this post a short description of how I enjoyed Magic Mike.  I saw it at the drive-in from the bed of my truck.  I really didn't see much of the movie as much of the time my back was to the screen so I could straddle my boyfriend and make out with his adorable face.  He gave me notice of when I should turn around to see sexy men, which we enjoyed together.  I spent way more time making out than I did watching the movie, taking advantage of my exhibitionist streak and working up an appetite for more.  That's how I enjoyed Magic Mike and I'll dare to say I had a better experience than most patrons of the movie.  The movie, however, had little to do with that.  ;)  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My experience with CVS (chorionic villus sampling)

Damn, my sexy blog has been overtaken by unsexy things lately, but since this is the most honest and heartfelt thing in my life right now, that's how it has to be.  I promise I'll bring the sexy back when I can. 

This morning I went in for an early appointment first thing after work and had chorionic villus sampling performed.  Some sort of genetic testing is pretty standard in my family, but I am the first that I know of to choose CVS.  Before me, everyone else had amniocentesis.  I'm a rebel, choosing CVS.  There are probably several reasons for this.  CVS has a slightly higher incidence of miscarriage and a small window in which it can be performed.  Luckily, I was referred to the genetic counselor early on and all testing options were available for me.  I chose CVS mostly because I wanted the results as early as possible for making decisions regarding the pregnancy.  If my anomaly exists in it's unbalanced state, it's not compatible with life in any example that I'm aware of.  Therefore, I've always known that I would terminate rather than risk giving birth to a stillborn baby or a live child with here before unknown birth defects.  With termination on the table, early results are important.  All of that said, more than likely everything is fine or I never would have made it this far into the pregnancy.

This is how my CVS procedure went down.  I was greeted by the same super nice ultrasound tech that I had seen exactly a week before.  She did a quick ultrasound to make sure everything was still looking good and to see where everything was.  At first Sketch was still, but after a little probing with the transducer, it started wiggling.  It put a hand out and waved at me!  She got a really good pic of just it's little frog legs and pot belly.  It's pretty strange looking.

Oh and in case I had any vague hopes of staring really hard to determine sex organs from this crotch shot...  I give you the following graphic from this site: 

Then she went over the procedure and had me sign the consent form.  The consent form had funny statements on it such as "I understand that the results of this procedure do not guarantee the birth of a normal child." but it was also reassuring in that the risks were all stated but you were reminded how rare the complications are.  This was good as the possible complications had become a bit built up in my mind.  Seeing the actual statistics in front of me was grounding.  She brought up blood type, which my doctor forgot to fax over.  I confessed to being A negative knowing that this would buy me a Rhogam injection.  Since there is a small risk of me coming into contact with the fetus's blood type during the procedure (normally this is separate and protected until delivery) there is a chance that I could develop antibodies that would attack the fetus if it has Rh positive blood.  Rhogam keeps my body from developing those antibodies and wanting to destroy what it's creating.  (What say you, believers in Intelligent Design?)  Knowing that Rhogam was in my very near future was anxiety producing as I vaguely remember them talking about how painful it is when I was in nursing school.  Ugh.

Moving on.  I got to strip from the waist down and cover with a sheet while the ultrasound tech talked to the doc.  He came in and asked if I had any questions.  I can't say he was warm, but he was very professional, which I appreciate.  He also didn't show his annoyance when I waited too long to mention my latex allergy.  Oops, probably should have mentioned that before you got yer sterile field started.  Sorry!  So the tech left to scrounge up some non-itch-inducing gloves and that was the biggest hold up.  The speculum was big and it was cold (you can't warm up a speculum on a sterile field so I forgive them).  He swabbed my cervix and then inserted the catheter and I could see it on the ultrasound.  As it crept up through me at times I felt nothing, at other times I felt some pressure.  The doc explained everything as it went.  He told me when he was going to attempt to obtain the sample.  They do this with suction, not a needle.  I felt no different during this part, but I could see the bits of placenta going through the catheter on the ultrasound.  It was cool.  At this point, the doc has to walk away and check the sample under the microscope to see if it's a quality sample.  Did I mention that you have to keep a full bladder during the procedure so they can see better?  The whole time this was going on I was looking forward to the best pee ever.  Talk about awkward.  I'm naked from the waist down with a light shining on my lady parts which are stretched open with a cold metal speculum.  I have to pee like you couldn't believe and I've got to chill while doc looks at the placenta bits under a microscope and makes sure they are the placenta bits he was looking for.  This was also the best part.  The tech was watching the fetus to make sure it was okay after the procedure.  She rechecked the heart rate and then we just watched it for a while.  It was a  nice distraction from all the very undignified things that were going on below my belly button.  I just watched it floating and wiggling while I waited. 

The doc came back and announced that the sample was good.  Hooray!  They will try up to three times for a good sample, but luckily they got it with one pass.  He reminded me that it takes 10-14 days for results because they are looking at my specific chromosomes and not just counting them to see if they are all there.  I wonder just how much they get back on the report.  I intend to ask my OB/GYN for a copy of it.

The Rhogam injection sucked.  It's a rather big IM injection.  It stings.  It's the only time I had to reach for my husbands hand.  I stick people with needles all the time.  I have tattoos.  I used to have my tongue pierced.  I still get nervous when the needles are pointed my way.  
That was it.  She went over where to send my results and confirmed that it was okay to leave a message with the results.

Compared to the hysterosalpingogram it wasn't much different.  The basic premise was the same.  Speculum, catheter through the cervix... one was shooting stuff in and one was sucking stuff out.  But in practice and feeling, they were not that different.  The after care instructions aren't that difficult.  Nothing inserted into the vagina for 5 days.  (They didn't say no orgasms!  I have my ways!) No tub baths or swimming.  This is to allow the mucous plug to close up again and to prevent infection in the meantime.  No straining or heavy lifting for 48 hours.  Call my doctor if I get a fever or flu like symptoms.  Some spotting and light bleeding is normal and about 40% of women have some after the procedure.  I've had some very light spotting as of tonight.  Overall, it was much less scary than I had built it up to in my mind.  Still, I'm glad that hubby was able to make arrangements for work and to be there with me.  It made a big difference.

So that's it.  CVS wasn't that big of a deal and now that I've done it, it sounds less scary than an amniocentesis.  I mean, a needle through my abdomen through the muscular uterus sounds way worse than going through an already existing hole (os, if you are med-term savvy) with a soft catheter and sucking up some tissue that has no nerve endings.  Hopefully, I will have no need to compare the two.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

How I Turned My Pregnant Outburst Into A Healthy Sexual Activity (And Made My Husband More Likely to Continue to Tolerate Me)

So this morning I scheduled my genetic testing appointment.  (If you hang on through the following description, I promise you a sexy story!)  Tomorrow morning, they are going to stick a needle up through my vag, past my cervix, into my uterus and insert it into my placenta.  From there, they will collect a small amount of cells that should determine the genotype of this little human I'm incubating.  I chose this method, CVS or chorionic villus sampling over the alternative, amniocentesis, because it can be done sooner.  This is important in my case because I know that if the fetus is carrying the unbalanced translocated chromosomes that it's more than likely not compatible with life and therefore I will terminate the pregnancy.  When termination is on the table, it is better to do this earlier rather than later.  Since it takes two weeks to get results from either method, it puts you much further into the pregnancy before you get the information to base your decision on.  The earliest an amnio can be performed is at 16 weeks.  That would put me at 18 weeks at the earliest before I could make the decision and follow through to terminate.  This would also put me smack dab in the middle of the Christmas season to kill my broken fetus, if it were to come to that.  It is also important to me that a decision be made before I start to feel the thing moving.  I don't want to feel the fetus wriggling around knowing it was on death row.  I'm a strong person and I've always known that termination was a possibility for me, but lets make it as easy as possible, shall we?  In addition, the sooner the procedure is performed, the less overall risks there are to my health.

This is heavy stuff.  I'm a bit anxious about this.  Because of the timing of the appointment, I'll be going alone.  I expect that the procedure itself won't be much different in practice compared to the hysterosalpingogram I had in January, so I'm not too worried about that.  I am however, nervous about the 1 in 200 risk of miscarriage and facing that after working 12 hours and getting little sleep.

When my husband approached me in the way that says, "I expect sex now." I kind of freaked out.  My anxiety and tiredness and pregnancy hormones sent me into a tirade which ended with me in the shower after yelling that I would be sure to fuck him.  While in the shower I unpacked and aired my anxiety and what it is really related to and came up with a good solution.  Since it seems a poor idea to have sex this morning, less than 24 hours from the CVS, I offered to suck his cock instead.

He was skeptical.  I told him to watch porn while I did so.  He reluctantly agreed.  I knelt in front of him at his computer and he watched a vanilla amateurish porn of man and a big-titted blonde woman.  This was not a very long blow job.  I found myself relaxing and getting turned on as I did my thing.   The subservient and submissive aspect of it turned me on.

It's a simple thing, but it was new to us and it was fun.  It also helped me make up for being a raging irrational misdirecting bitch a few minutes before.  And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why sex is important for marriages.

Whatever happens with the pregnancy, I will blog about it here.  If termination becomes something we face, this blog is the only outlet I have to discuss it publicly.  In my profession, I would be judged harshly and I draw the line at what I will put myself through.  However, I will always be open and honest in this forum.

Friday, October 5, 2012

This blog is becoming decidedly unsexier with another post about being pregnant.

I have to rant about this where I can be free to say whatever I want because I have been stifling my words for long enough.  So, quick back story...  I'm a nurse.  I work in the float pool.  This means they send me where they need extra staff throughout the hospital.  I work on a variety of floors and I love it.  I love moving around.  I love getting to know everyone.  I love it when everyone calls me when they bring food for special occasions.  (Float staff always knows where the food is!)  I've been doing this for 10 months and it's fantastic.  However, a while back, I asked them not to send me to OB/Postpartum because I was too emotional about not being able to get pregnant.  Now, I'm pregnant and I still don't want to go there because I don't want to see the new babies yet.  I get too scared about mine and what is going to happen. 

Last night I arrived and found I was scheduled there for the first 4 hours of my shift.  Initially, they had sent another nurse, but she freaked out and said she couldn't do it.  She went back to the nursing office and said "Send Bunny.  She's pregnant.  She needs to be over there."  And so they did that.  Thanks for volunteering me.  As if I don't have enough people telling me what I need to be doing right now!  I try to make the best of it.  I don't spend too long holding any babies or even looking at them.  (I don't assess them cause I'm not comfortable assessing a baby.)  The other staff is nice, for the most part and I made jokes about being hormonal and not wanting to be around the babies.  No one understood why I might possibly feel that way.  Still, I kept it together and followed my best friend's advice, delivered via text, "No crying!" I ended up staying there for the full 12 hours. I almost made it.

I talked a little about being pregnant with one of the nurses there. 

"I'm really early, only 10 weeks." I said.

"Oh, don't lift anything heavy!" She responded and I ignored it.  Later, I was talking about how I was going to have genetic testing done.  This dumbfounded them even more.  I explained why it was important that I find out if my weird chromosome abnormality was passed on. 

"You know there's risks to that!" This obnoxious nurse told me. 

"I understand that.  But I'd rather know if I'm carrying a child with this abnormality so I know what I'm up against.  It's not compatible with life." That's close enough to how I responded.  How I wanted to respond was like this... 

"REALLY!  THERE ARE RISKS!  That's funny, because the genetic counselor we talked to completely failed to mention the risks when going over my options for genetic testing.  Isn't that weird!  I'm so glad you were here to tell me this information!  Now that I know there are risks, I won't have it done!  I mean, why take the chance, right?  And while I'm at it, I'll stop driving to work, because I might get into an accident on the way there and lose the baby.  I should also probably stop eating food, because I might choke and die and lose the baby."

Later on, they were prepping a baby for a circumcision.  I stated that I wished to be out of there before it started so I didn't have to hear the baby crying.  A day shift nurse turned to me.

"Well, what are you having?"

"I don't know yet.  I'm only 10 weeks, but if it's a boy, I'm not having that done."

She got quiet and looked at me for a moment as though she was sad for me.  She placed her hand on my arm.  "I'm going to tell you...  I couldn't marry a man who wasn't circumcised.  I guess as mother's we project that onto our children.  My sister didn't have it done with her boy and I feel sorry for him.  I'm sorry for giving you my opinion like that."  I said nothing.  I wanted to say that my baby wasn't going to want to marry her.  I wanted to say was that I've been with guys who are and who are not and that they are both just fine.  That would have been enough to make me look like a huge slut.  Imagine if I had told the truth.  My boyfriend is intact and my husband is not and I'm fucking them both!  Up yours!  All of you with your stupid advice and condescending detached way of delivering it!  And stop asking me if I'm feeling okay!  Do I look like I'm not feeling okay?  I'm pregnant.  Not broken. 

I was still keeping it together at this point.  I had one more nurse to give report to and I would have been outta there before the damn broke.  They stole that nurse away to help with the circumcision and I was left to my own devices in the break room.  Alone.  Annoyed that I couldn't go home on time and annoyed at all the stupid, judgmental bullshit that I've put up with all night.  I thought about the babies.  Then I lost it. 

What if there's something wrong?  What if I lose it?  What if I never get to hold my baby like the moms here?  I want this so badly!  All of it.  I want the exhausted but accomplished look of having given birth.  I want the challenge of breast feeding.  What if I never get it....  

I lost myself to uncontrollable sobs.  The last thing I wanted was for someone to notice and ask me what was wrong.  I texted my BFF who sent me encouraging words.  I splashed some water and my face and dried my tears.  I got out there and gave report and then I went right to the nursing office where I broke down again.  I told them I can't do it.  I can't go to OB right now.  I can't do it.  All I could think about was losing my baby.  The supervisor hugged me and consoled me and reassured me that she knew exactly how I felt and that she would pass it along to the others.  She hugged me.  I probably got snot in her hair.

I stopped on the way home and got a glazed donut with chocolate icing.  I ate it with a large glass of milk.  It was awesome.  Now I'm going to have a shower and have sex with my husband, does that count as lifting something heavy?  Does it?  Ah, fuck it.  That's exactly what I intend to do. 

Update: It was a loooong hot shower and some hard and fast sex. Bite me bitches!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'll Believe It When I See It. Or Not.

Most of the time, I don't really believe that I'm pregnant.  We tried for so long and I really started to imagine my life without a family.  This would have been okay, really.  I can picture it.  I had walled off the part of me that wanted it so badly, knowing that it may never happen.  Now I have to reconnect with that part of myself and start imagining myself as a mother. 

I had another ultrasound today.  This one changed my due date, moving it forward by about a week.  When I laid down on the table for the ultrasound, I half expected there to be nothing there. 

"Haha!  Got you!  You're not really pregnant, it's all in your head." I would climb down off the table and say "Good one, guys, you thought you had be going, but I never really believed it."  I wouldn't even cry.  To think that there is nothing growing in me right now is more believable than what is really happening.

It's surreal feeling that there is a living thing inside of me, sucking away my life and changing my whole body around to suit it's needs.  As soon as the probe hit my belly, I could see the outline of the fetus.  It was immediate.  BAM! Baby!  It was larger than last time and it clearly has arms and legs.  It was moving.  This this is moving around inside of me and I can't even feel it.  Intellectually, I knew that my baby was already moving and kicking, but to see it in front of me on an ultrasound was something else entirely. 

Not even two weeks ago it was a peanut-shaped blob with a fluttery heartbeat center.  Now it is starting to look human.  I keep thinking about this ultrasound like what I saw is in the past, but this thing is inside of me all the time.  Right now, as I look at the pictures, it is in there, kicking. 

I can't think about this too much or I will cry.  I almost started crying going through a box of maternity clothes that a friend loaned me, just because it was so nice of her to do so!  I want to call my mother and tell her that I love her. (This is highly uncharacteristic.  I am not close to my mother.) I want to listen to Christmas music.  I want to talk to my dead Grandma like she can hear me.  I want to talk to my baby like it can hear me.  I'm losing hold of my firm grasp on reality and logical nature.  I do not, however, have an urge to pray so I know I'm not completely losing it. 

How I feel right now is much how I felt when my grandma died.  I couldn't feel it at first because it was too big.  I have to adjust myself to take it in and it has to get smaller, less risky.  It's weird that a grievous event and a supremely happy one are so similar.  I never thought I'd have these emotions and now I don't know how to feel them.  When I think about the future and actually holding our baby, my mind drifts around and can't settle on it.  If I do start to form the picture, I am instantly overwhelmed and unable to allow it to focus. 

This is what is going to happen.  We are going to have this baby and we are going to feel the happy emotions I thought I'd never feel.  The thing kicking around inside of me is the proof.  I just don't fully believe that it's there.    

In other news, Hubby and I settled on a nickname for our unborn wiggly nugget.  "Sketch"  It's just a Sketch right now, it's not finished.  I voted for Space Invader, but he thought that was too long.  Peanut is too common.  And so, I have a Sketch inside of me.  Getting closer and closer to completion.  I guess at some point I'll give birth to an oil painting.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Three Words

Since this blog is no longer totally anonymous, it is the nature of the beast that some things must be blogged about after the fact instead of using it to work out my feelings.

For quite some time now, three words have been be-bopping around in my head when I've been around NMB.  You know the three words I'm talking about.  Three words that I apply liberally to friends.  I love my best friend.  I even love some of my coworkers.  For some reason, applying them to a second romantic relationship was much harder.  I'm not sure why that is.

I had been putting it off.  I knew that I would have to say it first and I wanted Hubby to be in a place where he wouldn't be hurt by it.  I was also comfortable.  NMB made me feel an important part of his life without it.  The shared calendar, the warmness I received from his wife, communicating about important things, just being happy for me when I told him I was pregnant...  these are things that made me feel happy and content the way things were.  I knew that sooner or later the words would be said, but I saw no reason to rush them out of my big mouth.  The relationship progressed slowly and naturally and it was easy, despite my early insecurities.  I felt loved before I was told.

However, I was starting to feel like it was time.  Pregnancy hormones may have contributed.  Hubby has also been in a better place.  Despite it being just a decent human being thing to do, the ongoing to commitment to me through a pregnancy and new parenthood was really touching.  The words were going to come out.  They were waiting behind my lips during sex, they would still be there after when cuddling.  It was going to happen.

I talked things over with Hubby and I gave him some time to digest.  I didn't say the next time I saw NMB.  I waited.  However, the other night, I wanted to make it happen.  He was here, at our place.  We had long finished our typical amorous activities.  We were cuddling and talking, post coitus, in the new bed in our apartment.

I hid my face and hinted at what I was going to say.  It was quite obvious where I was heading, but he didn't help me out.  When I finally got the words out and looked him in the eye, there was a pause before he responded with

"I love... pie."      
 "I love you too"
"It was on 'How I Met Your Mother'"
"Oh, you owe me for this one"
"A little bit, maybe"

So, that's how I told my boyfriend that I loved him, how I arduously forced the words out after much anxiety only to have him respond with a quote from "How I Met Your Mother."  Awesomesauce.  Actually, what is so strikingly weird about this is how similar it is to something my husband would have done.  He often makes cheesy jokes and puns when I try to be serious and show affection.  Sigh.  This is what I attract, I suppose.  Well, I would rather have someone(s) who makes light of life, even the serious moments, than someone(s) who had no sense of humor.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

An Amusing Interaction: Sometimes I Forget That I'm Weird

I went to a kids and baby consignment sale last weekend with my good friend.  The sale was organized by a mommy club of sorts.  This local group of moms also organizes play dates and date nights and other things to do with their group.  I asked some questions while checking out. 

Now, our situation is that I am the primary earner in our household.  I am also so not programed to stay home with a baby.  Therefore, we've long discussed that if one of us was to be a stay at home parent, it would be Hubby.  Seriously, he is way more suited for the task anyway.  This group had "and More" in their group name, so I made the silly assumption that "and More" might include dads.

"Do you have any Dad's in the group?" I asked three women at the checkout.  The first two stumbled and stuttered and looked at me like I have three heads.  I went on, "because if any of us stay home with the baby, it will probably be my husband."  Finally the one seated responded.

"He'd probably be the only one.  We don't really have any dads in the group." She replied, the only one unfazed by the the apparent socially disrupting question I just asked. She smiled, even.

"Oh, well, he'd probably really like that!" I said and laughed.  The two standing ladies laughed nervously, which sounded really strange against my genuine giggles.

Moral of the story: People are really uncomfortable if you admit your husband likes being around other women.  This has always been the case.  Most of Hubby's friends are female and always have been.  I have never taken issue with this and I've never had a problem with him spending time with female friends without me.  I forgot that this is weird.

Alternate moral of the story: Mommy groups are likely to be too conventional for me.  They are probably also very cliquey, according to reports from other moms. 

Additional moral of the story: Being a stay at home dad still has a stigma attached to it that Hubby will likely have to deal with if that's how we go about things.  This is annoying.  However, I'm certain that he will also see a benefit when it comes to dating.  My dad, as a single father with full custody, got tons of action while I was growing up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This Message Makes Me Want to Commit Immature and Hurtful Acts

I have previously mentioned Gathering, my former friend of 10 years who divorced us when he couldn't wrap his head around poly.  Not only could he not wrap his head around it, but he took it as a great moral insult to himself and the institution of marriage.  When I casually dated Hulk, a mutual friend, a few times, he decided that he could no longer be our friend.  Well, my friend anyway.  He's never really stopped talking to Hulk.  I guess his behavior is forgivable.  I'm a foul temptress who attempted to seduce him.  He's the hapless man following his penis.  Grrr...

I recently attempted to reconnect with Gathering.  I know he's had some life changes including getting his own place for the first time.  I messaged him and offered some kitchen items that I was no longer needing.  He replied kindly.  I replied and suggested that we be friends again.  Holy shit that was apparently the wrong thing to do.  I got back a long long message detailing why he can't do that. 

Essentially, he states that he cannot be our friend.  He wouldn't go out of his way to avoid us if he saw us somewhere.  In fact, he knows that he is likely to run into us at a local gaming con next month.  Those encounters will have to be dealt with, but he cannot be our friend.  What follows is the meat of the message which reveals that apparently he had issues with our friendship before poly was a twinkle in our eyes. 

I cannot at this time find it in myself to go back to how things were. Everything is still too fresh and hurting. It is not only the issues I have (which we have went into ad nauseum) it is also a series of awkward and upsetting times I have seen you or Hubby over this year. They have made me too upset, too hurt, and reached meltdown point multiple times. And I cannot deal with a pursuit of another such scenario. I apologize for the melodrama, but I have spent too many days, nights, and weekends being so upset over our friendship that it isn't healthy for me to go forward and give it another shot. All of those things still happened. I still felt sick to my stomach due to our interactions, I still stressed myself out to point of breakdown over all of it, and I still got so upset that I completely lost it. I have had enough big changes in my life recently that I don't need to do anything hasty nor potentially self-damaging, and I'm afraid that our friendship (you, me, and Hubby) has become a damaging affair over this past year or so.

The fact that our friendship was causing him emotional turmoil long before poly broke it, is enlightening.  How the hell could I have fixed that?  There were numerous occasions where Gathering was obviously faking an illness and excused himself from our social affairs, but I had no idea that his anxiety was directed towards Hubby and I specifically and I have no idea why.  Still don't and I probably never will.  How can I, if he won't tell me?

He goes on to tell me that he knows it's hypocritical for him to continue to talk to Hulk.

I should also state now for sheer sake of information and sharing that I have talked to Hulk some recently over text, dealing almost exclusively in Magic the Gathering along with a little chit chat. Now while it could very understandably be seen as hypocritical of me that I am giving that friendship another try, and I don’t blame you if you do as there is some hypocrisy, it also stands that there has only been one awkward and weird situation with him, while there were many others with the two of you. It also helps that when I will see him this Friday night, it will be at a tournament. If things end up awkward there are another 20 – 40 people to talk to, XXXX will also be there, which always helps, and we can always default talk about Magic instead of anything serious. I just wanted to disclose that now. I really don’t wish to argue, I don’t wish to add emotional turmoil in your life, especially now that you are pregnant. I just had to let it be said, there is a double standard there, and even still it may fail amazingly so.

Wow.  These are some serious social anxiety issues we are talking about.  Yes.  This is hypocrisy for sure.  I also don't think it's fair to count up the awkward and weird situations with me and Hubby when we were not aware of them.  How many were there?  How many of Gathering's stomachaches were real and how many were because we made him feel weird and awkward?  Who knows?  Only him, I suppose.  Which makes this friendship and it's loss totally out of my control.

I had also hoped many times that interactions with you and Hubby would get better each time and they failed, even after very good, healthy and fun conversations through text or Facebook. So it will be the litmus test on Friday. Anyways I have rambled on WAY to much about this aside…

Whoa.  Hard to change my behavior to save a friendship when I didn't even know that I was doing something hurtful.  This is both the most hurtful part of the message, but also the most vindicating.  He was expecting things to get better by not talking about them and was disappointed when nothing changed when he never aired his feelings.  This friendship was doomed.  There was nothing I could do.  Choosing to become poly had little to do with it ending. 

What he doesn't know about this upcoming con, is that it's not only likely that Hubby and I will be there, but also that my boyfriend and his family will be there.  Right now, in my hurt and hormonal little brain, the thought of making out with NMB where Gathering can see is a very satisfying, but a very immature and inappropriate response.  I'm sure I'll be over it by then.  That said, this con is somewhere that we can potentially be more public with our affections and I don't intend to hold back to spare the feelings of someone who no longer wishes to have me in his life.  It's not like he'll say anything, anyway.  (Ouch)

That said, last year at this gaming con, Gathering was totally in his element. We borrowed games, learned them quickly and played.  He was our master of ceremonies, our leader of the gaming table.  We had much fun that afternoon.  I miss his company, truly, but he no longer sees me as an acceptable friend and I don't even know for sure why.  Therefore, I must move on. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pregnant and Poly

Hubby and I are about to have some huge changes in our life.  About 3 weeks ago, my period was late by a few days.  I didn't think much of it as they are irregular and I was bloated and crampy and felt about ready to start.  I was also mildly nauseous, exhausted, had increased genital sensitivity and lubrication, and my breasts were more tender than they usually are.  Still, with 2 years of negative pregnancy tests behind me, I wasn't too eager to see another expensive disappointment stick.  In fact, when I took the test it was a sort of afterthought, I had to stop the stream and count on having enough urine left from my first pee to take the test.  The positive line showed up right away, but I didn't believe it.  I stared for a moment then handed it to Hubby, who was standing right next to me in the bathroom.  (Yes, we pee in front of each other.  We find that it neither adds nor detracts from the "romance" of our marriage.  It does make having one bathroom less inconvenient.)

"Um, this stick says I'm pregnant."  I said.  He looked at it, handed it back to me and walked out of the bathroom without saying anything.

Last Friday, we had our first appointment with the most awesome OG/GYN that there is.  We got to see our baby on the ultrasound.  It looked like a peanut, but the peanut had a heartbeat.  This means that from this point on, the risk of miscarriage is extremely low.  Things are looking good that an actual real life baby is in our future.

I've received two questions from the people that we've announced the pregnancy to that know about our open relationship/poly secret life.

Q. Is it Hubby's?
 A. Yes.  Since we require protection with all other partners and there have been no slip ups or breakages, I can be certain that the baby belongs to my husband.  This was an awkward thing I wished to avoid when becoming open and therefore fluid bonding with another partner was never on the table for me.

Q. So, will you continue to be...?
A. Open? Also, yes.  In fact, it's more important to me now than ever before that we work things out and continue our poly life.  Having families often makes people feel isolated and limits their adult interaction.  I want to minimize that as much as possible.  What better way than to maintain romantic relationships outside of the marriage.  Hubby is concerned with losing his freedom, why take another thing away that lets him feel free.

That said, I will not be pursuing any new relationships while I am pregnant.  Any hope I had at getting involved in the local BDSM scene is also on hold, even if Hubby's comfort level with it increases. (Who's going to tie up and pretend to abuse a pregnant woman?) I will maintain and enjoy my relationship with NMB, who is happy for us.  NMB's wife is very excited to get to be around a baby.  It adds a different dimension of support and interest that is nice.  Also, even though it's clearly a decent thing to do and he knew that this was a possibility, I can't help but be touched by the fact that NMB is totally fine with the pregnancy.  For someone who seemed to have a history of casual, no commitment simple relationships, sticking with me through something as complicated as the incubation and creation of a child seems big.  It feels good.  It is realistic to assume that I will see less of him as the pregnancy becomes more annoying and when the baby arrives, but knowing that he'll be there is a damn good feeling.  I can also look to the two of them for advice on parenting, meaning I will have extra support as a new mom.

Hubby is pursuing new relationships and maintaining one casual one.  I hope that he can find someone that he feels a strong connection with.  He feared that pregnancy would cause me to want to turn our relationship inward and that I wouldn't want him dating anymore if I got pregnant.  I am finally able to prove him wrong.  Here I am, hormones and all, encouraging him to date. 

And so here we are.  Having a child will add a new learning curve to our poly experience, but others have done it and we will too.  Being poly will add stress to our young family at times, but I also anticipate that having activities and adult relationships outside of each other and with the baby will be a huge advantage for us.  The adventure continues!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Things Got Rocky, But They Appear to Have Settled

I haven't been posting about our rough patch, because things were so personal and so difficult that I didn't want to add any additional threat by writing about them here.  There are a handful of people in the local community who know my real identity and I couldn't blog as freely as I would have otherwise.

Things seem to have settled and are truly on the upswing as of right now, but there was a lot of arguing and a lot of discussing, some careful negotiation and some refusing to back down.  What we argued about was remaining in an open, poly relationship.  What we have settled on is remaining in an open, poly relationship.

After numerous disappointments and let downs, Hubby was feeling pretty down about his prospects and having a hard time seeing the benefits of being poly when all he had thus far was emotional pain.  The pain of being dumped in addition to the pain of having to share me was really bringing him down.  He wanted to close.  I refused.  Thus began about 6 weeks of arguing about the future of our relationship and whether or not we would stay married.

What we have settled upon is remaining open.  I am content to just date NMB for the time being, until a time which he feels more comfortable.  He now has a consistent fun thing going on, but there is little emotion there.  He still really wants an emotional connection with another girl and is continuing to search for it.

I still feel like things are precarious, but I also feel like it is more important now to stick to my convictions and fight for the open relationship.  Monogamy does not make sense to me any more, on a fundamental level.  On a practical level, I will not give up my relationship with NMB.  Nope.  Not gonna do it.

Things have changed for us in the last few weeks and in the coming months/year will be changing even more.  I will write about this soon, but for now, I am just happy that I managed to squeeze out a post at all. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I watched Bridesmaids. Now I'm going to rant about it.

I've had this DVD on loan from a friend who insisted that I watch it.   It has sat around for weeks and weeks.  I'm sick with a cold and home alone so I popped it in the player.  It was kinda funny, sometimes...  but for the most part, it reinforced negative female stereotypes in way that just ticked me off. 

The movie opens with some very awkward sex scenes.  I'm sure this is supposed to be funny, but it just made me uncomfortable.  The main character, Annie, is fucking her FWB and it's hard to believe that she's having a good time from what you see.  Limbs flail around.  She makes requests that are ignored by her lover.  She wakes up before him in the morning and we see her sneaking back into bed after fixing her hair and makeup before crawling into bed.  Is this really what we want, ladies?  A relationship where the pressure to be pretty is so high that you have to sneak around to avoid being seen without your makeup on?

The sex negativity continues when she meets up with her friend, Lillian, for breakfast.  Her friend shames her for visiting the FWB and they laugh about their mutual distaste blow jobs.  It's funny because penises are gross, I think.  Some time after that, her friend becomes engaged and that's where the girl vs girl competition begins.  Annie is chosen as Lillian's Maid of Honor and is introduced to Helen, a new friend and member of the bridal party.  Helen is a character with some negative traits, but even from the beginning she isn't completely unlikeable.  She's kind and pleasant.  She's rich and Annie is broke, so you, know, we can't trust the upper class.  We see early hints that that her life isn't as pleasant as it looks from the outside when her step-children curse at her after she greets them.  It's obvious that both women are insecure.  The conflict arises over jealousy and who can prove to be Lillian's bestest BFF.  You know, because there can be only one.  At least that's what this movie believes and it's an absurd premise for a movie.

The conflict between the two of them ranges from giving speeches, making the best wedding plans, having better connections and planning the bridal shower.  The shower is where Annie reaches her limit and explodes.  Her life is in shambles and she's been shown up over and over again by Helen.  She screams at Helen and Lillian, destroys the decorations, loses her welcome to attend the wedding and leaves.

Eventually, Helen shows up on the day of the wedding to ask for Annie's help in searching for Lillian.  The conflict is resolved between them as they drive.  The conflict is resolved by Helen apologizing, admitting that she has a mostly unhappy life and crying a bit.  Annie takes pleasure in Helen's tears and the fact that she is an "ugly crier".  Then they start to respect each other.  THAT'S CONFLICT RESOLUTION BETWEEN GIRLS!?  They don't talk about anything.  They don't really respect each other.  Annie is just happy that Helen isn't as perfect as she thought.  The rest of the movie is sprinkled with jokes about Helen getting things about Lillian wrong and proving to be less of an awesome best friend despite spending a lot of money on everything.  So Annie wins the title of Lillian's BFF in the end because...  because... the main character has to win?  I really don't know.

The best part about this movie is the adorable Irish cop who is genuinely nice and is treated quite poorly by Annie.  She flirts with him, sleeps with him, gets mad when he does something really nice (I think she was mad because he couldn't read her mind, I dunno) and then never calls or texts.  There are also several scenes where she is intimidated by the happiness of others and even tries to bring people down from their happy moments of buying jewelry at her job.  This is supposed to be funny, but it makes her a very unlikeable character.  

The entire plot of this movie is based on jealousy and competition between women.  It would be bad enough if it was over a man, where it's unacceptable to share in our society, but it's over a female friend.  Having more than one female friend is totally acceptable, so why do they feel the need to fight over her.  This absurd premise combined with the overall poorly designed and unlikeable main character (Do women have to be bitchy to be funny?  No.) makes this movie difficult to enjoy. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

THAT didn't go as well as I had hoped.

My skills are rusty or perhaps they were nonexistent to begin with.  I just attempted a Facebook chat conversation with a hot guy I know IRL.  I've been crushing on him for months, only stepping back to allow my good friend to pursue him.  When she announced today that she was moving on, I received official permission to put him back on my radar.  It was promising tonight as he was on Facebook chat, which is a rarity.  I opened a conversation and rolled out my open-relationship-poly status.  It's a first step, if they don't know the open-status then I'm seen as married and off limits and therefore flirting is for naught and wasted energy.  I have to come out if I have any hope of getting someone interested. 

Here's how that went.  I revealed.  He signed off Facebook.  I think I struck out.  I've got crickets and cicadas over here.  I didn't even make it out like "I'm in an open relationship and I want to see your O face" (Which is totally the nickname I gave him early on, O, for O Face, 'cause I wanna see it.) I told him about my boyfriend, which is totally not something you tell someone you want to get up on, at least not right away.

It's been 40 minutes and he's completely vapor trailed.  Gone.  Dissipated into the Facebook ether from whence he came.  Clearly, I need to work on my skills.  I ain't got no game.

Oh well, I have a husband and a boyfriend and a Hitatchi Magic Wand.  I live a very satisfactory life over here.  One hot guy who can't handle the truth isn't enough to get me down.   Now, if I could just get those crickets to shut up.

...Post Script
There still lies some small shred of hope over here.  There were several times in the conversation that FB showed him typing where he ultimately said nothing.  As though he was starting to say something and rethinking it, before I rolled out the secret.  It's possible that he's intimidated by me and rolling out the secret was just too much and he signed off because he had no idea how to respond.  This is what the positive not-paranoid part of my brain says.  Not likely, but if I want to keep the hope that the kiss that I dreamed about might happen in real life, it's what I got.  In the meantime, can anyone recommend a book on picking up guys?  My track record over here is starting to suck.

I misjudged the situation entirely, at least from what he says.  Hours after I went to bed, O finally responded to my message.  He stated that he was cool with the open stuff and he did not intentionally sign off Facebook.  He also reiterated that he isn't able to date right now because of schedules.  This may have been directed at me.  It also may have been directed at a previous comment about my friend trying to date him.  (Most likely, my friend.  He knows she was interested.  All he knows is that I'm available.)  This is good news.  I'm a good person to date for people with busy schedules and he revealed that he is unattached.  He also said he's totally willing to hang out.  Now, to practice those skills I don't have...

My husband likes my boyfriend's brownies

The other day I went over to NMB's house to hang out with him and his wife.  Their daughter greeted me with a hug and a kiss when I walked in.  I just think that's really cool.  I love borrowing other people's kids.  I like knowing that she likes me and I'm not disrupting her life in some weird way when I show up and steal her dad's attention.  His wife made dinner.  I played Bananagrams with her while he made brownies.  He distracted us with the brownie batter on the beater.  We had brownies and after the kid was in bed, NMB and I made good use of the bedroom while his wife played video games in the next room.  That's code for sex, by the way.  I had sex with my boyfriend while his wife played video games in the next room.  Afterwards, we all played Cards Against Humanity.  Then I got a back rub.

Did you get all that?  I got dinner, games, brownie batter and brownies, sex, more games and a back rub.  All of that was in addition to great company for the evening.  This is what being poly gets me.  Life is good.  NMB sent me home with a couple brownies, one of which was meant for my hubby.  He liked it.  The fact that my husband likes my boyfriend's brownies makes me giggle.  As NMB said it, "There's not many people who can make that precise statement!"  I replied "It's a point of pride."

An observation I made while hanging out with NMB and family...  while I feel totally welcome and at ease around them both, I can see how hanging out with a married couple could be intimidating for someone who is dating one of them.  The inside jokes from the long shared history, the knowing what the other is thinking, the shared domestic activities...  those are a powerful part of a long term relationship that could be hard to see for someone on the outside with a romantic interest in one of them.  In my case, I liked seeing the two of them together.  They are cute.  I like seeing them interact in the same way that I like seeing any positive successful couple interact.  I have a similar situation in my life and it's easy for me to understand their connection.  However, for someone with no experience with marriage or a long term relationship, this could be difficult to understand and therefore intimidating.  I resolve to keep this in mind while meeting metamours in the future.  I hope to keep them as at ease as I am around NMB and family.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Discrimination and Chicken

Chick Fil A has better than average fast food.  They have golden wheat buns and I want to nom it.  There is a new location opening near me very soon.  I think it would be fun if a large number of the free chicken seekers were wearing T-shirts to support marriage equality, had rainbow flags draped over their tents or something of the like.   Something subtle that they can't be aggressive about.  No words.  No signs.  Just a subtle protest of their discriminatory messages.

Because here's the thing about Marriage Equality, if you are against it, you may as well be a racist.  Get out your pointy white hood.  Go ahead.  What?  You think that's an unfair comparison?  It's not.  It's a perfectly valid comparison and here's why.

Racism and homophobia are same level of hate. 

*Racists believe that one race is superior to another.  
*Christian conservatives believe that being straight is moral and righteous and being gay is a sin. 
Straight people are superior to gay people and gay people should strive to be as good as straight people.  Does this really sound okay to you when I read it back like that?  You can't be serious?  You actually believe that who you fall in love affects your value as a human being?  Are you starting to get my point?  Not yet?  Keep reading.

*No one can control what race they are born as. 
*No one can control who they are physically attracted to.
You can't discriminate based on a physical attribute like the color of someone's skin.  That would be wrong, right?  Being born gay is no different than being born Black or Hispanic or Asian or disabled.  It's not something that anyone has any control over and it's not something you remove rights for.

*Racist people believe that "separate but equal" is acceptable.
*People who are against marriage equality believe the same thing. 
Civil unions are great and I'm glad we have them and all, but they are not an acceptable solution.  Like black and white water fountains, some people must keep gay marriage separate from straight marriage.  If people see us using the same services, they won't understand that one is clearly different from the other and superior.  In other words, "Don't get your gay cooties all over my good traditional marriage with my third wife."  The separate-but-equal compromise isn't even acceptable to some of these bigots.  They don't want the gay cooties on anything that resembles marriage, because then something might go horribly wrong with all straight marriages everywhere.  I don't know what that is, but it might happen!

*It sounds silly now, but racist people used their religion to validate their hate.
*It sounds silly, but Christian conservatives right now use their religion to validate their hate. 
That white hood that I mentioned earlier?  Those people used the Bible and their religion to justify horrible actions that with the hindsight of history are clearly wrong.  Clearly. Wrong.  Got that?  Killing people because they are black and fighting against their struggle to be free and equal is wrong.  Just 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement and we mostly agree on this as a country.  However, for some reason we think it's okay for a religion to encourage and support hate of people who are gay.

The point here, if you haven't figured it out yet, is that if Chick Fil A was making donations to racist organizations, there would be no question of whether or not this is wrong.  We have finally decided as a culture that racism is wrong.  The gray area doesn't exist any more.  It's wrong to judge someone by the color of their skin.  It's wrong to judge them for their sexuality.  It's that cut and dry.  Marriage Equality is necessary for us to move on and grow as a country, just as abolishing racism was 50 years ago.  In the decades to come, I suspect that we will look back on this struggle as we look back at the Civil Rights Movement.  Our children won't believe how silly we were.  People who fought for discrimination will keep it to themselves as it will be something to be ashamed of.

The lure of tasty chicken on wheat buns shouldn't weigh into a decision about discrimination.   It took me a while to take a firm stance on this issue.  I waffled for want of waffle fries, but since drawing this comparison, I can't see it any other way.  The enticement of the new location won't outweigh my morals.  I'm putting away my wallet and supporting marriage equality instead of fried chicken and pickles.

All that said, if I were to wait with the First 100 and get the free year's worth, that would be okay, right?  Free chicken noms for me and no guilt about my money supporting hateful discrimination.  If I waited out the 24 hours wrapped in a rainbow flag, would it send the message I wish to send?  I'm not going to do it.  I have other plans that day, but I wish that someone would.


Friday, July 27, 2012

How Poly is Making Me a Better Person

I'm publishing this short analysis on the ways poly is making me a better person overall.  It's enriching my life in several ways and also affecting me to force positive change.  We're still only six months into this lifestyle, but we've learned a lot and intend to continue on indefinitely.  Here are some of the things poly has done for me lately.

I'm meeting new people and expanding my social circle.  
This is introducing me to new activities as well as new people.  I've been to burlesque shows, new restaurants, the houses of new friends... Since the main point of this is to expand my life experience, this fringe benefit is really valuable.  I'm not just expanding my sexual persona, I'm also expanding my friendships and connections.

Coming out creates a deeper connection with the friends and acquaintances I have. 
Something about taking the risk to tell someone something so personal and outrageous brings them closer to you and leads to them being more open with you.  I love intense conversation and deep personal connection and being poly is creating more of these situations in my life.

I have to work on negative emotions and develop new coping strategies to face the new challenges. 
Doing the sort of personal growth exercises necessary to make poly work is bound to make me a better person.  Facing head on and overcoming insecurity and jealousy, improving communication and intimacy, resolving conflict with friends and lovers...  these are challenges that force you to do emotional work and improve yourself.  You can't learn this stuff without living it.  Each negative emotion that I struggle with is molding me into a stronger person better able to cope with it the next time. 

I am naturally even more accepting of unconventional behavior. 
Being part of a fringe group means that I am experiencing what it feels like to be even weirder.  I've always been weird, but in a nerdy way, not in a sexual way.  Being weird in a sexual way is quite different in the eyes of society, just ask any gay person.  Since I've decided that staying completely closeted is not going to work for me, I've been coming out to select people in a one to one setting.  I choose to tell people who I see as non-judgemental and understanding.  Most importantly, I tell people who already know me as me and are thus more likely to accept me.  Being in this position, where I am now more than ever, likely to be judged by society for my behavior and beliefs, has made me more empathetic towards other fringe groups.  I was always accepting, but now I feel a kinship with anyone who is misunderstood.  I've been more outspoken about calling people on their judgmental actions and behavior, especially at work, where our patients are the last people we should be judging.

I appreciate all the love I have in my life and each love can be whatever it will be. 
There is no pressure on any relationship to fit a mold.  Every connection I have has the ability to grow into whatever it is capable of.  My friendships with men are no longer inhibited by the social idea that they can't get close to me because of my marriage.  Now, I can have male friends and if they become male more-than-friends that is okay.  The relationship can be whatever it is.  Friends have the capability of becoming lovers.  My support network is growing all the time.  I get to see the encouragement from people in my life that will support me even if they don't completely understand it. 

It's improving my marriage.  Really!
Every little bit of drama that Hubby and I have worked through to make poly work for us is also improving our bond.  It started with more open communication and confessions about sex that we'd kept from each other for fear of reprisal.  It grew into allow each other the freedom we want for ourselves.  We've each had to manage jealousy and together work through some uncomfortable situations.  We've had some intense decisions to make and we've overcome some really ugly stuff fairly easily.  What's really amazing about these challenges is that once we've discussed them and worked them out, they go away.  We don't bring up past poly arguments out of spite.  If they are brought up it highlights what we've learned as it relates to the present situation.  (Unlike our arguments about things like the kitchen cabinet that is yet to be installed 4 years after the initial kitchen remodel.)


Sunday, July 22, 2012

My anonymous blog is not so anonymous anymore

Two days ago, I did a little shameless self promotion on r/polyamory.  Why not?  I had a post that I thought was fun/funny and would appeal to a large number of Internet users/poly people so I went for it and posted up a link.  After a few upvotes, I was given a sudden burst of traffic to the site.  The most exciting thing about this is that people clicked around and read other posts, not most people, but some people liked my writing enough to click around and see more of it.  Other people took the time to comment on several posts.  This is pretty cool, but also terrifying.  The anonymity of my online journal is broken at least to an extent.

It started when NMB finally found the right set of words to Google.  He shared it with his wife.  Then my Reddit self-promotion lead to this happening:
Yep.  I ran into one of my boyfriend's other____ (dates? lovers? Gawd, lovers sounds so cheesy.  I don't know the right word... but you get the picture.) on Reddit.  This lead to a PM where we confirmed each other's identity and that I am, indeed on her polycule diagram on Fetlife as I suspected.  This lead to me texting NMB to tell him who I met and where, which lead to both him and his wife popping onto the thread to say hello.
I'm so amused by this, but again, a little afraid.  A comment left today lets me know that at least one other person mentioned in my writing has read my blog.  Big City's poly community is small enough that I was personally recognized by a stranger from a post on r/polyamory.  It's impossible for my writing to not be affected by this somehow.  I have already held back on writing about certain subjects/people when I knew that they were reading.  I'll be a bit more sensitive to this fact, for sure, but it's important to me that I continue to write in a way that is honest and true about my experiences.  Therefore, you won't see me sugar coating and pretending the icky feelings aren't there.  If there is one thing about poly that has met my expectations is that it's a lot of work.  I don't want to misrepresent this.  Like my friend that divorced us said, "Feelings will get hurt." I never denied the truth to that, but I knew the risk/benefit made it worth it.  I also knew that Hubby and I were up to the challenge and that we could get through it.  That's what is important for me to document here.  If anyone is going to read this, I want them to know that this is not easy, but that these problems are solvable.  Every relationship has it's problems and challenges.  Sometimes a couple makes a choice to do something hard for the chance of a better life, like moving or taking a job in a different city or having children.  They accept the challenge so that the rewards will be felt by both of them in the future.  Deciding to become poly is the same sort of mentality.  We went at it together, knowing that the work would pay off in the end with a new, more free relationship model.


The point is, what is the point?  Oh yes, the point is that despite my total anonymity being broken about and scattered to all the corners of the universe, I want to do my best to continue to write as though no one is reading.  I don't want to hide the icky stuff for the sake of people I know are reading it or might be reading it.  This means I have to suck it up and accept that I'm baring my chest a little bit, even for the things/behaviors/thoughts/emotions that I'm not proud of.  Now, throw me some beads. ('Cause I'm baring my chest, get it?  Get it?  You know, I've never done that...  but I just thought about it and I don't feel like I'm missing much.)

Actually, the main point here is that if you find yourself the subject of one of these, don't get mad, learn from your mistakes and know that I'm remaining true to myself.  You put yourself out there and so did I.  Ha. (But seriously, learn from your mistakes, ok?) 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The riskiest coming out yet, but I did it for her sake.

I came out to a coworker the other night even though I was hesitant to do so.  She is a monogamous, married, good Christian girl who may be just a little bit repressed.  I chose to do this for her sake, not for mine.  I took the risk of rejection and weirdness.  Thankfully, I already have a large network of kind and accepting people who know who will be on the lookout for me for any backlash that might occur from this in the workplace.  I don't expect it, but I'm prepared to own it.

The reason I felt it was important that this coworker know about poly is that she has been the center of gossip at work for the last year or so regarding a male coworker.  This male coworker has since transferred to another unit, but everyone has suspicions that they are still hanging out together.  The chemistry between them was obvious to anyone who watched them interact.  Personally, I have a huge problem with they guy, but she seems to connect with him.  The risk of having an affair is high, if it's not already going on.  I wanted her to know that she had an option that wasn't cheating.  I wanted her to see an example of somebody she knows succeeding in the early stages of an open relationship.  She asked me a lot of questions.  I answered them honestly.

Her statements varied from interested consideration to distancing.  "I've always had a fear that I'd only ever sleep with one guy..."  and "I guess if it works for you guys and no one is getting hurt..."  Whatever she decides is of no consequence to me.  Poly is a lot of work.  Cheating is easier.  I couldn't do it, but I guess I understand why someone would.  I just felt it was important to share what I've learned over the last few months so that she would know that there is another option.  She could have what she wanted and still be with and not hurt her husband.  I thought that sharing my experience would be the best way for her to learn about it.  Just like fighting homophobia by making sure that everyone has a gay friend/coworker/family member/some one they know and respect.  Knowing someone who is poly makes it all the more real and easy to understand.  One of the turning points for me was meeting a large local group of poly people and realizing that they were down to Earth, intelligent, educated and not crazy.  I hoped that maybe I could do the same on a smaller scale.

I hope she goes the route of honesty, but I also hope she gets the life experience she's looking for.  We only get one shot at this whole life thing, unless you believe in reincarnation, but I'm not living mine like I get a second chance.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Internet has relationship memes that I disagree with.

I have a problem with some of these "romantic" relationship memes floating around on Facebook and Pinterest.  They popularize and reinforce the cultural myths about relationships that cause them to fail.  These are made by the same people who pick "Passion" over "Dedication" on that OkC question that asks "Which makes for a better relationship?"  Passion can just as easily end things as it begins them.  Dedication is what makes a relationship work for the long haul.  The majority of okc users  pick "Passion" and I don't get it.  Here's an example of what passion can lead to and that's just crazy.  I prefer my relationships to be stable with lots of affection and fun things thrown in.  

Below you will find these memes along with my sarcastic commentary. 

Oh, look!  A sunset!  Aw!
This hits directly on the Passion vs Dedication problem.  This is Passion-driven relationship strategy.  It is built on the false belief that love should be easy and if it ever gets hard then they are wrong for you and you should DTMFA and move on.  This is not how relationships work, people.  If you want to be together, you might have to work at it.  You won't just drift back together if it's meant to be.

All your love are belong to us!
What does this mean exactly?  Romantic love?  What if they love their best friend?  When you have kids and she loves your kids are you going to be jealous of that love? Even in monogamous relationships your partner will love someone else.  Having to be in the center of their universe and be the only one they love is seriously insane, like controlling and abusive insane.  I just checked out and found this little gem on homepage.  Point made. 
I only read your e-mail and make you give up all your opposite sex friends and isolate you from your friends and family because I LOVE you, baby! I wouldn't do that to anyone else because I only love YOU. 

It's people with these sorts of opinions, like those behind Supreme Owl that are destroying traditional marriage.

No one can make you happy but me! 
Dude, I don't agree.  Again, we have the false belief of "I must be the only thing in your universe to make you happy ever!"  How far does this go?  If a cute waiter brings her a refill with a wink and she smiles, is it all over?  How does he prevent this?  By no longer allowing his woman to look at cute waiters?  Is it only threatening if the guy is young and hot?  What if she smiles at an old man while she listens to him tell stories?  That's okay, right?  I'm so confused. 

If these hoes would just back off, he would love me forever.

Again, the external forces trying to break you up.  "Everything would be perfect if I was the prettiest girl in the world!"

They should have no friends but each other...  wait... 
Here's another one from that same myth.  I could forgive some of this if it was being posted by teenagers, but these are 30-somethings and up posting this stuff on Facebook.  Sigh. 


This one could be interpreted as anti-poly, but I'm certain that's not it's intended purpose.  It must be about an overbearing mother-in-law. Right?  No?  Sigh.  This one is about those hoes trying to break you up too, isn't it?

Minimum requirements.
Except for the jealousy=love myth portrayed in this one...  these are pretty darn minimal requirements for a real boyfriend.  He has to call you once in a while, be consistent with texts, want to spend time with you, is emotional and protective...  Pretty basic stuff here people.  If you are dating someone who doesn't want to spend time with you, you're doing it wrong. 

He's hot, so he must know what he's talking about.
I understand there is some debate about whether or not Johnny Depp even said this, ever, but the Internet loves it.  I've seen this everywhere.  Poly philosophy aside, I have so many issues with this.  Again, external forces do not reflect upon the love in your relationship.  Falling for someone else isn't proof that your first love is a sham.  It's proof that you you love two people.  This is a common enough occurrence in our society that we have two really popular books/movies with it as a theme and that's just right now in our pop culture.  (See: The Hunger Games and Twilight)  It happens.  One love does not diminish the other, whether you choose to explore it or not.  If you believe this, you will spend your life practicing serial monogamy in a turbulent series of relationships, giving up one for the next searching for this elusive "perfect true love" that doesn't exist.  

And we're worried about gay marriage messing things up?  Honey, Facebook and Pinterest are way bigger threats to marriage than rainbow-colored ceremonies ever will be.