Tag Archives: humor

“But why did you get divorced?”

Apparently a year and a half after I moved out, people still feel the need to ask why my ex-spouse and I got divorced. So here goes:


We didn’t heed the warnings that Netrunner ends marriages.

We amassed more than the 84 bottles of nail polish legally permitted in a single household, and so were required to separate.

I’m a cylon. They found out.

Their girlfriend cut butter perpendicular to the end of the stick like an absolute barbarian.

They didn’t eat onions.

I didn’t eat shellfish.

I stole their favorite pair of boxers and refused to let them wear them anymore.

We had a profound disagreement over what constitutes proper board game storage.

I was emotionally devastated by envy of their perfect hair.

They were rude to my cat.

Their cat was rude to my cat.

I was taller than them, and I wore heels anyway like an absolute barbarian.

They felt I was not sufficiently enthralled by David Bowie’s bulge in Labyrinth.

I prefer showers. They prefer baths.

I kept finding their socks all over the apartment. Socks everywhere. Following me. Watching me. Fucking socks.

One time in 2009 they left the toilet seat up and I never really got over it.

One time I ate all the Reese’s cups in the house and they never really got over it.

They thought Matt Smith was a better Doctor than David Tennant.

We had far exceeded the number of years in a committed relationship that bisexuals are capable of, and could no longer afford to pay the fine for challenging stereotypes.

and most of all:

Sometimes their sleep-talking sounded an awful lot like trying to awaken Cthulhu to revel across the world.


 

Now that all the scandals and secrets are revealed, everyone can stop asking, right?

10 Things No One Warns You About Nonmonogamy

Nonmonogamy comes with some well publicized high-risk areas. There are plenty of articles out there about overcoming insecurity and dealing with jealousy. Careful thought has been put into handling STI and pregnancy risks. And communication! I swear if I read one more article about how important honest, open communication is in poly relationships* I’m going to snap and start maniacally disclosing All The Things to random people in the streets.

But there are other things that change. Little things. Polyamory affects aspects of life that don’t seem to have anything to do with relationships at all.

For instance:

1. You will never again just share a story even tangentially related to your partners with monogamous friends.

It’s no longer possible. If they think you’re monogamous, you omit details and use creative phrasing to keep the relationship ambiguous. If you’re out, every conversation involving any of your partners becomes a conversation about their opinions and/or befuddlement about polyamory itself. I’ve been spending the night at Z and the Techie’s place a night or two a week. Sometimes a classmate will ask if I can print or bring something from home. “No, sorry, I’m not there” demands an explanation. Out or not, there’ll be questions about whether Spouse freaks out when I stay the night elsewhere.

2. The amount of time you spend doing dishes increases exponentially with each additional partner.

Spouse and I don’t live with any other partners. But Polly Pocket comes for dinner maybe twice a week, and I cook at the Techie and Z’s place twice a week, and one morning I realized that they think Monster energy drinks are breakfast so suddenly I have a massive waffle making project on my hands…on and on and on. I run the dishwasher every two days and still scrub a sink load of dishes by hand almost daily and I swear I have no idea how we use so many forks so quickly.

3. 97% of movies and TV shows will make you roll your eyes.

The other 3% have no hint of a romantic subplot***. The rest of them? You’ll be mumbling under your breath about the obvious solution to the love triangles and sexual tension. You’ll practically scream at films like Pirate Radio when our protagonist is crushed (crushed!) that the woman he falls in love-at-first-sight with has sex with someone else. She’s ruined. Purity culture! You’ll want to love Lost Girl, but you can’t because the succubus protagonist’s (literally suicidal) choice to be monogamous because that’s what good people do drives way too much of the plot.

4. If you think adapting to one person’s schedule is hard…

…try syncing your calendar with three partners, who may each have a number of other partners whose schedules need to be taken into account as well. And if your partners aren’t on similar sleep schedules? Learn to love caffeine pills. Spouse and I wake up at or before 0700 on weekdays. When I spend the night at Z and the Techie’s place, we may not collapse into bed until dawn or later. If I stay at their place on a weeknight, nevermind even attempting sleep; I’ll just write a few emails or read on the phone until it’s time to get ready for class or work.

5. The relationship webs get seriously tangled.

Incestuous is the wrong word, but it sort of conveys the right idea. Poly networks form and break multiple connections among the same handful of people. It makes sense. Unless you live somewhere with a large, dynamic, easy-to-find poly community, partners of partners are going to be the simplest way to meet other nonmonogamous folks. Once you start trying to describe those networks, it feels a little like a stand-up routine about a family reunion in Alabama**. For example: I’m seeing my Spouse’s girlfriend’s ex. I’m also seeing his girlfriend. No, not Spouse’s girlfriend, her ex-whom-I’m-seeing’s girlfriend. Oh, and she’s casual play partners with one of my play partners. No, not that “she,” the other one. Actually, nevermind; it might be easier if I drew a chart. (I did draw a chart. it’s in my about page.)

6. People expect you to be jealous

Even when you’re not.

Polly Pocket is young. She is tiny and bubbly and pretty and sweet. My female friends think this is the worst thing ever. “She’s so pretty! Aren’t you worried?”

“No.”

“What if Spouse thinks she’s prettier than you?”

“What if?”

The way they talk, it sounds like they’re only nonmonogamous so they can reaffirm that their primary partners like them best. I hope I’m wrong about that, because the idea is disgusting and they are my friends. But the conversation inevitably acts like one has to be jealous or disdainful of metamours. Nonsense.

7. “So…do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/six or more cats?” or “Are you taken?”

People try to assess availability to a relationship by asking whether you’re already in one. This should annoy monogamous people; even if being in one relationship precludes forming another, the question implies a sort of ownership****. I have a spouse, a girlfriend, and a lover. I don’t have time for another relationship, not really, but it’s nothing to do with having been claimed.

8. That sense of control? Gone.

The idea that you control your partner or they control you has to go. You don’t give permission to do things and you don’t need permission to make your own plans. You’re not “letting” each other do things, you’re acting autonomously. And dear god is it wonderful.

Now, I realize many poly relationships do have rules and a higher degree of control than mine. And there are constraints to some degree; if I have plans with someone I have a responsibility to keep them. If I’m not going to be home it’s only fair to give Spouse advance notice so he knows to make his own dinner plan or that he should expect to be spending the night alone. There’s a lot of communication that has to happen for that giving up of control to run smoothly and not make anyone miserable. But I said we weren’t going to talk about communication in this post, so we’ll leave it at that.

9. Being friends with exes becomes normal.
Because poly is rarely on the standard assumed relationship escalator, expectations and norms surrounding the life course of a relationship can be very different for poly folk. Permanence is not necessarily expected nor necessarily a sign of relationship success. If you’re already thinking about relationships differently, it’s a lot easier to realize that the end of a relationship doesn’t have to mean that one of you is a terrible person. Maybe scheduling was too complicated, or an incompatibility arose, or one of you just didn’t feel a sexual or romantic connection anymore. Granted, not all poly people can be friends with exes. Sometimes breakups still are because one or both parties did something monstrous and ending contact is for the best. And of course some monogamous folks can stay friends with exes, which is great. The point is that it’s far less likely to cause major strife in continuing or future relationships to remain friends with an ex than it is for monogamous folks to do the same. It’s rather a relief.

10. Meal planning and grocery shopping can become almost comically complex.

I keep kosher(ish) and have allergies to a couple of quite common foods. Spouse doesn’t eat onions and tries to limit dairy. Polly Pocket is easily overwhelmed by new flavors, and I’m beginning to form the impression that she’s been exposed to approximately nothing before. The Techie doesn’t care for dinners without meat, and is used to cooking robust American meals with ingredients I can’t have. Z doesn’t care for bread. When I make a grocery list for my weekly trip I take all these things into account as well as who’s eating with whom on what night, what I already have in the pantry, and what the Techie and Z are likely to have on hand. My grocery list starts with a giant chart of meals.

 


*Monogamous people, by contrast, need communicate only in the three days around the new moon, and then only by means of interpretive dance.

**In fairness to Alabama, the only time I’ve been hit on at a family reunion was in Texas.

*** Reason #843 that the Gregory Peck/Richard Basehart Moby Dick is one of the finest films I know.

****Reason #579 that normative cis het monogamous relationships are a form of power exchange that’s maybe less than completely consensual. I’m not knocking negotiated D/s, I’m talking about assumptions of power and control brought to relationships because they’re normative and never challenged or discussed by their participants.

The Cannibal List

This has nothing to do with kink or sex or any of that. This is just a list of things I may or may not have said that give people the impression that I might in fact be a cannibal.

I am not a cannibal. Just so we’re clear.

 

“What do you want for breakfast?”
“Soylent green”

“All I’m saying is if we skinned him, we couldn’t make brother cracklins. There’s no fat there.”

“No, those are not human shins in the freezer. Where would I get human shins?”

“Mmm…human flesh. Wait, no, human isn’t kosher.”

“Yeah? Well your face is full of protein.”

“Honey, how do you prevent kreutzfeld-jakob or kuru?”
“Don’t eat people.”
“I meant other than that.”

“Do you have any idea how impractical it would be to butcher a whole human? We barely have enough room in the freezer for three steaks and two pounds of chicken!”

“Things were going well, we were talking, we were flirting…”
“She thinks you’re a cannibal, doesn’t she.”
“Yes! Why does this keep happening?”

“No! That meat tenderizer is for use on human only!”

“Of course I would eat at a deli called Ugolino’s. What’s the problem?”

“It is a new ice age! We will have to resort to cannibalism.”

“You know, one advantage of grinding your own meat is that no one can tell for sure what it was before it went through the grinder.”

“It’s just such a fine line between innuendo about oral sex and threat of cannibalism. I was a little too close there, may have crossed it. These things happen!”

“I’m pretty sure she’d fit in the oven. You know, if you ever want to go Hansel and Gretel on her.”

“Look, I’m not saying it’s person, I’m just saying that butchered flesh sans hands, feet, or face…would you be able to tell?”

“No food is blue.”
“What about those blue people in Alabama? The inbred hill folk. I mean, if you were a cannibal.”
“I feel like if I were a cannibal I would have more discerning taste.”

“Firstborn children go best with a béarnaise.”

“I’m not kissing her, there’s probably like human flesh caught in her teeth”
“Oy! I just brushed my teeth.”
“That’s your only objection?”

“Don’t worry, he’ll be fine. Everyone knows my people only eat Christian babies; your atheist spawn is safe!”

“So I told him a foot rub really just wasn’t going to do anything for me. I mean, welcome to try and all, but unless he’s tenderizing them for the grill he’s not going to accomplish much.”

“Nah, he’s too little to snorkel. Hasn’t learned about not aspirating water yet. Anyway, he’s barely an hors d’oeuvre.”
“…”
“For a shark. If there were sharks in the keys, which there are. He’s more like a four-person main course for humans.”

“Are you biting me?”
[muffled]”No.”
“It *feels* like you’re biting me.”
“Absolutely not. Eating is similar to, but distinct from biting.”

“Why would I mind you spending the night?”
“I dunno, you might be worried that if I’m loose in the house while you’re asleep I will kill you and roast your parts?”
“I’m not.”
“Well that’s awfully trusting of you.”

And finally (though this one is a bit unfair):

“I’m not a cannibal! Honest!”

I’m not allowed to wonder why people think I’m a cannibal anymore.

MC1R: a Cautionary Tale

We had an unexpected guest lecturer yesterday. I like this professor, though I’m surprised he remembers my name: the last time we’d spoken was before I was even accepted into the program.

He lectures like Herodotus, turning off track at the slightest distraction, suddenly lit up by some memorable bit of trivia that his students all have to know right now.

I like him for a reason.

We were talking about malaria, chemoprophylaxis, doxycycline. He mentions that some people have an adverse reaction to doxycycline, asks what they are. I’m one of those people, so I answer: dizziness and nausea, redness and vertigo. Worse in the sun.

He beams at the class. “Do you all know who has the highest pain tolerance in the room?”

Huh. That’s an unexpected tangent. No one has an answer. He walks around the front of the room, shaking a finger at me.

Oh, fuck. How would he know that?

“Know how I know?”

I do not. I can’t see the rest of the class, danger of sitting in the front row. I know I haven’t let any bruises show on campus, haven’t had many lately. I’d have noticed if a professor attended a munch or a party. I’m out to a couple of friends but surely none of them would–

“She’s a redhead!”

Huh?

“The MC1R gene! Red hair and reduced sensitivity to pain!”

He’s way too excited about this.

“I bet you’re really hard to knock out, too. Did you all know redheads need more anesthesia?”

I’m sitting there with sweaty palms trying not to giggle hysterically.

Guess I should come with notice for sadists: Warning: ginger. May require excessive use of force.