“My girlfriend’s in Florida, with her boyfriend,” the Hip one wrote. “But it’s okay! His wife is cool with it.”
Nancy, Don, and I have all known each other Internetally for more than a decade. Regular readers may know my long-held belief that everyone on the Internoodle is just like me: we are all exactly the same age, have the same cultural background, and the same lifestyle and interests. After all, we all met in an Internet newsgroup where everyone is an axe murderer.
Yeah, yeah. I know it isn’t true. But I have bonded with and made attachments to the people I like there.
“This woman and I have an amazing connection, and when she’s away in her devotion to another, the alternative to laughter you can guess at,” Don wrote.
I’ll get back to that.
I understand the connection. You may recall that Nancy and I have shared the travails of our parents and our children, job gains and job losses, real estate conundrums, used dog stores, hermitting and hanging mirrors, and laughter. And now Don. We have two important things in common: we like Mets baseball and were both paper-trained.
In The Aftermath, Part I, I wrote, Love is not a finite resource. Time is. Balancing expectations may be the hardest part of having more than one partner. It is for us, but Nancy makes it possible.
I sometimes lose a little bit of the tucking in and breakfast snuzzlings when my girlfriend has company but we’re working on ways to keep the flame alive with phone and email and pokery. Likewise, when Don’s girlfriend was in Florida with me, she kept up with him with email and FB and pokes. Surprised and pleased him, I’m thinking.
It is a big deal because I’m not always there to keep her happy. Neither she nor Anne can always be there to keep me happy. No one can be.
Its a balancing act but worthwhile because I will likely never go to Burning Man and Don will likely never go to Pago Pago but Nancy might like to do both.
We’ve said in past pieces that the reality of poly-tasking means switching quickly from one to the next but our experience means we can expand that definition. Nancy doesn’t switch from one to the other, not really. When she was “tasking” with me in Florida, she also considered Don and fretted over the loneliness and pain she knew he was feeling. When she was in California, she thought about me and whether I was getting what I needed. And so on.
That all means I have a different answer to Don’s sentiment, “when she’s away in her devotion to another, the alternative to laughter” could be tears. See, Nancy and I don’t lose our linkage when she is not physically with me. Ever.
Nancy asked me, “How do you feel, not in comparison to Don, but how do you feel about it?”
Nancy is joyous. She makes me blessed. I feel good.
[Editors Note: Nancy and I shared a four-part polylocution plus these Afterglow posts. Please visit her piece, An Unofficial Polynoodling Random Babbling Thing, and use The Poly Posts index for the entire series and for other resources.]