Happy Poly Moment, II

Despite my abundent furriness, both North and South Puffin have been a fur free zone for a few years. We were blessed with Ruffy, our rowdy, white (and photogenic) cat for over twenty years. In a stroke of good luck, the local Humane Society lent us TMWCNBNITNG (whom we named Gwendolyn Dandelion Whine or Wendy, for short) for a long weekend and we kept forgetting to take her back. See, Ruff was lonely and they really hit it off.

FriendsI hate to think what the overdue fine is by now.

Wendy and Ruff have been gone for a few years now, so I live in a fur-free zone. I love cats and dogs. This is the only the second extended period of my life without one or the other around. (The first was in college when, like now, I wasn’t around enough to give a pet continuous attention.)

When I get the opportunity, I stock up on fur time.


The (other) April First columns.

Our Happy Poly Moment

Nancy says she “was a minor celebrity yesterday” but that’s not quite true. She tells the story of several of her Worlds Coming Together over here.

We Three Kings - Photo Credit gekkoIn reality, we three kings were the minor celebrities and she was the Center of Attention.

But on these pages, IAAM so this would be my story. After all, I AM™ first-and-foremost a storyteller. Traditional stories often start with the phrase “Once upon a time” but so many modern tales captured on Youtube began with “Hold my beer and watch this.” I rather like the ones with the implied, “You ain’t gonna believe this…”

This story starts exactly that way. It turns out that TUFKAS loves to tell stories too and (J) is altogether fine at the art as well. We regaled each other for quite a while, before the trash can pizzas came out of the “oven.”

The picture tells pretty much all of it: “It was THIS big!” I told them. And they had the good grace to believe me.

A pretty nice day.

[Editor’s Note: Nancy and I shared a four-part polylocution plus these Afterglow posts. Please visit her piece, World’s Coming Together, and use The Poly Posts index for the entire series and for other resources.]


“I already had my Christmas up to Maryland with the fambly coupla weeks ago,” my neighbor Henk told me. “Today’s just another day.”

Even the most traditional family has trouble getting everyone together at holiday time. My daughter and her husband have just one set of in-laws and one set of out-laws but her mom is in North Puffin, I’m in South Puffin, her brother lives an hour away, his brothers are scattered across a couple of states and his folks live down in Vermont’s Banana Belt…

I missed Thanksgiving at my daughter’s house because I was in South Puffin where Nancy and I had our first-ever holiday together (it was grand). We did have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner (a small turkey with stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, smashed potatoes and gravy, and pumpkin pie for dessert). And we were together. We also had a visit to the Fakahatchee Strand, a search for the herd wranglers on Auto Ranch Road, and we lolled and beached and ‘puted and played with toys.

And today is Christmas.

“Save me, because they’re caroling in the meeting room next to my office,” Nancy texted to me on Friday.

It’s not just another day.

Oh, sure, there are carolers belting out Porky Pig tunes and Grandma is cowering under her bed if she knows what’s good for her. There’s nothing on television and I have no shopping to do. Cows are out of season, so I can’t fish. And the plumber’s going to charge you quadruple time and a half if you decide to install that new bathroom faucet today.

It’s not just another day because we build expectations of spending the holidays and holy days with our loved ones.

I’m dreaming of a Yuletide Nancy
Just like the one who had to go
When the earrings glisten,
and the red dress slips on,
Wearing her red hair in a bow…

I’m dreaming of a poly Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.

Knight Key ChannelI am, by choice, in the warmest, most comfortable spot in the lower 48. It is about 80° right now, with puffy cumulus clouds overhead, and a gentle breeze riffling the palm fronds. I shall swim in the Atlantic this afternoon.

Truth be told, I’d rather be with my sweetheart. Even if I had to shovel snow or climb mountains.

“I would like to be with you. I would also like to be with D#2,” Nancy said. “I would love it if I could be with both of you and there would be warmth and comfort and friendliness but, practically speaking, I reasonably presume there would be a tension born between the men, competitive and not being accustomed to one another.”

Drama. The polydays nightmare.

Yeah, there would be tension but a different dissidence than one might expect.

Remember Paul and Polly Dent, Evelyn and Owen McGregor, and Nicole Norris? I thought so. Heck, I have the score card and even I can’t tell who is doing what to whom in that household. Plenty of drama there, but theirs grows from the secrets they keep, not from their desire to be with each other.

I believe the competitiveness when A, B, C, D, E, F, N, and I try to coordinate our schedules comes because we must meter our time with one another rather than because we two mens might happen be in the same room with the wimmens.

In other words, people like the Dents, McGregors, and Nicole who are always in and out of each other’s houses (or house) have maybe more need for apartness than togetherness. People who see each other only part time yearn for togetherness. That means that some combination of Anne and Nancy, or D#2 and my son, or her daughter and I, we each wish for the time the other gets.

[It is worth noting some artistic license in the alphabet soup, above. I think we just included everyone who ever appeared in the blog as well as our families, friends, and lovers.]

“But, barring being with me, I wish Anne could have come down. Or the kids. Or your Aunt Dot. Or Rufus,” Nancy said.

Anne spent yesterday with the “Bs,” her other family (and a 25-pound rib roast, a turkey breast, and a Smithfield ham); she’s traveling to both ends of Vermont today for two more Christmases with the kids. Nancy is off to California to spend the day with her daughter. I’m holding down the palm trees with Henk who isn’t on anyone’s list. And we will all share the best we can.

Merry Christmas, Darling.

Sculpture by Ania Modzelewski

[Editor’s Note: gekko and I shared the four-part polylocution that lead up to these afterposts. Please visit The Poly Posts for the entire series and for other resources.]

Poly Want a Secret?


Even the most traditional family has trouble getting everyone together at holiday time. Take my daughter and her husband. They have one set of in-laws and one set of out-laws but her mom was in North Puffin, I was in South Puffin, her brother was an hour away, hubby’s brothers are scattered across a couple of states and his folks live down in Vermont’s Banana Belt.

My daughter opted to strangle a turkey she had raised herself and invite everyone to her house to chew the feathers off. Them as came, came. Them as didn’t didn’t. Still, she got her mom, her brother, nieces, and the odd ex-brother-in-law and a couple of others. It was a houseful.

I missed Thanksgiving at my daughter’s house because Nancy and I spent our first-ever holiday together (it was grand) down here. She and I are known to all y’all but that’s not the norm.

Even the most traditional family has secrets; poly families often seem particularly closeted.

I ran into some friends at a Halloween party (they came dressed as vanilla wafers, all five of them): Paul and Polly Dent who first made our acquaintance over there, Evelyn and Owen McGregor, and Nicole Norris who was never married to Chuck. The Dents have two younger girls, one in elementary school and one in junior high. The McGregors have a couple of college age girls (Vickie, the elder, and Toni, the younger) and a pre-school granddaughter plus Raymond, a son in his mid-20s from Evelyn’s first marriage. It is an estrogen-rich household.

That’s the marital status.

Here’s the organization chart: Paul and Evelyn are lovers. Polly and Owen likewise. Nicole came into the group as Evy’s other lover and has fallen in love with Paul. Owen vacations each year with Cece, a lovely SCUBA instructor who lives here in the Keys. It is not your “traditional” family. Heck, it’s not even your traditional polyamorous family.

Confused? Need a spreadsheet? I have to keep emailing gekko to keep track of these guys for me.

The entire group (other than CeCe) shares a large, rambling Victorian farmhouse on the Eastern Shore, a house built for the hunkering down in the long winters. It has nine or ten bedrooms (there were more but they converted at least a couple of them into baths), three parlors, two dining rooms, a music room, a theater, and office space for Paul and Nicole, who mostly work at home and for Evelyn, a lawyer who brings a lot of work home with her.

Polly said she was going to hire the White House protocol officer to plan Christmas this year. Between them, thanks to the usual American marriage/divorce/remarriage, they have 18 parents or in-laws, I think, about 13 of whom are speaking to each other.

In addition to the place card nightmare, they have a secret.

Toni McGregor was 16 and unwed when she gave birth to now-four-year old Tina, the McGregors’ first grandchild.

When the test strip turned blue, Evelyn made everyone promise not to tell anyone. “Particularly not Cece.”

It was a damn fool promise, particularly since the window of opportunity for secrets like that is something less than 270 days. After that, the cat climbs out of the bag no matter what Evelyn wants.

That is not her only misgiving. She loves her life but it embarrasses her. She doesn’t want anyone in the family to know that Owen and Polly are lovers and she expressly doesn’t want anyone to know about Owen and Cece. Particularly not the Dents’ kids. Or Raymond. Or you. Or me.

She’s been known to melt down at the dinner table over the secrets she needs us to keep.

“I hate going home for the holidays,” Vickie McGregor told me, “but I can’t go anywhere else because I can’t talk about the things that are important to me. Like what goes on in my family.”

Queen Victoria and her namesake would not have liked each other. The queen might have been a bawdy wench but God help anyone who mentioned that out loud.

Sculpture by Ania Modzelewski

[Editor’s Note: gekko and I shared the four-part polylocution that lead up to these afterposts. Please visit The Poly Posts for the entire series and for other resources.]