For Now

November 9, 2010

To answer the first question — yes, yes yes — Wifebian knew that I was scheduled to meet up with her friend’s girlfriend. In fact, I sent Wifebian a text, which I told her to send to her new friend, which the new friend was to send to her girlfriend. Everyone knew what I was doing and I was in charge. My prefered modus of operandi.

And clearly, at this point, these ladies, these interlopers, these may be lovers, need blog names. Their new blog names are based on the fact that each of the women in this couple play into mine and Wifebian’s most destructive attractions. Wifebian’s new friend will be called “Borderline” and her girlfriend will be called “Green”. Borderline is getting her name because Wifebian has a history of being terribly attracted to women with histories of sexual abuse and self harm and inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations. Women with these kinds of problems are often diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. And Green is getting her name because I have a terrible history of being attracted to women who are younger than me, have less formal education and less sexual experience, butches outcast by a  cold and heartless society.  In fact, during moments of acute femme grandiosity, I have been known to refer to myself as the Mother Theresa of Butches. Also, Green wore a green sweater when we met up. It’s like a Joseph Heller novel over here.

So, Green is 25 and from a small-ish North Carolina city, pop. 103,000. She is light-skinned, with medium brown eyes, chin-length twists and a feminine voice. If pressed, I would say one of her great grandparents was Cherokee. She played college basketball and works with children. Her shoulders are broad. I didn’t initially find her any more or less attractive than the average girl to whom I’m attracted.

But she was a very sweet woman. She understood her own feelings and could explain them. She was even able to take some emotional risks in the conversation and got tearful a couple times. She said she was disappointed that the four of us couldn’t be friends because she was looking forward to being friends with a couple that was “where me and Borderline want to be”. She said that she and Borderline haven’t had sex in more than 6 months and that Green feels bad about herself, like there is something wrong with her. (Wifebian also tells me Green is stone.) Green explained why this is all hurting her so much and making her so angry. When I used the phrase “emotional affair”, I could tell it was the first time Green had heard it and that that’s how she felt.

I tried my best to share my wisdom: If we wanted Wifebian and Borderline’s crush to die, I said, we had to let it live — but like a Bonsai tree, with lots of wire and scissors (I didn’t use the bonsai metaphor with Green, that one was for you guys.) I told her that if she felt so threatened by Wifebian, that she needed to keep an eye on Wifebian, that Green needed to insert herself into this situation, ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ I said, trying to speak some common, albeit destructive, language. I tried to tell her that she shouldn’t take Borderlne’s crush on Wifebian personally, that it’s all chemical. I said that Wifebian and Borderline need our help to make good decisions. I tried to tell her that their crush on one another is a gift that Green and I could choose to give to them. I tried to share a little about the flaws, foibles and fumbles in my own marriage. That this shit is hard, nobody’s perfect, that we need help, that we have to fight for our relationships. I asked her what she thought of going to therapy with Borderline. She said that she doesn’t see Borderline even caring about how much she is hurting Green and how can someone with a degree help that?

In the end, she refused to consider any future in which the four of us were sex partners or even friends. Well, mostly. If Borderline loved her, Green said, then Borderline would not engage in this flirtation with Wifebian. Green said it was a test. If Borderline followed these directions, it would be proven to Green that Borderline cared about her, and Green might consider the four of us being friends or even having sex. I told Green that “tests” are not the most awesome way to develop trust in a relationship and Green said, “You don’t know Borderline.”

We talked for 2 ½ hours.

Afterwards, Wifebian and I went out for pizza and beer. Wifebian acknowledged that while Green and I were talking, there was some heavy flirting going on at work. Specifically, while Wifebian was following Borderline up a set of stairs, Borderline stopped short and thrust her ass into Wifebian’s pelvis, at which point Wifebian placed her hands on Borderline’s waist and reminded Borderline that they were at work. Also, a couple of unfortunate text messages. I became enraged. Wifebian explained that they thought my conversation with Green was going to change things, that everyone was going to have the green light to do every thing and anything and it was all going to be alright. I explained that no, nothing had changed, and even if it had, Borderline and Wifebian conducting some sort of mini- affair was not on my list of non-monogamous things to do. I called Borderline, explaining that Wifebian told me that there had been some touching at work and that I needed to meet with Borderline in person to explain my expectations of her. Borderline had me meet her at a gas station.

Truly, I am not the kind of woman that meets other women at gas stations. But, having consumed a locally crafted micro-brew, my anger was very available to me. And it was a rainy night. It was all too delicious and ridiculous to resist. But really, this woman just needed to see my face as I told her what she was and wasn’t going to do with my wife.

When I came home from my rainy rendezvous at the gas station – that conversation lasted about 2 ½ minutes – I told Wifebian that my expectations for her were to save all texts she sent and received from Borderline and to tell me if Borderline touched her. And that I was done with this for the evening.

In the intervening days, Borderline and Green have broken up and are back together. But they arent speaking. But a coworker told Borderline she saw Green buying rings in a jewelry store yesterday. But maybe Green was just picking up the promise ring that she took back from Borderline the other night. Wifebian and Green have had a drunken, but peace-making, conversation at a bar. I have attended a school happy hour with Wifebian and Borderline and continued to assert my bemused superiority, smug detachment, and total control. Wifebian also had a long talk with an ex girlfriend, who is a former stripper and dominatrix, but also mother and healer. The ex helped Wifebian get her head back together, echoed many of my sentiments, but was also able to engage Wifebian’s higher self in this situation, which I havent been able to do what with all of my jealousy and insecurity. Thusly, Wifebian is talking about meditating, going to Meeting and has ordered a copy of The Ethical Slut off of the internet, which I thought was very cute. I mean, of course I already know everything that’s in it and won’t be looking at it at all. Wifebian and Borderline have ceased extraneous communications, per Green’s request and deleted one another’s numbers. Which I cant say isn’t a relief for me. It just means less work when it comes to keeping everyone in line. For now.

And me, I have, once again, tried to arrive at some essence, the essence of what makes a marriage a marriage, or rather, my marriage a marriage. What is it that I demand of Wifebian to demonstrate her unique allegiance to me, what is it that will make my relationship with her different from all others? Must it always be so unique and different from every other relationship she has for the next 50 years? Or can it just be special, different and better most of the time? If it’s not exclusive access to her vagina, orgasms or oxytocin that I want, what is it? Is it money and children that make a marriage? Her PIN number? Free babysitting when we have kids? Is it control I want — the choice, a say, over what she does and doesn’t do? Do I just want dibs? Maybe I just want eternal dibs. The right of first refusal, if you will? Maybe that’s the simplest way to put it. That is my proclamation for today:

A marriage, my marriage, is about having dibs until death does us part.

 And, in the intervening days, I have daydreamed about ways to help Borderline and Green out of this tangled web of lying and fear they have woven for one another. A relationship is a relationship, four years is four years, if they break up, fine, but they will just find some other partner-actor with whom to play out these ancient scripts. So, why not work on it, I told Green. Do something different. I want to buy them gifts, send them cards, create fantastic treasure hunts for them. Leave them clues and books. What Green and Borderline need is just a really great trust fall. <jk>. I want to mentor them. I want to fuck them, (Well, just Greene, really). I want to leave their campsite better than I found it.

Except, I have to work 6 twelve hour shifts over the next 7 days in order to take next weekend off. Wifebian and I are going to a baby shower in Baltimore. And! I have to cajole the management company into installing a baseboard heater in the kitchen and bathroom and turn the water on for the washing machine. And I have to keep unpacking and take a shower and pay some bills and keep remembering to take my anti-depressants and to drink enough water and I have to keep feeling guilty about not going to the gym. So much to do! And so it is that the waters of my worldly concerns come rushing back in to engulf the spirited vagaries and adventures of my queer libido. For now.

I also need to make a hair appointment with the stylist that bit Wifebian on her ear that first night at the bar . . . I mean, Wifebian’s hair does look great . . .   I haven’t told you about that yet? And! They serve beer at her salon? Which makes me wonder about the difference between a bar and a beauty shop if it’s not exclusive access to beer . . .   ah, jokes . . .  I joke.


7 Responses to “For Now”

  1. Ms. Loaf said

    Wow. I’m not really sure what else to say. My negotiations with my ex over potential non-monogamy certainly did not go this way, but maybe that’s because she was the top and just took control and did whatever she wanted no matter what I said? I am seriously impressed by you and anyone for being able to rise above jealousy. It’s just not something I have ever been able to do, even in theory.

    Though the idea of “dibs” is amazing. That is what I want.

  2. Lisa said

    Dibs. That’s it. That’s exactly it.

  3. angie said

    Asheville sounds awesome. Beer at a salon? Wild.

    But about this Green/Borderline business and wanting to help them, that’s just wow. Don’t think I’d have that in me to do that. Like Ms. Loaf said, impressed by anyone who can rise above jealousy. As interesting as the non-monogamy sounds I think I’d probably choke a b*tch. But I stand up and applaud you for being so aware and just so damn awesome.

    And yes, “dibs for life.” That’s a tattoo to be had.

  4. missa said

    have you read ‘Redefining our relationships (’ by Wendy O-Matik? I prefer it to the Ethical Slut- hands down. If wifebian is having trouble with the emotional/responsible side of an open/non-mono relationship/marriage this might be the book for her.


  5. Queer Grrl in the City said

    i like your blog. i realize i’ve never formally introduced myself — i’m mackenzie in san francisco. hi.

    fyi: the hair salon i went to for years served a glass of wine “on the house.”

    although i’ve never personally explored an open relationship/marriage, i’ve watched some of my friends. the secret seems to be great communication and clear understanding of rules among everyone involved. and it appears that you have that under perfect control.

  6. Sarah said

    oh, hun. i’m caught up. i couldn’t sleep. it’s 2 a.m. and now i have so much more to keep me up. it’s a lot to balance and navigate delicately. you’re doing such a fine job. reminds me so much of my marriage, not that that means anything. more later. i have to let this all settle. thinking of you.

  7. Nicole said

    You’re my hero. No doubt.

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