The Widening Gyre

November 15, 2010

Reporting to you live from where Wifebian and I are from. Somewhere up North, mid-Atlantic even.

I am in the home of a friend who has left me with her delicious couch, internet connection and cable TV for the morning.

Non-monogamy update: Wifebian and I had a nice talk with Borderline. Prior to this, Wifebian and I had resolved to give Borderline and Green a present. This one  day, all four of our horoscopes were freakishly speaking to one another. I will cut out the horoscopes, give them a copy of The Ethical Slut and a copy of Ashley and Kisha — the most boring porn in the world, but it’s about black lady love and if I’m trying to communicate anything in this situations it’s that our relationships to our partners matter and need to be nourished and treasured.

Baby-making update: I’m feeling more and more confident. The time is coming . . . approaching like a behemoth or a widening gyre. Plus, I had a pregnancy dream last night.

Reasons to be hopeful:

1.) I live in a town teeming with progressive people — straight and gay. If a newspaper ad is going to unearth a low-cost candidate, this is the place.

2.) Wifebian and I get paid once a month at our new jobs. So, although we wont have a health savings account to mine for big chunks of known, budgetable, predictable cash, our jobs will be dumping large lumps sums into each of our accounts every 14 days

3.) Within the year my student loans will be gone, freeing up 500 dollars a month

4.) I am hormonally, structurally, anatomically, physiologically cleared for baby-making

5.) I work and have to care about work for only 72 hours out of the week, leaving 4 days – during the traditional work week, during business hours — to finagle doctors, tanks, customer service representatives and other people’s schedules

6.) My new health insurance covers up to 5,000 dollars of infertility treatment — pills, injections, catheters, consultations

7.) We are expecting massive tax returns this year, especially me, because I just set it up so the government would suck me dry all year and then dump my money back on me this year. “Smart” way to save and invest my money, no. “Highly effective”, yes.

Questions that remain:

1.) Why was my pregesterone at 40 that one time?

2.) Who will be our sperm donor?

3.) What is the new name of that clinic that my coworker used five years ago?

Next steps:

1.) Answer questions above

2.) Seriously propose to Wifebian that we draft an ad, seriously draft ad, consider publications, price it

3.) Complete health insurance paperwork by Friday

4.) Email coworker and see if she wants to meet for lunch. Secretly pray her donor is known and local and deeply committed to starting many lesbian families with his seed

In closing, I can safely say in all confidence that break #1 will be over by February 2011, at the latest. I will be 33 years and 4 months old.

Whatever This Is Called

November 3, 2010

One of the most significant developments coming out of this Asheville thing is the making of friends. Lesbian ones. This may be an indication of an immaturity in my relationship, but Wifebian and I have never had to negotiate the development of new friendships with other gay people as a married couple.

In general, I havent made a mutually depthful, reciprocal, soulful friendship since college. Maybe I have intimacy issues, or maybe I havent really tried, maybe I’ve moved too much, or maybe the business of friendship is inherently different once youre an adult. Maybe its all these things, but I still want one. Or heck, maybe even two.

Specifically, Wifebian has started a friendship with a woman at her job who is a femme, partnered lesbian. So far, the friendliest thing thing the new friend has done was help Wifebian move on a day I was working. I have not met the friend’s girlfriend and I have not spent much time with the new friend. The new friend’s partner is a little suspicious of Wifebian; I joke about being jealous. Then, Wifebian told me that the new friend said I have a nice butt. And her and Wifebian talk about sex more than the average pair of new gay friends. And then there’s the whole part where the new friend is also Wifebian’s “type”.

You see where this is going.

Right? So we’re not talking about “making new friends” anymore, right? We’re talking about crushes, right? Friend has a crush on my wife. Or does she want to have sex with her? Or with us? Uh, ok, whatever . . .

Then, last weekend, Wifebian went out to the local lesbian bar with her new friend and her new friend’s girlfriend. I was at work. The new friend ended up propositioning Wifebian for sex, the girlfriend got mad at Wifebian’s new friend for a different, but related reason, and decided to fight with Wifebian’s friend on our porch at 3AM and be rude to the neighbor who asked them to quit it.

None of this constitutes “friendship material” in my book. But Wifebian says she is bored, would like also to be friends with her new friend’s girlfriend, who is butch, because she needs “boy”friends. I say that I am looking for a higher level of ethics in a new friend, some professional success, someone with some hobbies, a spiritual bent, other well-adjusted friends, perhaps a savings account, you know, the basics. But, more than the basics, too. And I certainly cant entertain their “friendship” if chick is going to be back-handed and secretive about her intentions.

Last week, before the proposition occured, Wifebian and I had been invited to dinner at the new friend’s house. I wasnt into anymore, but then Wifebian talked me into it, but then the new friend’s girlfriend said there would be no dinner. Over the intervening days, it turns out that Wifebian’s new friend and her girlfriend have been talking about opening up there relationship for some time, which is different than friendship, which is different than trying to sleep with my wife. I dont want to be friend with you and I dont want you to sleep with my wife, but kinky group sex? That I can do!

When Wifebian and I got together, I was a non-monogamous fool. Loved it! Thought it was great! But Wifebian squashed it and I humbly accepted the boundary. But now, for the first time in her life, though, not to mention in our relationship, Wifebian feels secure enough in a relationship, specifically ours, to consider having sex with other people. While I, on the other hand, after four years of monogamy, am leary, especially with this couple. Both of these girls are younger than Wifebian and I, are completely new to non-monogamy, I sense that they are unhappy in their own relationship, and I know they dont identify as queer. (Not to mention, 1/2 of the couple works with Wifebian.) This couple is not the best couple to be nonmonogamous with now that I am out of practice and Wifebian is exploring new territory.

Last night, Wifebian and I had warm, sexy sex, involving a fantasy about me her new friend’s girlfriend, then walked the dog up to the local cafe and talked about it all over a couple of our favorite chocolate chip cookies. We talked about our unfulfilled needs, the ones that cant be fulfilled because no person is everything to another person. We talked about Wifebian’s identity as a butch and a bottom, how this couple’s dynamic is different and provocative in relationship to ours, We talked about how our sex used to be (fanfuckingtastic), how our love used to be (wholenotherpost), and what to do next.

Initally, I wanted nothing to do with this because I dont want to be friends with them and I’m not aching for the non monogamous lifestyle. But now — now, I realize that Wifebian does not have some desire to have group sex or exchange partners, but that really my wife has a crush on her friend and feels secure enough in her relationship with me to try to ask about maybe expressing it sexually. I realize that I am the one in this situation who knows even remotely what she is doing and that if it’s going to work out, I have to be in charge.

I sent my phone number to the other girlfriend. We are going to meet up at the mall tomorrow. The mall! I love it! I would like for her and I to talk about this without Wifebian and her friend, since we are the level headed ones (hopefully) at this point. (Besides, the idea of watching Wifebian and her friend try to be, like, non – crushed on one another while in this woman’s home in front of this woman’s partner kinda makes me wanna barf.)

Acording to my analysis so far, Wifebian and her friend — the two “bottoms”, the two “passive” people in these two relationships — have a crush on one another that they want to express phsyically, but the dominate partners are being like, “Hell to the NOTGONNAHAPPEN!” If I can put myself in charge of deciding if this is a good idea, with the cooperation of the other person who is “in charge”, we might all have a shot at having a mutually beneficial, drama-limited, good time.

I guess.

I hope.

I mean, I could get back into this non-monogamy thing. It is super fun. 

But, then, there are the judgemental voices, the ones in my head, about how non-monogamy is immature and this endeavor is particularly ill – advised, how I should be spending my energy on budgets and recipes and baby-making and how I might even be doing real damage to my relationship.  But, I want a dynamic, queer sex life with my wife. I want a stable, loving marriage in which to raise happy, healthy children. I want both of these things, and I’m sorry, but “date night” doesnt seem to be cutting it.

I need a picture of Dan Savage to hang over my fire place. With candles and a rosary. The patron saint of . . . whatever this is called.

Wedding Hair

October 31, 2010

At the wedding, I was given the task of doing hair for a 6 year old and a 9 year old. Their mom went back to her hotel room to get things done while I brushed and braided and talked with the girls.

I have always had a daydream of being a hairdresser. Or a manicurist. A taxi driver or a bar tender. Some job that has historically functioned as a proxy therapist in our culture. It turns out, the 9 year old wants to be a hair dresser too. As I was waxing urgent that maybe I really needed to give up my social work gig and become a hairdresser, my friend, who hates puppies and babies said, “Maybe you just need to have kids.”

And I thought about when I was little girl and people would brush my hair and comment on how thick it was, or how brown, or how it was just like my dad’s. The girls’ hair was so thin and wispy, light brown. I asked the 6 year old what side she wanted her hair parted on and she said, “I don’t know,” and I said, “Of course you don’t know; you’re only 6!”

Their hair was wet and tangled, like they hadn’t used conditioner. I wondered what kind of mother doesn’t tell their kids to use conditioner. We didn’t have a comb, so I had to use a brush. I grabbed chunks of their hair at the base, like I remember people did to me, and raked their heads with the brush. I said, “If I hurt you . . . don’t tell me,” And got some laughs from the adults in the room. The girls were very easy-going kids, neither even said ouch once and I told them how tough they were. When I complimented their mom on their toughness, I hoped she couldn’t tell I had wondered why their hair was so tangled in the first place.

Mothers tell me they feel judged a lot. And women in general, women who don’t know one another, have a habit of saying something with the best intentions, then worrying if what they said was taken the wrong way, while the other woman receives the thing with the best of perceptions and then wonders how she shouldve taken it. Or maybe that’s just me.

Eventually, the girls’ hair laid flat against their shoulders and straight down their small backs, in a brief sheet of dry softness. The soft, brief hair of small girls.

And why wasn’t their mom doing their hair herself? Brushing their hair felt so intimate. I especially felt self-conscious once their mother came back into the room. I couldn’t believe another woman was letting me touch her daughter’s hair. Then I reminded myself that, after awhile, it seems like parents get used to their kids and time spent away from them can be more of a treasure than time spent with them. She thanked me for doing their hair. I don’t know if she was grateful for having time away or grateful that she avoided a small family feud by at least getting their hair “done” at all. The girls’ grandmother was ready to pony up big bucks and my services were offered as a consolation. 

Point being, I really want a child. A girl one. And the other point is that there are so many things I haven’t even thought of when it comes to how wonderful it will be to have a girl, like being in a room with three generations of women from two sides of different families, eating fruit, tying bows and doing hair before a wedding.