Monday, January 30, 2006

Why am I gay? Tons of Questions I’d only ask God after my third trip up to the altar for some Communion wine.*

Hey God-

(Age 5)
Am I going to hell if I'd rather sit in the pews on Sunday eating Cheerios and spelling naughty words on my mom's calculator then try and pay attention to the Pastor drone on and on about junk I don't understand?

Is jumping on the bed allowed in heaven? It really should be since it's so much fun.

(Age 7)
Why are there no dinosaurs mentioned in the bible?

In Sunday school, we celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas and then his death only a few months later at Easter. What happens in between? How come there's no 7-year-old Jesus like me?

(Age 9)
I may only be 9-years-old but I'm pretty sure that making Jesus into a cartoon character just like Scooby-doo and the Smurfs is awfully confusing to some of us kids in Sunday school. Couldn't you talk to someone about that?

Can I have a real baby sister for Christmas? If not, can you get me a real Cabbage-Patch Kid instead?

Why does everyone think I should believe in you but you don't tell me to do so yourself?

(Age 12)
I'll get to see my pet rats in heaven, right?

Why do babies die?

There is no such thing as limbo. Why would anyone be so cruel to suggest a place to grieving parents?

Why does the bible do so much harm sometimes? Why didn’t you make it just a little more clear so we wouldn’t fight so much?

How come you don't answer my prayers?

You don't mind if I don't actually believe in you, right?

(Age 15)
Fess up, the Immaculate Conception was just a really heated make out session that led to third base, right? (Don't send me a nasty email or leave anonymous comments yelling at me on this one people. I'm just stating something that's crossed my mind that would somehow scientifically make sense to me. We all have our own theories and beliefs for things we can’t explain.)

Do you ever wish you could start over? I do that all the time when I'm playing Sim City. I just delete the old city and begin again from scratch or I neglect the old one and leave it rotting on some zip disk somewhere.

Why would women be punished with childbirth and menstruation for what Eve did?

Same topic: Why are women treated as property so often?

I'm pretty sure that woman was not created from man but everyone tries to tell me differently. What's the truth? How can you have a man exist without a woman to give birth to him first?

(Age 17)
I know I said I didn’t believe in you but I’ll change my mind if you don’t let Nate die from cancer. If you really cared, you’d make him healthy again.

My church is sooooo boring. Can you get an orchestra for the altar and teach the priest to sing like Frank Sinatra? Or can you get a set of drums, lasers, and pyrotechnics for a pre-sermon show?

If a person doesn't develop a conscience early in life and they become a serial killer, when they die will they be punished if they didn’t know that they did anything wrong? How can you punish someone who doesn't know the difference?

Don't you think you should tell the Pope to lighten up?

Why am I gay?

Why did you make me this way if so many people think that's a bad thing and automatically assume that I can change it?

(As an adult)
If I beg and plead not to be pregnant right now, will you still let me get pregnant later on?

I believe that many religious stories are created to explain the unexplainable, especially in historical times when our species did not have science as an alternative. So if we’re making up all these things and creating a religion around them, does that mean we made up you? Do you exist simply because we believe in you? Would you still be there if we stopped believing?

Why are religious icons always showing up on freeway walls, truck stop pancakes and Lay’s potato chips? If there was a message to be relayed to us, why not use more credible sources?

If good is supposed to win over evil all of the time, why is George Bush still president?

Hell is just a state of mind, right?

I can understand that for many years it was essential that humans populate the earth and have as many children as possible with the infanticide rate being as high as it was and all, but why haven't you made it clear that we're now running out of room here? Shouldn't you tell someone important that they need to press upon Catholic families that its time to stop having so many children? Especially if they can't afford to take care of all of them?

Is there something wrong with me since I can’t just blindly follow everyone else and just believe in you? Why do I have to question everything? Why didn’t I just accept what they told me as a child?
These questions represent a sample of random thoughts I have had about religion since I was old enough to remember. I still think many of them today- even though now I'm certainly old enough to know better (jumping on the bed is still fun today...'specially with other people in it).

I'm working on a post about religion but it's a bit overwhelming. I'm not sure what to say. I'm not sure what direction I'm going in. I'm not even sure if I need religion right now. All I know is that I had a dream recently where I was attending a wedding in a very old gothic country church but there were some irregularities to the scene. Instead of the pews all facing forward towards the altar, they were turned sideways with the ceremony happening on the right side of the church. There were two rows of pews, with an generous space for the aisle, and on the left side (the one closest to the actual altar) there was a huge wooden banister, with intricate carvings and incredibly smooth balustrades. The banister was cutting off the rest of the church from the pews. In fact, the seating was only taking up one-third of the church. I could see the altar, at the far end, just as it looked at my Lutheran church when I was a child. I and all the other parishioners could not reach the altar though. There was just empty space between the banister and the other end and no way around it. There was nothing there, no seats, no tables, absolutely nothing- just swirling black empty space. However, when I looked up, I could see the sunlight streaming in from the stained glass windows far above.

Needless to say, this dream screams of symbolism and begs for obvious interpretation. There is room in my life for religion. But I don’t know how and I don’t know why. More on this topic soon....

*My apologies for stealing from the title of the bestseller: Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dum..Dum..Dah-Dum... Dum...Dum..Dah-Dum

My best friend was engaged yesterday! She asked me to be her maid of honor! I was so excited I think I forgot to say yes.

We giggled like we did when we were 13 years old, sitting in front of the TV after another grueling day of middle school, watching a Guys Next Door episode (Saturday morning variety show for teenage girls.. kinda like the Monkees from the 70's) and dreaming about Chris Wolf (NKOTB? Who the hell was that?). Now we're giggling about dresses, colors, rings and bachelorette parties.

I'm so happy for her! And now it gives me an bonafide excuse to visit bridal websites and collect pretty wedding pictures all under the guise of "helping her" when I'm secret going to be stashing away ideas for my own ceremony someday. ;)

She made me promise to send her lots of links to important details we need to track. I think I'll start here with the Evil Wedding Planner cause it's damn funny.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hope- Otherwise Known as a Waking Dream.

We three finally talked. It took all of an hour with maybe 25 actual minutes of meaty discussion between us about what was going on. She had a reaction to the triad hand holding incident, she’s trying to understand it, and she wanted me to know she hasn’t made up her mind about it. And while this may seem bad, it is in fact, a very good thing. Especially since she didn’t automatically label her response negative and send me retreating with my tail between my legs and a broken heart to nurse. Just like he and I have been doing for the past six months with every little issue, she is taking her time to digest this latest turn of events and figure out what she wants and what she is comfortable with.

Nothing earth shattering was decided during our conversation and we came to no conclusions, ultimatums nor boundaries; the talk itself was simply the monumental event. That alone, was more than enough for the time being.

I told my Beloved that I since I was so wound up and miserable these past few days over the prospect of finally having this long sought after chat; I couldn’t fully relax following it. I breathed an audible sigh of relief as reminder to myself to do so… but I think the anxiety I felt while jumping (and waiting to jump) over this hurdle will only slowly deflate from me like a tiny tear in a waterbed or a nail puncture in a tire.

Note to self: NO MORE DRAMA, GIRLY-GIRL! Take it slow. You have found something amazing and you need to remember to enjoy it each and every single minute.

I’m mentally exhausted and sick of being so weepy. I need some serious downtime before I drive away the people that I love the most. This is only hurdle #15 on the list of potentially thousands. It’s daunting, absolutely daunting and bloody scary to face the next episode.

But underneath it all, there is hope. I sense it, ever so faint, breathing softly and growing quietly with definitive purpose towards the shimmering light. And I cling to that hope- the possibility of a life with them- as it becomes more tangible with every new day.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wish Me Luck!

If I’d known that a 2 minute session of public handholding between the three of us in the mall would have been the thing that gets us talking openly in the same room all at once, I would have grabbed him, bent him backwards and planted a kiss on his smacker right in front of her months ago!

We’re ready to talk and it’s probably going to happen in the next 48 hours. That is if no one chickens out. I’m tempted to feign illness or claim the homework is keeping me too busy from coming out to their house for the weekend. But I’ve wanted to have this talk for the last several months. I’m scared but I’m ready for this talk- wherever it may lead.

I’m trying to find a way to convey the magnitude of my feelings for him to her but with as much compassion and tact as possible.

Will she understand?

Does she know that my main objective is and has always been to keep their marriage strong?

Does she know that I would do anything in the world for the two of them?

Does she know that I’m not going anywhere and I’m going to stand my ground?

Does she know that I want to spend my life with them?

Does she know that I lie awake at night wondering how I will find him again after this life is over?

Does she know that I didn’t intend for this to happen but now that it has, I can’t and won’t imagine my life any other way?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Yes, Virginia, there is life outside of television!

In December, my computer crashed and so I no longer had internet access from home. At first, it seemed like the end of my world. How could I stand it if I couldn’t post my photos, check email and surf all the blogs I wanted to? How was I supposed to get certain class assignments and pdf files that I would need for school? How could I go on breathing???

Well, somehow I survived.

Last weekend, my TV did something funky. After muting the Firefly marathon on Sci-Fi for an hour so I could chat on the phone, I hit the mute button once again and all I got was a static sound in return. The picture was crystal clear but there was no sound whatsoever. I cycled through the channels hearing only PBS coming in, punched a few random menu buttons and called my local cable company. I sat on hold for 5 or 10 minutes and then figured I’d call back later to get it resolved.

In the meantime how was I going to survive without my TV? No Sex and the City episodes back to back on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, no more Grey's Anatomy or Medium, no 15 minutes of music videos seen at 3am... what oh, what was I going to do??

Fast forward through a week without television and instead of calling to have it fixed, I called and canceled the internet and cable service all together.

This past week:

I had a great first week at school. All my classes seem manageable and tolerable. Without television, I can actually get my assignments done not only on time but even ahead of schedule.

I’m working my way through several books (The Dive from Clausen’s Pier, The Seat of the Soul, Blink, Under the Banner of Heaven, Orbiting the Giant Hairball). I haven’t read that much in years.

I’ve got my knitting stash cleaned up and out of the way of kitty paws and human toes.

I spent two mornings having breakfast in bed, listening to classical music on the radio. It’s a much more pleasant morning than screaming at the idiotic newscasters on the local TV stations. I absolutely hate the way they talk, pouting or squinting rather excessively during a piece on something negative and then rushing right through the “bad news” (stuff we really need to pay attention to) just to talk about some damn up and coming dog show or how much the weather sucks. And what’s with these entertainment segments threatening to take over half the broadcast of some news programs out there?

I’ve started listening to a couple of cds that I got over Christmas break: John Legend’s Get Lifted and James’ Blunt’s Back to Bedlam. Good stuff, good stuff. I’ve also fallen in love all over again with Joss Stone’s Soul Sessions.

I’m finally getting sleep! I now get to bed at a reasonable hour now without having to force myself to get up out of the sofa (that has molded its cushions to my butt cheeks) and regretfully turn off the big box with its comforting soft blue light and dancing shadows that keep me company.

I was nice to myself and ordered a subscription to Utne magazine with the money that I saved from not having cable this month. And I swear that it’s only by some weird coincidence that they have a feature on Polyfidelity this month. I did not see that when I ordered the subscription last week. But I’m sure pleased as punch.

So there you have it. My first week without television and somehow, somehow I survived.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This public apology is for...

the person who watched me act like a two-year-old this past weekend:

Thank you for your infinite wisdom (I really do mean that), compassion, calm demeanor, emotional maturity, and your unrelenting love for me.

Thank you for stepping back and giving me room to vent and sort out my emotions so I could explain to you in words how I felt. And thank you for taking me in your arms once again.

If I ever act like I'm having another temper tantrum, feel free to give me a spanking. ;)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Need a reason to have a bladder control problem?

I found this site today via Tvindy's mention. I laughed and laughed and almost peed my pants when I came across these hilarious photos of cats with stuff on them. Try one of my favorites: Sammy, the twinkie defense, digits, and (the best of all) Hailey.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ringing in New Years on a down note with the Goonies and the Galaxy Quest guys

When I accepted the idea that this relationship could work as a poly one, I knew I was in for a long hard haul, but I was blinded by how long and how hard it would turn out to be. And *sigh* it hasn’t even been a year yet. I’m exhausted. And I’m terrified of making the wrong step.

Remember the scene in the Goonies when the kids are in the cave, being chased by the Fratelli family, and they have to decipher the notes on the massive organ before the floor falls out beneath them? Sometimes, when I’m wrapped up in my own unhappy thoughts, I feel like I too am on that ledge, watching as sections of the rock fall away all around me. I’m scared of playing the wrong note, making the wrong step in this relationship.

That doesn’t sound very mature of me, does it? Everything has the ability to crumble in an instant? Is this healthy?

No I suppose not.

But I never realized all of the delicate intricacies that are involved in a poly relationship- especially the particular ones that we face. It’s so unlike a “normal” relationship. Not only do I have to deal with the stigma of polamory from friends and family, the ever threat of coming out or staying in the closet, but also the resistance from The Wife, the constantly failing attempts to bond with the children, trying to find a reasonable amount of time to spend together, the distance between our residences, the differences in religions (although I do happen to find acceptance within this relationship even with my often fluxuating and simplistic beliefs), the different stages that our lives are in, the age gap, our future goals… the list just goes on and on. Sometimes, especially when we’re communicating on an intimate level, this ledge that I’m on seems so incredibly solid and strong that nothing could break it. Every little detail we discuss of every bridge we have yet to cross seems so inconsequential when he and I are calmly chatting and connecting to one another. The hope I have for a perfect future is at its highest then.

Goonies never say die, right?!?!

But when I’m alone, or I feel snubbed by some small gesture, or I feign utter exhaustion on New Years just so I can avoid the awkwardness of not getting a kiss at midnight… that’s when I feel hopeless and unbalanced. The little critics in my head murmur that I’m not smart enough, I’m not pretty enough, deserving enough, responsible enough, *insert any descriptive word here* enough to make this work out in the end.

And there’s a name for these nasty little critics that was coined last summer in my world. Some people have just one voice in their head that cuts them down. That voice is often rude and overbearing, a total jackass that doesn’t ever seem to quiet down. Since middle school, the voice in my head split into thousands of smaller ones that run around like rotten kindergartners, screaming tourette-like insults at me and telling me over and over again that I’m simply no good.

Now don’t go thinking that I’ve admitted schizophrenia here. Because it’s nothing like that. These little critics don’t tell me to do things, and they don’t whisper that I should kill myself (although there was a time…). They are simply a constant loop of real life comments and events that transform themselves into bratty little blue aliens. I imagine them looking a lot like the little aliens on the rock planet from the movie Galaxy Quest.

Guy Fleegman: I don't like this. I don't like this at all.
Gwen DeMarco: They are *so* cute.
Guy Fleegman: Sure, they're cute now, but in a second they're gonna get mean, and they're gonna get ugly somehow, and there's gonna be a million more of them.

My little Galaxy Quest guys act syrupy sweet to me in the beginning but they always manage to turn it around and become little heathens that cut me down and make me feel awful. We all have these critics in our heads in some form or another. Some of us artists are just more creative in the way we describe them. I wish I was more creative in the way that I deal with them. Ever since I read Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, I’ve imagined that that I could lock the guys up in a giant cardboard box, deep within the warehouse of my mind. I wrap that box with a ton of duct tape and I slide it into a shadowed corner. Even though most cardboard boxes should be labeled, I deliberately leave this one blank. Hopefully the miles of duct tape remind me that something sinister lies within.

Quit thinking I’m a lunatic. You know you’d like to try this with your critics too. Wouldn’t it be nicer to have unfaltering self-esteem or a positive outlook on ourselves and our lives all of the time? Wouldn’t it be nice to forget the cruelties of childhood, the awkwardness of the developing teenage years, and the disappointing decades of adulthood that leave us wondering what else we could be doing with our lives?

Unfortunately, those Galaxy Quest guys find a way to gnaw through the cardboard at the most inopportune times. I wonder if I intentionally put them in the wimpiest box I can find, just so they have the ability to break free and then use the excuse that I'm not strong enough to keep them at bay. Perhaps. But since the events folded out over 2005, I thought I’d gone and got rid of those little bastards for good. Recently, they punched a hole in the corner of their cardboard prison and they’ve slung insults at me from across the room. Little blue hands poke out from the hole begging for attention, gnarly teeth work feverishly to widen the hole. And it seems like every hour brings them closer to freedom and brings me closer to another bout of depression.

I don’t want to be depressed. And I may not be. But I could be suffering from the affects of that silly Adjustment Disorder thing I was semi-diagnosed with. My life has changed in ways I couldn’t imagine. 2005 brought me a clear and sound frame of mind (except for that teensy tiny part where I fell madly in love and spent a few months completely infatuated). The year was very good to me and I was very good to myself. I began to see the person I wanted to become. I began to accept my faults whether I was able to change them or not- but especially if they were not fixable. I felt on top of the world and capable of anything. I felt worthy of the life I was working towards.

So why do I feel so shitty now? Because sometimes it’s just easier to backpedal then actually bike up the mountain before us. And that’s what I’m doing, for whatever reason. I feel totally stagnant right now- stagnant in my schoolwork, my job, my weight, my attempts to overcome procrastination, and most definitely in my relationships with my beloved and his family.

I’m sitting in a hibernating state of a dull and bleak winter when I wish I was soaring above the summer clouds and enjoying the whistling of the ocean breezes through the tall grasses on a certain sand dune. Oh, my favorite happy place…

Christmas was hard because I couldn’t completely share the joy that I’ve found in my life. No one knows quite what to do with me. I’m quickly becoming the weird relative. I’m not a porno star. I don’t drink excessively. I have no major maladies that would cause anyone to whisper about me when they think I can’t hear them. I simply fell in love with a married man and I want to spend the rest of my life loving him and his wife. That’s all. But no one really wants to talk about it.

I have one parent who’s playing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” game pretending that this is not really happening and another who is gritting her teeth behind her smile when I mention anything about my love. And it’s not as if I’m sharing intimate details here. I’m talking about normal things like holidays, kids activities, music lessons, pets, and attending church for crying out loud! I think my parents are hoping that this will all blow over quickly. Maybe my other family and friends are hoping for the same.

Fine. Whatever. Watch me roll my eyes at the thought.

And maybe that’s why I no longer view Wisconsin as home. This is the first time in three years that I could hardly wait to get back home. And by home, I mean Oregon, where I’m starting to finally feel that I belong. I was thinking it as I stepped onto the plane at PDX. I was thinking it when I landed in Milwaukee, when I spent Christmas Eve and Day with family… it seemed as if almost every moment had me thinking of home and the life I’m working towards with the people out here that mean so much to me. Don’t get me wrong though, I love my family and friends in Wisconsin. They have always been there for me and they’ve been a good support structure over the years. But maybe I need to find a family of my own.

And here’s where it gets tricky.

I don’t feel entirely at home, a hundred percent of the time with my love. That’s to be expected. I can’t just waltz into a existing family and set up camp. It doesn’t work that way. Rationally, I know this. Emotionally, I find it crushing and exhausting to have to maneuver through every hoop and obstacle in my way. I’m always saying to him “There doesn’t seem to be any room for me in your family.” And I feel it to my very core when I look at the four of them, happily bouncing from activity to activity, living their daily lives together as a perfect example of the *snort* nuclear family ideal. I fear I have nothing to offer them. The Wife is a seemingly perfect cook (or should I say perfectly imperfect?), with a heart of gold and a life filled with hobbies and roles she effortlessly seems to handle. The kids have a mother and a father who use intelligence, bribery (hehehe) and a healthy dose of common sense in their upbringing. What am I supposed to add to a perfectly good balance? And my love has everything he needs; a good job, a supportive family, a soul mate for a wife who has stood by him and supported him half of their lives, enriching relationships with many friends, hobbies that allow him to explore human nature and his own spiritual abilities he’s learning to master. Where do I possibly fit in?

I don’t know for sure.

But those damn Galaxy Quest guys always think they have the answer.

“Hey, sweet-cheeks!” Sometimes they act like little disgusting construction workers taking an unauthorized break, with big cigars dangling from their snarling lips. “You don’t belong here! Go home and leave them all alone. They don’t really want you here. You’re nothing but a pest! They’ve got better things to do then entertain your silly school girl notions of a perfect little family of five. There ain’t no such thing! You’re wasting your time. Move on, darlin’. Just move along.”


It’s hard to fight against them and show them that the possibility of a healthy integration and fusion of our lives does in fact exist. I don’t always see that possibility. Lately, I just feel in the way. I mean, seriously, what could I give him that he doesn’t already have? When he’s sick, there is someone to take care of him. When he’s lonely, he doesn’t have to go very far for interaction. He’s already had kids. He’s already got the career, the house, the pets, everything he seems to need. I really don’t know if I’ve got anything to offer.

Just today, I recognized a pattern from my own relationships that I can’t continue in this one and it drives me nuts. When I get into a relationship, I make that person my world. Everything revolves around them. They become the person I turn to for everything. They make me feel good about myself even as I sit like a lump on the couch in sweats with unwashed hair and an empty container of Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s nearby. I make the person I’m involved with my absolute everything. I give and give (almost as much as I take) and I expect us to create our own little world together. This happens in every long term relationship for me. But there isn’t the possibility of it happening this time around and I’m scared because I don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m scared that I don’t have anything to offer. I have to find a way in, rather than blaze a path for us and I’m not sure if I can do that. I worry about my mental stability. I worry about my maturity, my experience, and my insecurities. I worry that he’ll wake up one morning and go “Geez, what was I thinking? She’s a total nut job! And whatever did I think I needed her for?”

Are these the Galaxy Quest guys throwing their insults around again or is this really me expressing how absolutely useless I feel?

I wish there was somewhere I could turn to, some sympathetic and unbiased person who wouldn't judge me for the polyamory aspects or the low self-esteem. I wish there was someone else besides the stupid aliens bouncing around like tiny astronauts playing games in a weightless atmosphere, hurting me and trying to destroy all that I've worked so hard for.