I'll come up with something in a minute.

Don’t correct me, it’ll only lead to me looking at you scornfully.

It’s funny that Liberace never married. You’d think he would have been able to find a wife with all those wonderful outfits of his.

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August 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I can’t have shrimp, but that’s a separate allergy thing.

One of the chief problems with trying to describe poly to people who are mono is that it’s like trying to describe paganism to someone who has been monotheistic all their lives. The difficulty lies not in explaining why you’d choose to live outside of their system, or even explaining how your system works, but rather in separating in their mind the difference between your system and everyone else’s system.

It can be hard for a Christian, who has only really lived around other Christians, to fully appreciate that people who follow Wicca have different values, ways of worship and meanings of symbols than those who follow Nordic traditions do. Since they share a lot of symbols and the values aren’t terribly alien to each other, the non-pagan has trouble remembering which one uses runes and which one uses scrying mirrors, which group screws in fields and which one puts a dagger in a cup*. It becomes even more difficult when you’ve got those pagans who look at the whole “Not-Abrahamic” thing like a Pick-N-Mix and take whatever bits and pieces they find useful.

Now compare that to someone trying to wrap their head around poly for the first time. You’ve got the swingers, the open marriages, the closed groups, the open groups, triangles, V shapes, and even more complicated interpersonal geometry. Now try to explain each and every one of those styles to a person whose relationship mathematics never got past one and one makes two.

While I find that just about anyone can grasp the multiplicity angle, they can quickly become confused when it comes to the specifics of each groupings particular means and ways. Again, they want to know which group screws in a field and which one uses mirrors. Then throw in the fact that the rules for a relationship can change for a single person depending on their partners needs and their little monastic heads** start to spin around.

At that point you start getting people questioning the very basic things about a person’s lifestyle. You start getting questions like “Do you eat eggs? I mean, because you’re poly you can’t eat eggs right? Or is it ham?” and you end up looking at them for about fifteen seconds before announcing, “I think you’re thinking of kosher rules there kiddo.” To which they will say, swear to god, “Right! You can’t eat beef then.”

And then I just put my head down and laugh until I cry.

Doesn’t take nearly as long as you’d think.

*I’ll let you work out the joke on your own.
**That started off as a typo, but I’m keeping it because I find it charming.

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment