22
Mar
21

Like Meets Like

I have to admit, I haven’t been meeting too many new people during the past year or so. My household and I have taken pandemic isolation very seriously.

The new people that I have gotten to know while sheltering in place, have been almost exclusively online connections. Even colleagues from work are now “remote” and meetings take place by phone or Zoom.

Interestingly, I have reconnected with a lot of old friends and relatives that I hadn’t spoken to in quite a while. It’s been strangely easier to discuss past decades than past weeks or months. Probably because there are actual stories to draw conversation from. Talking to my current close friends sometimes sounds a lot like this:

“What are you up to?”

“Not much.”

“Yeah. I finally got the golden watering can in Animal Crossing.”

“Oh cool. We went to Costco. It was crazy. Four people without masks.”

“Seriously. That’s crazy.  I had a panic attack last time we went.”

“I know, right? I was just thrilled to get away from my children.”

 “I hear ya…”  

Talking to friends about the monotony of daily life in isolation can be tedious. There are also days when I simply feel toxic and don’t want to talk because I feel like such a downer.

Still, I have really tried to get involved with online activities. I started a Facebook group about cooking, and joined several others about art, polyamory, travel, music, and a couple of support groups. I have even been playing trivia online pretty regularly.

Through these various “virtual” activities, I have “met” several new people this year, and I started to notice an interesting pattern. Many of my new acquaintances and I have quite a bit in common. Sure, this makes sense if we’re in a cooking group together, but I was surprised to discover that two of my new online pals were openly poly.

Which begs the question – does like find like? Is there something that inherently exists among poly folk that causes us to find each other organically? I’m in a number of poly groups and the types of people (politics, social class, education level, type of poly that they practice,) seem to vary broadly. I guess we tend to be liberal, openminded, and outgoing, but that’s a generalization at best.  

One person that I discovered to be poly was an existing “electronic acquaintance” that I had been following an interacting with for a while. I don’t usually accept friend requests from people that I don’t personally know (and also decline many that I do know personally.) In the case of this guy, (let’s call him DM,) we have some friends in common, he’s smart, witty, nerdy, and has a gift for terrible puns. We’d engaged in some online banter and at some point, a couple of years ago, we became friends on social media. For some time, I had suspected that he was also poly. I’m not sure what caused me to think so, but he’s a sexy, outgoing, charming fellow who seems to have an active social life and no primary partner. I didn’t really care one way or another – he lives on the other side of the country and it’s not like I want to date him, but I had a little “ah ha” moment when DM recently put the word “poly” in his Facebook description.

I “met” a queer, poly woman a few months ago when she and I were both actively objecting to a transphobic joke that a mutual friend of ours had posted. It wasn’t a terribly ugly joke – in fact, it poked fun at a rather nasty person. Unfortunately, the “fun” punchline was that she had a dick. Not cool. If the insult is about their weight, genitals, illness, religion, ethnicity, or the like, I don’t generally find it funny. This gal (let’s call her Viv,) and I both voiced our “not cool, man” objections, and our friend pushed back a bit. Everyone doubled down, conversations were had, and our (male) friend eventually agreed.

Viv and I then messaged back and forth for about three hours and had a wonderful exchange. She showed me photos of her partners, and shared how much she missed being separated from one partner due to COVID. She was very forthright about the fact that one of her partners was a trans woman, which she mentioned as part of her argument against our friend’s joke. She was fierce.

I’m not super secretive about being poly – many of my friends know, as do some family members. I’m happy to talk about it if it comes up. However, I’m not “out” as a general rule, and live a “passing” life as part of a heteronormative couple. Honestly, other than some messaging and chatting, the past year has been monogamous for my nesting partner and me. Safety has been our top priority.

Still, I really admire people who are open and out. I think it’s important to have representation, but I worry about it impacting my work, and honestly, I just feel like it’s nobody’s business. I don’t mind sharing, (ha ha,) but I do mind having a label slapped on that causes a lot of speculation or inappropriate questions. That may change at some point, but not right now.

Much respect to people living their truth!

And much love to you all,

RD


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