Posts Tagged ‘COVID

03
Apr
21

The Return of “Brad Pitt”

Is it weird to have a crush on someone that you are regularly shagging? Because I did. I had a crush on “1994 Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall.” I have written about him a few times in the past in Friday Freak-outs, Flirtations, and Friskiness from March, 2013, Embracing the Unexpected (Firmly, With my Thighs,), I Don’t Often Get Nervous, and but…but…I wore Sexy Underwear and Shaved from the following month, and Brad Pitt Got Fat from October, 2013. His “designation” under the “old system” of naming people that I dated was “P29” – but the system was impersonal and flawed. First, it was hard to keep track of folks without a nickname. Secondly, people age. “P29” would be “P37” if I met him now. Nicknames like “Dancing Dr. Who” and “Teddy Bear Pirate” make it easier to follow. I once said that this guy showed up at my door with a leather hair tie looking like Brad Pitt from Legends of the Fall and the name stuck. He’s been “Brad Pitt” ever since – even when he’s looked more like Kevin Smith before he went vegan.

I really liked “Brad Pitt” and he was a regular hook-up for about a year or so. We had most excellent sex and, when he wasn’t aloof or in a “Pitt” of depression and despair from his PTSD, we had fantastic conversations, lots of common interests, and a remarkably similar world view.

I think I was a little bit in love with him.

I mean, just a little.

I recently responded to a question in a poly group about whether you have to be “in love” with each of your poly partners in order for it to “count” as “poly” or whether it would be considered “friends with benefits” if you weren’t. I’ve never really been a fan of labels, but basically, I feel like we have lots of different levels of friendship, affinity, attraction, common interests, etc with lots of different people. We can love them in different ways, and with different degrees of intensity. Different people meet different needs – that’s the whole point.

Anyway, it’s been a while, but I really liked Brad Pitt. I know that I was a low maintenance booty call for him, and that was really okay for me. I would occasionally see him near the beginning of my relationship with “Working Class Whimsy” and they knew about each other. But as things progressed with “Whimsy” “Brad” and I didn’t see much of each other. I assumed he was figuring his shit out, or maybe had gotten involved with someone – as I had. There was no drama or bullshit, we just sort of faded away from each other. I would occasionally think of him fondly and wish him well.

Then, after years of no contact, he popped up again a couple of months ago, on Facebook. I should be clear – we are not, nor were we ever Facebook friends. It was not that sort of relationship. (Plus, I generally don’t friend people that I date.) He and I mainly communicated by text. So, in the midst of a global pandemic, I get a message from someone using a slightly different nickname than the one that I knew him by, (both different from his real name, which I also know.)

So after about five years of no contact, he reached out and said:

                So, are you married or not?

His profile picture didn’t show his face, and the name was different. In the span of about 30 minutes, I did a complete social media creep on the dude and read about a year’s worth of posts. I soon found video and photographic evidence that it was him, but I already knew. Eventually I responded:

                Hey, it took me a few minutes to figure out who this is.

                Yes, I am.

                How are you surviving the apocalypse?

He said he wasn’t good. We briefly chatted about how fucked the world is, how much we miss singing, about TV shows, video games, movies, and how we were managing during isolation. We talked about fears, feelings, despair…we even talked about how he had legally changed his last name – due in part to his no longer wanting to have his father’s last name. After my social media perusal, I wondered if his name change also correlated to a significant change in relationship status. Did he get married too? There did seem to be a woman in some of his social posts. A chubby, older woman – hmmm, I think he has a type. I mentioned that I had planned to keep my exes last name as my middle name, but then decided that I no longer wanted or needed it. That was literally the entire extent of our “relationshippy” talk.

It’s funny that even after so much time and distance, we were able to be extremely forthright about serious, global, emotional, painful, personal stuff, while completely misfiring on general, social, small talk. It’s always been a bit like that with us – deep, intimate connection, but also weird, guarded, aloofness bordering on “ghosting” – then back again. I think it speaks a lot to his damage, and it’s just the way that we’ve always related to one another.

I’m not sure why he reached out. I like to take it as a compliment – he was thinking about me, looked me up, sent a message. But it probably wasn’t like that. I probably showed up in his “people you may know” on Facebook and he was likely curious about my name change. Still, it was really nice to hear from him and know that he’s alive. If we weren’t in COVID isolation, I may have explored the contact with a little more seriousness and interest, but we are, and it was nice to reconnect a little bit. I continue to think of him fondly, and to wish him well.

–RD

A post-script to my own post.

This could probably be an entire post unto itself, but I don’t want to do sound like I’m obsessing over this guy.

As I mentioned, I’m not Facebook friends with “BP” – never have been. But he did hit me up on Messenger when he reached out, and that’s where we have communicated most recently. When I started to write this post, I went back to our Messenger chat for reference and I noticed something new: we now have one FB friend in common. Wait, what?! That’s new. We did know people in common from the local karaoke scene, but he wasn’t friends with any of them on social media, and told me that he didn’t keep in touch.

Our mutual friend is a slight, attractive, single woman who is much closer to his age than I am. I found myself having a brief flare of…ooooh…is that jealousy? How WEIRD! I’m completely comfortable with the notion of him being married to the chubby gal in his photos, but I had the slightest spurt of “grrrrr” when I saw that these two were recent Facebook friends. Very interesting, and something that I will have to consider more. Not quite what I expected from my open-minded, polyamorous self!

Your thoughts and comments are most welcome.

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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