Poly Life 101: Taking Turns (with Gina) June 7, 2013Posted by shaunphilly in Polyamory.
Tags: family, relationships
OK, that title sounds lascivious, but just give me a sec and I’ll show that it’s not what that sounds like.
Since I have decided to write about more every day polyamorous life rather than always writing overly-philosophically about issues all the time, I figured I’d start with a bit about yesterday.
Thursdays are a day off for me, right now. So, that meant that yesterday I got up early, did some auto-didactic reading, exercised, made myself a healthy lunch, then spent some quality time further educating myself by reading various interesting blogs and considering the social and cultural ramifications….
OK, that was mostly bullshit. I did eat a healthy lunch (lettuce, spinach, red pepper, and tomato salad topped with chicken with a balsamic/oil dressing). The rest of the day was spent watching Game of Thrones (I’m trying to catch up, and just started watching it a week or so ago). I’m quite enjoying it, and am only a few episodes behind real time. Oh, I also listened to the new Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, for like the billionth time since I acquired it a couple of weeks ago. Seriously, that album is amazing! I am really having a problem not listening to it. It plays in my head whether it’s actually playing or not.
But, back to polyamory. To start with, not only did I make myself said salad, but I made Ginny some to take to work with her as well (because I am uber-husband). Then, once she was gone I started watching Game of Thrones, and at some point in the day Gina asked me, over Gchat, to take the ground turkey out of the freezer to defrost. After finishing the episode I was watching, I asked her what she intended to make for dinner, and whether I could help. She said she planned on making sauce and meatballs, and knowing that I make awesome sauce (I’m also made of awesome sauce, it seems) and that Ginny (who subsequently came home from her short work day) makes meatballs well I suggested that I make some sauce, and Ginny volunteered to make the meatballs. And so that’s what we started to do, while drinking some fine Belgian-style ales (Kwak and Three Philosophers).
At some point after that, Gina realized she could just come home from a long day at work and put her feet up, and thus it became our turn, Ginny and I, to make dinner. Gina had planned on coming home and cooking, even though it was my day off and I like to cook, but I decided to do something nice and allow her to relax when she got home. Most days I’m not home for dinner, because I work in the evenings, but when I am home I look to cook. And having 5 people in the house means that there a number of everyday household chores and such which we take turns doing. Not everyone cooks regularly, not everyone cleans regularly, and we are not always all around at the same time either. But on Thursdays we are all usually here for dinner and thus it’s a situation where 1 or 2 of us accepts the duty (I’m very attempted to reference Kant’s deontological ethical rule here, but will resist more than this meta-comment…) of taking on a task for everyone.
Sometimes it’s shopping (Gina does that most often), sometimes it’s cleaning (that’s mostly Gina and I), and sometimes it’s barking at 3:00 AM (that’s usually Lola, the dog). Whatever the tasks are, there are tasks to be done and just like another kind of family, say one with 2 parents and some kids, those tasks are accomplished by different people at different times. And, like families with children, there are certainly some jobs some people just don’t do (for various reasons), or at least rarely. My personal inclination is to be organized, relatively clean, and efficient when it comes to house-maintenance. As a result of that, I end up cleaning things before other people tend to because I’m thinking about it and I care about it more than them. When it comes to planning events, making executive decisions, or me remembering to take my phone with me when I leave for work, other people take up those roles because those are not my strong points.
The point is that this arrangement, this abnormal relationship matrix of 5 adults living together with various types of sexual and non-sexual relationships, is not really that much different than any other family. The advantage, in this case, is that with more capable adults around the jobs that need to be done can be picked up by people who have the time and/or the inclination to do so. And so when it comes to how we manage all the food for 5 people, that requires not only an app to add groceries to a database we can all access easily, but a expenses spreadsheet which we all contribute to (according to our relative incomes), and the time and spatial acuity to Tetris-like fit all the food into the fridge. Then, when it comes to cooking the food into delicious meals, cleaning up afterwards, etc we have all done something to contribute, and that’s how this poly family works.
So, yesterday Ginny and I took our turn to cook, and since Gina was involved (in that we were doing it to help her) the situation it was with, or perhaps concerning, Gina. In other words, Taking turns (with Gina). Rationalizing creepy phrasing is fun.
Apparently, creepiness mostly what I contribute. OK, I’m done now.
Just remember, you don’t have to be creepy to be poly. In fact, it doesn’t help at all. Nobody told me this until recently. Thanks, everyone…..