The conversation was then dominated by my love life and 'are you sure Kevin isn't jealous?' and 'what about the children???' for a fair bit of the remaining meal. And I can't blame them, I suppose -- as they said, they hadn't met anyone before who was in an open relationship. And perhaps because it was a group of journalists, it's not surprising that they didn't hesitate with the probing questions. But I do hate feeling like I have to explain / defend my love life.
I just get tired, sometimes, you know? Coming out and coming out and coming out, and it's just endless, in part because these days, my family looks fairly traditional on the surface. It would be easier in a lot of ways if I were just gay, and in a nice lesbian partnership. It would be obvious. Most folks are familiar with that concept, and might not even blink at it, even within the S. Asian community. And at least in academia, there are lots of unmarried partnerships, so Kev and I not being married isn't a big deal. But poly is still almost unheard-of, outside SF/F circles, it seems.
And it's tempting to try to pass as monogamous and married, sometimes, just so I don't have to have the same conversation over and over and over again. It's especially hard having these conversations in a larger social setting, because it gets fragmented and hard to explain well -- I'd much rather talk about poly stuff one on one. I kind of enjoy that, as long as the person I'm talking to isn't hostile. (Sometimes they are. Sometimes people take my being poly as some kind of personal threat, to themselves or their relationships. Sigh.)
Kevin hardly ever has these conversations, but that's because he mostly doesn't talk to strangers about his personal life. At all. And I can do that, but it feels like a lie. An erasure, of Jed, of my history, our present and future. It's not in my nature to hide anything. But I wish I could find a better way of handling this -- somehow acknowledging the reality of my love life, not apologizing for it, but also deflecting the conversation away to a more interesting topic.
More interesting to me, anyway.
Maybe it's a futile hope.