This is the seventh in a series of entries about the little parts of polyamory, from individual perspectives.
I don’t like card shopping under any circumstances. I like to think it’s because I am somehow better than the hokey sentiments being put forth by the writers at Hallmark, but it’s as likely that I am bad at being decisive. I’m never happy with any of them, and will spend an extended amount of time pacing back and forth in misery before either exhausting myself, or having an outside arbiter come and make the final decision.
When my girlfriend’s husband suggested I pick out the birthday card that would be from the both of us, I was already worried that it was going to take me a while. And when he joked that I should go straight to the “happy birthday from your husband and your boyfriend” section, I realized that there was no way this was going to end very well.
Because, at best case, I was going to end up with a card that was from “all of us”, like you’d get if the people in an office decided to get you a cake for your birthday. And while that is really nice, is also lacks the depth of emotion that is necessary. Or I was going to end up getting a romantic card, and having to do some quick red-pen changes to it to make it work. And either way it was going to be something we would have to laugh about.
I know it’s not society’s job to accommodate my birthday card purchases. I didn’t honestly expect it to be any other way. But it was kind of a downer to see that my relationships weren’t exactly on the radar in any kind of mainstream way.
I think polyamory is living in this space where the cultural expressions are close, but not quite right. Where the sentiment is close, but there are these little obstacles that are in the way that don’t allow us to really express how we feel. Looking at those cards reminded me that I live in this space, and we’re still a far way off from going into a store and buying a birthday card that is just right.
Edit: I realized the original title of this post was ableist and not okay. I’m genuinely sorry, and will be more mindful in the future.