I’m lucky enough to have spent the last few days in New York, My wife needed to come out here for work, and I spent the weekend running around the city with one of my closest friends. It’s been nonstop booze and seafood and sore calves. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back home to Chicago for a while, if only to rest up.
One of the great parts of the timing of this trip was that I was able to attend Open Love NY’s monthly Poly Cocktails night. It is this really amazing and well-attended happy hour meetup that has been running here for the last six years.
This was not the first time I had gone to Poly Cocktails. Jamie and I were in New York last February, and we were blown away by the way the interactions taking place between folks in such a large group, as well as the efficient yet loving way that the evening was run. There were pamphlets on the tables clearly explaining the house rules for the event, and clearly identifiable organizers all about the room. There was a palpable sense that the people there were happy in their community, and were also interested in helping newcomers with questions or advice.
Last night was no different. I spent the night bouncing around the room meeting all kinds of people and having a bunch of great discussions. I met a couple people there who were representing Loving More, and we talked about community and how it was important to us. I was introduced to a woman who is organizing poly meetups in central New Jersey, and what the environment is like out there. I met a guy who used to live in Minnesota, and he told me about the ebb and flow of the polyamory groups up there. I talked with many people about how their lives and relationships work, and how they think about themselves in a polyamorous context. One triad I talked to last night has been together for over thirty years now, and it was amazing to get their perspectives on life in general, let alone their relationships with each other.
And more than anything, people wanted to talk to me about what the polyamory community was like in Chicago, and what kinds of things we were up to. I told them about the support group, and the awesome folks that run that for us, and how that is an anchor for the community. But then, well, I got kind of bummed out. Because we are a bit broken apart in Chicago for many reasons, and we certainly don’t have the same kind of event that Poly Cocktails stands for in New York.
I do want that for our community in Chicago. I want a massive umbrella for us all to come under and have a few drinks in a safe space. I want to have that same level of energy that I experienced last night. And I want to look around a room at a massive number of polyamorous people, and feel like there are so many of us in Chicago that we can’t possibly be alone.
I’m hoping that this is something that we can build for ourselves.