All We Have Is Today


It’s The Wifey’s birthday this weekend, and it has been pretty epic. On Friday night she had a threesome with Papa Bear and Boyfriend #1 (I am really going to have to figure out names for them), and last night Boyfriend #2 took her to a hotel here in the city. Today Papa Bear is taking her to lunch at the museum. I’m glad she is having such a good time and gets to celebrate with all her men, but I can’t help but think about my last birthday. I was so lonely and broken. I was sad and lost and I cried and drank, then finished the night off with bad, meaningless sex.

This year I’ll be 30. The plan, ever since The Hubby and I got married, was to go to Europe for our 30th birthdays. Except, barring a major windfall, that just will not be happening. Last year I decided to start saving for the trip on my own, so I can go for my 35th. $10 a week should do it. I asked The Husband if he wanted to save/go with me, but he just kinda shrugged so I decided I’d go on my own. The Husband has already been to Europe, but I haven’t, and it’s a MAJOR item on my bucket list. My money jar is almost full and will be going to the bank soon!

I want to walk the streets of Santorini. I want to journal on the patio of a French cafe. I want to do street photography in Spain, find a one of a kind antique in a Turkish flea market, eat Belgian chocolate, see the Swiss Alps. It all sounded lovely and soul-restoring and liberating. . .and then Papa Bear said he’d like to go with me. He has more than enough Air Miles, meaning we could go even sooner. If the flights were covered, I paid for lodging, and he paid for food and excursions? I could be in Europe by 2016.

Not for my 30th birthday, which is this summer, but in way less time than I had originally anticipated. All of this is knocking around in my head today, because I am thinking of the future–how uncertain it is. How there are no guarantees. How the past longevity of a relationship is not a guarantee, but with each year that passes, we feel more secure–more sure that the person we are with now is not going anywhere–that they will stay.

I believed Sugar Daddy when he said he wanted me in his life for years and years–a mere week before he gutted me. I believe Papa Bear too-but I know that just because he means it and I believe him, does not protect me from pain and loss.

I think that is why we are so into commitments–making it official. Though marriages dissolve all the time, we find comfort in the idea that once we have rings on our fingers and contracts and vows, we cannot be thrown away–at least not easily. We build families and that adds even more security–we are a unit. We have to think of the kids. There is more than just the other to stay for–safety in numbers, if you will.

I will never have any of that with Papa Bear. And though it feels, in his words, as though “we have been linked forever”–we haven’t been. For all intents and purposes, we just met. And so The Wifey’s birthday–which is about her, and not me, and I know I am being ridiculously self-absorbed–serves to highlight this somehow.

Papa Bear told me that along with Christmas, The Wifey’s birthday is the most important day of the year to her. For the past 20+ years, they always spend it together. If it’s a weekday, Papa Bear leaves work early. He plans something or she tells him what she wants to do, and it’s all about her– as it SHOULD be.

I wrote in the post I linked above, how mine has never been like that. So it’s hard not to compare, even though I know that comparison is the least helpful thing I can do as an individual, and as a poly person in particular. It is never good, but it is happening, so let’s just get it out there and over with.

Papa Bear keeps saying we need to do something really special for my 30th. I had thought about going by myself to get a tattoo (because who would watch the kids if The Hubby came with me?), or trying to go visit my friends back home–except now they have all scattered, and it would take a major organizational effort on all of our parts to make that happen. Papa Bear has said he wants to take me away. That I can celebrate with my little family, and then he will take me away for as long as I can go–which will realistically be about a weekend.

But I can’t even think about it. I can’t even think about it because of all the broken promises littering my past–just punctuating what I already know about not being able to count on anybody or look forward to anything. I can’t think about it because the best laid plans usually end up getting interrupted by in-laws or wives or emergencies or financial stress. I can’t think about it because I had decided that the best way for me to celebrate this milestone, would be a low-key day with my family, followed by going out by myself to get tattooed or pierced, or to jump out of an airplane, or buy myself some roller-blades.

The best plans are flexible, and don’t depend on anyone else to make them happen, because life is unpredictable and so are the ones we live it with.

I am jealous of the Wifey, because she has things she can depend on. 20 years of history have told her so. Something can always come up, of course, but for the most part, her life and plans are solid. They go on vacation every April so she can go to a design convention and Papa Bear can visit his best friend. The kids sleep over on Christmas Eve. Her parents visit once a year and Papa Bear’s never do, and she spends her birthday doing whatever she wants to do, with her husband–like clockwork.

All I have are a lot of promises. Things change for me on a dime. It doesn’t matter if Papa Bear is different, because life is the same. And so, I don’t want to wait. I want it NOW. Because something that is happening, or has already happened, cannot be cancelled. Maybe it won’t ever happen again and maybe things will change or end, but you can’t lose what you’ve already experienced. What you’ve already been given, is part of you forever. To quote my three-year-old….”I hate waiting!”

Now cue me throwing myself on the floor.

3 Comments on “All We Have Is Today”

  1. I’ve always thought that grown-ups who obsess about their birthdays are self-absorbed. I turned 46 this year, and other than a couple of inexpensive gifts from my kids and breakfast out, it was a perfectly normal day.
    You should go to Europe regardless of who, if anyone, goes with you. Just don’t bring too many expectations. Paris is dirty and Venice smells. Gypsies in Rome try to steal your wallet at the Colosseum, and the Swiss can be a real pain in the ass. But it’s lovely and you should go.

    • I know I shouldn’t really care. I never did, because of the way I was raised. I guess is still mattered to me deep down, though, because as soon as Sugar Daddy said he’d spend it with me, I got really excited. And then it hurt twice as bad when he dumped me the week before.

      I think for me, birthdays are kind of like New Years. I’m a year older, so I think about the past year. What I”ve accomplished, what’s changed, etc. It’s the same reason why holidays are so hard for some people–on days that are SUPPOSED to be special, pain or loneliness or regret are way more pronounced. It’s the contrast. My husband doesn’t like celebrating his birthday because it reminds him of where he ISN’T in life. For me, I feel like being loved and made to feel important shows that I do have something–that I matter. Otherwise I”ll just be sitting around thinking about everything I don’t have and haven’t accomplished, and likely won’t :/

      I have also heard that Paris is gross and Venice smells 😉

  2. […] it is so hard for me to not pin my future happiness to any specific outcome. I wrote about this in my post yesterday–the fact that I become so anxious about making plans or accepting promises, because […]

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