After the body workshop it was time for lunch. I knew I should continue to keep mingling, but I felt lazy about it. Luckily, a very nice asbergian gentleman, V, was getting a lunch group together and they asked if I wanted to join. I hadn’t imagined there’s be anyplace to walk to from the Embassy Suites by the airport—seems like not really a place at all. But everyone was walking to a Ruby Tuesdays.
I liked walking down the misty grey road with a bunch of people who were recently strangers. I got to meet (after just having seen them naked-yay!) the couple who runs the discussions for the Philly Poly Meetup Group, and they were so charming that I’m sure I’ll be dragging Amy to a lot more discussions in the near future.
We were a party of eight, then ten, then twelve. I sat near my new discussion group pals and a few folks who were new to or just considering identifying as poly. Two were in mono-poly situations like I am. One guy had been told by the lady he’s dating that he is mentally ill for wanting to be at the conference. I kinda want to punch that lady in the face. I feel really lucky that I’ve always had such good support from Amy.
I felt very protective of everybody at the table and also like I wanted to write endorsements for their OK Cupid pages. (You should totally be able to do that!) Guilt was a common theme in people’s stories, and I wanted to offer them a whole lot of support because guilt has held me back so much.
One of my new friends, bless his heart, said, “Well, if you’re bi, it makes sense that you should at least get one of each.” So simple! And yet I spent all of that time trying to be gay, even though I’d never ask anyone else to make that kind of a compromise and Amy never asked me not to be bi. Anyway, it felt physically different to be there surrounded by poly folks, and I’d like to give my body that treat a lot more often.
Whenever I go to a big event, I try to volunteer for something so that I’ll be forced to talk to more people. So after lunch I had a shift to mind the Philadelphia Mindful Polyamory Meetup group’s table. Mostly I just went on and on about how awesome their karaoke night is. I also yammered a whole whole bunch about love to the girl at the next table. She was inspired by my habit of asking new OKC pals for playlists, which I still do even though it gets my heart into trouble sometimes.
Because I was planning to be at the conference until late at night, Amy came and picked me up for a dinner date. I was so happy to see her—she seemed to have an extra glow, even her coat, even the tips of her hair. This is how love feels when I’m settled into my skin. We kissed more than a nine-years-married couple might expect to. When we got back to the city, we stopped at the West Philly Capogiro, the one with the boozy gelato flavors. The bourbon butterscotch is ridiculous. We sat side by side on a plush bench and caught up on our magazines, trading my Entertainment Weekly for her Believer. We were both giddy and kind of flooded with well-being. Amy was extra happy because she’d spent the day working on design. It was an ordinary date but it self super-romantic for some reason. This is what life could be like all the time, I think, if Amy got a little more creative time and I got a little more self-esteem.
Next up—we stop and get fresh socks for the snuggle party.