Last night, I went to a birthday party at the bar, and at the end of the night, I went home with a tall handsome fella with tattoos of dragons, tarot and communist symbols all up and down his arms. Four hours later, we were lounging in his bed, complimenting each other on a fine performance. I snuck out his back door with my panties in my pocket and a smile on my face. This morning, though – well, this morning I was in big trouble.
I knew the party would be a little awkward. It was the Marketer’s husband’s birthday, and I dated both of them not too long ago.
I met Mr. Marketer through OKCupid, and he was upfront about the fact that he and his wife were considering but not decided on polyamory. We had long, funny, intellectual email exchanges that became endless short clever texts. And when he asked me to join him at the bar to watch the Tigers in the playoffs, I jumped at the chance. When he walked me to my car that night after a Tigers win, he surprised me by pressing me up against my driver’s door and kissing me so perfectly I was breathless. The next night, we yanked each other’s clothes off in the doorway of a dry cleaner outside the bar. And then: he texted just the same; but could never meet up. I chalked it up to cold feet.
I met Mrs. Marketer at the neighborhood watering hole the night before Halloween. She liked me. A lot. She immediately got in touch on Facebook to tell me so; and she suggested that I come on down to the same bar the next night for their Halloween party and meet her husband. They had been considering polyamory, and … I’m sure, dear readers, that you’ve already figured this one out. But I didn’t, until that Hween party, where lo and behold, Mr. and Mrs. Marketer were there wearing a couples’ costume. We laughed. Mr. had told Mrs. he met a great girl and wanted to date her. Mrs. had said, well, good, me too. And of course, they were each talking about me.
Although it was against my better judgment in every way, we began dating as a triad. It was delightful. Sometimes just he and I were together; sometimes just she and I; often the three of us would lead each other into all kinds of mischief. When we broke their bedframe on New Year’s Eve, we dragged the mattress onto the living room floor, laughing and smiling the whole time. There was just one thing bothering me – Mr. Marketer had asked me to keep from Mrs. the fact that we’d met face to face during those ballgames. It seemed a small omission. I knew what it meant – that he had NOT had permission, despite what he led me to believe – but I figured if we backdated the paperwork, no harm was done. Mrs. and I became closer and closer. As we slipped closer and closer to best friends, she began telling me secrets. And one after another, they were things she was asking me not the tell the Mr. One day, the secret was that she’d cheated on him. And that was sounding like just too big a mess. I told him everything I wasn’t supposed to. I told her everything I wasn’t supposed to. And I got the hell out of that mess.
Mrs. Marketer chased me down; promised me it wasn’t my fault and if it was she forgave me; she wanted me, she needed me. But the dating was over. Mr. Marketer and I barely kept in touch; Mrs. and I went back to being besties – but not besties who were sleeping together. As she continued dating new people and exploring polyamory, I was a non-judgmental friend who’d been down all those roads before. We surfed OKCupid together, laughing about the weirdos and mocking the messages we got from them. We shopped for new clothes; got pedicures and couples massages; advised each other on endless dating quandaries. And there’s your background. Every bit of it. Whew.
So I suppose it was naughty of me to leave her husband’s birthday party with one of her boyfriends – the Communist. I suppose it was equally naughty for him to do the same. We’d all been laughing and drinking and talking together; eating birthday cake and cracking up over the recent trend of My Little Pony pornography and how none of the women at the table had been able to get through more than three pages of Fifty Shades of Grey. The Communist was quiet and missed nothing; watching us and listening to us and watching me plenty closely. As the party thinned, I wound up sitting next to the Communist, who started giving me long, slow, luscious eyefucks when he was sure no one was looking. They were looking. And of course, I know the code: bros before hos! I was supposed to turn the Communist down flat and stand up for my bestie.
But are the rules different when cheating’s out of the question? I’m single; the Communist is single. Mrs. Marketer is poly, so her husband is fine with it, and all three of us date non-monogamously. Obviously, the Communist saw no ethical dilemma in this situation. I saw little, myself. Nobody had any claim on anyone; and Mrs. Marketer had told me more than once that the Communist was just a fuck. Mr. and Mrs. Marketer departed. The Communist and I chatted for another hour or two; and walked hand in hand, in the rain, to his apartment in one of the city’s historic mansions. I petted his cats while he pulled my hair back and kissed my ears. I slipped my hands underneath his shirt; his skin was intoxicatingly soft and smooth. He watched me pull off my jewelry piece by piece, and then he led me downstairs to his bedroom.
Dear readers, your thoughts? Should Mrs. Marketer be angry I “stole” “her” man? Did I, in fact, steal her man? I feel guilty, there can be no doubt. But I still don’t see much gray area here when it comes to the ethics. We did nothing wrong. Chime in!