Friday, August 27, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

I haven’t written much about the “PCM” that inspired me to start blogging. As I’ve said, my friends are private people and somewhat shy and guarded, as they can be prosecuted in most states in our nation simply for expressing their love for each other in certain ways. There aren’t too many people who know the true nature of their relationship. If they go some place other than where they are known, they can be more open with their affection, to varying degrees. There are still places hostile to even mere same-sex hand-holding, or an older woman with a younger man. And of course, unless you’re at a specifically poly gathering, you are unlikely to see three or more people flirting with each other. Even in an environment that welcomes all of those things, revealing their biological relationships could bring trouble.

Conversely, if someone knows their biological connection, then Linda, Matthew, and Melissa probably will have to hold back on the flirting and affection. In such a situation, I can play the boyfriend to either Linda or Melissa, which I don’t mind in the least of course, but it is sad that they have to hold back and be careful about each other.

They long for the law and society to stop trying to limit or punish their love for each other. I do too. Ideally, they should have the option to legally marry. It seems society is moving that way, but it is doing so at a painfully slow rate.

This brings me to the kindness of strangers to which I referred in the title. Some people are more understanding, even supportive. One of them is, supposedly, a complete stranger. I say “supposedly” because the world can be small and who knows who you are really dealing with online? But this stranger, an ordained minister, actually offered to marry Linda, Matthew, and Melissa. It wouldn’t be legally recognized, but at least it would be something. The offer itself, though, is so touching, especially since it comes from a stranger. I’ll let the stranger identify himself if he chooses, He knows who he is.

As it turns out, we know an ordained minister who has already offered to put the “M” in this PCM. My friends are thinking about it (and I think they will accept the offer). Even though it wouldn’t be legally binding or recognized, there are many considerations. Would they be “giving up” by getting married without legal recognition? I say no, but they have to be true to themselves. I say they should take what they can get, and that brings me to another consideration… that they would be making vows to each other in front of witnesses, vows that would be important to them even without legal recognition. The relationship is still relatively new, and Melissa and Matthew are still on the younger side when it comes to the age people are marrying these days. As Melissa puts it, she'd be hesitant to get married at this age even if she was in a long-term relationship with someone she could legally marry. They all agree that things are better than they could have imagined in terms of their feelings for each other and how they get along, but they also know the outside pressures are probably going to be around for a while. That's a lot to consider.

With so much hate and animosity in the world, it is nice to have the kindness of strangers, or in this case, one stranger.
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