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Does it really surprise anyone that I needed a second rants page? I didn't think so. Read on if you dare.

Bitch #11: Life As A V.C. Andrews Novel

I don't usually talk about my serious personal problems in public. I had a lot of garbage happen in my formative years that doesn't bear open discussion. I generally tell people that my early life was like a V.C. Andrews novel (the title "Flowers In The Attic" should clue most otherwise blissfully ignorant people). Okay, so nobody locked me in an upstairs room and fed me sugar doughnuts laced with rat poison, but there were incidents that I can talk about now with something like casual indifference that make people gasp and stare.

Still, anytime I think life is hard, all I have to do is look over at the one with whom I've chosen to share my life, and things look a whole lot better. I know the one I love is not going to leave me destitute or trade me in for a newer, flashier model. We've developed a relationship based not just on attraction and affection, but trust.

I really wish everyone were that lucky.

Since I have been openly accused (behind my back) of "telling the entire Internet" about someone else's personal problems (and we all know that not only is the Internet really small and tightly knit, but they all hang on my every word as though I were quoting Scripture to the masses), I might as well do what I've already been accused of. Try to ignore the fact that this is the first (and hopefully last) time I will be speaking openly about this. I'm not going to bother naming names--everyone involved knows who they are. In short, the following names have been changed, not to protect the guilty, but to give those who don't know the participants involved an idea of the personalities at issue here.

It's hard to find the actual beginning of this sordid little saga, because there's so much backstory and so much history involved among the participants. I myself am not directly involved in the present situation; I'm just a bit player in this overly-pretentious melodrama. Still, most of the people involved are (or were) very close friends of mine and I've had to watch it unfold in growing horror over the past year or so.

Okay, there's a good place to start. Last June I discovered that my best friend's husband (who also happens to be my ex-boyfriend, but that's a whole other story)--let's call him "Roland" (the brainless Thompson gunner)--was having an open relationship with a woman ("Circe Nightshade") who moved in with him and his wife (whom I shall call "Sunny", the aforementioned best friend). I came to this realization not just by seeing the two of them with their hands, mouths, and various body parts all over each other--I was flat-out told as much, by Roland himself. Not that I asked. (Not that I had to.) I was somewhat surprised to learn of the so-called "open marriage", knowing that went against Sunny's very fiber, but it wasn't my concern, so I let it go. I didn't think it was in the best taste for Roland and Circe to be shoving it in everyone's face, who all knew Roland was married to Sunny, who was not at the convention, but hey--that was just me. Sunny claimed she didn't really mind Roland getting "serviced" elsewhere so long as he used protection and remained emotionally involved with her, his wife. So I sat on my hands.

Over the next six months or so, this one particular "extra" relationship, the one Roland was having with Circe, became the focus of every activity our group shared--it cropped up in tabletop games, in online roleplay, even in casual conversation. I can't speak for anyone else, but I got frankly sick of it. I'm all for openness and free love if all the participants are cool with it, but I knew Sunny wasn't cool with it at all. I can't count the times she called me in tears, detailing how abandoned and excluded she felt because Roland had gone off somewhere with Circe or somebody else (usually Circe). I kept telling her to say something, for Christ's sake, not to go along with it.

When she finally did put her foot down, Roland moved out and into his parents' garage apartment. With Circe. Leaving Sunny completely alone, burdened with bills, and with no means of financial support.

But for months Roland kept telling Sunny he hadn't made any final decisions. When word came around that Circe and her mother (the Queen of the Damned) were going around telling everyone who would listen that Roland was already in the process of divorcing Sunny and would be marrying Circe sometime next year, when confronted with this information, Roland hotly denied it, as did Circe.

Meanwhile, with no job, no money and no clear prospects for the future, Sunny was forced to sell the house left to her by her parents, the house she'd grown up in, and move out to the sticks in a trailer on an empty lot. Because she still hasn't found work, Sunny had to find a roommate to help her with expenses...and the only person who could move in with her on such short notice was her ex-husband, from her first marriage (let's call him "Samwise"). She made it very clear that there was nothing romantic whatsoever going on--she simply needed someone to help her with the expenses she'd been left with, and Samwise was the only roomie she could get.

Naturally, Roland didn't care much for this...like he's got room to talk, he's not even paying rent where he's living now. So a couple of weeks ago, when Sunny finally forced him to come to a decision, Roland said that since Sunny couldn't cope with the fact that Circe is just as important to him as she is, and since she doesn't want to move in with Roland and Circe and keep house for them while they party, he'll have to divorce her. He claimed the failure of the marriage was Sunny's fault for not being able to go along with the fact that he needed "other" relationships.

So let's review. Roland left his wife to shack up in his daddy's garage with a woman he and Sunny had been supporting and giving a home for five years, and Sunny is the one responsible for the breakup of their marriage because she's upset over him giving Circe all his money, attention and affection and Sunny the cold shoulder.

Now there's something that'll make you go "hmm".

So now I'm not on speaking terms with either Roland or Circe, and they're both wondering why. Well, let me tell you (and them, too, if they've got the nerve to read this far) precisely why I have a problem with this situation.

Number one: Marriage is a commitment. It's not just a legal contract written on paper. It's a promise before whatever god or gods you worship that you will stand by your spouse in all circumstances. You don't push the "eject" button just because you don't always get your way in everything. Mind you, I'm not claiming that Sunny is totally blameless for all the problems in her marriage, nor am I saying that Roland is entirely at fault. They were having problems before Circe ever came to their house. Every relationship has problems. Sometimes marriage is a mistake, and sometimes things come to a place where the only viable solution is to separate, but when a marriage fails, it should fail because of something between the two parties involved; it shouldn't be helped along the path of destruction by outside influences. This brings me to my next point.

Number two: If you're someone's friend, and they're having relationship problems, you're not supposed to swoop down like some kind of vulture and carry off whatever catches your eye just because it looks tasty. Your friend's significant other is supposed to be off-limits. At least until the divorce decree is final. (Sure, he was my ex-boyfriend, but at least his current legal wife waited till we were officially over before getting together with him. And he and I weren't married or even engaged at the time, either.) Maybe Roland and Sunny would have broken up anyway, and then Circe would have been technically within her "rights" to go after him...but we'll never know now, because Circe became an active participant in the death of the marriage.

Number three: If you're going to screw around, you should at least keep your mouth shut about it. You're not supposed to shove it down everyone's throat and make them like it. An open relationship is one thing--going around telling everybody personal, intimate details is rather gauche to say the least. To say nothing of dragging off said roommate for a hot sweaty romp in the sheets while there are people visiting the house. On the guy's wife's birthday, no less. In front of said wife. "Happy birthday, honey--now, if you'll excuse me, Circe and I are going to go **** each other's brains out. You can come watch if you want." (Okay, those weren't the exact words, but the actions happened.)

Number four: As if the three above concepts weren't bad enough, Roland and Circe are now playing the victims. Yeah, you heard me. Big bad Sunny is being such a pain in the ass because she wants Roland to love her and be (gasp) faithful to her, and because she's--imagine!--upset that someone she took into her home and considered a close friend is now living with her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Furthermore, it upsets her to be told "Roland and I did this" and "Roland bought me that". Sunny doesn't want to be all friendly and listen to the details of their intimate lives anymore. Honestly, the nerve of some people!

Don't misunderstand me here. I'm not angry because the marriage broke up. Things like that happen, and it's never much fun for either party or their friends. Nor am I trying to "stir up" anybody or make anybody launch a hate war on anyone else. I'm doing what no one else has bothered to do--I'm standing up for the best friend I have.

Besides, somebody shouldn't have been saying I'd already told "the entire Internet". Sometimes when I'm accused of doing something, I go right ahead and do it. Far be it from me to make a liar out of anyone.

I originally took this rant down because of the fallout which landed, not on me, but on Sunny and some other people. However, Sunny herself suggested I modify this document and put it back up, and so here it is. I don't expect anyone to "do anything" about this situation--there's nothing to be done. I wish Roland and Circe a long and happy life together...as far away from me as possible. Another planet would be nice. I don't like sharing an atmosphere with people like that.

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