A couple months ago I told her that I’d met someone online, through his blog. I described, pretty generally, the nature of his blog and what attracted me to him. I did not give her his name or URL. Only that he was a very smart and funny bisexual single parent who hosted sex parties at his apartment in New York. (Is that too much information?!)
Maya was silent. Disapproving.
Later that week I was in the shop where Maya works. Another friend of ours, Jen, was there with her girlfriend, Laura. The four of us stood around talking and Laura asked what was new with me. I told her I was spending a lot of time online since meeting Jefferson.
“No, he doesn’t live near here; he’s in New York, but we really like each other. We may make plans to meet.”
Maya looked over, silent. Disapproving.
“Maya, of course, disapproves,” I said to Laura. “I understand, and I appreciate her concern. But I am still going to do what I want.”
I blew her a kiss.
About two weeks later, as my online relationship with Jefferson progressed, we made plans to meet. I had been extrapolating: crossing out his parenting weekends and those during my period. I made sure my kids’ dad could be here on the weekend I’d chosen, then cleared the date with Jefferson.
“April Fools’ Day.”
I scrawled it onto a Post-it and stuck it to the door of my computer armoire.
Maya was coming over to take me to breakfast. Things were great between us; we had simply agreed to disagree about the healthiness of this new relationship. I was chatting with Jefferson when she arrived. My webcam was on, and so Jefferson saw her come into the apartment. She walked around like a mother hen, surveying everything. I stopped the cam, minimized Jefferson’s image, and told him I’d catch up later.
Maya came over to the computer.
“Why do you have ‘April Fools’ Day’ written here??”
“It’s a reminder.”
“Are you planning a joke?”
“Sort of. Oh, by the way, Jefferson says, 'Good morning, Maya.'”
“Oh, you are talking to him now? 'Hi, Jefferson.' What does he look like?”
I pulled up a photo he'd sent.
“Wow! He’s CUTE!”
I showed her a piece he'd written.
"Wow! This is GREAT!"
"I know... Um, I'm flying to New York on April Fools' Day to visit him.”
We went to breakfast. Maya was suddenly very curious and not so silent.
"So what is it about this guy that makes you want to fly halfway across the country to meet him?"
"Maya, it's this really amazing thing; we are--at the risk of sounding saccharine--about perfect. We have a lot in common, and we really enjoy each other. Things have gotten very intense emotionally, and I wouldn't be going unless I felt this was something pretty great.
"But you are both sleeping with other people? How does that work?"
"Well, it's about being open, honest and respectful of each other. And we obviously haven't slept together yet. But we have talked about it; about what it means to have a solid relationship which does not exclude the possibility of other partners. Nothing is carved in stone, though. We could decide that we are way into each other and don't want to sleep with anyone else, or that we only want to play with other people at parties, or whatever."
"I don't think I could handle that."
"It's new for me, and I like the openness and respect it requires. You know that Daniel's cheating is one of the reasons my marriage ended; but his lying about it was a bigger issue. I'm still fleshing out the picture of Jefferson and me in my head, but I do feel safe with him. The main thing is to be considerate of each others' feelings and needs. So you really shouldn't worry. And anyway, the weekend could be a total letdown. I seriously doubt it, but you never know."
When we parted ways, she kissed me and said,
“You can tell Jefferson he’s been approved.”