Monday, June 12, 2017
December 23, part 1
I pulled Joelle and Candy aside today. I needed girl talk. While it was true neither had had many opportunities to negotiate relationship issues before my dads clanned Joelle and Stidmun stole Candy’s heart, I wanted an Earther female perspective on what was going on between me and Clan Seot.
I knew my one major difference had actually been with Cifa alone, but since the guys are mostly a unit – a package deal – I worry about the whole thing. Because if we’re going to have a big dust-up over such a small thing as a promotional vid, what’s going to happen when there’s a real problem?
I sat down with the ladies on the bow deck, wanting objective opinions. I confessed my concerns.
Joelle chuckled after hearing my story. “That you think a tiny disagreement over a vid is a big deal says how well things are going between you and Clan Seot. Everything is so right, that something small feels like the end of the world!”
“Is that how you see it?” I asked, startled by her take. “Because at first, our relationship did seem ridiculously perfect. In fact, it freaked me out how faultless Seot, Cifa, and Larten were. I thought I couldn’t be good enough for them.”
“Careful what you wish for,” Candy teased. “You asked the universe to make them mere flawed men. Now you know they are. Prophets save you from the real world of relationships!” She giggled.
“I love that Seot sat the two of you down for that talk,” Joelle said. “He’s got the right idea…to find out what the actual problem is, where things went wrong to start. It’s a sign of a healthy relationship when those involved can do that.”
I put my head in my hands. “Only I could say things won’t work because they’re too perfect, then lose my marbles when they become slightly imperfect. I guess it wasn’t that big a deal, was it? Especially since we figured it all out.”
“Now you know that if one of the men does something wrong, his clanmates have no problem calling him out on it. The only trouble is, they won’t be shy about pointing out your mistakes either.”
“There isn’t enough time in the day for that,” I deadpanned.
“Stop. You’re a wonderful person. They are wonderful men. I think you more than deserve each other.”
“Amen to that,” Candy agreed. “Did we solve your non-problem?”
“Yes. Run back to Stidmun before you go into withdrawal,” I said.
She was delighted to take me at my word. I watched her go and turned back to Joelle. “Now that’s a worrisome relationship.”
“You mean because of the way clanning is set up on Kalquor? I agree. Anyone with half a brain cell in their skull can see she and Stidmun are hopelessly in love with each other.”
“And they have no intention of adding a Dramok and Imdiko to the mix,” I said. “It’s not the end of the world, though. It’s not like anyone will force them to round out a clan. As long as Stidmun and Candy can pay her living expenses, the Empire won’t make her leave Kalquor.”
“Others still might not make it easy on her. If anything happens to Stidmun, she won’t be able to keep his possessions…even the ones they hold jointly might be threatened.”
“I think she’s getting ready to take her protest against that into the legal arena,” I confided. “She’s been doing a lot of research since discussing the matter with Cifa’s in-laws. She asked me the other day if I thought there were other women who felt the same way she did about the traditional clan system. She says Stidmun has heard such complaints from many Nobeks.”
“Well, a system of any sort that says to do it only one way is going to upset someone,” Joelle said. “Because we’re all individuals with different needs as well as preferences. I believe there would be many more Earther women open to moving to Kalquor if they didn’t have to take on three men at one time. Though I think it’s an enormously fantastic way of life,” she added, her grin mischievous.
I laughed. “I tend to agree, except when I’m having these little bouts of doubt, like the one I experienced yesterday and today.”
“But you’re all right now?” Joelle asked.
“Right as rain. Let’s go so I can prove it.”
With my concerns eased, I threw myself into being super nice to Clan Seot. I hugged and cuddled with them every chance I got today. After the talking-to Seot had given me and Cifa last night, a little bit of tension had remained, but that was all gone. For their part, the men responded with pleasure to my overtures. Cifa in particular went out of his way to be more than the usual sweetie-pie he is.
Another day of sea travel, but it was a huge contrast to the day before. Where there had been grudges nursed yesterday, today was all sunshine and joy. It was wonderful to be on the same page once more, enjoying being with the clan and getting to know them better.