During the COVID-19 crisis, I joined together with others in my community to create a zine anthology. All of these stories centered on the following prompt:
“The dominant culture that we live in frequently pushes us to prioritize our relationship with a romantic, monogamous partner over other relationships with friends, family, and neighbors. Some ways we see this are in the expectations to cohabit with our partner, formalize the relationship through legal and religious ceremony, (for women in particular) to change our names in marriage, and for partners to share financial & material resources with each other. Create a culture where this is no longer the norm. Describe the alternative ways humans build, celebrate, or formalize relationships with each other in that world. Note: you do not need to create something “better than” what we have now, nor do you have to make a culture that you would want to live in. 1000 word limit. All genres welcome.”
Here’s the story I wrote, titled Goodbye, Nebraska.
“I’m moving out.” Sharie was nervous and overwhelmed. Maybe she was just whelmed. Regardless, she had anticipated that the news would be a lot to process for everyone at the table. “I’m moving in with Grace. Just us. I’m… monogamous.”