Update from the Shire

I chatted with my pal Frodo about his interesting situation. Rosie, Pippin and Frodo’s daughter, is apparently struggling a bit with the revelation of their relationship model. Frodo says she’s “heavily invested” in the concept of monogamy and, of course, why wouldn’t she be? It’s literally the only thing she’s ever known and is the only relationship archetype our culture ever shows us (even though many — most? — cultures do not practice monogamy). We’ve made tremendous strides with regard to same-sex couples and the validity of their relationships in media and culture, but there’s been no Will and Grace moment for polyamory or even simple openness (not counting creepy reality programming). As a young woman, she doesn’t have any applicable life experience of her own with which to help her grok what her parents are doing. It’d be shocking to hear she took it in stride, I suppose. In any event, they’re amazing parents who have proven themselves as fantastic communicators so I have no doubt she’ll eventually find herself in a good place.

Frodo said, “I think my view on monogamy is more nuanced that what you described, but honestly haven’t given it much thought,” and I thought that was pretty funny since they’ve more or less ditched the model for themselves.

He also wanted to know why I used Pippin for his husband’s name and not the obvious Samwise. While I think he was totally ripped off by the Acadamy, I find Sean Astin to be kind of annoying. Plus, I think Pippin’s cuter and Sam is too much a traditionalist stick in the mud to allow for any of this newfangled open relationship stuff. Pippin, on the other hand, is much more a free spirit. Also, while Rosie is not the most obvious female name to use, Tolkien had kind of an issue with female characters and the only other female hobbits I could think of off the top of my head were Farmer Maggot’s wife (that’s literally her name) or Belladonna Took. Neither seemed appropriate.

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