Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


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Lisa has a nervous breakdown!

Yes, I’m still having one! It might just be a permanent condition by now!

I’ve been a bit MIA lately. I didn’t really want to post about it because, to be quite honest, I was afraid of posting it before it was over, afraid of people saying “awww I’m sorry” cause I can’t stand people feeling sorry for me. I was really afraid. But now’s the time to say it…

My written exams are overrrrrrrrrr!!!! Wooooh!

Yes, my last, final, super important exams. Over. This is so weird. I never thought I’d say this.

I studied a lot the last few months, I’m sure you could tell I took a lot of time off blogging due to math and german and the other stuff I really had to work hard to get through. The last few weeks have been so hard.

I studied 12-16 hours a day. I developed the strangest eating habits. I lost 15 pounds, which is bad because I’m already on the skinny side and I’m not looking good right now. My friends were very worried but I just forgot about eating!

Some days I cried for hours while I studied, thinking I couldn’t possibly pass. My friends couldn’t convince me to take breaks, and if they managed to get me out, I was close to tears afraid I’d lose too much time. I felt like therr couldn’t possibly be enough hours in the day to study.

On one occasion I called Daniel at work – I used the “emergency number” where I actually end up with their in-store hotline, so they could call him into the phone room. Obviously he turns off his cell at work. When he got to the phone he sounded really worried. This is how the conversation went:

D: What’s wrong sweety?!?!

Me: I have a huge problem. *sob* I…. *sob* I have to staple some of my papers together *sob* so they stay orderly *sob* and I can’t find any staples *sob* I just canT find any, or anything else I could use… *sob*… baby I don’t have staples! What do I do now?! *cry*

D: …. What?

Me: Staples… I don’t know where to get staples to staple my papers together, you know. I need them! I can’t do anything without staples! I’ll fail if I don’t find staples! But there are none at home!

D: *giggles* Ok, go to the grocery store.

ME: How?! I don’t know!

D: *giggling some more* ok, go get into your car, drive to the grocery store, take your stapler with you, and ask them to give you some. Buy like a thousand just to make sure.

ME: What if they don’t have any?

D: Then you come here and I’ll let you have one of the work staplers. But try the grocery store first.

Can you believe how much better I felt after this conversation? I took my stapler with me, found an employee at the grocery store, wiped my red eyes and muttered “…need staples…” and pushed the stapler at him. I bought a thousand pieces pack.

I feel much better talking about all this now. Even though I don’t have my grades yet, I know I passed. I just know I answered enough on every test to at least pass. Now all I have to do are the oral exams, two of them. They’re mandatory, so even if you can’t improve in any of your subjects, you have to take two. I don’t know what I’ll be doing since I don’t have my grades yet, but I’m not really afraid of that anymore. Everybody says they won’t let you fail there anymore as long as you show up.

Now it’s finally the time I can look forward to something else I never thought I’d have…

Prom. Yup. We’re going to have an all-american-styled prom. Pretty dresses, dinner, and a little party. I can’t wait!!! I’m going to go dress shopping next week or so. I don’t have anything particular in mind… well, I’d like a long, sleek, tight-fitting black dress… maybe an open back or something. Not too much bright color or a lot of ruffles and stuff. We’ll see!

Now I’m off to enjoy this beautiful hot day, go to the lake, relax a bit and spend some time with the people I pretty much ignored the last few weeks!

Oh, and by the way, I’m happy to announce that the staples I bought will probably carry me through university. After all, I have 999 left.

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Hopes, dreams and age

I’ll make a confession: I actually found the first grey hairs about 6 months ago. I put some color on to hide the fact that I’m turning grey as a donkey before I hit 25. When the color grows out about half an inch I start seeing the greyish hair again… Annoys me. I think aging with grace is a beautiful thing but I feel much to young for that at the moment!

Enigma posted about her birthday and that got me thinking. Aging is, in fact, something beautiful. I’m glad I’m not a kid anymore. I hope in 5, 10, 50 years I can look back and say “I’m glad I’m not 20 anymore!”. I think wrinkled skin has something beautiful about it and so does grey hair.

Our struggles, problems and lessons learned leave marks on our bodies, wrinkles, scars, a grey hair here and there. Having many of them is like a badge of experience. A medal of sorts.

I admire people who can tell stories about their lives. I remember listening to my mom telling us stories of her childhood in Europe. The picture she painted was vivid and exciting and whenever we sat down on cold evening to listen to her stories and sip hot chocolate the air smelled of old, long-lost times.

Living in Europe I have the chance to visit a lot of really old places and ruins. I love ruins and old houses. There’s a castle nearby which was built around 1100. I sometimes go there just to sit in the ruins and wonder who lived there and what happened there. I imagine scenes of medieval markets, kids playing games we forgot about. Scenes full of detail, like a girl and a boy secretly flirting in one corner, a little boy stealing some sweet bakery goods, a big woman slaughtering geese and so on. When I touch the stones I can’t help but wonder who else touched them, why they touched that stone and how their life went on.

And sometimes I wonder if, in 200 years, somebody else will come along and sit there wondering the same. Will he picture me sitting there, wondering why I was there? Will he wonder how I spent that day, week, the rest of my life?

I know for sure I ask these questions about myself, but that just makes me angry. Growing up I had such a secure vision of what my life would be like, obviously shaped by the teachings and beliefs I grew up with. I might have had interest in worldly jobs and careers, but I was sure I’d be married to a great man, he his help-meet, a housewife and mother. I was so sure that was my calling. And to be honest, that’s not the worst thing that can happen to anybody. A family should be a beautiful and fulfilling experience and if you can achieve that, what better purpose could you possibly put your life into?

I’m not talking the fundamentalist vision here. As a teen I had already dreamed of a rather secular version of family, where I could make decisions and not be under the authority of my husband but rather an equal partner with my own strengths. I wished for a man who would ask my advice and needed my support. And yes, I wished that he was a man who could cry and despair and then seek my comfort and strength, not suppress his emotions and act big and strong just for the sake of it.

When I left the movements I took these dreams with me in a little box, neatly folded up and hidden. I felt that I needed to change all my being and those dreams were not part of my new, worldly self. They couldn’t possibly be, after all one of the major reasons why I left was the fact that I did NOT want to get married – yet.

Just recently I realized how strong my longing for a family of my own is. Of course, not now, not at all cost. I want to settle things in my life and build something of my own before I even consider dating anybody. Call me nuts but I know that, for example, alcoholics are counseled not to start dating while recovering. I think that’s good advice for anybody who wants to break habits, change lifestyles, get out of depression or addiction. I still don’t want to stay dumb and muted like I was supposed to be. I want to educate myself so that I can go out and make my own money and support my husband and kids if need be.

A few months ago one of my friends, Daniel, visited me at the cafe I work at during his lunch break. We talked about a couple we know. The woman of those two has a much better job and the man is very content with it, so much that he in fact considers staying at home with the kids once they have them. My little fundamentalist demon voice laughed out loud and said “Why would a MAN do that?”. Daniel was a bit surprised by my half-mocking, half-shocked reaction. He said that both men and women were equally well equipped to raise kids, in different ways maybe, but still equally good for the children. And to top it all off, he said: “You know, if I was in his situation… why the heck not? There’s nothing more beautiful than raising your own kids and seeing them grow up each and every day. I don’t want to be a part-time dad, I want to be a really involved parent.” Now while I might have laughed at that couple at first this got me thinking, mostly because I really like and respect Daniel and pictured him as a very strong man.

Maybe it’s not that weird after all. Maybe men have the same desires to be a full-time parent. Maybe it troubles men more than I can understand that they miss out on the daily life of their kids. It must be hard to come home in the evening and hear all those great stories about funny events, first words, first steps, school events and everything else they couldn’t see. A story never lives up to actually being there. Maybe my dreams will be fulfilled in a way I never thought of: Ending up in a marriage where the man doesn’t have to be the alpha-provider to feel like a man, where I don’t have to feel guilty for working and not caring enough for the kids.

Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to figure out a way for myself, no matter how strange it looks to the people around me.


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Dying to self

I was going to post some more Vienna talk today, but I made a quick change of plans because I have something different to say.

Growing up, dying to self was key. In case you’re not familiar with this specific descriptions, it basically means giving everything that’s “you” up in order to serve selflessly in any way possible. Sounds good huh? But it’s not. Dying to self is something you can take very literal. You will die in every way possible in order to be someone you’re not.

Some people don’t seem to bother that much, but it’s always been hard for me to be as selfless as I was expected to be. You see, I’m a very private, calm, introvert kind of person. Though I grew up in a big family, I always liked being alone. I’m not much of a team player, I prefer doing things all by myself. I didn’t hate having a big family where there was always somebody, quite the opposite, I loved it. But I always tried to make room for myself in some way. That didn’t mean that I wanted to do things I liked, it was more like just being by myself doing ANYTHING really. I hated washing dishes. I loved doing it alone. I didn’t like vacuuming. It was ok as long as I was alone. Everything I didn’t like in a group I usually liked if I could just do it by myself. I treasured the quiet moments, though my hands were busy, my mind was free to wander, not occupied by yet another conversation, prayer, training or anything like that. I loved asking myself the WEIRDEST questions. Like, is it possible that when you’re 9 months pregnant and you use the bathroom, could it just “fall out”? What would you do if that happened? Would the pain of hours of labor be condensed in that short moment or or or…? It really didn’t have anything to do with faith in those moments.

Now my Dad was eager to teach all of us, especially the girls, that dying to self is key to life and salvation. You weren’t allowed to do anything fun, you were asked to serve others every moment of your life. If you didn’t listen to him, he’d have a speech prepared. “It always about ME ME ME. Do you think Jesus was like that? Do you think he would have died on the cross for us if he cared about himself? NO! He would have hidden somewhere and lived happily ever after! He wasnt about ME. So why are YOU?” and so on. I felt really bad every time I heard that. I started wondering if Jesus could even love me if I kept acting like this. I tried to train myself. I didn’t allow myself to do things alone. When I had to wash dishes, I called one of my smaller sisters over to help me, to teach her to be a servant and a good housewife. How to keep things in order. When I was working in the garden, I asked my brothers to do boy stuff, like carrying the heavy water buckets for me. I desperately waited for God to reward my selflessness. I gave up what I liked in order to feel as good as the people who kept raving about how great it feels to be selfless, how God rewards you for it. But I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel any different at all except that I was more stressed out than ever.

Prayer time was the only occasion I allowed myself to be alone. I sat down in our infamous prayer closet and opened my bible. But after a day of constant conversation, I didn’t feel like talking to God or being talked to by him. I started reading a chapter and within seconds, though my eyes were reading, my mind didn’t understand a word. I switched the chapter. And the same thing happened again. And again. And again. I closed my bible and folded my hands across my face. Ok I though, I’ll pray some. And in my mind I said “Lord… tell me what to say.” Silence, emptiness of mind. “I don’t know what to tell you.” More silence. My mind started telling me that I needed to do this, I needed to do SOMETHING. I though that was God speaking to me and I couldn’t stand a single word he said. “Be quiet.” I told him. And the voices in my head started rushing with hate and anger and disappointment. How dare you talk to me like that? Pray now, pray now, pray now, or read some more. You can’t sit in your little puddle of selfishness now. And I grew angrier and angrier with the God who hated me so much for wanting a few minutes of peace and silence. “Shut up!” I said over and over until I started crying. I cried myself empty just to realize that my time in the prayer closet was over.

As I stood up, all I could think was “Great job, idiot, time well used.” The amount of shame and hate for myself was so big that I obsessively started being as selfless as I could for the rest of the day. This wasnt something that happened every day, but it happened on many days.

 

Right now, I’m sitting here in complete silence. I’m all alone, doing stuff by myself. I’m selfish. I’m detestable. I’m lost. And I like it. God is quiet, he doesn’t bother me with his voices anymore. I now will go into the kitchen and have a coffee in complete silence, closing my eyes and enjoying nothingness. And I know that God will still be quiet.


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About… love.

Some days really have me frustrated. Some days just push my buttons and have me depressed and wondering. I’ve had a bunch of those days lately.

One of my friends got together with another friend a little way ago. They have been friends for years and just now realized it might be more between them. Of course, as this is something to be happy about, it is the hot topic nr. 1 in my group of friends. How good they are together, how happy they seem, how lucky they are to be in love with a good friend and so on. And, of course, how everybody “knew” they’d end up together eventually. Of course. I’m not jealous of their happiness, but I am jealous. That they seem to know what love is, how to define, recognize and live it.

When all my friendships here were still new and developing, my friends asked me a lot about my former life. One of the questions was “But you certainly had a secret boyfriend?!” No. “But you had a crush on SOMEBODY?” No. “But, you weren’T in love at all when you courted?” …No.

I asked them how I would know love. And they told me. Love is when you feel like you’re missing something without the other one. Love is when you can laugh and cry with that person. Love is when you can do things for the other person without worrying about yourself, your loss, your time, or what you get in return. Love is when the whole world is buring and dieing and so are you, you go looking to find that one huddled piece of person through your pain just to ease his pain. Love is, love is, love is. Lots of talk, very little hard facts. But the ultimate answer, the one that always shuts me up is: When it is love, you know it’s love. You just know.

I don’t think this helps me. If I was trying to make a fire and you would put a whole range of instruments in front of me, and only one would make fire, would I “just know” which one it is? Given, my comparison lacks a bit of logic and in fact I would be able to tell the lighter, but anyways. I can’t imagine knowing something is something when I don’t know what to look for. When I have never seen what it is. I know partially what it’s not, but I don’t believe one person will ever know what love is not in just one lifetime. Sometimes we think it’s love for a long time before we realize it’s not.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13, 4-7.

I’m afraid what my future brings in this area of my life. What if I miss out on something great because I can’t see it? Because I put it into the wrong category? What if I make the wrong decisions and end up with more hurt and damage than need be?

I understand why the people in the movement argue so strongly against emotional connections. They are scary and unpredictable. You have to blindly trust… whatever it is! It’s like jumping into really really really cold water, not knowing how deep it is and if there’s a way out.

I was told that a heartbreak is one of the worst things in the moment, but that it wears off eventually. Again this whole topic is another thing that seems filed under “Just believe it”. That’s terribly familiar. I just don’t know!

I’d love to hear you guy’s experiences, definitions, descriptions, good or bad.

 

PS: Talking about cold water… I love Antarctica. (Yes, I have been doing a lot of research on my own lately because it’s so fascinating! I’m hooked!)

 


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More on being bilingual and Europe

(No worries, fundamentalist weddings 2 is coming, got it 90% finished, just thinking of the small funny details I forgot!)

So, some of you might remember my post about growing up bilingual. I was surprised to hear I’m not the only one! When I was younger, I felt we were the only ones who did this… well, us and the mexicans who could speak spanish and english! Today I want to talk further about what it meant for my life to grow up bilingual.

When I left the movement, I moved to a place not too far from where my parents live. I didn’t have anybody but Beth really. I had never had friends outside the movement, and contacting the ones inside the movement was out of question for me. I still felt very attached to my former lifestyle and I was afraid that I’d be talked back in. I needed time to sort out my thoughts, emotions, desires, and living so close to the community I grew up in made me feel like I could never rest. They have eyes everywhere, and they gossip. I was afraid to be somebody else than who I was before, afraid to hurt my parent’s reputation, and my own.

I realized I had to move again, some place different from where I grew up in – definitely into a different state. I just couldn’t stay there anymore. At the same time, I tried to work out a plan how I could get by, make a living, going back to school and such. I calculated my options and I always ended up with something that would face me with an insane amount of debt and really no idea where I should go. The big cities were no option for me, as I grew up very rural, I was simply afraid that I could not get by in a big city. Plus, I was afraid of big cities due to what my parents thought about them. The few relatives from my father’s side weren’t an option to turn to. My dad is a strong personality, he certainly had told them about my stunts and why would they believe me? They were Christians and had a good relationship with my dad.

Well, long story short, I had no friends, no family, no money, no idea where to go. At some point, I decided to contact my aunt, the one from my mother’s side. My dad didn’t think very highly of her as she isn’t a strong Christian, and she had also spoken against our lifestyle a few times. We were in loose contact with her because she was very important to my mom, but that’s about it. Well, I did contact her and she helped me a bunch. I had no idea of any sort of paperwork and she helped me figure out a lot of options. But I was still faced with the fact that my life wouldn’t be easy on my own, for a girl like me with no education and no idea how the world works. I was getting really desperate.

At that point, my aunt invited me to stay with her and figure out my options in Europe. At first, I was very opposed to the idea. Wouldn’t that whole different culture there be too much of a shock for me? Together with Beth and my aunt I came to a conclusion: It didn’t matter what culture I lived in. Whether I stayed in the states, went to Europe for a while, or moved to Japan even, the shock would be there either way, and probably the same for all three options. After a long time of considering my options, I realized that even if I stayed for only a short while, Europe would still be my best choice. At least I’d have some weeks to get away and sort out my thoughts.

My aunt and I decided I should come over and stay for 3 months. She is financially well off, so I wouldn’t be a burden to her. Her kids are older than me and they are all out of the house on their own, so there was plenty of room left. I was still hesitant, but Beth promised me I could come back and she would help me any time I wanted. My aunt too promised me to get me a ticket back any time I wanted.

Well, so it happened that last fall, I fly over to Europe to see what would happen there. I could stay as long as I wanted actually, because due to my mother’s nationality, I have dual citizenship. My parents were eager to get that for me once I was old enough, thinking it might come in handy at some point, say if I married a man who was missioning a lot.

The first few days I didn’t feel like much of a change had been made. I stayed at home mostly and spent long hours talking to my aunt and her husband, my dear uncle. There was lots of crying, lots of misunderstandings between the parts of the family, lots of sadness. But I felt comfortable, knowing that at least the stress of life was taken off my shoulders for a short while. My aunt tried very hard to get me used to normal culture. She assisted me with driving around, going shopping, going out to eat, going to the movies, all these things. She also explained a lot of basic life rules to me, like what a utility bill is. It felt good to have someone explain these things without making me feel stupid. Two weeks after I arrived, my cousins came over for a visit. The two guys are working and living in different cities with their girlfriends, one is 30, the other 28. The girl, Sandra, who is 25, still goes to university in a far away city but has many many friends around here still. They were really nice and curious, talking to me a lot and just making me feel part of the family. Sandra acted a bit motherly around me and tried her best to entertain me. She introduced me to many people and they took me out with them, never making me feel like I was a burden but much rather a friend.

Sandra’s friends who had siblings my age introduced me to the people who lived around and were my age. Everybody was very welcoming and warm, something I didn’t expect. Though I’m an introvert person, I quickly found a group of people who I was friends with.

Time was passing and passing and before I realized it, it had been three months in Europe. My aunt sat down with me to ask me what my next step would be. I hadn’t even really thought about it yet, I was just too busy enjoying to be a part of a group of people who didn’t put me under some pseudo-biblical law.

After a few days of consideration, I decided to stay longer. I didn’t know how long I wanted to stay, but I knew that I had good options. Suddenly, I had friends and family, something I couldn’t count on back in the states. I decided to stay and try to finish my school until I could go to college/university.

My aunt and I did all the paperwork necessary for me to stay. We figured out my driver’s license would become invalid at the 6-month mark, so I did a test on that to keep it. We made sure I could work and go to school.

We found me a school were I could get my general high school education done, and it turned out to be free because I was still young. Then, we went looking for a small job I could work to support myself to some degree. Since I’m not qualified for anything, waitress was really my only option. I really didn’t want to go to McDonalds because the hours are terrible. After that, I heard that the sister of my cousins friend, Kathy, was looking for a roommate so should could move out of her parent’s house. She’s 24, so it was time for her. I had become friends with Kathy within my first three months so we decided it would be great fun to live together for a while. We found a pretty, quiet apartment in a safe place of town and moved in December.

Well, and that’s pretty much where I am right now. I’m doing my school, working my job and have my friends here at the moment and I’m content with the situation. Of course, life here is much different from life in the states. But it’s alright this way. I don’t know whether I’ll move back to the states when I’m finished with school. There’s a lot of factors I need to watch and I just can’t say right now. I would definitely like to move back at some point and there are days where I feel home sick and I just miss certain things. I think if I moved back now, there’d be thing I miss in the states, just like here, I miss things from the states. But you can’t have the cake and eat it too (or as we say here: You’ve got to die one death). But I’m proud of the small life have built over here and I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can.


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Dates, medical tents, slushies.

The last week has been a very exciting one for me.

I have worked a lot and actually got “promoted” (well how much can they really promote you if you’re a waitress?) and that meant a raise, so yay me!

On another note, here’s a big revelation: I had a “date”.

Yep, me. It feels very strange to type that. A date. That’s what worldly people do. They’re dating, practicing for divorce. And now I am, too.

I went for a coffee with a very nice guy, Daniel, I have known for a few months, maybe 8 or 9 months. I mean, I didn’t actually “know” him. He’s a friend of a friend of a friend and I had seen him around a couple of times, heard people tell stories in which he was mentioned and so on. I knew about him, but I didn’t know more than his name and where he works. I found him interesting and attractive since the first time I met him in person, and I had seen him on different occasions after that, but never talked to him other than saying hi and goodbye.

It’s very hard for an ex-fundie girl to deal with men. I don’t know how to tell whether they are interested or not, and if they are, what kind of interest they have in me. I tend to stare at the floor when I’m around men, making sure I don’t give any signs of interest whatsoever, because hey, that’s what good girls do.

The past weekend, my (female) friends and I went to a street festival about an hour from here. There were some live bands and other fun stuff to do, so we had planned for a while that we would go there. Many other friends of friends and so on decided they would come along, so we went in one fun, huge group.

Well, long story short, we had some food, some ice cream, listened to some music. Once it was getting dark and all the pretty, colorful lights were blinking, some people wanted to ride on some rollercoasters. There were different ones, so we split up into groups with people who wanted to do the same thing. I for my part am not a rollercoaster fan at all. I suffer from terrible motion sickness and just looking at some of the rollercoasters made me dizzy hehe. Anyways, my group consisted of my best friend (and roommate) Kate, a guy friend, Simon, and Daniel. And of course, my group was the one which wanted ride the WORST rollercoaster they had. One where you’d be upside down and hanging and terrible stuff like that! There was NO WAY I’d go on that monster. Daniel, Kate and Simon wanted to go on it, but you couldn’t take any purses and were advised to take off watches and such. I came in pretty handy here, getting to put all of their wallets, cells, watches and stuff in my purse. They went on the ride while I watched – it looked frightening. I got dizzy watching it and I watched all of the three turn a tiny bit green in the faces just 2 minutes into the ride. Once they got off, Simon actually threw up, that’s how sick he felt. Kate was pretty sick too and had to hold on to something all the time as to not fall over. Daniel was pretty shook up too, and a bit sick, but he could walk without a problem.

We decided to find a bathroom where they could freshen up and get their legs in order. We found one, but Simon didn’t get any better. He saw everything spinning (his eyes were doing weird motions, too, I was worried) and Kate ended up throwing up once she was in the bathroom. Daniel felt like he needed a drink really bad. We decided to get Simon and Kate to the medical tent so they could take a look at Simon. They took a look at him and said that he’d be fine, but it would be good for him to lie down for a bit. Kate decided she needed some rest too, so she stayed as well. Daniel asked me if I wanted to get a drink with him. So we went, as Kate told me not to let her ruin my evening.

We got Daniel a bottle of coke first and I ended up getting a cherry slushy. I love them. We walked around, sipping our drinks, looking at all the things you could do. We got to a small shooting range where you could win a stuffed animal and useless things like that. Daniel mentioned he was “really good” at shooting. I looked at the range and said “Yeah that might be, but you know, that’s a rip off, nobody’s good at this.” He gave me a look and asked me to pick out a stuffed animal I wanted, any of them, and he’d prove me that he could win it. I laughed and agreed and picked out a teddy I thought was cute. So he went for the first round – nothing. That upset him quite a bit while I was giggling away. He decided to give it a second try, nothing again. I told him to let it be, the teddy wasn’t that cute anyway. We kept walking around, talked a lot about this and that. We listened to another live band for a few minutes, then he convinced me to a ride on a big wheel, which was fun (amazing view at night!), got a piece of pizza and finally started making our way back to the medical tents to pick up the two sick ferrets.

On the way back, Daniel told me that he thought I was a weirdo when he first saw me, and that he had heard rumours about me and my background, so he was scared to even talk to me. He also said that I’m not that weird once you get to talk to me and that he’d love to go out to do something again some other time. We ended up exchanging numbers and picked up Simon and Kate, who were still sick and wanted to go home immediately. The one hour drive was quite a torture for those two!

And now, I’m sitting here realizing that I wanted to talk about my actual date, but I’m already at 1000+ words with this post, so I’m guessing I’ll stop here for now and continue in a different post. (dramatic climax!!! hah!)