I am not made to be social

«How come you do not have friends over?» was the question she asked me.

Honestly? Because I’m too tired to be social. My work is so socially intense that the last thing on my mind when coming home is having people over. It completely drains whatever energy I have left. And when weekend comes along, I’d often rather be left alone. Alone with my child, a good TV documentary or a long walk/bikeride.

I spoke about this (social life) with one of my friends the other day. Our social relationship doesn’t revolve around social gatherings at each others houses drinking coffee and talking about people we know and do not know. No, we are social on the football pitch – talking football, discussing light matters that both are comfortable with. We don’t need more than that for our friendship to work. It is, in fact, the only thing we need. With other friends I have other «deals». Sports, music, drinking, online discussions. I don’t need more. I don’t want more. I don’t want to sit around with my brother doing nothing than talking. No, with my brother I go on bike rides talking about Strava. That’s all that I need. Or go to England in July discussing aviation.

I come from a house (where I used to live) where there was no huge social activities going on. The odd visits from my parents, maybe some people over now and again. Not often at all. Maybe no more than once a month. I was pleased with this. It meant I could recharge my draining batteries. I understand now that I was extremely lucky considering how my energy levels drop like a stone these days. It fit me perfectly. Perfectly. I like to endulge myself into my hobbies and thoughts, not to sit around talking with others at all times.

A social life is not something everyone needs or wants. I like my friends, I enjoy their company, but from time to time I often find online friends where I can simply type up a few sentences and have a proper conversation much more convenient. Where I don’t need to continusly try to make up conversation topics (of most which usually bore me). It is more straight to the point, more honest and more relaxing.

It is often the undefined and the things you are not aware of that comes and suckerpunches you. The dramatic increase in my social life is exactly that. I am just someone that have to go along with this ride and adapt. A Mother and father-in-laws (two mother-in-laws actually), her friends here and there – people over, people staying for too long too my taste. Sometimed 16 hours of non-stop socializing. It wears me completely out.

I am not made to be that social. Not in this field of work.

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Do not attack the core of me

We ended up in a heated discussion the other day. In front of parts of her family. I just couldn’t help it. Enough is enough. I could not tolerate her attitude towards computers and social media like it’s all the devil works. Like nothing about it is positive. I know where she got it from (her mother) and I know her level of knowledge of this subject (none).  I was pissed because she buggered into a subject she knew nothing about, and I was pissed because she even had the nerve to suggest I lacked friends because of the internet. I was pissed because she suddenly tried to put words into my mouth, and be the judge of things she knew nothing about. In fact, I am still pissed off, but I try to act content. The self restraint I have to be in charge of when she sets out in one of her uneducated and prejudice rants towards the internet and social media is beyong anything I have ever experienced in this matter before.

I know she’s wrong, and I have the data and the research to back it up – but she won’t listen. And when she makes it personal, I explode. I can’t handle it. I have always lived under the rule of not trying to have strong opinions on subjects I know little about –  but rather learn about it before talking and having an opinion.

But there’s more to it than that. With everything unravelling in 2016-2017 I lost much of myself. With this relationship I have gained so much, but I am holding for dear life onto what makes me being me. I lost one dog and partly another dog due to all these circumstances. My greatest interests have taken severe blows. My interest in music is being attacked (and I feel it is almost being mocked) yet again by opinions of the uneducated. My interest in history is present, but not understood – only accepted.

Football is not understood. I have explained that football is part of my social life. There’s very little coffee and sofa conversations in my life as part of my social life – it is often found through an activity. Football, aircraft, music. I have explained this several times.

I have told her several times I am not typical local or Norwegian even – I am through the internet and past experiences – international. She referred to both her ex boyfriend and her sisters boyfriend to underline her argument that it is more normal to have social life where people “stop by”. But, I don’t want them to stop by. I work in such a social job that I want time off being social. And simply to use an ex boyfriend to underline a point is not what I consider good behavior. But now I’m venturing off topic.

I think one of the main reasons why I react so vividly to these types of opinions about social media and the internet is because I am fighting for the core of myself. What I am. I am not to loose anything else that defines me as a person and what I am. I have lost enough as a it is, a complete change from 2015 to 2019. Four years. A complete change. I don’t want to loose anything more of what I was. I want only to gain, not to loose. Many of my biggest achievements have come through the internet. I am extremely proud of my achievements, and if they come under attack I will respond with all guns blazing. Do not touch them.

Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

Her: Do you like that show?!

Him: Yes I do

Her: – Points to screen. Two men are talking in the kitchen.

Her: Look at them. So disgusting.

Him: Excuse me?

Her: They are fat. Disgusting food. It’s just fat. Look at that. Just a piece of meat with fat around it.

Him: But these are all kinds of restaurants. From steakhouses to italian mexican to caribbian places. It’s not all fat.

Her: Yes it is. And this channel is garbage.

Him: How do you know? How you watched this show before?

Her: – Ignores the question

Him: This is a fun show. He visits all kinds of places. This is good food.

Her: Do you LIKE this type of food?

Him: Yes!

Her: I don’t. It’s fat. Disgusting. American food. They are all fat. They eat breakfast at McDonalds.

Him: Not all Americans are fat. Not all Americans eat at McDonalds in the morning

Her: I have been there. They are fat.

Him: I have many American friends. Are you saying my friends are fat?

Her: Not all I guess, but look at this – points to screen – a big piece of meat. Yuck.

Him: That is caribbian food!

Her: No, it’s not. It’s just fat. I like healthy foods.

Him: I am sure you do, but I am a strong supporter of a lifestyle where you can eat both healthy and not so healthy food, exercise and not feel bad of eating some fried food.

Her: Yuck, fried chicken

Him: I love fried chicken. KFC is my fave fast food.

Her: Disgusting.

Him: Have you ever been to KFC?

Her: – ignores the question

Him: Have you ever been to KFC at all? Do you know what KFC is?

Her: It’s like fried food or something. I never want to eat it.

Him: But I want to eat it, and I don’t judge people that eat it like you do.

Her: How can you eat that, so disgusting.

Him: Because I like it. Sometimes. Not often. You’re not a bad person if you want to go to McDonalds once every month.

Her: I’ve been to New York. They were all fat.

Him: So you’re saying my friends are fat?

Her: Well, I don’t know your friends.

Him: I’ve been to the States way more than you have by the way. They are not all fat!

Her: Lower your voice

Him: Don’t you like Mexican food? You fucking eat Tacos every fucking Friday!

Her: Yes, but I don’t use grinded meat.

Him: They also visit Mexican restaurants on this show.

Her: It’s a garbage channel. All bad series and too much commercials

Him: – Flipping through the TV Guide

Him: You do know this channel is owned by TVNorge?

Her: Yes, it is shit too.

Him: – Finds a feelgood series about house renovation for poor families – reads the synopsis.

Him: Are you saying that THIS is a garbage TV show?

Her: Yes.

Him: But you like house renovation programs!

Her: Not on this channel. Only TV2.

Him: But they are almost identical, only with a more of a social factor included!

Her: It’s a garbage TV channel

Him: Yes, I’m sure some of it is like all channels, but you can’t possibly say that everything on this channel is garbage!

Her: I don’t like it. I like NRK. They have quality shows. Only quality. British. Not American.

Him: But not all shows on NRK is quality, and not all American shows are bad!

Her: Yes they are.

 

End of discussion.

A bag of cheap Christmas ornaments

We bought them together. It was back in 2010. She had just arrived to this cold and sparsely populated country, and everything was new to her. Especially Christmas. Our apartment was relatively small, so we got a plastic tree at the same place we got the ornaments. It wasn’t expensive ornaments. They just came from one of these budget stores we have in this country. But, she was pleased. I was pleased too. We had just bought ourselves our first Christmas ornaments. We were slowly building common ground, a common life even – always intertwining our lives with possessions, interests and traditions.

I taught her my way of doing Christmas. My familys way of doing Christmas. When to do what – like decorating a Christmas tree – or what to eat. Perhaps we came too much of an indoor couple nursing our interests. Her academia and my growing in-depth history research. We decorated our tree on the 23rd of December. She seemed pleased. Actually, more fascinated than pleased. And so those cheap ornaments became one of our first common tradition with Christmas. They became rooted in our little family of two (later two and a dog – then another dog). Whenever Christmas came, I would bring out our small tree and those dark red coloured ornaments and decorate it. It was almost our first family heirlooms! As an added bonus, my mom hand made several ornaments herself, and gave to us as gifts.

Briging someone into a Christmas holiday is tricky. Everything I connected with this holiday didn’t mean anything to her. The TV shows I used to watch as a child did not ring any bell with her. The outdoors activities on skis were out of reach to her. And so large part of Christmas sort of obliturated without me noticing.

I kept decorating our tree with the same ornaments for seven years. Until I moved out. She asked me if I wanted the ornaments and handed me a plastic bag. Yes, I wanted them. One of the very few things that actually reminded me of Christmas. Of course I wanted to decorate my tree as always the coming Christmas.

In the end, I didn’t. I didn’t bother decorating anything that Christmas. Maybe it was because I was too lazy. Maybe it was because I didn’t feel like decorating anything to no one. Maybe it was because the ornaments reminded me of her. But, everything stayed in it’s plastic bag in a closet. It was the same the coming year, but that year I was barely home and celebrated a good Christmas with other people.

I brought the ornaments with me when I moved house once more. I had no specific plan with them. I didn’t reflect about what would happen if I decorated a new tree with my new family with the ornaments. Of everything that had been going on the past two years, the ornaments were at the bottom of that list. But I brought them down from the attic anyway just to og through them all. Maybe my girlfriend wanted to use some of it. Perhaps some of my mothers hand made ornaments would come in handy.

Of course she didn’t like them. She had our own tradition. Her own ornaments. Her own way of looking at Christmas and how everything should be. And so we decorated the tree I bought (where did that plastic tree actually end up?) with her ornaments. Nothing of mine. In fact, bringing it all down from the attic seemed to raise her level of panic to a certain degree as it suddenly became «too much Christmas stuff».

A colleague came to me a few days before Christmas and asked if I had some old ornaments I didn’t use. She wanted to use them in a prank at the office. I thought about it, and remembered my ornaments now firmly placed back into the attic. Sure, I had ornaments. I went back up to the freezing attic, grabbed my bag of ornaments and gave it to her. She used them in her prank. I’m not sure what happened next, but they most likely ended up in the garbage after that.

And so that’s where our Christmas ended up in the end. As a prank. A joke. The ornaments we bought together and decorated our tree with for so many years. I just gave them away. Anything else would have been silly. They will never have been used again. And, I can always just get some new ones in the future. It’s not like they cost anything.

A plastic bag full of ornaments is just one more object from my former life that is now gone. Parts of me and my past slowly but always continuously wethering away. Things that meant something to me.

There’s almost nothing left of them now.

A letter to my two dogs

To the first one,

You know, I can’t believe it’s been six years since we got you. I was never too keen on having a dog, but when she asked me if we could bring you into our household, I immediately said yes. And from then on and for two years it was just us three. I felt so sorry for many switches in owners, and put you into bed at night to make you feel wanted. It’s a horrible mix and misunderstand of human and dog emotions, but I wanted to tell you that from here on out we would take care of you. You were always so kind to me. You showed me trust and love. You had no hesitations in accepting me as your new owner. I remember walking you around town, and I snapped a photo of you. Boy, did you look happy! For us, you were our little baby. Our common ground. When we went to bed at night, I always said “another day tomorrow little dog” and I often wondered when I would ever stop saying those words to you. I know you didn’t really like it when we got Shelly. You enjoy the quiet and comfortness of a home. Not to be attacked by a puppy interested in playing all the time. You were my first little girl. I find myself mixing the names of you and my daughter all the time. And do you know why I do that? Because you and my daughter awakens the same emotions in me. Parenthood, care, and love. And this is how much you mean to me, dear dog.

I am sorry I am not around like I used to. I am sorry you do not fit into my new household. I am sorry my girlfriend misundersands you, and think you’re angry. You’re not. You’re just an aging dog, and you don’t like children. Maybe some misbehaved kid did something to you when you were young. It’s not your fault. I understand.

I hope you can forgive me for disappearing like that. I didn’t mean to. I just can’t find a way to make it work. I really want to spend time with you. Give you cuddles, treats and nice walks. I wish I could lift you up into my bed at night and fall alseep next to you like I used to do.

I had to sacrifice something, and I am sorry it turned out to be you. It’s not your fault. I love you just the same, my aging dog. I just think you have a better life if you stay with people who understand you the most, and can give you the treatment you deserve. And she does. She loves you to bits, and your life is with her.

To the second one,

My best friend, my confidant, my little happy, playful dog. Can you believe I wasn’t too keen on getting you? I didn’t even say yes! Suddenly we just picked you up, and that was that. I am so happy that we did that in 2014.

You give me a feeling of unrequited love I have never felt before. From day one you trusted me, and chose me to be your leader and daddy. Between us there is a bond I have trouble explaining in words. I miss you when you’re not here with me. You let my step-daughter do anything she wants with you, and maybe you do it because of me. Because that is required if you are to be with me now. You welcome them with open arms.

Do you remember those long walks we did a year or so ago? Going out exploring. Just you and me. Best friends. Do you remember those sad, lonely nights when you stayed with me? When everything was shit, and you were the shining star in a dark night? That’s what you are to me, my dear little dog. I will never forget the moment when I looked into your eyes and I swear, it was like you spoke to me in my mind; I give you my unconditional love. Never before or since have I experienced something like that when I’m around dogs.

You scream of joy when I pick you up. Do you do it because we can be together? Because when you are with me, fun things will happen? When you’re with me, you refuse to leave my side. If I go to the bathroom, you want to come. You stay beside me. No matter what.

I am so sorry we can’t be together more than we are. I wish we could. Your place is with me. We have a special connection you and I. I feel like I let you down. How I push you away because others don’t want you around.

I am so sorry I have let you down. I can’t repay your trust and confidence in me. I failed you. My sweet and lovely dog. I am sorry.

To both,

Merry Christmas to you both. I miss you terribly. You are one of the few connections to my old life. One that is fading by the day. My two, lovely dogs. Know that I miss you with all my heart. I have let you down, and I am sorry for it. Know that I will see you again soon.

Daddy

Like heavy, polluted air

I visited my old neighbourhood lately. I’ve been driving around there a few times before, but this time I was walking with my daughter in a baby trolley. It literally gave me the chills.

I can best explain it like this; do you know when you’re in the bathroom and putting on your deoderant, then leave the bathroom but only to come back a few minutes later. The deoderant you put on are still lingering in the room, and you can smell it. That’s what it was like.

It’s like I have been walking around the neighbourhood in late 2016 and early 2017 leaving a scent of some sort. A scent that is sadness, frustration, anger, loneliness, and desperation even. It has filled the air around there like a perfume. I walked around with my daughter as a different person. Just two years later I am walking around my old neighbourhood as a completely different person. I could almost feel everything that I had been through when I walked there. Like some sort of heavy, polluted air. It was like a mix of two worlds that shouldn’t really mix at all. It was eerie as hell.

I expressed my gratitude out loud. Everything went okay after all.

However, the battle is never really won. Around the corner waits new battles to be fought.

Is this karma?

I am two months into my new life of being a father. I’ve done lots of thinking about this subject and my current life status, and I have come to some surprising conclusions.

I’ve asked myself; what is the most challenging aspect of my current life? What is most different from before? From my past life?

I think if I asked people, they would quickly point to my daughter. I could ask my girlfriend, and she would quickly say that the most challenging and changing aspect of my life IS indeed my daughter. I can agree to some point because this is a challenge that won’t go away any time soon. However, right now it is not my daughter that is mentally my biggest challenge. That is a surprise.

It’s my new living arrangements. Social life. Privacy, and lack of privacy. The erosion of what I am. The challenge of holding on to my interest and hobbies while transcending into this new way of life. And, it’s often those things you do not see coming that is the most challenging. This new way of living in someone elses house and amongst all her things caught me so much off guard I rate that above my daughter. Nothing has surprised me with her – I was prepared for it. I’m in control of it.

The house I live in now is my girlfriends house. It came fully equipped. I sold my house, and I gave away many of my possessions in order to seal the deal; my TV, my sofa, my bed, my comfy chair and so on. When I moved to my girlfriends house I did not bring even one large item. Just clothes, books, magazines, beer glasses and a few items that’s been in my family for a long time. Plenty of it are still in boxes. If I tried to bring some of my things at least out of these boxes, I will be told there’s no space for them – and perhaps rightly so – there really is no available space in this house. I fought to even get one photograph that meant something to me up on the wall. And so I live in an enviroment where nothing is mine. And because it’s not my house, I am not in charge of anything. Not even the internet connection and the TV tuner. This is a complete turn-around from my past life where I was in charge of basically everything. Everything from the TV to what went on the walls to the speed of the internet. In my past life, we agreed upon wall decoration together, and I got to put up what meant something to me in my office room. It was more of a mutual agreement and cooperation. Here, there’s no room. No office. No room for me. I feel like I live in someone elses house, and rightly so; I am.

Possessions are one thing. Social aspects another. I am not used to having so many people come by all the time. Mostly her family. While they are all lovely people, I can’t relax around them. They are not my family. Her father works on the house constantly, and we’re all grateful for his efforts. His investment in the house and care for his daughter is wonderful. However, as an example, last week he would suddenly spend all Friday with us doing work on the house. His wife was away in Oslo and so he was with us between 10am and 10pm. I dreaded that Friday for days. After a long week at work, I am often beat on Friday afternoon/evening and would prefer to not do much or even be social. Yes, I might be old and I might be introvert. I just couldn’t look forward to an whole evening like that. I dreaded it, and I feel bad for it as I like him and appreciate all his work. It’s just that I am on the alert when there’s people around and I can’t relax. If her mother shows up for a visit, she stays until minimum 11pm. Often, by that time, I am freaking out because I will not get enough sleep. And, I wasn’t really told about that Friday. She didn’t ask me; “hey, can my father come by for twelve hours this Friday?”. No, I heard about it when he spoke to his granddaughter and told her. If I think about that Friday, I can still feel a bit of panic in my gut.

I wonder; would she accept that my father would spend 12 hours with us on a Friday? Or my mother showing up at 6pm and stay until 11:30pm? Would she accept all of this? Is it because I am a man it seems to be ok to control wall art and decor? When I spoke to my sister about it, she said he had refused her boyfriend to hang photographs of his RC helicopters up in the living room and he accepted. I can understand that to some point, but is it culturally expected of males to just let shit go and just adapt in a household? I doubt she would have accepted this if she had moved in with me. She, like most females, would have taken control of the household and expected the male to just accept it.

And so, it feels to me I have lost control of my life to a certain degree. I live in a house that is not mine, and doesn’t contain anything (except a small book shelf and a photograph) that is mine. My life seems to have either been sold, scrapped or is somewhat ignored.

Maybe this is karma. Maybe this is how my ex wife felt when she moved in with me. Even if we bought everything together. I wonder. I do wonder.

But there’s one thing that is rightly mine. She even looks like me. My daughter.

 

A bleak, February visit to Edinburgh

I remember giving her the airline tickets as a Christmas present. It was her first Christmas with me and my family, and only four months since she moved in with me (and for her – to another country). The start had been a bit rough, but I expected as much. We were slowly coming to terms with living together, and living in the same country together. And, so I decided to buy two tickets to Edinburgh, Scotland as a proper Christmas present. We would spend five days in the Scottish capital in mid-February 2010. Couldn’t have been more off-season if we had tried. I wanted it like that, besides, it was also cheaper.

The look on her face was priceless when she opened the present. She didn’t really know what to expect from a Christmas Eve and what presents she would get. For once she was at loss for words. It’s the best gift I have ever given anyone.

I feel that Edinburgh in February of 2010 was almost a peak in our relationship. Everything was still very fresh. There were no IVF, no issues with finding work, no immediate money problems. No focus on depression, anxiety or OCD either. Just two people going on a trip to abroad to a country we both loved. The weather at home was bitterly cold. In Edinburgh there were no snow, no sub-zero temperatures. Just a mild winter. It just felt good.

There were tourists, but not many. The weather was bleak with heavy clouds, but we loved it. No sunshine, no heat. Just a regular winter in Britain. We walked around the streets of Edinburgh being happy. Just happy. «If only more people knew!» she said while we climbed up some steep stairs towards the castle. She was thinking of the lack of tourism. But, hey, it was February. It was like we were all alone in this magnificent city.

We walked up the Scott Monument, visited her university (she had started an online degree there), visited pubs and ate unhealthy English food. She bought herself fudge and claimed that any time of the day was «fudge o’clock». She was almost like a child in a an amusement park. We didn’t really do selfies back then, but I had my video camera, and she had her handheld Sony camera. I videotaped, and we both took photos. Photos of us on Princess Street, besides the statue of Hume, at the castle or around some high point look-out spots in the city. On almost every photo, we are smiling. She’s smiling. In some photos I see that she has taken off her glasses before the photo – something she often did. I may not always smile in the photos, but I am happy down to the very core of myself. I can tell. There’s not a single worry in my eyes and posture.

In one photo there’s just a bunch of KFC food. Not understanding the Indian accent added in with the Scottish dialect, we didn’t understand a single word of what she asked when we ordered, and we ended up with a huge meal we couldn’t finish. We laughed. It’s funny what you remember and what you forget from a trip like this.

We went to St. Andrews in the rain. We saw the ruins – completely alone. I videotaped while we were walking around studying buildings and architecture. Looking at the North sea and holding hands. It started to rain even more heavily. We only had one umbrella, and we both tried to get room under it for cover while we crossed an ancient church yard. In the distance, an RAF Typhoon did circuits at RAF Leuchars. There was no one else about. The photos clearly shows it; not a single soul. Just us, a couple of sea gulls and the sound of a jet fighter somewhere in the background. And the rain. Heavy rain.  My video camera stopped working due to the heavy rainfall. I didn’t really care. The trip was almost over anyway. It stopped raining shortly afterwords.

I write this because I was just asked what my favorite vacation was. There was no hesitation when I answered. It’s not my trips New York, San Fransisco or Texas. It’s not Cambridge, Munich, Prague or Krakow either. No, it’s Edinburgh during a bleak and rainy February 2010.

It all felt like it was just us (sometimes it actually was just us!). We were in love, we were together, we were still fairly young, and we were out exploring the world. It was exactly as we had envisioned the start of our lives together.

Sometimes I truly wish I could go back and do that trip with her once more.

 

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The cost of a baby

It wasn’t until I had paid for the baby trolley my mind started to wander off to the past. By the way, baby trolleys are apperantly a huge fucking deal. The size, the color, the wheels – everything. I was asked to choose the color, and I looked at them all sitting there in the store and blurted out; «but they are all in different shades of grey for crying out loud!». So, we chose the dark grey one after considerable time and kilometers driving around the lake in search of that perfect baby trolley. Ironically, it was basically the first one we looked at two months ago, but I’m not judging.

So, anyway, I pulled out my MasterCard and paid for the thing. The whole thing set my card back 1335 dollars. Come to think of it, that’s just 700 dollars less than for my old Volvo. Apperantly, baby trolleys cost a lot of money.

It was when we got back home we started to discuss how much money I had been spending on unborn children since 2013. Through IVF (public and private), travel costs, hotels and now baby trolleys, equipment, clothes and what not.

Back in 2013 my ex-wife went through examinations and an small surgery. This was free though, except for a small fee. Then in 2014ish we started IVF which set me back about 2000 dollars. The medicines (which also cost a lot) were thankfully covered by our more than welcoming healthcare system. Then came travels to the capital, a few hotel stays over night and food. We also took the train a few times down there for reasons I do not remember. In 2014, also due to lack of baby success we bought another dog at 1500 dollars.

After our unsuccessfull public IVF treatment, we went private. I remember paying half of a 7000 dollar sum, split between myself and my ex wifes mother for a three-attempt package which was not refundable at any time. On top of that there would be medication – by now not covered any longer by the public health system. I did the math back then and figured the total cost would be about 12.000 dollars. We only did one attempt though. We aborted everything, split up, and went out seperate ways. The medication, for one attempt, was around 1000 dollars.

Then came everything inbetween then and now. With my latest investment at about 2000 dollars worth of equipment and baby trolleys, the total amount of money I have spent trying to have a baby ended somewhere around 8000 dollars. And, my daughter haven’t even been born yet.

However, I believe I speak for most people that have been in this situation with IVF, adoption or any other challenges in trying to create a family when I say; “I would be more than happy to pay it all again if that’s what it takes. I’ll pay whatever it costs, and I’ll do whatever I possibly can.” And I have. I have suffered economically, emotionally and I have ended relationships for it. And it’s all worth it. Because it was the right thing to do.

You can’t possibly put a price tag on it. Money means nothing.

“Pay via Paypal”

“Did you buy her any toys yet?”

The question came from one of my best friends and co-workers. I had to honestly admit I hadn’t really been buying her anything. Perhaps it was because I up until now had no money to buy anything. Perhaps it was because it hadn’t really sunken in yet that this was really happening.

“Take your stepdaughter with you and buy stuff. Let her pick the toys”

I had to admit, once again, that this advice was really good, and I was surprised I had not thought of it before. I didn’t want to wait though, so I went online and bought them both a teddybear. One of those TY bears for my stepdaughter (shocking have you can make a fortune on teddybears by simply enlarging their bloody eyes) and one bigger rabbit to my unborn daughter.

It was a peculiar moment. I was buying something for my own daughter. I suddenly had a direct relationship with her. I was picking out things for her. I had to stop and just take in that moment. Suddenly it became so very real.  Have I been in denial the whole time? Was the struggle to get where I am now last winter so bad that when it was finally over, I couldn’t shake it and continued to live in a state of limbo? I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Suddenly it was a simple question from a friend and one fluffy rabbit online bought via Paypal that made emotions just flood me. I mean, I have felt my girlfriends stumach. I’ve felt the bumps and the moves and everything. But no, a click on “pay via Paypal” did it. I was buying my daughter things. Real things for a real girl. My girl. My daughter. That silly looking fluffy rabbit is for her. I bought it for her.