I Don't Have Many Friends, But I Do Have A Cat

My high school was located right down the road from the Maryland Renascence Festival. This means that dudes in suits of amour, jousting, and very drunk middle aged women in corsets leaving fairly little to the imagination play a much more prominent role in my memories of senior year then anyone would reasonably expect.

Every year our school held a fundraiser there. Some parents would work one of the (many, many) beer stands and the money they received in tips would be enough to buy a new scoreboard for the gym, or something equally as ridiculous. Apparently crazy people in Renascence clothes really like beer, which I can’t decide if surprises me a lot or not at all.

Senior year my father was one of the parents roped in to working the booth, and he dragged me along for some company on the drive over, and so I could walk around and eat every food on a stake that the faire had to offer. I convinced some friends to come meet me there, and we had a really lovely day.

This guy kinda looks like Gandolf, which is very endearing
to my group of nerds. 
I do like the Renn fest, obviously, but some people like it a lot. Like the kind of a lot where they show up every day in full outfits, talking in accents, and dragging unsuspecting children and spouses and very confused friends. The kind of love that I respect, but am ultimately a little afraid of. The Renn fest on any given day will have a good handful of hardcore fans, a lot of families, high school kids running around unsupervised, and lots of couples thinking that this might be a nice spot for a date.

And they aren’t wrong, the Renn Fest is fun, and probably could be romantic, if that’s what you’re looking for. But that day senior year, my friends and I witnessed what might have been the most awkward start to a first date in history.

I would like to point out that we weren’t spying. We were at some stand trying on goofy hats and taking pictures when we noticed a man awkwardly pacing around the entrance to the grounds holding a flower. And how could that not pique your curiosity?

We’re pretty sure it was a blind date, since the couple acted like they hadn’t met each other before. The man walked up to her, handed her a flower, and said hello. We couldn’t hear most of their conversation, but as they walked past us we heard the man say, very excitedly, “I don’t have many friends, but I do have a cat!”

We thought this was one of the funnier things we had ever heard. We laughed about it all afternoon.
Lately I’ve been feeling a lot like that dude on his blind date. I don’t have a cat, but I do have a laptop. 

These hats are horrible and my hair is very bad.
Which, depending on your point of view might be better or worse. At the time, the guy sounded sad and desperate, and from my point of view- happy, surrounded by friends, I just couldn’t comprehend.

But I get it now. I get feeling desperate, and alone. I get feeling like you’re trying to find someone to cling to. I get that embarrassment and wounded pride, and the kind of nerves that make you do things like pace up and down in front of the Renn fest clinging to a single flower like it’s a life preserver.

I don’t think I miss high school, but I do miss the way I felt in high school. Safe. Understood. Surrounded by people who truly cared about me, and who I cared about right back. I know I’ve written a few times already about my struggles fitting in at Salisbury, but if I’m supposed to write what I know then it’s possible the topic is going to keep popping up until I feel like I have some sort of place here.

Or, at least, until I get a cat and lose my sense of pride. 

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