In about three hours, I will be getting on a train to go visit my uncle.  The last time I saw him was in June, when we went to the zoo together, and before that, we hadn’t seen each other for about two years.  Part of that was the pandemic, and part of it was my family being fucking insane.  (Incidentally, we realised that the only other time my uncle had been to the zoo was when he took me about 20 years ago).

I have not travelled alone in probably about three years.  I’m wigging out just a little bit.  I am an anxious, agoraphobic mess with decades of trauma that will likely never heal, and I will be getting on a train and leaving town for about five days.  I’m excited to see my uncle, but I’m having a hard time making that outweigh my desire to crawl into a hole and never come out.

On top of this, we’ve been kind of suspecting for a while that my husband may have developed his own flavour of PTSD from working in health care during a global pandemic, and that suspicion evolved to “let’s maybe look into finding you a therapist” this morning.  Because I have not travelled alone in about three years, he has not been home alone in about three years.  So he’s over here utterly convinced that I won’t be coming home.  We’re both in kind of this area where we don’t want to be alone, but rather be left alone, and he knows that being alone for a while is a big nope for me.  And now I think he intimately understands exactly why and he doesn’t like it.  I’m torn between empathy, and “lol join the club.”

It also doesn’t help that I’ve had to upend my sleep schedule to do this, and have been waking up roughly the same time I would normally be going to bed.  Luckily, I am a fat bitch who is very highly food-motivated, and he has already told me he plans on making poteball at some point this week, and any time I don’t have to make it in order to eat it is a giant win.  Though during that discussion, I learned that one of the petty ghouls in my family has apparently stolen my grandmother’s recipe box.  It’s either the one who famously talks shit about my grandmother’s cooking, or the one who famously doesn’t cook, so the only reason for stealing it would be to make sure nobody else could get them.  But joke’s on them, because I’d already copied down most of them, and will be taking those copies to my uncle so he can get them.

Ironically, the only recipes I did not copy down were the Norwegian ones because I already knew them, so if he wants those, he’ll probably find they’re a bit different than how Grandma made them, because they’ve all kind of evolved over the years.

Also, in a single text, he demonstrated more situational awareness than my mother has ever done in her entire life.  He remembered that I have dietary restrictions, but could not remember what they were.  And it’s kind of funny, because the things I am allergic to, he just straight up doesn’t like so there we go.  That was easy.

On the topic of food, my husband and I have been slowly sliding toward vegetarian over the last few years, and this week made another conscious change toward that direction.  Since we’ve been cooking separate meals lately, we’ve been going through almost a pound of butter a week, which is like, obscenely expensive.  I realised that for the same price, we can get a huge tub of Country Crock, which is the only not-butter I’ve ever thought tastes even remotely like butter.  We got it as an experiment, and it works really well for our purposes.  I probably wouldn’t want it on toast, but I bet I’d like it on lefse, because I’m pretty sure my grandmother never bought real butter in her life.  My only gripe with it is that it smokes up and burns real easily.  But it’s a small price to pay when it will likely last us almost a month instead of about a week.

We’ve also been looking into joining the Satanic Temple, since queer rights are almost certainly next on the chopping block.  We both have our reservations about it though, both in terms of joining an organised religion, and being practising pagans.  He grew up Catholic, and I grew up Lutheran, so we both have a lot of baggage with organised religions.  Equally, the Satanic Temple literally only works because they’re not memeing around.  They not only have rituals, but services, chapters, and holidays.  While a lot of their tenets do overlap with ours already, we are not atheist.  We have our own rites and rituals, and our own holidays and prayers.  Joining the Satanic Temple is one of those things that seems like a good idea on paper, and right now would definitely be beneficial for a lot of people, but it runs the risk I think of stepping into the same territory as a Catholic getting a religious exemption for vaccines.  Claiming to be part of something you don’t actually believe in just for the benefits feels icky.  Either way, I’ll still kick them my customary winter donation when I do my Jingle Jam and APOPO donations this year, but I don’t think I’m actually comfortable with becoming a card-carrying member.

I think instead, once I get all my credit card debt paid down, I’m going to get another tattoo.  I want Jörmungandr wrapped around my wrist like a little snakey boi.  That, or I might consult on getting the cover-up I want to do on the shoulder piece that got fucked up years ago by an artist who went so deep I bruised.  We’ll see.