One clear sign that I'm aging is that everything I do seems to remind me of something else, some past event. Seeing "Hello Dave" last weekend reminded me of enjoying their music in college. Eating tacos reminds me of the fiestas we had with the neighbors when I was a kid, and we'd lose track of how many we'd eaten, they were that good. And going to the Renaissance Faire never fails to remind me of the times I attended with Christopher.
Most glaringly, the last time he and I went together. That would have been September 5, 2005. The date is significant - it was the day I turned 39, and our fourth anniversary. But even though it was my birthday, only he received a gift.
The Faire had always been Christopher's thing ... his endeavor to be outfitted like a gentleman, although inside he truly was not. That year, I spent all the money I had, and some I didn't, on boots for him, to complete his ensemble. He enjoyed going in costume each year, and I figured it was an investment in the years and years we'd enjoy going together.
But we never returned.
So I have steered clear of Bristol, WI for the past few summers. Honestly, giving myself over to Elizabethan England has just been to painful to fathom. But this year, I went.
Amber, Kelly, Kevin, Drew, Drew's friend Chris (who is sporting a smashing new hairdo,) Aubri and Kristofer (my nephew, not my ex) and I descended upon Bristol with all the energy we could muster. Walking through the gates, we wished everyone Good Morrow and asked "Whither be the privvies?" It was lovely. There were garlic mushrooms, fried cheese, sassafras, roast beast and bald men with whips. (Be still my heart!) There were knights and ladies and costumes and fairies and harpists.
And then, there was the bootmaker.
Walking past Windwalker's, the chills set in. Ah, the cold sweat that comes from indescribable pain. I couldn't bring myself to walk in. Instead, Kelly took me away from the spot, so I could just live in my happy state of denial.
That was the only drama for me, really. The rest of the day was about joy, laughter, and men in tights. It was a day for taking an old memory - a memory that brought with it the hurt of a thousand selfish acts - and making it better with fairy dust and giggles. It was a day to be happy for my life, filled with wonderful people who go out of their way not to hurt me, instead of the other way around.