Today has been surreal.

First, I almost bought thirty-two meters (or 105 feet) of shelves. Then I was so anxious I almost gave half of my clothes to Fretex just to feel like I had any control over my life at all. I finally nailed how to make scrambled eggs (lower heat, longer time, who’d have thought). I forgot to bring my bathrobe to the bathroom when I showered, and had to do a weird half-run half-covered with a too-small towel so the construction workers outside wouldn’t see me naked. And I was so anxious I couldn’t get my period cup to sit right, which was annoying as fuck.

Ole came over to help me plan how to mount the shelving I didn’t buy. Neither of us wanted to measure things, so we just sat quietly staring at the wall for twenty minutes. It was oddly comforting. We went to our home-away-from-home-café, where I flirted outrageously with the bartender (she’s my sister’s boyfriend’s sister, so it’s okay) and I ate a chicken salad with a napkin stuffed into my shirt like a bib.

To end the day, I went on my first ever date with a complete stranger. I’m sure he’s nice. It was a bit odd, though, to be asked questions like “how many children do you want?” five minutes in (well, it might have been six, to be fair). Nor am I ready to declare eternal love via padlock-on-a-bridge, or to hold hands with someone I’ve known for all of thirty minutes (I only do that with people I have Disney-like feelings for). Also, statements like “tell me about your bed”, including follow-up questions like “how wide is it?” are a little bit creepy. At least he did say I ought to blog about this evening, so I won’t have to feel bad about sharing a few details with a couple of thousands of subscribers.

My phone died on the bus home. All I could hear were the handsome French tourists behind me, and an echo of tell me about your bed. I was so confused I didn’t even stop by the grocery store to hoard chocolate, something I bitterly regret even as I’m writing this now, four hours later. My sister kindly shared her pizza, though, and some of her own awkward dating stories. We also watched an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the one where Christina shows Burke all her mess. I wondered if someone will do me on top of my pile of dirty laundry some day.

“It’s the first time I’ve walked this far without even caring if I step in dog’s poop!”

Malin

Then, somehow, I ended up crying in front of my computer. I was exhausted, and resigned, and slightly lonely. About a year ago, I guess that would have been the end to this story. I would have cried a little, almost not bothering to do it properly, then gone to bed with a book. But things have changed.

First, I found three cuddly toys in my bed: a penguin, a mouse and a puppy. My sister and I move them around the apartment to amuse each other (just like we do with an action figure of Aragorn), and today she’d apparently decided they belonged in my fuchsia linens. She’s so weird.

I’d e-mailed a short description of my evening to Malin (my sister’s boyfriend’s sister, the bartender from earlier, remember?). She called me, having read it on her way home, and told me  “it’s the first time I’ve walked this far without even caring if I step in dog’s poop!”. I guess it does make an engulfing story.

On Skype, Ole let me spill the whole story, then distracted me by asking about my favourite chocolate. Good move. Øyvind (my sister’s boyfriend, Malin’s brother, are you with me still?) was kind, as always. Then he reminded me how, once I finish my book and get famous, I’ll probably get contacted by all sorts of weird fanboys, and tell me about your bed will be downright charming by comparison. Alrik had to go to bed, but he did first manage to give me a thorough description of his bed, just in case I was curious (it’s 1.20 wide, and is only perfectly adequate).

And Sindre simply sent me a link to this, which suddenly made everything about today okay. Even with tell me about your bed, there are still stranger things out there. I love my friends for showing me that.