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    • cowpuppy

      Oh, I have a lot of these! Here’s one from each side of the family: Dad’s family secret:
      When my dad was in his twenties, already married and living on his own, his mother and step-father sat him down and told him the truth: his step-father was his real father, not the man he’d always called “Dad”. While my Nana was still married to her first husband, she had an affair with the young, hansome man renting their spare room… and got pregnant with my father. She eventually divorced her first husband and married my real grandfather when my dad was seven, but kept his true parentage a secret from him all that time. By the time I was born, it wasn’t a secret anymore, but according to my mom, my dad refused to talk to his parents for months. Bonus story: my great-grandfather had a secret, second family. He was a well-to-do Boston man, respectably married with respectable children, but kept my great-grandmother and their three children on the side.  Mom’s side:
      My grandmother had five children by three different husbands, four of whom made it to adulthood. Or so we thought. It turns out she actually had six children… in between her first and second marriages, she got pregnant again, and the father would not marry her. She refused to raise a child born out of wedlock, so she gave the baby up for adoption. We only learned this in the last year. The weirdest part of this is that last summer, before I learned this story, I met someone who shares a lot of facial features with my aunts and sounds exactly like one of them. To the point that before I’d even actually met her, I heard her voice behind me and whirled around expecting to see my aunt. She’s from the same area as my family, and is just the right age to be my cousin… I can’t help wondering if maybe we’re related! Bonus story: my mom’s dad was my grandma’s second husband. They had two children together. When my mom was about four, they got divorced, and he married her sister. They had one child together. My mom’s sister is her sister and her cousin. This isn’t a secret, though… my grandparents and their families were the subject of small-town gossip for years. It’s just a fun story to tell.

    • cowpuppy

      My mother changed her name and she regrets it to this day. She’s been using my dad’s last name for 35 years and it still feels alien to her, being referred to by his name. She’s told me she still feels like her old name is the right one. As far as I know, no one pressured her to change her name, and she won’t change it now, but she wishes she had made a different decision all those years ago. That’s just one woman’s experience, but I decided years ago to keep my name because of it. I’m gay, though, so it’s all academic at this point. People are intensely curious about what my fiancee and I will do, but since we’re both women, they have no strong opinions either way. It’s just a lot of “but what will YOU TWO do? Because you’re GAY, you know? How do you even DECIDE?”

    • cowpuppy

      I stole my brother’s copy of Pokemon: Fire Red. He thought he lost it. When I was done with it, I gave it to our kid brother. I told them it was my best friend’s copy that she had given it to me. They both believed me, and thought I was just being a nice older sister. Older bro still has no idea that his “lost” game lives five feet across the hall from him. Even though he wouldn’t care about the game anymore, the indignity of the thing would drive him crazy.

    • cowpuppy

      We were high school seniors, and we were exes. We dated for a month junior year, but my mother was still not on board with the lesbian thing and the stress of hiding it from her got to be too much. We stayed friends, we moved on, or so we thought. Our group of friends went to prom all together, no dates. We decided to dance as a group. I watched her dance and it hit me, all of a sudden. Her smile was so big, her laugh so loud. She looked across the group and caught my eye and grinned at me and the world was just… different. We weren’t together. We didn’t get together then. We were going to separate colleges, three hours apart, and in any case, I was too chicken to say anything. But we texted all summer, and the texting turned to flirting, and by October we decided to give long distance a go. We were young and reckless and the distance broke us. We stayed friends. We stayed in love… but lied to ourselves and each other about that fact for two years. By junior year of college, we realized that if two years hadn’t dimmed those feelings, nothing would. So we tried a third time. Third time’s a charm. We’re getting married in the fall.

    • cowpuppy

      You got: Vermont You like to take things one step at a time making sure things are done properly. You’re someone who appreciates every moment and are never someone to get too worried about this or that. You’re always up for hanging with friends or just exploring on your own. You’ve also got some great syrup, so there’s that. That’s pretty accurate! I’m from Massachusetts, currently living in Connecticut, but I’ve always wanted to live in Vermont. Who knows, maybe it’ll be in the cards for me someday. One thing’s for sure though: I belong in New England.

    • cowpuppy

      I’ve only ever seen a stranger die. I was a security guard one summer at the local amusement park when I was nineteen. One day, a group of people, all late twenties or early thirties, was leaving a coaster just as I was walking past. They seemed fine, talking about how awesome the coaster was, but then one of the men started complaining about vision loss. Then he got dizzy. Then he stopped breathing. Other than tell people to stand back and radio in the emergency, I couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have any kind of medical training. I tried to keep the crowd at a distance but people stopped and stared and argued with me when I asked them to move. The EMTs couldn’t do anything. By the time the ambulance got there, he was dead. My supervisor pulled me into his office after. He told me I’d done a good job, and gave me an employee good behavior card that could be turned in for prizes. This happened in the early afternoon. I kept working until closing, at 11pm. I tore up the card. I don’t think about this a lot. When I do, I think about his friends, looking at me for help, and me not being able to do anything. I wonder if I had done anything differently, maybe he could have lived. I remember people in the crowd glaring at me for telling them to move. I remember wishing I could grab them shove and them away or yell at them, anything to get privacy for the people in a crisis behind me. Because if I felt powerless, how must they have felt? Their pain and grief, out in the open for utter strangers to gawk and whisper. I wish I could have helped them. I wish I could have helped him.

    • cowpuppy

      Well, if we’re talking about the ship that broke my heart and left it in a thousand pieces, never to be repaired, that’s Naomily. It’s a chronic condition and I will never be cured of it; I can only manage the symptoms. I’ve also got a chronic case of FemShep/Liara but it only flares up in my bad knee when it rains. Other than that, I’m currently dealing with mild, acute cases of Cartinelli and Hollstein. I started watching The 100, though, so I’m at high risk for Clexa.

    • cowpuppy

      In middle school, we had a Home Ec teacher who was particularly disliked. She kept a mini fridge in her classroom. It was rumored that it had only one thing in it: sticks of butter. What did she do with the butter? Ate it. Just wolfed it down like candy bars. Multiple students claimed to have heard that someone had once crept into the room and found the butter in the fridge, or surprised her in the act of butter-snacking and been threatened with detention if they told anyone. It became a rite of passage to try to catch her in the act or to catch a glimpse of the contents of that mini-fridge.

    • cowpuppy

      I am SO glad my fiancee is (mostly) out now. You don’t know fear until your future unknowing mother-in-law makes a SURPRISE!! visit to her daughter that results in you packing your bag AS FAST AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE and then running down the back staircase to go hide out at a Starbucks in mostly-pajamas for three hours, because you’ve been friends with your partner since sixth grade and her mom knows what you look like and knows you’re gay and knows you don’t live in Boston so why didn’t anyone tell her you were visiting and are you sharing the same bed and what is that ring on your finger? Although we did get to text each other stuff like “BADGER HAS LEFT THE BURROW. REPEAT. BADGER HAS LEFT THE BURROW.” “FOX COPIES, BADGER. EAGLE HAS DEPARTED. BADGER IS CLEAR TO RETURN TO BURROW.” Also… Skins gifs kill me. God, look at Emily Fitch and her adorable face. Some people have multiple OTPs… I have one. It sank, cruelly, and I will never, ever, ever get over it. *sobs*

    • cowpuppy

      I would love for the US to switch to metric. I’m an engineer, and because we do business both the US and abroad, I have to use both, and it’s a pain. Of the two systems, Metric is easier. It just makes sense to use base 10 units to match our base 10 numeral system. That said, I actually hate both Celsius and Fahrenheit, because they’re both arbitrary. I like a unit system where 0 actually represents an absolute minimum and 20units is twice as much as 10units. The good news for me, in the event of a metric conversion, is that Kelvin is in fact metric and easily converted-to from Celsius. And let’s not talk about Rankine. No one ever talks about Rankine.

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