So Friday was one of the longest days of my life for a variety of reasons. It was literally one of the longest that didn't involve term papers or intercontinental travel as it started at 4:30 AM and ended at 4:00 AM the next morning. Also one of the longest emotionally given what happened with Daddy. And one of the longest given everything that happened after. (I outlined this post last night so I would remember what I wanted to say and it has a whopping ten parts!)
So as I said, it started very early, and my dad picked me up to take me to the airport (Paul left two days prior so he and Sarah could spend some time together), and then with the time change, it was only about 8:30 in the morning when I arrived. Daddy picked me up from the airport and we ran a couple of errands and then arrived back at the hotel. And that's when it happened.
So Daddy had to leave the party, and I had to wake Sarah up and explain the situation to her as best I could with my limited understanding. My plans for any sort of nap obviously thwarted we spent the rest of the morning crying, consoling each other, and trying to do anything we could to protect ourselves, our family, and just... just do what we could. I was planning on leaving- just booking a flight and going home. But it would have been more expensive, and Sarah needed me, and I knew that Daddy would want me to stay at the party. Me going to Shadow Lane was so important to him. Part of me thinks he took the risk he did so that I would go- he knew how long I had been dreaming of it...
Anywho, so I helped get my baby sister Mila Kohl moved into our room after her shoot with Shadow Lane (one of the best moments was us on the phone during her shoot Mila: "Uh, I'm shooting with uh... Shadow Lane." Me: "Ohmygod! Who is the top?" Mila: "Uhmm... some guy named Ralph.... Marvel?" Me: "OHMYGOD YOU ARE LIVING MY DREAM AND YOU DON'T EVEN UNDERSTAND!!!" she laughed :)), and she convinced me to go the newbie party with her. And I am so glad that she did. It was the perfect way to start the weekend. Just the few experienced people hosting, and a bunch of people who were at their first SL just like me. I got to see plenty of old friends from Texas and beyond... I have never been so happy to see friends- the hugs and supportive words I got from Joey (whooperine on fet) and Bob the DJ gave me that extra boost of strength I was so needing at that moment. Also got to see Zoey (-lostkitten) who I roomed with in Texas and love dearly, as well as some amazing friends from Dallas including the Miss Jackie Daniels, JP, and some others who I don't think would like to be mentioned by name on my blog :)
I also had the immense pleasure of meeting some new people (well new to me) most of whose names I do not remember because I just suck at names and I am sorry in advance! I got to meet a ridiculously hot new couple who I was supposed to play with but we were never able to work it out (you know who you are and if you see this tell me what I can call you on here! lol), which was a bit of a theme of mine during the party. Other than the big group scenes, I actually only played with two people the whole weekend.
But one of the sweetest people I met this party was Jersey John. I think he was one of the people hosting the newbie party given that he definitely wasn't new. He has been coming to SL parties literally since I was a toddler. And he was friendly and funny, and he overheard me having a conversation with the other host of the party. I was saying how I was really nervous and scared now without my Daddy, given that I'd never been to even a small local party without him before, and now here I was at the biggest party and feeling just incredibly alone. Daddy tells me who is safe, he introduces people... suddenly, I was all alone having to be strong. So John piped in when he heard me say that I was also sad because there were so many people that I wanted to play with, but that Daddy always sets up my play with others that don't ask me to play. I will brat people I know, but famous tops... yeah.. he brokers those. And he promised that he would set me up to play with Ralph Marvel and the man who shall not be named by his request but who you all should know given my level of obsession with him and whose initials are KJ (he shall be referred to in these posts as KJ or the-man-who-shall-not-be-named) because Daddy knew them and wanted me to get to play.
So John the with the biggest most knowing smirk ever just looks at me and says, "So you want to play with Ralph and KJ huh?" "*blush* Yeah I really do. I have kinda been in love with them since I was 13." His grin gets even bigger. "Well you know, he is my roommate. We've been best friends for like 20 years. And KJ and I are really good friends too. I could definitely hook that up for you... if you wanted." And he had this shit eating grin on his face that wouldn't quit as I'm openly gaping at him, trying not to die. I played it cool though, laughing, commenting that being Ralph's wingman was probably the best way to get chicks ever. :) Unfortunately for me, John had seen my blush, and heard me gushing about them and he decided that if he was going to make my weekend by hooking that up for me (which he did) then he was also going to do his damnedest to embarrass me beyond belief! He would succeed in both goals.
The moral of Friday in general though, from that first little munch, to the whole evening was that this scene, despite all the bullshit and drama... the people that are your friends are really there for you. People you wouldn't even expect. I would never have been able to get through this without so much help. Friends kept coming up to me and Sarah just to let us know that they not only were "there for us" as everyone said, but that they would protect us, and look out for us, and to let us know if we were scared or had problems with people at the party. I never did, but I was scared, and knowing that there were dozens of men and women ready to step up and go to bat for me... it makes me feel so ashamed that I ever thought about leaving this community.
Anywho, so Sarah and I got ready for the Vendor's Fair, my one time that I had to be in character all weekend. We were both still really struggling, and I would say that this was emotionally the most difficult part of the weekend for me. Still scared and confused and still not sure if I could stand on my own two feet yet... But we had to do it. Sometimes shit happens, but women still have to put on a happy face and make it work. And Sarah and I had each other. I will be discussing that more as this continues as well, but it was a big theme- us truly becoming sisters over the weekend. I feel so close to her now and love her deeply- we can get through anything together, and I believe we will stick together no matter what.
So we go down to the ballroom together with all of our gear and start to get set up. I get introduced to Tony Elka which was amazing, and he-who-shall-not-be-named was also there already and came up to me. He had heard through the grapevine last year about my tiny obsession with him and had sent me an email, so we had corresponded a bit before. He gave me a hug and said hi... I tried really hard to remember how to speak (another common theme of the weekend) and then saved my pride by claiming I had to go run and set up, but that we would talk later. :)
The vendor's fair was fun, and a typical vendor's fair, though I was better about not spending all of my money at this one! I hadn't eaten all day (another theme of the weekend) but with the help of Mila (in her adorable blue tutu to match mine), Zoey, Sarah, Finneus, Joey and some other friends- I'm not sure all the scene names, sorry!- I was able to get a bite or two to eat and not pass out during (food was awesome btw!). I got to have my table next to Miss Rose of Compass Rose Paddles which was a huge highlight. I absolutely adore her and respect her (and really want to play with her next party please! lol) as well as her craft, and she gave me lots of supportive and strength building looks throughout, reminding me that I could do it- that it's "showtime" and to keep my face on. But the lulls were hard. Time not occupied when my mind could wander... I could see Sarah struggling too.
But there definitely were some amazing high points as well. Namely meeting all of my spanking industry idols. Starting with THE Erica Scott! She came over to me and I saw her when she got like 20 feet away and I might have screamed a little when she smiled and waved at me. Readers of my blog will remember when she made her first appearance in the comments on here and I had my fangirl freak out- so we were online acquaintances- but meeting her in person was just amazing! She is SO sweet and indulged my fangirling over her, and only freaked out a little when I accidentally made a huge faux paux by saying that meeting her was so amazing because her videos were "my childhood!" lol! :-D Just the nicest, funniest woman ever- such an honor, and still such a huge fan. She will be mentioned more during these posts as well.
I also got a picture with he-who-shall-not-be-named, but it's not to be shared (he doesn't do blogs). Someone I didn't get a photo with but am now totally pissed I didn't (next party!) was the amazing Lance del Toro! He came over to my table at one point during the night, just to like check out what I was selling and started to introduce himself. Now, I got really tired of people forgetting to introduce themselves over the weekend, so I was glad he had the manners to, but I mean really. He's Lance del Toro! I said, "Um, I know who you are," while once again, trying not to sound like too much of a fool. He seemed genuinely shocked by this fact, which I just found beyond endearing. He actually came back over later and we talked for like a good 20 minutes. He wanted to know how it was that I knew who he was (I explained that I was a Shadow Lane groupie, and that actually one of his videos was the first hard copy porn I ever received- it was a gift from Edward- and that I'd seen his Firm Hand videos as well, and that, well, he's Samantha Woodley's ex... and while I know that she is crazy in real life, she was still my role model growing up, so I definitely knew who he was). We talked about life and spanking, and I just really enjoyed his company- a truly genuine and kind person, who I was supposed to play with but didn't get a chance to!!! He thwarted me of my SL trifecta lol. :) (Lance, we will play at next party! It's happening!Count on it! :))
Also on the list of celebrities that I gushed over meeting was Jersey John's aforementioned roommate, Ralph Marvel. (I promise I am not trying to collect Samantha's ex's btw, lol, we just seem to have similar tastes, lol). Now you will hear lots more about Ralph as these posts continue, and to be honest in the future if our friendship/relationship continues to head in the really wonderful direction that it's heading. And for those of you who know me well also know that my "type" consists of one thing: tall. His handle on Fet is tallandstrict. And the photo kinda speaks for itself on that front. :)
Towards the end of the fair, I also had the pleasure of meeting Eve Howard for the first time. She's a bit odd, but most of the best people are, and she seemed also genuinely surprised when I told her of how much the party meant to me, and how much her videos had shaped who I am today... it was great to get to say thank you in person.
But the craziest part of the entire weekend happened about half way through the vendor's fair when out of the corner of my eye, who do I spy walking towards me but my Edward. No joke. Seriously. Edward. As in first spanker/boyfriend/Daddy ever Edward. As in the man responsible for the famous photo, Edward. The man who would never be caught dead at a party, Edward!
I might have dive tackled him in the middle of the ballroom to run and give him a hug. :)
And he is just the same as always- it's like nothing had changed. At least nothing about him had changed. The girl he was with was just the nicest thing ever (not sure if I can post your name- let me know, I know you read this!) and had convinced him that he had to go to Shadow Lane since I was going to be there. Of course he couldn't bother to give me a head's up, lol. But at first I thought, this is perfect. My Daddy can't be here, but I have Edward to protect me.
And it was so nice to talk to him, and show off my table to him. I was like "look look look! Your hands are in some of these photos! And you took these! This photo made me famous!" He had no idea I was doing videos, but he knew I had graduated and things like that. It was nice to catch up. But it also made it really hard for me because Paul really really wanted to meet Edward. He has wanted to meet him for over a year now, and had wanted to get him to come to Texas actually. And it was this constant reminder that my Daddy wasn't there. I kept wanting to share Paul with Edward and vice versa... and being with him kept pulling me back into the reality of the situation. That the man that I love now wasn't there...
I am still so glad Edward was there, and we hung out more over the weekend (though parties still are not his thing- he watched golf and played slots most of the time, lol), I was actually glad that it didn't feel right to lean on him anymore. I am a bit ashamed that my first instinct was to just fall apart and let him put me back together. Friends lend support and strength and help hold you up, but you still have to be standing. I didn't want to have to be standing. I wanted to collapse and fall apart and be told it would all be ok. But when I was with him, I realized, I'm not 19 anymore. I know I always say that, but with him I really was 18/19, and when we were together he was what I needed. We were wonderful together, and I am convinced that there is no better man to have be your first top. He is so consistent and moderate and steady- things I never was. As I grew up, we grew apart, but he will always be my first....
But yeah, that moment I realized that he wasn't who I wanted right then (I wanted Paul of course), and that I wasn't the girl I was when I was with him... that I couldn't fall apart in his arms anymore... it made the vendor's fair hard as fuck. But I think it made the weekend better, and it made me stronger. I realized that growing up and not being 19 anymore isn't entirely a bad thing. That with age I have gained knowledge and strength- something I forgot I had. I started finding it about 6 months ago, but it came crashing back in the last two weeks. A long time ago I forgot how to stand on my own. I forgot I could stand on my own. Even when I was single I had my nana and papa... I haven't had to be alone in 4 years...And yeah, I wouldn't have been able to without the support of friends and strangers... the community around me... my sisters...but I did it.
I have stunned myself with my strength, and there is nothing in the world that I would rather surprise myself with. This is the part of me that I lost and wanted back. To remember how to stand in someone's arms without falling to their feet....
Ok... there are technically 5 more parts to this day (did I mention it was long?) but it's an hour past bedtime already, and this is long enough. So Part 2.2 will come tomorrow and hopefully at least part of part 3.