I’ve actually lived in my current town for a grand total of 5 months, three of which I was wallowing in some serious post-divorce feels. I have some nice coworkers, but I still haven’t really found my people.
So here I am, faced with several weeks of no work and no idea what the hell to do.
So tonight, I decided to conduct…an experiment.
I’m an introvert. An INFJ according to the Myers-Briggs personality profile test. I’ve discussed this already at great length.
I don’t just go out and do things by myself in public settings. Eating by myself at a restaurant straight-up fills me with a weird anxious melancholy. The same can usually be said when I go to the mall alone.
I am so comfortable alone in my own safe setting, but so utterly terrified when I’m under the public eye. And it’s not even that I’m scared people are judging me. It’s just…I don’t know what to do.
Back to my experiment.
There’s a cafe/bar that’s supposedly the most indie/hipster crowd in my town, and they have live music several nights a week. Tonight, being Friday, seemed like a good night to check it out.
I got ready. I dressed in one of my go-to outfits, cute but not too much. Understated makeup. Didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard, and I didn’t know the scene.
I felt absolutely nauseous. But I was going to do it. I had a couple of friends volunteer to be texting buddies if I needed support, and I decided I could be mysterious and artistic if I brought along my little notebook.
My cat Chet was ridiculously needy before I left.
I mean, look at this kid.
I finally peeled my DumpsterCat off me and lint-rolled myself.
What follows is what I effort in my trusty Notebook of Awkwardness:
Dispatch from Home Grown Cafe:
Saw a girl I ran wardrobe with this spring and talked with her and her new boyfriend for a bit.
Got a Gin and Tonic. Drank the first half a it fast. Cutting myself off for a bit. It’s hot up in hurr.
Now sitting by myself.
The bouncer is totally cute. But he’s a bouncer and working and I’m shy/awkward AF.
Secretly hoping that someone will come and talk with me, but not a creeper. There’s so many stipulations. The guys who are decent will often not approach a girl alone at a bar for fear of being perceived as a creeper, while then just the creepers move in on poor unsuspecting women.
How to meet people organically? I have no clue. I am not built for this. So here I am, in campustown bar/café in the summer, trying to will someone–I don’t know who–to interrupt my fervent scribbling, but only if they’re not weird/creepy. The lime weird. I welcome weird. So just not creepy. #streamofconsciousness #wordvomit
There is an aging bald man in what I can only take to be Hawaiian print swim trunks here.
It’s super warm.
I feel old again. #campustown
“Try our Bee’s Knees–honey infused gin, honey simple syrup, lemon juice.” Hmmmm. That sounds…interesting. I don’t know how I feel about pine trees and honey.
Okay. This is seriously awkward. I don’t know exactly what I expected…yeah. I was hoping some interesting and excellent conversationalists would see me sitting alone awkwardly and decide that I looked interesting and fascinating and they would come over and ask if I was here alone, and I would say yes and admit I am pretty new in town and don’t really know many people, and we would break into sparkling conversation and we would hit it off and exchange numbers and agree to hang out soon.
And then I would get to know their friend group and I would be in.
It also just occurred to me that, now that I’m single again, I need to start checking for wedding bands. I’m the demographic now and which single people are getting more scarce, though times, they are a’changin’.
This is the first time in ages I’ve had an Over 21 wristband. When the dude (not the cute one) was checking my ID, I accidentally dropped my lipstick and bent to pick it up, because I’m a hot mess as usual. Then he made me look at him. Then I realized I had accidentally pulled a distraction move that underage girls could use to get in with a fake ID. But seriously, if you’re under 21 and got a fake ID, will you really pretend you were 30? Pretty sure the answer is no.
I’ve always been told I’m intimidating. Ever since I was 16 or 17. Intimidating. I’m not exactly sure why. Is my shyness? My intensity? The fact that I’m so hot? *tosses head/nonexistent hair*
Also, you’re in the middle of Delaware. Five dollars for a bottle of Woodchuck Cider? I have no idea how pricing alcohol works, admittedly.
I was looking at a list of the 10 best things to do in this town, and alongside the theatre where I work, there was listed… I shit you not…THE TRAVEL PLAZA. Like gas and fast food and gift shop. Seriously. What is this place? Get me out of here. Keep repeating to yourself, “full-time job with awesome benefits.”
I did see there is an antique mall around here, even though I shouldn’t spend anymore money.
1) Find sugar daddy/mama to find my oddities collection.
Pretty sure the boys next to me are children.
Tonight, my friend told me this campus in town is built for well off, preppy, straight white dudes. Yuuuuup. No wonder I feel like a complete and utter outsider.
Dear Lord. Another friend just had a kid. Everyone is just popping them out like TicTacs.
I could do thing I’ve never done before and slip Cute Bouncer Dude my phone number. Yeaaahhhh, that would be bold. Does anyone ever do that anymore? Did anyone ever actually do that, or is it only in movies?
I have no idea what this band is about that’s performing right now. There was some weird howling at one point no it’s kind of salsa-y. Huh.
Awkward is my stasis. My calibrated normal.
Whoa. Kids these days wear high waisted jean cutoff shorts and T-shirts tucked in with mini backpacks.
Okay, now the music is kinda Johnny Cash-like and I’m kinda digging it.
Yeah, so I’ve reached that point where I’m running out of stuff to write and people to observe and the kid next to me needs some deodorant, but not in a hippie way because he’s just a bro who stinks.
Definitely got lime juice over there. (Arrow points to opposite page.) Oops. Unwieldy little fella.
ARE HAWAIIAN SHIRTS A THING AGAIN?! Just saw two young ladies in the very oversized Hawaiian shirts. Is there a theme party that the old dude is also attending?
Checking to see if there any Pokémon around. Dammit, there is a Pokéstop I could’ve been collecting from all night! And I just got two Pidgeys. WOW, CAMPUSTOWN IS CRAWLING WITH POKÉSTOPS. I will have to go on a Pokéwalk around here soon.
Oooooohhhh girl on Tinder who I was talking to, who bored me too much to continue on with just messaged me again, after she sent me her phone number yesterday. I decided not to reply. She wants to meet in person. Sorry gurl, you bore me, which is and impressive feat for someone who builds herself as a “Poly, ethical slut.” Eh.
What’s worse, me ghosting her, or telling her I’m just not vibing with her, perhaps leaving out the whole “I think you’re boring” part.
Ugh. Dating. Rough.
Well then. The time to peace out has almost come. Haven’t talked with anyone. But I’m here and I did it. Baby steps, right? I count this as a small triumph. At least I got to talk with my friend and her boyfriend a bit, which is the first human interaction I’ve had since I went grocery shopping on Tuesday. Seriously.
How did people used to meet each other? The best way I’ve been able to forge connections with each other is first to talk for hours online or texting. Then I feel comfortable enough to interact in person, but there’s still a weird disconnect because my brain takes a while to go, “oh, right, you’re the person I know so well, right in front of me. Weird.”
So it’s time to peace out. My car’s parking meter is running out. I stayed way longer than I thought I would.
It’s a start.