Monday, September 10, 2012


My weekend: let me tell you it.

Friday, I left work at noon (god, I love working part-time -- even when it's just one day every two weeks, or a couple of half-days, it's nice to have that flexibility!). I went home and ate lunch and changed clothes, and then I stopped at the storage unit to empty out the last couple of things, and then I went down to my parents' house.

I sat and talked with my folks for a little while, and then Dad and I went up into the attic. The mess he'd recruited me to clean up was way smaller than I'd expected -- really, it took less than half an hour to clean all the spilled insulation up off the floor and put it back in the attic, and half that time was spent climbing up and down the ladder. (Er, I'm using "attic" a couple of different ways, there, aren't I? There's an unfinished room over the garage that gets used for storage; and then over that, there's the space between the ceiling and the roof that's nothing but lumber and insulation. You can probably figure out from context which one I'm referring to at any particular moment, because "room-over-the-garage" is a little too unwieldy.)

I did most of the work, but Dad helped around the edges. Which is fine, because a) like I said, it wasn't that big of a job anyway; and b) I wasn't going to let my nearly 70-year-old father climb a ladder carrying a bucket to dump spilled insulation back into the attic; and c) doing this job was the price Dad had claimed for my storing stuff in their space.

And it turned out that when he'd said "rearrange things to make room", he hadn't meant we were going to actually clean the attic/storage area. He'd just meant that the enormous ex-pingpong table they have up there had been moved away from the window so the workmen could get to the attic, and we had to put it back. Which was also not that big a job; it's just that the table is like ten feet long and it's not so much a table as it is a couple of boards loosely attached to some legs, so it can't just be pushed or it will all come crashing down (along with all the Christmas wrapping and decorations stacked on top of it). So we had to get on either end and pick the whole mess up and scoot it back over to the wall. And then re-align the legs, because they hadn't really wanted to move. Took less than five minutes, but it was not a job a single person could have done, and my mom definitely couldn't have lifted one end of the table with the arthritis in her shoulder.

So I'm glad to have helped, and as a bonus, my Christmas tree and yard reindeer have a dry, relatively spider-free place to live for the ten and a half months of the year they're not decorating my house.

Then I changed back into shorts and a t-shirt and sat talking to my parents until dinnertime, and then they invited me to stick around for pizza, and how was I going to turn that down? So I had pizza with my folks, and headed home not long after that.


Saturday: I paid some bills and ran some errands. The only one worth mentioning was when I went into the storage unit office to close it down: the lady behind the counter looked up the unit number, then said, "What's the name?" and I told her Matt's name, because he's the one who set it up. She looked at me and said, "Are you his mother?"

Oh, yes she did.

(To be fair... this is a college town, and school just started back up, and I am, in fact, old enough to have a kid in college who would keep his stuff in a storage unit over the summer. But still!)

We got it worked out, and she said that technically I couldn't close the account because Matt hadn't put my name on it, but the act of cleaning it out and removing the lock was sufficient to do the job anyway, so she'd make a note of it on her evening rounds and it would get closed. Which is all I wanted, really.


Saturday afternoon, I had a ticket to go see Jesus Christ Superstar at the community theater that's right by our house. (Really. Less than half a mile. I walked there, even in a skirt.) When I got there, I discovered my friend Caren sitting right next to me! But then we realized she'd read her tickets wrong and was in row G instead of row C. Alas. But the woman who took her place was really nice and friendly anyway, and we chatted a little before the show started. (Lookit me, bein' all social!)

The show was... well, as Caren said when we were talking afterward -- not as bad as we'd feared, not as good as we'd hoped. The guy playing Judas was really good, but their choice for Jesus was... Okay, look. Jesus should be in his 30s, and for this particular show at least, he should be world-weary and tortured. The actor they had playing him was maybe in his 20s. Maybe. And they put sparkly pink lipstick on him. Add to that his short, slightly poofy hairstyle, and he looked more like Justin Bieber than Jesus. He was a pretty decent singer (though he didn't quite bring the pathos to the music) but a mediocre actor, and... honestly, if I'd been directing, I'd have switched the actors for Jesus and Peter.

But all in all, I'm glad I went, and I'll be checking out some other plays as the season runs along. (I do need to remember that the stage is MUCH closer to the seats than the diagram on the website suggests, and to pick something a little further back next time.)


Saturday evening, I did something completely and astonishingly out of character for me.

I went to a meetup of board gamers. I voluntarily walked into room full of people that I had never met before. And talked to them. And played games. And joked around, and...

As if it wasn't crazy enough for me to walk into a room of strangers and swallow my fears and be social, I brought my Cards Against Humanity deck. Including the brand-new, still-in-the-cellophane second expansion. And suggested we play a hand or three. With seven strangers. At that point, we'd played a couple of other quick-spin games, but I figured... what better way to break the ice? I mean, either they'd be utterly horrified and I'd know this wasn't the group for me, or they'd love it and I'd feel more comfortable actually being, you know, me. (Or a mix. You know. Everyone's different.)

But it turned out really well! We only played three rounds, because it's a slowish game and there were a million others to try. But no one seemed actively disgusted (well, many people were actively disgusted by individual cards, but in the best kind of "oh, that's so foul it has to be the winner!" way) and everyone had fun with it.

There was a ton of food there -- stew and fruit and cookie and ice cream -- and so I ate (the stew was amazing, once I'd come down from the meeting-new-people nausea) and played... I don't remember, at least five or six different games, over about five hours. We had to vacate the clubhouse at 10, but the sponsoring guy was all about moving the party to his place and continuing. I couldn't quite bring myself to walk into a near-stranger's house at 10 at night, so I went on home at that point, but the whole thing was just amazing.

If you're not an introvert, it's probably not weird for you to just introduce yourself to people. You probably don't dump hours of energy into trying to figure out what to talk about that won't sound self-centered or potentially offensive or horribly inane. You probably don't feel like throwing up as you wonder whether people are only talking to you to be polite while wishing you'd just go away. But that's pretty much my entire social experience. If I haven't known someone for a long time -- I mean, years -- then I am pretty much always wondering if they're just tolerating me. That niggling doubt doesn't disappear until that person actively seeks out my company... and if they don't initiate contact for a while, the doubt comes back.

But my situation now is completely flopped. If I'm going to have a social life, I'm going to have to swallow the social anxiety and the nausea and get out there and meet people.

A bad first experience would have turned me off to the whole idea. So I'm relieved -- intensely relieved -- that this meetup was so good, that these people were so friendly and actively inclusive. That I wasn't an unusual person -- I wasn't the only girl, nor the oldest, nor the youngest, nor even the fattest. I fell into the middle of the group in nearly every possible classification, and that was comforting in and of itself. It not only made for a fun evening, but it will (hopefully) make it easier for me to do something like it again. Or at least, not harder.


As for Sunday... Sunday I mostly stayed home. Being social and meeting people was good and awesome and fun, but I am still an introvert, and being social is something I need to recover from, even if it's good. So I stayed in. I tried a recipe I'd been meaning to try, I read a ridiculous number of comics, I organized my closet a little, I planned some decor changes for the dining room, I  played doofy computer games, I watched Leverage. I rested and I processed.

And that was good, too.

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