Emergency Backup Blog

I usually blog on SAS, but since they've obliterated their blogs I think I'll try here.

I guess if this is supposed to be my personal story, I should start from the beginning. That'd be sometime in late 1979 when I was a zygote and blissfully unaware of socializing. In the middle of the next year I emerged into the world, immediately felt overwhelmed and thought it best to keep things simple by not communicating any more than necessary. That strategy persisted for the following 25 years. Then 14 years of trying to learn how to socialize, with mixed results. A year off for COVID. And that brings you up to date.

So, last weekend was my first real social test in ages. Saturday I visited my parents indoors for the first time since 2019, and saw my sister and her husband for the first time since 2019. I was nervous on the way there, but it went well and I came away with a new houseplant. Sunday was my first meetup since last March and first softball game and first visit to the city since 2019. I didn't really initiate conversations, but that's okay, all went well. And on Monday there was the social challenge of talking to CVS people to get my vaccination shot, which also went well.

From here, my conundrum is whether/when to restart the two meetup groups I used to run: a social anxiety group, and a hiking group for which I was only able to host one meetup before the pandemic. The social anxiety group makes me less anxious to ponder (ironically?), but the hiking group would require a lot less driving and time commitment and is a more natural fit for doing everything outdoors and distanced. I think I'll give it a few weeks before I make any decisions. At any rate, it's good to have opportunities again. Maybe this is the year I make a legit local friend, or at least add some fulfilling interactions and fun diversions to my life.
A few months ago, a friend (of many years who I only email on rare occasions, so it's a little bit of an odd friendship) invited me to come visit and stay in her spare room in Colorado post-pandemic. It gave me something fun, original and challenging to think about -- as someone who has never been that far from home. I was going to drive it and see the intermediary states along the way and make it the adventure of a lifetime (literally because I'd never want to drive that far again).

But that's canceled now, as she's moving at the end of May and won't have a spare room anymore. I kind of expected this outcome so I'm not that disappointed. And I'm relieved to not have to face thousands of miles of driving and all the stress of figuring things out and sleeping at rest stops. But now I need to come up with some sort of plan for the summer, camping trip or something.

In other news, the annoying people who try to intercept me and sell me on something on my way in and out of Safeway are back... a serious negative side to normality.
Restarted my two meetup groups. Turns out having two or three groups costs the same as one, so I did both at once. The hiking group is drawing lots of interest, got a hike scheduled for Friday. One anti-masker so far. Lots of people asking questions. Appears it's going to be socially challenging with lots of extroverts. Doing my best to imitate a human so far.

The social anxiety one, despite being centered in a much more populated area, isn't drawing much interest at all and it seems likely there won't be enough people for a meetup there. Which is odd since ten years ago there were plenty of people. But I guess they've all met me by now and don't want to return. Seems you can't recapture the past. Sad for me since the social anxiety group is where I met my only nearby friend and my ex-girlfriend and most of the interesting people who were in my life over the last 11 years.

@MollyBeGood Yeah, they always seem to have the wrong prices or not credit discounts, and mine is just too busy these days. I've moved most of my grocery shopping to Target and Raley's where's there's no crowds, checkout lines or solicitors. Although Target suffers from bored cashiers who try to intercept my cart before I can reach self-checkout and pull me into their lane.