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Saturday, 16 August 2003

details, details, details: the precise odour of this room

Just been reading an online pontification about 'how to weblog' by some prat, and read this:
Do readers really want to know how miserable you are? Yes. But they?re going to want details, the precise odor of your room, why you haven?t showered in a week, or how exactly somebody broke your heart.
I'd been wondering what to say today, while my head is thumping thumping thumping with a hangover that was totally self-induced, and absolutely silly. But the odour of my room? My room stinks of garlic.

Tonight I'm going out with a bunch of lesbians. No biggie.
Tonight I'm going out with a bunch of people I don't know. Again, been there, done that.
Tonight I'm going out with some people I've messaged once online. Hmmm.

Might be weird, if I hadn't already spent a year doing that in the hopes of meeting weirdos (some successes there, mostly failed).
I admit: I met up at least 24 different times in one year with assorted people I had chatted to on usenet, between 2001 and 2002. It was a hobby of sorts - well, more of a collection. It became boring in the end, like most collections, and now I only meet up for a drink with people I mostly already know well from online, or people I actually like. But this lot: I have no idea who they are.
And somehow, that makes it feel scarier - like some sort of weird online dating service. More threatening. They don't know me at all. I have something to prove. Christ!

The DH had contacted a load of them at the start of the summer, when she was unemployed, and they'd invited her out to various gay parties in the East End. All sounded terribly flirtatious. Hmmph.
What's good for the goose.... in the spirit of meeting new blood, I signed up to go out for a pizza with these guys, some time back. Pizza then a club. What could go wrong?

Things that could go wrong:
They're all totally self-absorbed, and nobody talks to me.
I'm totally self-absorbed, so no-one talks to me.
They're hideous, facially, and personality-wise, and they all love me and want to be my friend for ever.
Okay, this list is scaring me now.
To make sure I didn't get the collywobbles and crap out, I dared myself that I wouldn't, couldn't do it. I know myself, an attack of self-recrimination is rare, I usually beat most dares I set myself. A scare dare. Great!
So, tonight's the night. I'd really really really rather go out for a meal with jatb. In fact I thought about inviting her to the same restaurant, so we could spy on these women, from a comfortable distance. Then I realised I hadn't done enough reading this summer, yet. That there are work projects I need to finish by next Friday. Slowly, the excuses form in your head, like a cloud of stuff that means it's okay not to go.
Eventually, I realised that I had a hangover, I felt tired, it's not a good idea to drink again tonight, my feet hurt too much to dance, the dvd needs taking back to Blockbuster's, my sleep patterns are disrupted enough to be on a different time zone to most people, and I'd actually prefer to spend the entire evening under a duvet.
Red alert: duvet-comfort-zone warning. I really must be scared.

So I dared myself more aggressively. Are you a woman or a wimp? Knowledge that I'm definitely the latter is enabling; it makes me want to improve.
So, I'm going to go out with these lunatic strangers. And I'm going to either speak too much or ruin their evening through baleful silence, who cares? I'm going.

Passive-aggressive defence strategies that have kicked in so far:

Drinking till I pass out the night before, to ensure HUGE hangover: it's okay, they didn't like me cos I was boring.
Stuffing myself with fried food both in middle of drunken frenzy, and then the next day again, to counteract hangover: it's ookay, they didn't like me cos I was boring and looked shit.
Eating aiioli. Repeatedly. It stinks to fucking high heaven of garlic: it's oookay, they didn't like me cos I was boring, I looked shit, and I smelled.
Spending waaaaaaay too long online writing a blog: it's ooookay, they didn't like me cos I was boring, I looked shit, I smelled, and I turned up late.

Of course I don't really think these things: I know I'm normal smelling, normal looking, normal levels of interesting or gregarious. But it's interesting, innit: the scared insecure teenager who still lives inside....

Shit, is that the time?!

< # Blogging Brits ? >

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:24 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 28 August 2003 12:42 AM BST
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Sunday, 17 August 2003 - 4:07 PM BST

Name: Looby

Hope it went alright Van - that's a comprehgensive insulation from rejection/lack of success you've worked up there.

I will use these strategies if both the following occur a) I go to the Doteurovision meet in Frankfurt in October despite not knowing anyone and b) I come across as nervous and stupid.

Monday, 18 August 2003 - 1:37 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

I think I probly just realised why I find it so unthreatening to go meet complete strangers whom I've chatted online with - absolutely no personal investment at all. I'm bored: I go; I'm interested: I stay; nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Noooooooooooooooooo comparison with going to visit a gay club. Horrendously frightening in comparison!

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