Note to self: No more video posts. Give the people what they want, and clearly what they want is not YouTube clips that they cannot listen to surreptitiously while trying to convincingly pretend they are working. Live and learn.
By the way, I would like to point out that somehow I managed to type "surreptitiously" correctly just now, sans any little dotted red line beneath it, on the very first try. Perhaps this shouldn't astonish me (I am an award-winning speller, after all), but I am rather proud of that feat nonetheless. (And now that I've typed that, I am bound to mistype some far simpler word somewhere in this post without actually noticing it. If so, just pretend that didn't happen, OK? Thanks.)
For those of you who may be wondering, I did take the Internet's advice and attend my block's National Night Out party last night. I scored neither a date, a jar of wrinkle cream, nor any potato salad. All was not lost, however. I did partake in reasonably comfortable (if not entirely superficial) small talk with several neighbors, including the couple who lives across the street and always seems ever-so-friendly but with whom I rarely communicate beyond a wave and a few words about the weather when we're both outside shoveling. So that was nice. I guess. I mean, we won't be gathering to play Boggle together anytime soon, but it's comforting to know the people nearby aren't likely rapists or axe murderers anyway, right?
There were exactly two reasonably attractive seemingly straight men in my general age group at the event, and unfortunately both of them had a wife or fiance' at their side. I talked to one couple for several minutes, and they seemed like people I actually wouldn't mind chatting with more regularly, but the barrier of their living an entire block away (rather than conveniently right next door) will likely keep me from ever running into or spending time with them again. It's just as well, I suppose, because given my proclivity for blurting out inappropriate things in unfamiliar situations, I probably just would have revealed some creepy and selfish ulterior motive... I think asking a couple I've just met, "Hey, do you have any single male friends?" might be a bit much so early in our non-relationship.
Miraculously, I think I did get through the event without saying anything alarmingly stupid or unintentionally offensive. This is great progress for me, seeing as I generally become a babbling idiot in situations of forced socialization with strangers. Before I walked over to the party, I ran into my next-door neighbor (you know--"Reed") and asked if he was going. He was not, which surprised me a bit, given that he's generally an outgoing, participatory, enthusiastically neighborly sort of guy. He said he hadn't even seen the invitation. "[Wife's Name] probably threw it away," he said. "She's antisocial." Hmm. I told him I was somewhat terrified to wander into a group of strangers by myself too, to which he replied, "What? You?? You're always bubbly! So outgoing!"
It's disorienting when you get a glimpse of yourself through someone else's eyes and that self is not the one you know at all. "Bubbly?" Me? I'm perplexed. Need I remind you that 90% of my interactions with "Reed" have been while I am doing yard work? Apparently swearing angrily at my stubborn lawn mower reveals a warm and friendly side. Who knew?
All of this is why I think perhaps I do my best socializing via my keyboard. Some of my favorite people are ones I know only through the magical series of tubes of these here Internets. Which is why Lara is right and it probably is a bit surprising that I'm one of the last remaining Facebook holdouts alive. Is it worth it to jump on that bandwagon? Just for a bit of flair from my favorite Philadelphian and perhaps a series of awkward reconnections with people my life has been just fine without? I'm not saying the pressure of National Pick on Stef Day is getting to me. I'm certainly not creating an account just yet. I do need to catch up on my crazy teenage vampire love story reading, however. My pal Lara has a point on that. Back to it, then... As you were.