Wednesday, August 06, 2008


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.


nancypearlwannabe said...

I'm sorry you didn't find any reasonably cute, around your age men to flirt with at the Block Party.

But I am not sorry that my neighborhood did not hold a Block Party because it would have been terrifying.

3carnations said...

It sounds like a decent time. Maybe you'll have to start taking walks all the way to the next block to say hi to that nice couple. Perhaps the guy's cute, single brother will be there.

flurrious said...

Damn it, I missed National Pick on Stef Day again.

I wonder how my neighbors view me. I assume it's as the cranky spinster in the giant house.

lizgwiz said...

I think it's good to be on speaking terms with a couple of different neighbors, just in case you need to borrow a tool or a cup of sugar. Or, you know...a single male friend. ;)

BFF has been after me to join Facebook, as well, but had no convincing response to my query of "But why?"

One Smart Cookie said...

Please don't join Facebook. Please. Because then I really will be the only one not on it and I refuse to give in. I refuse!

badger reader said...

Amazing what the neighbors really think. The majority of my neighbors only see me in mis-matched jammies and bed head trying to get my dog to come back inside while maintaining whatever composure I have left. "Bubbly" would certainly be an improvement...
Most of my facebook usage is monitoring my younger cousins and advising them that posting gratuitous underage drinking pictures is not in their best interest... (because that certainly doesn't make me feel OLD!)
Glad you are in the next vampire book so Lara can lay off SOME of the heat in your direction. I am trying to convince my boss to buy the 4th book so I can borrow it. :)

-R- said...

Add me to the list of people not on Facebook.

The block party doesn't sound too bad. I like 3carnation's idea of friendly stalking.

Mair said...

Come play on Facebook! And Twitter, while you're at it. Ah, social media.

Noelle said...

I think you'll like facebook. The first few weeks are intensely exciting when you re-connect with everyone and download all the apps. Then, after a few months, it just becomes another way to keep in touch and beat your friends at word games.

Mickey said...

I really am impressed with your first-try handling of "surreptitiously." I may have figured it out, but it definitely would have taken three or four tries. But I'm a poor typist.

Courtney said...

I'm not on Facebook either! I may give in one day, but for now blogging fulfills all my social networking needs.

Sorry about the lack of eligible bachelors at the block party. Maybe you can still make friends with them and they can introduce you to their undoubtedly hot, successful, brilliant, nice, single male friends.

Sauntering Soul said...

I am also not on Facebook. We should all start an anti-Facebook club!! Or perhaps not. That's not very nice and I really don't have anything against Facebook.

I wish we would have some sort of block party on my street. I don't need to meet a single man since I'm quite happy with Hot Brazilian, but there is a woman at the end of my street who lives in a bright blue house with purple and white trim. She has dirty blonde hair down to her waist with hot pink stripes in it and she has a fabulous garden in her backyard. She seems like someone I would want to meet just so I can say I have a friend with hot pink hair who lives in a blue and purple house.

Anonymous said...

This might sound creepy, but I too:

- attended a block party this weekend. But I was invited by a friend of mine who doesn't even live in my zip code. Weird, huh? Um, and no single guys at all.

- was recently given a compliment that had my head spinning. Someone told me I had cute feet. Cute feet? Not my size 9.5 flipper feet. But thanks anyways.

- was encouraged to join Facebook. And I did. And I like it. Way better than TheirSpace. I enjoy the word-nerd games the most. Join us!

Melliferous Pants said...

I think you and I may be secretly related.

I have a Facebook account, but I hardly use it. At first I was very excited with it; then I realized I was wasting all of my time with stupid applications and lame crap. Plus it sort of reminds me of junior high and I prefer my self-esteem to never reach that low again. EVER.

Aaron said...

1. Yeah, I learned something similar about YouTube posts. Several times, actually.

2. Nice job on surreptitiously (which I also just typed unassisted, although I just saw it in print, so you still win).

3. Now I have Bloc Party stuck in my head.

4. Facebook was fun for about five minutes, but I never log on anymore. There will be a newer, cooler social networking site if you wait another six months, I'm sure.

Whiskeymarie said...

I was thinking I should have gone to my block party, if nothing else but to get to know the couple across the street better.
Doesn't matter.
Turns out they moved two weeks ago and I didn't even notice. Oops.

Lesson learned.

I always thought I was a good speller, but you have me beat, little lady.

musing said...

I must be one of the few souls who actually click on YouTube vids.

metalia said...

Okay, I have a Facebook ccount and seriously have no idea why. But! I do love Twitter. Why don't you start with that? Baby steps and all that. :)

Lara said...

Holy crow, i cannot believe I forgot the biggest Facebook lure of all: a boggle-like game called scramble. You will love it. I promise.

Perhaps you haven't been blogging much lately because you are so busy reading about vampire love.

Stefanie said...

NPW--It would have been good blog fodder, though. I have heard about your neighbors. A block party surely would have produced all sorts of new, absurd stories to share.

3Cs--Perhaps. No luck so far, though.

Flurrious--Don't worry; the next one will come around again soon enough.

Liz--I actually have borrowed a cup of sugar from a neighbor before, and she actually mocked me for baking cookies when it was 85 degrees outside. Those know-it-all elderly...

Cookie--Be strong, my friend. I'll try to do so as well.

Badger Reader--The majority of my neighbors see me only in dirty clothes and unwashed hair while doing yard work. Maybe that's why I went to the party, actually... to show I can clean up OK.

R--Yay. So if I cave, Cookie's at least got you yet. :-)

Mair--I fear that Twitter would only feed my already out-of-control Internet addiction. Besides that, I still don't fully understand it. (Yes, I am apparently 65.)

Noelle--See, when you put it that way, it doesn't sound ALL that bad... And still, I resist. Hmm.

Mickey--And I'd like to think I'm a good typist, except that I just had to type "Mickey" three times. My fingers, they are not a-flyin' tonight.

Courtney and Sauntering Soul--Yay! Let's all form a Facebook Resisters club! Except wait. Forming such a club might count as yet another form of social networking. Hmmm. Tricky.

Pam--That's not creepy. The person who said size 9.5s were "cute," might be, though. (Kidding. I'm sure your giant feet are adorable. Mine are far from tiny as well.)

Pants--Well, I *am* convinced we might have the same mother, after all...

Aaron--That's what I think, too (that eventually Facebook will just be replaced by something else). If I ever do give in, though, I'm still going to attempt to friend you.

WM--Ha. Well, at least you have fond almost-memories of them. I hope?

Musing--Yay! Glad somebody appreciated the minimal effort. :-)

Metalia--Gah! No! I think if blogging is the gateway drug, Twitter would be just an all-out heroin binge. I fear the Twitter. I suspect no good can come of it.

Lara--You're right: online Boggle does intrigue me, and yet I resist anyway. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a crazy vampire book to read.