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Freaking Out

June 4, 2004

I’m tapping this out on a plane to Las Vegas. This will be my first visit there, which seems surprising considering how much I travel, but I can’t go everywhere, not even to all the famous and obvious tourist places.

This trip has me rattled, much more so than usual. I’ve calmed down now that I’m on my way– at this point I can’t change what I packed or miss the plane, so the number of things to worry about is a smaller set than it was several hours ago–but for a while there I was the very embodiment of Tweak from South Park, all jitters and strangled exclamations.

It’s not Vegas that’s giving me the shakes–they speak English there and use U.S. currency and have toilets just like at home– it’s the Suspects. Mr. Karen and I are going to the first-ever TUS-Con, and I’m freaking out. Why I’m freaking out is hard to say. I manage to converse with these people online almost everyday without any ill effects, and all the previous times I’ve met any of them offline it’s been perfectly pleasant, but still I’m all fluttery. (At times, literally, such as when Mr. Karen came upon me in the kitchen last night rapidly waving my arms back and forth in a vain attempt to burn off some of the nervous energy– he tells me the oven mitt on one hand was a nice touch.) I thought I worried about JournalCon; this is worse.

I worry that no one will talk to me, which is silly. I worry that everyone has already made plans to do lots of fun things the whole time they’re there, and I won’t be able to join them. Also silly. I worry that people WILL talk to me and I’ll say something so horrifying that I’ll manage to get banned without so much as a warning. Really silly. I worry that my clothes are wrong. That one may actually be true, but buying a whole new wardrobe to try and fool people into thinking I’m a “Glamour Do” would be silly.

I dealt with my anxiety by over-packing. I have two carry-on bags– though the excess one is perfectly justifiable, as I plan to explain in a later entry provided I am not eaten alive by strange people from the Internet– and Mr. Karen and I checked a bag, too. (It seems rather amazing to me now that I was able to go to JournalCon in SanFrancisco with just one carryon; what was I thinking?) I have five pairs of shoes in the suitcase. Five, people, for four days. Plus I’m wearing a sixth pair. That’s too many shoes, I can see that, but the stress involved in paring down the selection was just too much. I mean, what if I got there and someone cool says “Hey, Karen, care to join us for lunch? You can come if you have some slide sandals with three-heels.” and I’d left those sandals at home? I’d be sad. Okay, so that’s not going to happen, but I’d still be sad if I had the wrong shoes.

This is just nutty. I am usually much better about trips than this. Sure, I stress, but I don’t go crazy with the packing and the worry and the spinning of ridiculous scenarios. I am sure it will be fine once I get there– as it happened, HeatherC’s connection put her on this flight, so we met in the gate area and that went okay; she didn’t flee in horror (though really, if she had she would have missed her flight and thus the opportunity to tell all the other Suspects how horrified she was, so perhaps I shouldn’t feel so reassured quite yet)– and even if it isn’t, it will give me something to write about.


A year ago, I kept my writing to myself.

Two years ago, I was being tempted by that ol’ devil scale.

F is for Freaking Out

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