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Social Anxiety

August 22, 2005

Another weekend of summer’s gone. I am glad that that no longer means rising anxiety about going back to school. I liked school, but that didn’t keep me from worrying about it. Would people I hadn’t seen over the summer still talk to me? Were my new shoes stupid-looking? Was I still smart or had I just gotten good grades before due to luck? Now, summer slipping away just brings me that much closer to my fall vacations. Not that I don’t worry anymore–it’s just about different stuff, like whether I’ll make a good impression when I’m meeting new people.

That’s what I was pondering Sunday when I headed off to the first-ever SE Michigan DP meet-up–ever being defined as “since I started proofing and paying attention to the Team Michigan thread”. The catalyst was Suzanne (a.k.a. greentea) returning to U of M from parts east–if she’d decided to do her post-doc work elsewhere, who knows how long it would have taken for me to get together with my invisible proofing friends from the Internet.

I’d intended to get there early and look all conspicuous-like so people could find me instead of me having to find them because that would be one less thing to be anxious about, but I got to town so early that I decided to take a stroll around and see what had changed since I last wandered the streets of Ann Arbor, which meant Barbara (a.k.a. logista) and Bill (a.k.a. vaguery) were already there when I got to the appointed restaurant. They lured me to the table by holding up a copy of “Music Appreciation for Little Children” (circa 1920)–not usually an effective method to attract women in bars, but it does work if they’re proofers. They used the same technique to draw Suzanne in when she arrived a few minutes later.

We then passed the afternoon lunching and discussing many things, some DP and some not. The pear cider I had was mighty tasty, as were the fried brie with mango chutney and the strawberry rhubarb crumble. I think it went well–there were even whole long stretches where the voice in my head that says things like “you’re talking too much”, ” you’re being too quiet”, “they think you’re boring”, “they think you think they’re boring”, and “ooh, that was a poor choice of topic to bring up” was completely silent. Finally we could languish no more, as the dinner crowd was starting to arrive and I’d promised Mr. Karen I’d only be gone for one meal.

I’d noticed that Afterwords, the remainder bookstore where I spent much time and some money on my lunch hours when I worked in Ann Arbor, was still right where I left it. After the DP meet broke up, I headed over there and found several quilting books that needed to join my library, all bargains at $4.98. That seemed only right, as I’d built a good portion of my collection early on from the stock at Afterwords.

So all in all it was a successful outing. Except for the fact that we sat outside and I’d neglected to put any sunscreen on my arms, so they’re a not-so-lovely shade of bright pink today. At least the glow of heat coming off them means I haven’t had to put my fleece jacket on yet the way I usually have to do in response to the overly agressive air conditioning on my side of the hall here at the office.


Speaking of meeting up with online persons, there’s still time to register for JournalCon. I’m going; how ’bout you?

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