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Saturday, March 31, 2007

You've come a long way, baby

“A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.” ~Charles Evans Hughes

A few weeks ago, I spent some time perusing my archives. Not necessarily looking to bask in the glow of my brilliance but looking for a post highlighting my socially awkward behaviors. A post that screams: You KNOW you want to be friends with me even though I mumble. Anyway, during my quest, I came across one of my first pieces to adequately show off how I let anticipation run rampant through my life and psyche thus forcing me to stick my head between my knees and kiss my ass goodbye, when faced with a potentially awkward social situation. In this case the famed DC Blogger Happy Hour: The monthly event in which we speak less of blogging and more of the gossip and best practices for taking shots.

Given that I find most NEW situations with NEW people to be particularly frightening and I face it with a rapid fire ‘What if?’ round of questioning, usually starting with “what if they hate me?” and ending with “what if they think I drink too much?” Though most importantly, “what do I do when they decided that they hate me?” Because they will hate me, they have to hate me and maybe if I drink myself into a stupor, I won’t notice the seething hatred spilling out of them. I must say, thank the Lord that it’s a blogger happy hour, for they are the only people able to handle this extreme level of narcissism.

My first HH was an act of experimentation. Balls of never ending nerves and a shaky hand trying to hold a martini glass perfectly steady. That was the happy hour when Cookie and I bonded over double fisting chocolate martinis before Dragonfly’s drink specials ended (I am nothing if not excellent in getting more bang for my buck). It was the happy hour before I knew of the drama that those surrounding me could endure and involve themselves in, stupid shit that need not be detailed. Mostly because my attention span is a grand total of 2.8 seconds. It was the happy hour during which I realized that everyone needs a few drinks to relax themselves, thusly I am not really that much of a lush, just completely normal.

This past Thursday was I-66’s last stint as social chair. We went to Buffalo Billiards. Kassy met me outside with hugs and a kiss on the cheek. We beelined for the restroom and then to the bar, for we are two girls who have our priorities. We were cornered at the bar by a man who wanted to express sincere adoration for us and we in turn, wanted to hug…during which she was gracious and I made my “oh my fuck…there’s better shit to read” face. But it was his sincerety that kept me from awkwardly shifting from one foot to the other. An Argentinean Jew greeted me with a real hug. And these two are not nearly as scary as one might think, in fact it’s there whole “I don’t give a fuck” demeanor that gives me more inclination to love than hate. She thinks I exude smarts and I'm positively giddy each and every time I see her. They’re both hot and fucking brilliant and I want to pet their heads because they like me, they really like me.

Imagine walking into a room and being totally at ease. The ability to approach someone with “Oh….we were trying to figure out who you were” without the recipient punching you in the nose for being so damn rude. It’s not about whether or not they like me or what I had to do and have to do to keep the others for finding me terribly annoying and bull in a china shop-esque. Though I’m sure that the monthly bribes do help a bit. I don’t know what happened or the when or the how, but I suddenly find myself to be gregarious and freely meandering and laughing through waves of people. Genuinely happy to see and meet, while staying out of the fray.

Is it possible that my socially awkward phase is finally abating? Is it that I’ve slowly grown into feelings of comfort and affability when with this particular group? That all remains to be seen. But I can say with complete certainty that there is no such thing as too much drinking at HH. In fact we embrace the drinking whole-heartedly and as the reigning Biggest Lush, that first drink, is on me.

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12 Comments:

Blogger mist1 said...

I've never considered that my unchecked alcoholism is the reason that so many people hate me. I always thought that it was part of my charm.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

How do I get on the mailing list for DC bloggers happy hours? That sounds fun!

7:08 AM  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hmmm. I always figured that folks hate me because they can't handle alcohol as adeptly as I can. And if they can't? I don't want to be their friend anyway.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Thank you :-)

So great to see you again! Glad you had a good time!

4:07 PM  
Blogger Virgle Kent said...

hmmm so what you're saying is you're not buying my whole tough guy act??

Damn it!

3:12 AM  
Blogger inowpronounceyou said...

I'm pretty sure you were still, in fact, shifting from one foot to the other. ;)

Great to finally meet you.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

mist1: I'd find it charming. But then again, I too have some unchecked alcoholism in me.

sarah: There actually is no mailing list. Someone hosts and we see it on that persons blog and then we show up. But I'll let you know when the next one is.

dagny: a-freaking-men.

jo: likewise ;-) And fyi, I was completely sober when I got all excited to see you.

vk: uhhh no. Sorry. But I can pretend if you'd like.

inowpronounceyou: I think I just do that subconciously or because I'm nervous or because I drink through ketel one and tonics at rapid speed and get antsy for a second one right then. My apologies though.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Brunch Bird said...

OK, I've been told this before about my affect on people and the best strategy I can give you is to sit, put your head down or maybe have a ginger ale or some Saltines. Wait, you said "giddy?" Oh, I thought you said "nauseated."
Awesome.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous LisaBinDaCity said...

Heather B., have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to meeting you sometime?

Honest!

12:19 PM  
Anonymous freckledk said...

It's funny you write this, because I always think that you come off as being very dignified, even after binge-drinking all day/night. Maybe it's because you become a bit quieter, whereas I develop a babbling disorder. But I have found myself envying you your composure on more than a few occasions.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous zandria said...

Sounds like some cool people. I'm bummed that they always take place during the time I'm working. :)

12:48 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

brunch bird: Oh, I said 'giddy' just to be nice. ;-)

lisa: Ok, I really must go up there at some point soon, for it's been far too long. I will be sure to let you know when I'm there again. And ditto!

freckled k: aww that's nice...but then again you're drunk. Seriously though thank you, actually this gives me an idea for a post...

zandria: sadly we are all night owls and happy hour(s) people. But one day, I'm sure we'll do something that involves drinking in the middle of the day.

12:52 PM  

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