Straying outside the comfort zone.

How did I find myself out on a Saturday night with four women that I really don’t know?

I realized this morning that I do not live a life that is particularly conducive to meeting new people or making new friends.  I can not remember the last time that I shared a meal with strangers – before last night that is.  The last time I was single I was sixteen years old and still thought feathered hair and Duran-Duran were good idea’s.  I have a job that limits my interaction with the public to primarily phone and email contacts with an occasional live text chat thrown into the mix.  I haven’t taken a class in this century, and stopped teaching classes just at the end of the last one.  I am not active in the few clubs and/or organizations that I am a member of.  I spend time with my friends and family, and I spend (probably too much) time on the computer.  All of this adds up to, any new friends I have made in the last 15 years or so are “vt” vs. “rt” friends – most of them living in different time zones if not different continents.

Facebook has had some unexpected impacts on my life, including putting me back in touch with some people that I never thought I’d see again.  Last night’s dinner was the result of one of those re-connections with an acquaintance from high-school.  The thing is, in high school she was chiefly a part of my husband’s social circle and I never knew her all that well.  it would not have been all that odd to get together with her if it had been a “reunion” sort of deal, with my husband at my side.  This dinner, though, was a birthday celebration “girls night out”, so I braved it on my own, meeting up with a woman I haven’t seen in nearly 25 years and 3 of her friends.  If I had spent any time thinking about it I probably would have talked myself out of going.  Talk about intimidating!

Here is something else that I have come to realize about myself.  All of the time I spent working in customer service and human relations have paid off.  I am pretty good at the small talk.  I know this great little secret … pretty much every person likes to talk about themselves.  A few well placed questions and the conversation flows – it is also an excellent technique for diverting attention when you don’t want to talk about something that has been tossed your way.  By the end of the night we were all laughing like old friends and I was happy to find that in spite of being out of practice – I can still meet new people and have a good time without bringing along a security blanket.

Also – Doctor Who is an excellent bonding tool when sitting at a table full of self-proclaimed “geeks”.  😉



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