On meeting new friends and being an ogre

So I'm thinking about Shrek sitting alone in his swamp... Not really, I just thought up the title on the fly. But it is a good direction to go either way. To some degree I'm like him. I like my quiet little smelly place where I can pull the wings off flies and yell at kids to get out of my swamp! It's a comfortable place. NOT REALLY! It's smelly and there are dead flies everywhere and unhappy kids and it's a swamp! Be serious, who wants to live that way!?

So... the only way to change it is to make a choice and be a better person, fill in some gaps, fulfill some challenges, and get my passion back. The first front to tackle, FRIENDS! Challenge number one - put myself out there. Challenge number two - don't make excuses to not participate. Challenge number three - do something nice for someone. Okay so challenge number three isn't really a stretch, I do nice things for people all the time. I just needed something to round it off.

So I was invited to a little going away party of sorts for my wife's best friend. She's leaving a company that she's been with for 16 years for a new unknown world at Express Scripts. Huge change in schedule, cut in pay, longer hours, has to get up earlier, etc.,. Despite all of her "OMG! OMG! OMG!" she's amazingly brave for stepping out on a limb and making a life change. This job will be a stable position where she can gain skills and get back into college. BRAVE!

And all I can think about is that I'm not going to know anyone and it will be smoke filled and I don't like to drink and I'll smell like smoke afterwards and I have to fix dinner for the kids and EXCUSE, EXCUSE, EXCUSE! So instead of bailing out I bucked up and went. So there's a little work toward challenge two. On the way there I remembered that Steve, the best friend's (Tonya) husband had just had a birthday. So I stopped by Gamestop to look for games, but realized I had no idea what he may have. So instead I went to the bookstore and found a funny book called "You're a Horrible Person but I Like You!" about breaking bad news and keeping friends. Then I walked by another book "Things might go terribly, horribly wrong" which is the perfect companion book. Except the first book was just funny and the second book was for people with anxiety. Which fit the couple perfectly. Steve had his book allowing him to break bad news to his wife without upsetting her. Tonya had her book to keep her calm when Steve broke bad news. I then went to the festivities, had a drink, talked to people, and put myself out there for the briefest of moments. It was good. I hit all three challenges in a day.

But... was it really a stretch? No... it was pretty pain free. I didn't even mull over it again and again 50 times like I normally do and I only practiced my gift speech 2 or 3 times tops and then really just winged it like always anyway. Well I have put myself out there in another entirely different way lately. I hit the personals/strictly platonic section of Craig's List. I did that because most of the other avenues for making friends are closed to me, school, church, bars, etc.,. And I'm looking for someone so specific it's going to take some experimentation. So it's as good as any. I've responded to other people's ads in the past. They never really got beyond some pleasantries, sadly, but it's worth trying over again.

And then WHAM! Right out of the gate I get an e-mail. Not one of the usual "Hey, 'sup? Wanna chat?" "Thank you, no. I prefer fully formed thoughts in my conversations." kind of e-mails but a warm and eager and strangely specific sort of e-mail. I responded, she responded, everything is heart shatteringly stupendous. Oh yeah so this is the point where you notice SHE right?

Yes SHE... blah blah blah I get a long with ladies better than with the gentlemen, I'm not a sports guys or racing or mixed martial arts kind of person and I'm not disinclined to fish but it's not my hobby either, nor Hooters, nor strip clubs, nor anything that would identify me as a man. So there's just not a lot of room for conversation there and the few lady boys like me that I've met just creep me out with their pasty skin and their soft warm hands.... bleh! So I prefer the company of a woman. Strictly platonic. I made that clear in the post and here. Not looking for the hookup, the opportunity for later, no "break glass in case of emergency", nada.

So here's this amazing person, smart, funny, eloquent, and looking for much the same thing as I am. She's determined, clear, and specific... am I gushing? Does it show? So I'm all excited and suddenly this big STOP sign pops up in my head... maybe she's so amazing because she knows exactly what you want, she's showing you what you want, so she can real you in and scam you! And that just eats at me, and chews and chews and chews. Then I go from excited to fearful and anxious to angry. What the fuck is wrong with me. I get it. I get that people get scammed and killed and any number of things every day, all the time. But we've become so intolerant, so fearful that we're not willing to take any risks at all anymore. NONE! It's fucking ridiculous. I am not going to be that person.

So now, here I sit. Eager, excited, about to vomit typing out "Are you up?" and... BREATHE! SEND!