Friday, January 18, 2008

A Whole New Level

By now you know that due to my complete astonishment and, let's face it really, envy of how Aimee managed to move here and be completely dialed-in to the social scene in like a week, I've been trying to get out and meet more people.

I joined the band. I went dancing. These were relatively safe things to try since, you know what you're getting into before you go. (Well, not entirely with the dancing as per the previous article, but Aimee was there to guide me.)

Next up: the meetup. is a website much like a bulletin board, where anyone with an interest can create a group that will eventually (once there are enough people interested) have meetings to discuss/do whatever the interest may be. For example, say you are into UFOs. You can go on to the website, input UFOs, and there are 44 meetup groups that meet regularly to discuss UFOs out there somewhere.

The beauty of this is that you know that the people you are meeting have the same interests as you, you meet in some public place so there's safety in numbers, and people create a little profile to get on the site so you kind of have an idea of who you are meeting and what they look like (less stranger danger).

Where it gets weird is that yes, these really are strangers and other people really are strange.

So, with a deep breath, I went ahead and joined:
  • The Indie Rock Fans meetup. Their next meeting/concert is on Saturday, during the day, for which I already have plans. After that, it's a Monday night and I haven't decided if I am dedicated enough to indie rock to want to be a slug at work that Tuesday. Oh, and I may be facilitating a workshop in Wisconsin that day, so that is out.
  • The Urban Explorers meetup, where I can "Meet other locals who are interested in Urban Exploration, Photography and Abandoned Buildings." OK, so that's kind of my thing. The problem is that the organizer isn't that, uh, organized, and there are no meetups planned anytime soon. Dang! This leaves...
  • The Board Games meetup. I know. So not exciting. But it's close to my house and they meet at a Barnes and Noble twice a week (twice!), making it way more convenient, and if it was lame, I was planning to just go drool over the new books I would like to have.

Wednesday night comes and that means game night! (They also meet on Thursdays, but I think one night of games is a good starter, don't you?) I made my way over to B&N, and as I walked up to the group of people collected at the cafe, I realized that I am the only person over the age of 25. (OK, there was one guy who was 50+, but let's call him an outlier.) I am also the only girl. Yikes. Too late to cut and run for the fiction section, I grabbed a seat and met the crew of about 8. Turns out that they are all nice guys, and more trickle in as the night progresses, including guys more my age and (thank god) a woman, who also just happens to be older than me (thank you thank you thank you). I feel significantly less nerdy as the evening progresses.

The nerdy feeling returns, however, when I realize which games we have been playing. None of which I have ever seen, they are described to me as (and I'm serious here- actual words)"Like chess, but not", "Like Othello, but not", "Like Tron, but not" (Like Tron?!) and Scrabble. Oh, there was one in there where we built a zoo, but that was like nothing else, apparently.

And you are right, I have played Scrabble before. That was the consolation game we had to play because at least three of us had, you know, jobs to report to on Wednesday and we couldn't start the next game which was like the knights of the round table, complete with "health points" (I'm having scary ex-boyfriend flashbacks here), which would require us to close down the Barnes and Noble. Jeez. Closing down the bar I've done, but closing down the bookstore? I am experiencing a whole new level of geekdom.

Yes, I'm throwing out the "geek" and "nerd" labels pretty liberally here. I just... really think it applies in this situation. The thing is though, that I had a lot of fun. My fellow game players were all fun (the ones I got to play with- yes there was more than one game happening at a time) and they seemed to genuinely want me to return (obviously) so I think next week I'll be back.

But not Wednesday. Wednesday I have Green Drinks.

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