Sunday, April 09, 2006


fish out of water

Tonight I went out with a bunch of people - first we got sushi, then barhopped around town. Well, to be precise, within a 1.5 mile radius.

The sushi place was very "trendy" (FYI - when I use that term, it's usually to mean "I think it's stupid."). The interior was very dark, with beehive looking lights hanging from the ceiling. The tables were very low, and circular. Very small circles. The shade of the walls: red. The decorations? Translucent boxes that changed colors every couple of seconds, pulsing and fading up and down the visible light spectrum. Oh, and the bathrooms. There were two doors, side-by-side, with a symbol that was a combination of the male and female signs, indicating "unisex." And the music! Techno!

So I was sitting there, sandwiched between E and another girl, and there were conversations zipping back and forth, wrapping around the little circle tables. And I was just sitting there, with nothing to say. A total dud. I began reflecting on (and lamenting) how I can be a completely different person, depending upon the situation and who I'm with. I even thought "If I were at kickball, I'd be a lot more outgoing...." It was then that I realized that I may not have been on the field, but every single person at the dinner was on my kickball team. It was a bit shocking, to see the difference in my personality, even though I was surrounded by the same people. wasn't the company I was keeping. It was me. I was an anti-social bore. (as well as an etiquette horror show, since I used one chopstick to stab the food, instead of going the traditional route...)

And then later, at the second bar of the night, after standing stupidly to the side for a couple of minutes (and pretending to watch the TV mounted in the corner...), I decided that I just did not have anything to say tonight. I couldn't summon up pleasantries about the weather, I couldn't talk about my day, I just could not think of a single half-interesting thing to say. Perhaps, if I had been with the same people, but in a different atmosphere, my mouth would have been a never-ending fountain of chatter. But there was just such disinterest on my part, and it was frustrating.

So, finally accepting my mood of the night, I decided to sidle up to a conversation and listen. A friend, more of a friend of a friend...nice guy, but I don't really know him, was talking to some people about what he did after college. Based on a whim and a note, he moved to Maine for six months after graduation. He pretty much showed up at a friend's door, told him he was moving in for a bit, and searched the town for a job. He began as a worker at the post office, but it was too boring. So then he got a job dropping and pulling lobster traps. Receiving a note from a different friend, he decided to try his hand in DC - but only after making a stop at a sand castle building contest, winning first prize with his buddies, for a giant lobster they crafted on the beach.

And it made me think. Am I too focused on my future? Too worried about the outcome of every little thing? Obsessed with not "messing up my future"? Am I doing a little too much of playing it safe?

From what material shall I build my lobster?

Iwonder the same thing all the time...argh!
I see what you're saying about not having anything to talk about the other night. And this isn't the first time that I've heard you "complain" (I use this word lightly) about being at a bar. But I don't think this is about you being a bore, or your friends being drunk. Maybe you just are not—and never will be—the type of girl who thoroughly loves the bar scene. And that's okay! I think that you are much more of a person that loves museums and sporting events and fun lunches with fun coworkers than someone who needs a Miller Lite draft in their hand in a dark, smoky room. (Not that there's anything wrong with that either though...I happen to fall in that category myself!) You are a cultural, interesting, quirky person who finds entertainment through other mediums, and I think you should be proud of that.
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