Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scary Social Events: A Crapshoot

About a week ago, I looked at the calendar and realized that it had been more than six weeks since I'd attended a "scary social event." Since the original goal was to do this an average of once a week, I was well overdue. Luckily, there were several things coming up on the calendar.

The first was a reception for a non-profit I thought I might be interested in volunteering with. I knew it would be hard for me, since I didn't know anyone, and I'm not a good mingler, but I decided to go for it. It did not work out well. When I walked in, I asked the woman manning the check in table about volunteering. She told me the best thing to do would be to look at their website. My heart sank, as I realized that meant I had basically lost my potential conversation topic before I even got started. Now, if I were a better chit-chatter, I could have talked to the people there, almost all certainly current volunteers, about their experiences. Unfortunately, I am not a good chit-chatter, everyone was sitting with at least one other person at a table, and most of them looked about 20. They didn't have any poster board information to stand in front of and pretend to read. So after about 4 minutes, I left. So, I think we can call that one a dud. It was scary social event #33 for the year, though, even if only for 4 minutes.

On the other hand, yesterday I had a FAR better experience. I suspected I would. The local neighborhood association was volunteering at the food bank. I figured even if the social part went poorly, there'd be something to do. It got off to a rocky start, as I couldn't find the group for about 10 minutes. Once I did, it turned out they all knew each other, but not surprisingly, people who serve on the board of the neighborhood association are very welcoming. I chatted like I knew how, met some very nice people, all of whom live within a quarter mile of me, and helped the community in the process. Scary social event #34: a rousing success. The very very best part? For the entire time I was there, I didn't have one single OCD related thought. Heaven!


  1. I liked this post, especially your comment "I chatted like I knew how." I know exactly what that's like! Congratulations on the success, and you did a good deed at the same time.

  2. Well, I'm glad scary social event #34 was such a success! Truthfully, it sounds like scary social event #33 would have been a dud OCD or not. That didn't seem like a very friendly or welcoming bunch. I think you can chalk up that dud to them as much if not more than you. The fact that you had such a great time at scary social event #34 shows that. : )

  3. I am so impressed with your initiative.....good for you! I agree that social event #33 would most likely have been a dud for anyone, OCD or not.

    And if you chatted like you knew how, then you DO know how!

    Thanks for the uplifting post!

  4. Congrats on the success Ann! :) It would have been easy after 33 being a dud to just give up. But you stuck to it, and 34 was a success. Yay!

  5. Congradulations!! I'm glad you had a great time at the food bank. I need to do some of this mingling too in the next year. You inspire me to get out beyond myself and my shyness/ ocd. Thanks!