Friday, August 06, 2004

Another weekend of drunkenness begins. Last night was the Spinach7 launch at Readings. I went because a certain 'really shy', crutch-wielding person, who may be familiar to regular readers of this blog, was on the cover. If I'd spotted the poster with a mouthful of food or drink, I would have sprayed it out - that's right, it was Texta!

Marni, one of the editors, who also works at my work and had witnessed the hobbling aftermath of my last encounter with Texta, asked if I was planning to have a "confrontation" with Texta, but I couldn't think of anything more disastrous. I just wanted her to see me at the launch and maybe ponder that since she was going to keep running into me, it might pay to be civil to me. Also, I'm so stubborn and perverse that her rudeness just made me more determined to get to know her. But I cannot deny that another part of my motive in going was tasting the unspecified but delicious 'balls' Readings provides for their launches. That's how I got Gemma to go with me!!

Anyway, we rocked up and were quite put out that there were no balls - Spinach had self-catered with chips and dips. But on the plus side there was beer, and one of their sponsors was Nudie Juice, so that was nice. Despite my bravado, I was shitscared of talking to Texta, who now had two crutches instead of one, and was sitting in state on a chair. I was certain that if I came up to her and said hello, she would cut me down with some withering comment and I would be forced to slink away in full view of all the other people there. Shane was also there, but I couldn't face talking to him because he was talking to Texta.

Gemma and I were about to leave, because we were pretty sure Shane hadn't noticed we were there, but I had to finish my beer, during which time he came over and talked to us (mostly about the Kelis concert). Marni asked if we were going to the after party at the Retreat on Sydney Rd.
Gemma said she was going home.
"I don't know... I won't know anybody," I said.
"I know, I overheard your conversation," said Marni, smiling.
I was supposed to be sitting at home that night writing Incredible Melk lyrics for my rehearsal today, but I said I might go to the after party on the condition Marni introduced me to people.

Jesus I hate introducing myself to new people. I have no gift for coming gracefully into conversations and keeping them rolling. I have a tendency to babble when I'm nervous, and talk about crazy things, and ask people unintentionally confronting left-field questions like "So, what's your story?" And I have such a low humiliation threshold that I'm paranoid that I'm making an idiot out of myself. This was painfully obvious at the architects' party.

But recently I've decided that I need to cure myself of this social retardation, if for no other reason than I don't want to end up a lonely old cat lady. So I've deliberately been putting myself in situations that make me intensely uncomfortable, like hanging out with anarchists at the IRENE warehouse or going to launch after parties with a bunch of activist types I know only by scary reputation. This weekend I'm planning to go to two parties for workmates I don't know very well, where there will undoubtedly be nobody I know there and I will be forced to meet new people.

I decided to get some dinner on Sydney Rd and psyche myself up before I went to the Retreat, but on the way there, Saige called me, so I ended up getting dinner in Chinatown with her, and then we had a beer at St Jerome's. She would have had me stay for a second beer, but I narrowly evaded her siren call and went to the Retreat instead. The alcohol proved fortifying and I managed to have conversations with several people, including Esther Singer who used to terrify me as an undergraduate. She wasn't so bad. We talked about handwriting. (As an aside, I would be interested to find out if anyone who's reading this learned to write in primary school using slates.) I even introduced myself to some random guy who'd been on my tram minutes earlier.

I was pretty pissed, though. I realised this at the end of the night when I was sitting at the tram stop waiting for the tram and it was taking a really long time. When I consulted my phone again, I realised that this was because the trams had stopped running an hour earlier and I was just sitting there like a dero. Oh, and I was singing, which would have made me look even more like a dero. And this dog that had been sitting outside the pub came and kept me company, making me look even more like a dero!! When I realised this, I felt like a complete moron and ran away down the road.

Yay! Now for more drunkenness to numb the humiliating social obstacle course I have set myself this weekend.

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