I was walking down 9th towards work the other day and I found myself thinking "it would be nice to go on a date" and then thinking "WHOA, who are you and what have you done with brain?". Here's the deal, online dating and I are not friends. We're just not. First, it makes me think I have all sorts of rules I might not actually have if I met somebody in real life. Second, going somewhere and meeting somebody I've never talked to one on one is completely out of my comfort zone which means that I either turn into a crazy person that doesn't stop talking or I fall into character and say and do all the things that I know will secure me a second date that don't necessarily have anything to do with me or how much I like the guy. (I know you know what I mean, ladies) Also, it just takes SO MUCH WORK. Read messages, write messages, try to be clever, but a realistic amount of clever, try to judge if the other person is composing their posts or if when you meet them you'll wonder who their Cyrano is and if you can meet them instead.
So, look, ten million dating articles that tell me I'm single because I'm just not willing to put in the work, YOU'RE RIGHT. I'm not willing to put in the work.
Instead, I'm working on going out of my comfort zone in meeting people in different ways, which is how I found myself drinking shitty (in the best of ways!) beer on the Staten Island Ferry last weekend and planning on storming a sandcastle today. Last weekend, I was invited to join a group of friends who I met through Sara, who now lives in LA, to turn the Staten Island Ferry into the poor man's booze cruise and go to brunch. I responded to the email with a giant "eff yeah" before I could even think about it. Then I remembered that Sara lives on the other side of the country, that I'd have to stand on my own with this group without having the crutch of being somebody's friend. I got anxious. I thought about making excuses. I mean, I WAS really tired and I already had the rest of the weekend packed with plans in Montclair... Thankfully, I didn't let my doubts get to me.
Because seriously, why would I have been included in the email if these people didn't want me there? Like, who's sitting there, writing an invite and like "I guess I'll invite that Alana girl even though she's kind of lame"? Nobody does that, Alana Margaret, put on your god damn big girl pants and go drink on a boat. LIFE IS SO HARD.
I had a fantastic time. At the end I exchanged phone numbers. So I guess that means I can stop thinking of these people as Sara's friends and start nudging them towards the "Alana's friends" category in my brain.
Last night, an internet friend asked if I wanted to go to the beach tomorrow. I've never met her IN REAL LIFE but I still immediately replied "yes" because I really like the beach. (Apparently the secret to getting me to agree to meet strangers is basically including spending time on/near water. Nobody is surprised by this.) Also I've been really wanting to meet her and she is IRL friends with Dominique and I like Dominique, so how bad can it be? I haven no idea how many people I'm meeting today. All I know is a bunch of her friends are going and friends of friends and involves celebrating Bastille Day by painting ourselves and storming a sandcastle. Which sounds ridiculous. And awesome. So, not only am I going to go meet a big group of strangers, I'm going to go do it in my swimsuit.
Obvs, I'm terrified and I'm pretty sure I should get some kind of adulthood trophy for this.