On Tuesday night, we went out for drinks with Pterals and Mighty Jenn, who were passing through town on their way from one place to another. I was at once excited at the prospect of reconnecting with Pterals, because it had been ages since I'd seen him, and meeting his girlfriend, Mighty Jenn, but since my anxiety is still trying to get a word in rather than slinking away like the vermin it is, my brain cried But it's Tuesday, and I work in the morning! and Omigod, what if he never really liked me and his girlfriend has been reading my site and thinks I'm a doorknob and I can't possibly go, because it makes me entirely too sick to think that I will have to converse with a whole group of people I barely know.

The Fiery One called me at work to let me know that we were meeting up with everyone at eight o'clock. Eight o'clock, I said. It's a work night! I could not imagine downing enough beer to numb my social anxiety and finally get around to enjoying myself inside of two hours. It just didn't seem possible. I had calculated that I would need to ingest one beer per hour for three hours just to find my footing with the state I'd been in over the previous couple of days.

Of course, now I look at the me of Tuesday afternoon and wonder what the hell I was thinking. What adult can't go out at eight o'clock on a Tuesday evening? What was I planning to have the Fiery One tell them? I'm sorry, but my wife's bedtime conflicts with drinking with you guys, so I put her down just before I left, and the cat's keeping an eye on her until I get back.

pteralsmighty jenn
My camera settings, set in order to counteract low light and slight
inebriation, made these people look twenty years older. Imagine them with
similar features but all glowy and fit and non-craggy and free of graininess.

I clearly have some social anxiety shit to work through, because these are two seriously nice people. They have both travelled all over the planet, are smart, write well, and tell good stories. They are also both much better looking than those photos make out. I apologize for not revealing the full measure of their hotness.

Mentioning good stories brings to mind my first impression of Mighty Jenn. I had never met her before, and when we first arrived she was all quiet and sitting very still, and I thought I always presumed that Pterals would date a woman with some spunk! Of course, I wasn't taking into account that I was sitting even more quietly and still. I was outdoing her with my best impression of a person suffering from Locked-In Syndrome. It wasn't too long after I had that thought that that I felt bad about ever having thought it, because Mighty Jenn, she is awesome. Once she started getting to know us all a bit, her spunk started to show, and her spunk was wicked. How do I explain it?

Let me put it this way: any woman who can tell a joke about tit-fucking and make it hilarious is considered a lovely guest at any party in my books. Well, except for the kinds of parties held by church Ladies' Aid groups or the cub scouts or other such clean-living type party situations, unless they're uncharacteristically liberal or someone has put vodka in the jello salad.

pterals, mighty jenn, and aidan
Pterals, Mighty Jenn, and the Palinode in varying states of activity

I really didn't mean to go on and on about Mighty Jenn. Pterals is the one I am actually more acquainted with, and I have almost completely ignored him. To make up for it, I will compose a haiku in his honour:

Pterals, he can run
fast in the sun, hair flying,
and write a mean blog

It's the thought that counts.

The Fiery One and I ended up staying until after eleven, but I didn't care, because all my anxiety had evaporated around these fine individuals. Take some fine individuals, add some beer, and this Schmutzie will warm up to you enough to compose poetry about you.

The next day, though? The day that I was all worried about being up late before because it was a work night and I should just start crocheting doilies for my couch I'm becoming so timid? The next day I went in to work and was going about things as usual when I got a call from the receptionist. She had been going through the vacation requests and wanted to let me know that I was actually supposed to be on vacation. At some point I had requested Wednesday and Thursday off. So, at ten in the morning, I packed up my crap and went home.

I could have stayed out all night and avoided freaking out about something as ridiculous as going out at eight o'clock on a week night.


Sometimes I get the urge to ping myself with elastic bands or shoot paperclips at my own neck.

Three places I've been lately: Awkwardly Social, Sexeteria, and Pea Soup.