For those who may not know about it, there is a brilliant website called Meetup.com. This is a website dedicated to bringing people with similar interests together. There are groups and events for just about everything from sports to arts to social events. It’s a fantastic way to meet people and do the things you love with others who love it too. Also a great way to try new things out.
Because I am currently limited in what I can do (injured foot isn’t healing quickly), I need to be doing my out-of-routine things that don’t involve any fancy footwork.
So last week when I received an invitation in my inbox to some after work drinks with one of the meetup groups, I decided to go. Let me point something out: I didn’t necessarily want to go or feel like it, but I knew it would be good for me to shake some new hands and it happened that the meetup was going on about 2 blocks from my office, right after work. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that.
Until I walked in the door of the establishment, I hadn’t actually committed to going. Even walking there, I wandered into a store and browsed some funky jewelery while taking in the incense-ridden air. I stopped to listen to a bit of music in the street and even as the hostess led me through the labyrinth of the Irish Village pubs, I had still not completely decided I was going to do this. I’m a social gal, but it’s still a bit nerve wracking to show up (late, I might add) for a social event full of people you don’t know.
When I arrived at the area set aside for this group, everyone was sitting at one very long table. There were about 20 people there. Because the whole idea is to meet new folks, I just randomly introduced myself to a few people as I walked in and successfully managed to not just walk directly out. Did I mention it’s all a bit nerve wracking? Someone found me a chair and I sat and began chatting with a few gentlemen. As happy as I was to be doing this, I wanted to be able to leave at any point. I was going to order a virgin Caesar but by the time the waitress was ready to take my order, I had decided to forgo ordering anything. Makes for an easy getaway.
I chatted with a small handful of strangers. Conversations were fairly ho-hum. The people were kind enough–nothing exciting, nothing terrible. I don’t think I contributed anything exciting nor terrible, either. No one gave me the creeps nor was I really creepy (I hope).
I would do it again, simply because once in a blue moon, I believe it’s better to go out and yack with some strangers and expand our own little worlds, than to get swallowed up by the comfort of home 7 days a week. But I’ll be honest: I’m really looking forward to getting out there and trying some more fancy footwork. Salsa dancing, maybe?