Monday, July 22, 2013

What I've Been Up To, What I've Thought Up, and How It All Relates to Our Misunderstood Friend, Social Anxiety

Well, I haven't updated in a while because we're just been up to too much.  Andrew is a pretty active person and sometimes I find it hard to keep up with him.  In the last month, we've been to Masquerade Ball...

 ...and diving...

...and hiking...

I call this one "Seamus Scaring the Shit out of Mommy."
 These little girls were very polite about asking to pet my dogs.
 I asked the littlest one if she'd like to hold Carlisle.
 She did a pretty good job!
Carlisle will never forgive me for betraying his trust.

...not to mention to a half-dozen other outings.

Like the Venice Beach Freak Show.  Actually, that one was my idea.

And the truth is. I just cannot keep up with him.  Being out and about with the twins is fine, but lately leaving the house at all seems like a chore, and going to dinner parties and visiting people all the time is really pushing the limits of what I'm comfortable with.  (Excuse the poor grammar.)  The only social interaction I feel like I really need is the 50+ hours a week I spend at work, combined with outdoor activities we three do.  I don't need more than that.  Actually I've been developing a touch of social anxiety.

What does social anxiety feel like?  It starts in your throat and your heart.  Your heart is pounding and you can't catch your breath.  Your muscles tense, but feel liquified at the same time, and you no longer trust them to work properly.  Your bowels gets a hollow, hungry feeling, a dropping sensation like a fall, but one that doesn't end.  Your mouth is too wet and too dry at the same time, and that lump that rose into your throat is expanding and cutting off your air, and you feel suddenly like just beyond your vision is something with impossibly long fingers that wants to get you.  You want to scream but that lump is still there, silencing you, and you ignore your jelly legs and your taut jaw and you smile and get another drink.  That's social anxiety.

I guess there are a lot of things I can blame for causing this.  There's Jenny, for one thing.  I thought that had been resolved, but then Jenny started calling up Andrew again and asking to go out.  Mind you, just the two of them!  Of course, Jack was welcome, also.  But not me.  I had an anti-invitation.  Andrew didn't see anything wrong with hanging out exclusively with his ex-girlfriend who still likes him and went out with her a couple times before I finally was like, fuck this shit.  He's in a relationship with me and needs to put my feelings first, not hers. If Jenny would rather never see Andrew again than tolerate my presence (or even just extend a friendly invitation; I might not even want to go!) then I think she's a pretty shit friend.  I feel like she used her "hurt feelings" and frailty in a very manipulative way, a way that made both me and Andy feel bad.  I felt awful for being excluded and Andrew felt awful for excluding me but we went against that for her sake, which is nutso, as she isn't a member of our relationship (thank God).

Then you combine that ridiculous drama with the fact that I'm in a new places, meeting new people, with no real friends of my own yet, except maybe Ted, who I've hung out with a couple times and who is damned awesome.  I'm very in friend with Ted right now.  He, too, likes comic books and superhero movies, and he invited us to a pool party at his place and we went and had a swimming time (pun intended).

And then on top of all that, we have Andrew's mother visiting this week!

Pictured here plotting Snow White's death.

Andrew's mother and I haven't interacted much since she kicked me out of her house a couple years ago, unless you count her being rude to me the day after the twins' dad's funeral.  (Classy!)  I'm not looking forward to seeing her again because she always gets snippy and impolite to me, but always when the twins are in another room.  It seems very intentional.  Ideally, she and Jenny could hook up and spend the five days she'll be here complaining about me, thereby leaving me and Andrew alone to get in some more hiking.

So having all these conflicts made me come up with a couple great ideas, as follows:

A Bar "Where Justice is Served"

Concept: A bar where all the bartenders and waitstaff wear black shirts that read "moderator" on them.  If two people have a conflict/argument/friendly disagreement, then they get a set amount of time to present their case (timed with a tiny sand hourglass, I like to imagine).  The barkeep (an unbiased third party) then chooses the winner based on the cases, and presents the loser with the cheque.  At the bar, you get 2 minutes, and at tables, 5.  Reservations required for peak hours.  You can "appeal" decisions to other bartenders as you like.  This combines people's love of complaining, arguing, sharing shit with bartenders, alcohol, friendly competition, and gimmicks.  It also encourages people to bring their friends to Arbitration, and to come during non-peak hours, when the barkeeps might give you additional time to present your case if they're not busy.

Inspired By:  Noticing how everyone I explained the Jenny conflict to sided with me and wishing I had a platform to argue with him on.  Also, wanting to drink over the argument and have an unbiased third party back me up.

"Moving On"
A Movie about a Women Whose Husband Is a Ghost But Is Less Stupid Than It Sounds

Concept: What if a woman's husband died and returned as a ghost to haunt her because he can't move on until he's sure she's going to be okay without him?  Only she can see him.  Unfortunately, she can't move on because she can still interact with him.  Everyone around her insists she should move on and find a new partner, including her dead partner, but she simply can't get over him while he's there, but he can't move on until she has. 

Inspired By: I still love Jack, a lot.  We three have a solid understanding of our relationships and boundaries, and that understanding is resting on a solid rock of friendship, but the thing is, it still hurts after all these years.  Unlike so many other people, I've been given a second chance (Andrew), but I'm scared to give it my all because I can't go through a second heartbreak after the first one.  We're getting very serious, him and I, and I have a vague idea that I might end up in a completely normal, happy, fulfilling life, which I'm both eager for and terrified of.  The whole situation is really beyond what they teach you in school about Healthy Relationships.  (What they teach you is, specifically, nothing.  Fortunately, if you get too confused, you can always go to Arbitration.)