Monday, July 16, 2007

Real People Behind the Screen

One of my personal characteristics that most people doubt or challenge after getting to know me is my intense personal shyness. Over the years I have learned to control the terror I feel when I walk into a room of strangers – and even more so a room full of people I know. With age has come a certain comfort in my own skin. I’m not going to get better looking without tons of plastic surgery. I’m not going to be taller without stilts.

Because of my shyness, I am comfortable being on line and discovered that I will chat with people I would not otherwise talk to. I will email a stranger or comment on a blog. I’m safe and far away. I write this blog and know some friends and family will read it, but mostly it is strangers and that anonymity is good.

Last night, however, I took a personal step and attended a blogger gathering in New York hosted by the lovely, sweet, and hysterically funny Curly McDimple. More bloggers gathered than I expected to meet, but they were all as charming and entertaining as they are in their posts online. I laughed, and groaned along with those in attendance and even swooned over some. I won’t say who I swooned over; just, that since my sex life is mostly solo – I would still be calling out the name I call out the most!

Even if overcoming the shyness was not enough, attending the weenie roast led me to violate two of my major rules: 1) I don’t eat weenies (mentioned in an earlier post) and 2) I don’t eat “bar food.”

1- I’m not much of a meat eater anyway. No moral grounds, I just don’t like it. Nevertheless, the idea of what constitutes the meat pulp that fills the casings of most hot dogs turns me off even more. The wieners being served at Cattyshack appeared more to be thin sausages than hot dogs, so I took the plunge and ate one (and since a Texan cooked it, it was pretty good).

2- I go to bars. I know what happens there. There are wise sayings about what you should not do where you eat. Those things are not necessarily common functions at bars, but close enough. No one else had died (at least among those who lived to attend the weenie roast) of the Cattyshack food, so again I took the plunge and I’m alive to write about it (but I probably won’t make it a habit in Austin).

Of the many bloggers I met, it was a real treat to meet Joe of Joe.My.God, the father (daddy) of all bloggers. After hearing an interview with him on Sirius OutQ, I came home and read his blog then started checking out the bloggers he linked to. Almost every blog I read is within six-degrees of Joe. He is the reason I was in contact with the bloggers attending the weenie roast, so he aptly deserves some credit for my trip to New York.

The real treat of the evening was meeting Southern Boy, his bf, and Lunar Gemini. I have emailed and chatted with Southern and Lunar since December and meeting them felt like picking up a conversation with friends I had not seen in a little while.

In an effort to overcome my shyness as much as I could, I had read the blogs of everyone I knew was coming and I was thrilled to discover that the real people behind the screen are as much fun as the people on the screen. Though we were only together a few hours, I was able to come out of my shell enough and discover some people with whom I could be friends.

I may be making some more weekend trips to New York. Now someone just has to throw open their couch.

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