One of the things I’ve tried to do with this move is give myself a social life. I looked on library websites, and community centre websites and such. And on Meetup. Meetup is a network of different interest groups around the world. You can search by location, or by interest. I searched for Basingstoke and although there are a few, only one is actually in Basingstoke and not in the outlying areas and therefore inaccessible to non-drivers. The originally named Basingstoke Meetup Group meets for all sorts of activities. Food, walks, Morris dancing… Seriously. I’m September there’s a Morris dancing event. I probably won’t be going. Which is the fun. Everyone is invited to every event, and you can create events, and you RSVP to the ones you want to go to.
This evening there was a pub quiz. I RSVP’d yes, because I like quizzes. And Michael was available to drive/come with me, so the fact that it’s slightly out of town wasn’t a problem.
But the panic set in. I was convinced we were going to be late, at which point I couldn’t have gone in. And it wasn’t just me going to a pub quiz with Michael. It was me going to meet a big bunch of strangers. I was terrified. We got there and there was no parking, so Michael dropped me off and went to find somewhere. I paced outside at first, waiting for him, because I couldn’t go in alone. But the longer he was… And we’re talking no more than a minute or two here… The more frustrated and wound up I got. I knew that if I didn’t just go in, then I wouldn’t go in at all. So I went in.
Firstly: hot bartender. Secondly: lovely, charming little pub. Still a pub, still a local, not a clubby/pub/bar. Just right. Thirdly: and I always do this, I’m a moron for being so scared. They were all lovely friendly people who welcomed me in, and Michael, and I had a great time.
For those interested in such things as scores, my team came eighth of fourteen, but we were top of the three Meetup teams, so technically we won.
And now I should have no problem with future Meetups. They may not have the same exact people, but chances are that there’ll be at least one familiar face, which is enough to help me. I’m two weeks I’m going for Chinese with them, and then fish and chips a couple of days later. And of course, more pub quizzes.
So.. A night at the pub. Normal, everyday activity for so many millions of people. Pretty huge for me.