Friday, July 17, 2009

Expectation exasperation

It felt like the first day of school. Or maybe, like the day of a job interview. But it was neither. Instead, I was meeting my new friend, Jessica, for the first time in person.

Last week, I discovered her blog half through MckMama and half through the playbill at her touring Broadway show, "A Chorus Line" that Jack and I attended. Since then, it's been a flurry of comments between our two blogs, and I felt an instant connection with her as I read her writing (good writers do that to you).

And so when she said she wanted to have lunch with me today before she left Dallas, I was enthusiastic about it. I looked forward to it. A lot.

But still, when I woke up this morning, I only had one thought.

What am I going to wear?

Actually, I had many thoughts. It was more like:

What am I going to wear? What if we don't have anything to talk about? What if it's awkward the whole time? What if she's highly offended by dirty cars and refuses to get in mine as soon as she catches a glimpse of it? What if I get lost in downtown Dallas while she's in the car, silently judging me and wishing she hadn't agreed to meet me? What if she adores geckos? What if I use the word "pirouette" wrong during the meal and she demands that I take her back to her hotel immediately and never speak to her again? What if she was lying about liking Mexican food, finds my taste in restaurants appalling, and [gasp] blogs about how gauche I am!

For the record, I'm not really intimidated by meeting new people (sounds like it, huh?). I'm not even all that worried about what people think of me. I can go to a party and chat it up with new people all night, coming away with either a new friend or someone I'll never talk to again. Either way, doesn't bother me.

But when they have expectations of me...

The first time I talked on the phone with Ellyn, she mentioned that it was nice to actually hear my voice for the first time. Immediately, I froze.

Crap. She did hear my voice. I hate my voice. She must hate my voice.

This blog has been wonderful for so many reasons, but one problem it creates is that I get nervous about meeting people who read my writing before they know me personally (or the people who haven't seen me since high school or before who "love my blog"). Sure, in writing, I can be witty, intelligent, and charming. I get to edit myself and think everything through before blurting it out.

Meeting me in person? Well, it's a little disappointing. I may not measure up so well to your expectations at that point.

This is why I could relate to Mom-101's post about how bloggers are not popular people. It made me laugh until my sides hurt. Google reader on Friday night? Check. Lack of social skills? Check.

But despite all this, some people can still make it easy for you. Jessica was delightful to talk to (so delightful, in fact, that I thought we had only been there an hour and realized it had actually been two!), and the conversation was not awkward or forced at all. As soon as I met her, I forgot every worry I had and just got caught up in getting to know her. I felt like I had known her for much longer than a week.

I guess sometimes it's worth the anxiety.


El said...

You're adorable. And your voice is nice!

Jessica Latshaw said...

And you are not gauche at all--not even close!!! I loved our lunch together; it was a blast and you are the sweetest and so lovely! The lunch flew by for me, as well;-)

And p.s. I really like what you decided to wear AND your car is very very clean.

aggieonboard said...

I feel the same way when I find out coworkers have found my link on facebook, for a slightly different reason: It's pretty awkward to have someone in the workplace ask how your 4th degree tear is healing.

Anyway, I am sure you're perfectly lovely in person, but I completely understand where you're coming from. I loved that Mom 101 post, too, and even on a weekend getaway with my husband I curled up with GoogleReader last night. I am so, so cool.

I'm not sure how I found your blog, but after I'd been reading for a couple of weeks I told my husband that he might know Jack--sure enough they were in the band at the same time (he's 04).

Shane said...

I heard that Mandy never told Jack she was going on a date with another girl.