When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Best I Could Get Out Of My Saturday

... was this pic. There are more of me, but no one has posted those yet.

A married couple came to New York City this weekend for their vacation, from Wales. I knew of them through this place. Knowing they had awesome Doctor Wholike accents, I wanted to go meet them and sit down with them and listen to them speak. The plan was hatched by a comicbook podcaster who felt closer to them than I did, whose show I didn't listen to regularly. So essentially I was crashing a party that was being thrown for people I knew only peripherally.

But the invitation was open, and if time with My Hero has taught me anything, it is that I can be social if I try, and that it has its rewards in the end.

So out to the meeting place I went. And I kid you not--I went up into the shop, caught sight of one of the guests of honor, and spun around and fled to the street, heart triphammering in my chest. A thousand million things went off in my head. What if they, what if I, what if it...! Scared out of my mind.

I talked myself out of it. I reasoned that I'm just an outsider. We've only read each others' posts briefly. We don't know each other at all. They will SO not miss me if I don't show up. I walked around the block looking for my bank, in hopes to salvage the day by doing some banking--but my branch in that area was closed on Saturday. And back I came to my starting point. Was I really going home, then? Was I really going to give into my fears?

And before I gave myself a chance to answer, I plunged upstairs and walked into the shop,and headed toward 1/2 of the couple and shook his hand and introduced myself.

From there it was all gravy. I have new international friends. And I have new New York City friends. And I have new comicbook industry friends.

So the title of this post is a bit of a misleader. The best I got out of this Saturday was some more of my humanity back.

Yay me!


Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Ah yes, making new friends is fab. I'm glad you took the plunge to do so.

Lara Croft said...

You did exactly what you had to do, just do it, wipe any thoughts out of your head and NIKE it.

I use to be shy but at age 6 i remember hiding behind my dads legs as my uncle fred called me for a hug. I even remember the split second thought process, if i didnt do it Id forever have to live with it or just do it, just run upto him and do it.
So I did.

Good work Alan !!
You need to like you more too, then someone always loves you.

Alan said...

Lara, that's some seriously tight thinking for a six year old. :D

BTW, welcome to the process of Me learning how to like Me. That's what all my positive blogging is about--defeating the inner and rocking the outer.

GrizzBabe said...

Good job, Alan! Way to face those fears. I'm proud of ya'!

Alan said...


You know, Grizz, that's almost word for word what we say to our clients, the developmentally disabled, whenever they've accomplished even the most minor of tasks. I find that it means the same to me as it means to them.


Can I tell you that I don't know how I got like this? I thought I was a fairly social kind of guy all through junior high and high school. When I got absorbed into religion, I was going to be a preacher, for cryin' out loud! During the bachelor's degree program, I've even preached in, like, two dozen different churches and school chapels!

I guess it's the power of social acceptance. I'd go to preach where people expected me. Being one of the only two black people at the school, there had been some hype built before our arrival, so I felt safe, I guess. Even wanted. Maybe even a little rockstarish. Too bad that was all they wanted from me. "Preach us happy, black boy, but don't date our daughters. Come visit, but don't stay."

Maybe what happened was that after I left Missouri, even after the transition from fanatic to mainstream church-attender during the Master's program, I had started to shrink away from the world. Post-Traumatic Stress was forcing me into a shell.

You guys expressed how horrible it sounded, but ... I guess I really didn't recognize that. Coaster Punchman even said so, upon review of it.

Somehow it scorched me and made me afraid to trust people. And I don't even know if that was the first time I was brought to that level. I know that throughout elementary school I lived in terror from my neighborhood bullies. That was how I bonded with Childhood Bud. No one on our block could stand us. Luckily, we both liked science fiction and fantasy. So getting into religion was my escape. My safe haven. And then when that turned on me -- I guess nothing felt safe.

So after the Master's, I fled to Trenton and started working, and there even when a beautiful, clever, brave, intelligent girl wanted to date me, and I fell in love with her -- I still didn't feel safe.

Gosh I still love the thought of her. I wish I had met her now instead of then.

Gosh, I'm all over the place right now, huh?

Thanks for helping me explore these issues. I swear, I am truly finding answers. Sometimes I sit at my therapists and pay her for nothing, because I've already worked stuff out before I've gotten there, and it's because of this blog.

Even the Internet Drama of weeks ago has not done what it could have done to me, because of the issues about myself that I'm tackling.

I can honestly say that I'm a better person now than I was even one year ago, and it's because of caring people like you guys. And maybe even God working behind the scenes.

What and Whoever, I like it.

Alan said...


The Vacationers and the podcasters and a bunch others are getting together again tonight to record an episode of their show, and again, I got an invite but was reluctant to accept, but I did.

So I took off work from My Night Job and I'm getting back together with them tonight and going to be a part of one of their broadcasts. I'll post the episode when it goes online.

So take THAT, social fears! You were created to protect me from sucky hypocrite people, but I don't think I need you as much anymore.

In other words, I'm growing up.

I'm learning to handle People Who Suck without harming myself in the process.

So that's alright then!

GrizzBabe said...

Another social event?!? You totally rock!

Wait. Am I talking like you're developmentally disabled again? I don't mean to. It's just I realize how difficult it is to tackle fears and I think people who take seemingly small steps in that direction deserve encouragement for their efforts.

I hope you have an awesome time. And meet some hot chicks!

Alan said...

Oh Grizz, I'm so lucky to have you in my corner.

I am developmentally disabled. Social development. I'm not going to down myself, but at 43, most people have developed a much more advanced social life than I've done. There's just no denying that.

But yes, I did go--I just came back--and I did have a very good time. There were new people to meet, and three of them were indeed cute chicks. Cute, I say, but not hot. Hot chicks reel me in by the snout, but cute ones actually offer great conversation. Unfortunately, they were half my age.

But still, these are my comicbook loving peeps. We got stuff in common! There's even a fairly large mix of homosexual guys in this clique. They are out, about, and loving it. I guess those red undies of Superman attracted quite a few to the fold back in the formative years. :-)

So my social world is getting so very diversified! And having examined the nature of my shell, I find it's easier to get out of when I want to!

Yay me!

I was promised pics this time out by one of the new guys--who loved the audio dramas that I produce for My Hero, by the way! So I actually met a fan of mine! lol, if he only knew!

Onward and upward!

Anonymous said...

Okay dont laff, well ya can actually, humour is good even if i do have to take the piss out of me to get a laff.

I once was soooooooooo nervous meeting someone i drove all the way saying to myself, i am a rock star they will love me, I am a rock star they will love me. Did it work, farked if I know but i did meet them and they did love me LOL

Even socially confident people feel challenged, you just have to find a bridge to get over it, even the craziest bridges like i am a rock star they will love me lol