Let's divide this post into three parts, two for description, one for analysis:
- I began my evening by leaving work to head directly over to london_calling's parental home in Stratford for her parents' post-Christmas party. Most of the people there were older adults, but there were plenty of peers present. Excellent food, wonderful hosting from london_calling's parents, quite nice to see Dr. Gordon again (I'd interviewed him once for The Cadre), and generally quite fun. Wonderful food, too.
- My friend Stephen DeGrace has been back from Newfoundland for more than a week, but I've not had the chance to see him in person until last night. He lives just a couple of streets down from london_calling, so it was easy enough to get down there and go out to Indigo. I was able to give him his Christmas gift--some CDs with a sizable fraction of my mp3 collection--which pleased him to no end. After that, talking about cell phones, Terry Pratchett, minutiae. It was good to see him.
- I think that it's quite possible to conclude that I've managed to do a decent job at both social events, as different as they were. No, that it's quite probable that I've done that. The thing is, I suppose, that I'm radically skeptical, that I'm afraid that somehow, by neglecting some relatively obscure tenet of social life, I'll do something that will make me an outcast among human beings. A terror mundi, I suppose. I even make my fear of catastrophic public failure into joke, like I did last night at london_calling's. I want to be in so badly, yet I constantly threaten undercut myself with my fears of absolute incompetence. I've really begun to notice this over the past year, mainly because I've only really begun to participate in informal social activities this year. Argh. At least I recognize it.