Music:AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top (If Ya Wanna Rock & Roll)
Internet Strangers in the Night . . .
I hung out with anthrogeek at a Denny's tonight. We had fun chatting about everything . . . she's the first pal from the LA-area.
She wanted to hang out this evening, but I was just planning on the budget-friendly stay-at-home regular evening. I decided to go because I knew I wanted to hang out at some point, and I had no current plans to attend.
What worked well about the meet-up was the conversation. I wasn't planning on staying a long time, and I wasn't planning on talking much. However, she picked abstract thought, and that always works with me. I know how to hold conversations, and so does anthrogeek.
Meeting folks off the internet isn't always a good idea, that hasn't changed. It's like meeting any person you barely know . . . who knows what will happen?
Ideas to note on similar situations:
1) Have no expectations. As I was driving there, I wasn't thinking "Oh, this is what I'm going to chat about because I think the chat should go this way and cover that . . . "
Hanging out isn't an office meeting. You chill. You free flow with the conversation. I wasn't feeling talkative, but I listen well. I knew I could handle an evening of chit-chat. I didn't expect anything. Anything could have happened, good, indifferent, or bad. My mind thought of things that could happen, but whatever it was, I could accept it. I was calm.
2) Don't deceive. I told anthrogeek that I wasn't in a talking mood, but I let her know this. Also, I haven't been spending all my time on LJ, the only way she knew me, pretending to be something I wasn't. Of course, I don't expect this from anyone, but this is how I live. I don't like bullshitting people.
3) Be respectful. I can talk about a wide range of subjects, and if folks are comfy with talking politics/religion/taboo, I'm as comfy with the talk as they are. I learned this from work, but that's actually harder than it reads to accomplish. If someone wants to tell me something they feel strongly about in emotion and mind, I will listen. I can disagree, but when people talk with me, if they disagree with me, I allow for this. I give people respect because I like to be respected. I treat others like I want to be treated.
Most of the rest of the success of hanging out was due to our individual ability to be flexible, to listen, and to be able to talk about ideas and abstracts. Also, on my end, I am very comfy with talking/dealing with total strangers . . . most of my working life is a history of direct contact with the consumers. anthrogeek isn't a consumer, but it relates.
I'm basically very happy to have met someone that is normal and pretty cool.
Oh, also a note for folks in relationships:
Be it spouse, lover, significant other, whatever status of 'close' person, you might want to let them know before you go hang out with new people. I let Heidi know I was going to hang out with some new person from this area before I actually did it. I don't keep things from Heidi. I knew she'd want to know, and it helps Heidi understand that Heidi is #1 in my life. Heidi's also a normal person, and she knows (and I in mutual return) that we need friends. Win . . . Win.