Coffee and mating rituals of the young and obnoxious

Yesterday evening I worked on my book at a coffee shop. I know it’s cliché, but it’s nice to get out of the house for a while and visit places where actual living people dwell during the daylight hours. There was the added bonus of getting a high dose of caffeine. Score!

As I sat alone in the corner of the coffee shop, minding my own business, I couldn’t help but overhear an obnoxiously loud college-aged boy going on and on about his class schedules and all the essays he needed to write. I glanced upwards and he was standing about ten feet away from, and from the looks of it, trying to impress a similarly aged, and I have to say, very attractive young woman.

It’s not the obvious primping that bothered me so much. No, I lie. I wanted to punch the douchebag square in the face. I already have a predisposed hatred to overly cocky ass holes like him, and a similar hatred to women stupid enough to fall for it. But it did get me thinking, have I ever engaged in such displays? If so, did some other guy want to punch me in the face? Did the girl fall for it?

I don’t have a good answer for you. I want to say that I doubt very much that I’ve ever behaved thusly, mainly because I rarely interact with other people. For example, I went to a bar ages ago with a coworker. A woman, one that I never met before, tried to talk to me. I gave very short, concise answers, so much so that I annoyed her and she turned to my friend and called me an asshole. Whoops! I don’t mean to give off that impression!

But then again, sometimes I’ve been caught primping for someone I find attractive and I don’t even realize that I’m doing it. It’s a bit embarrassing when your jerk friend calls you out on it. It’s good for a laugh later but it’s a bit of a bummer at the time.

Our mating rituals – and yes, the little dance you were doing boy was very much a mating ritual – are complex and sometimes to the observer, just plain hilarious. Unless you’re doing it where I can hear you and I’m trying to work on my book. In that case, I’ll label you a douchebag and call you out for it on my blog. And you attractive young woman? You’re an idiot if you fell for it. On the other hand, if I had been the man trying to win your attention and you found me charming, then obviously you would have been an intelligent and discerning human being, worthy of being lavished praise for the world to hear.

In other words, I’m getting too old for this shit and I’m obviously jealous. I should probably let it go, but at least the coffee was good.

This one time at a coffee shop…

With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I decided to try to meet some writers in the area. While I miss my group in Collin County, The North Texas Rough Writers, I have to face the uncomfortable fact that I’m in West Texas for the time being, and maybe it would be a good idea to cultivate new friends in the area. UGH!!!

If you don’t know me by now, you should know that I don’t enjoy meeting people. You have no idea how much I wish I did, but I retreat into myself no matter how much I want to meet and participate. It’s a wonder I’m able to function at all! So, knowing how difficult it is for me, I put on my big-boy pants and I drove to Lubbock to attend a Meet and Greet at a coffee shop not far from the Texas Tech campus. Boy howdy, was it busy!

Not surprisingly, my personality did a full retreat, leaving me a hollow shell of who I really am, but I didn’t run away. I wanted to, but I stuck it out. I ordered my usual hazelnut latte, and found a table where I could sit and do a little bit of writing. When the time came for the meeting, I found myself a cozy table and sat, and listened, praying that I wouldn’t have to introduce myself, but of course I did.

I did the best that I could, seeing as how I become a wreck when I have to talk to a group. I kept it short and to the point, and luckily the moderator took pity on me and didn’t prolong my suffering any more than strictly necessary. After the meeting, I didn’t avail myself to meet any other writers. My stress level was fairly high. I wrote for another thirty minutes and left, disappointed with my inability to make new friends, but pleased that I dared to try all the same.

Now I’m wondering whether or not to try again. There will be a few write-ins during the month, and I want to attend a few of them. For some reason, although writing is a solitary task, there’s something comforting in being in a room full of other people who are also writing. Maybe that’s one reason coffee shops are so popular with writers. Plus, it gets some of us out of the house!

The kick-off party will be this coming Friday and I’m debating whether or not to attend. I have to work until six that evening, and the drive alone will take me two hours. That being said, I’m actually considering it. I would need a place to crash afterwards. I don’t fancy having to drive home after such a long day, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done so. I guess I’ll play it by ear.

I just hope that I’m able to relax and make friends with this group. Maybe they’re not as cool as my friends in North Texas, but I think I should at least give these Lubbock writers a chance. I think they’re good people. I hope they give me a chance, as well.

Oh, I should probably also think about what I’m going to write. That could be useful when I sit down to write, don’t you think?