Valentine’s Day Redux

Here’s what I had to say about Valentine’s Day last year: http://www.talktostrangersblog.com/?p=651. This year Michelle and I are going out to Rustic Canyon for dinner and I actually paid attention to all those flower commercials so I could buy the best ones. So, yeah, a year makes a difference.

I know what it’s like to have a shitty Valentine’s Day because not only do you not have someone in your life but there are no prospects for the future. It’s the hopelessness that really hurts. If I honestly thought, “Bad luck, Valentine’s Day fell this year between past and future girlfriends,” it wouldn’t be that big a deal. I’d just hang out with friends or go to a strip club or something. But wondering how could a potential girlfriend even exist–where would she even come from?–that’s the stuff of real depression.

Well, here’s my pep talk. First of all, just because you can’t see happiness around the bend doesn’t mean it’s not there. And second, you can take control of your life. You can get out there and meet people. I did it. I get a lot of emails from people who say they want to meet people but they’re just too shy. Well, unless you have a note from your doctor saying you have a social anxiety disorder, then I call bullshit. Being scared is no excuse. Overcoming fears is one of the things we do as grown-ups.

Buy a book on how to mingle. Read the news of the weird right before you go out so you have a few things to talk about. Or just listen and react to what people are saying. But to quote the Pennsylvania State Lottery Commission, “You can’t win if you don’t play.”

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4 Responses to Valentine’s Day Redux

  1. Kate says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words! Have a great Valentine’s day with the ‘good’ flowers.

  2. Sue D. says:

    I don’t have a valentine, and I do not base my worth on whether on not I have a man in my life. I choose not to.

    I am using your method to talk to strangers, but I always come across as desperate or in need of something, like I’m asking for the time. It’s just not natural.

  3. S. Dillinger says:

    My friend has been following your blog after I showed it to him. He’s slowly trying to overcome his fear of strangers, shyness and etc. But he actually has a note from his doctor stating he’s got GAD & SAD (general and social anxiety disorder).

    What advice would you have (if any) for a guy who not only has trouble talking to others but is chemically setup to have this task seem much larger then it is?

    Side note: Sunday night I attended a Poetry Slam event alone. Moments before it began I almost decided to just drive home after waiting all day to attend it. But instead choose to push on and go it alone. I stood in line in silence and brought a newspaper to read just in case, because the show wouldn’t start for more then an hour. I ended up having a brief laugh with 2 girls in line and once seated they came and joined me and we ended up talking the whole night. I didn’t ask for numbers or give them my full name for facebook purposes, I just said nice to meet you and left.

    I should also note, double side note I guess that I’m pretty great with strangers but every so often we all feel as if it is a huge task to overcome. Sometimes you’ve just got to throw yourself into the frying pan though.

    • Obviously I’m not qualified to give advice to someone with an actual diagnosed disorder. I can only haphazard a guess that maybe he should start off with small gatherings at familiar places. I really can’t offer anything more helpful than that.

      Kudos to you though for going out there and having fun even without someone there to hold your hand.

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