Continuing my efforts not to let Christmas get the better of me I went out for drinks last night with another on-line social group. I had absolutely no expectations and was prepared to have one or two drinks and then go home. Instead I met . . . a bunch of interesting women. Natch. I was quite relieved as my last attempt at socialising left me not wanting to go back for more.
There were a few men there but the majority of people were women. One of the interesting men there was from Russia; in comparision he says Melbourne is "awesome." Many of the women seemed to be in the same boat as me, or had moved interstate recently. It makes me feel better that other people are also happy to join a group when their own friends aren't interested in coming out socialising. (I had felt like a bit of a loser to do this but my counsellor was right- being out and about has been much, much better than staying home and feeling sad.)
What was really funny was exchanging on-line dating stories. I am not the only one to have run into strange or thoughtless men. That was a great comfort. I was able to warn them of one or two men they should run like hell to avoid and we all laughed in disbelief at the behaviour of some of these men. One of whom actually went into great detail before they'd even met about why his marriage had broken up, and how his wife had suffered abuse early on and her reaction to that. Things that were totally inappropriate. We ended up wondering if most of the men who are on-line after failed relationships are indeed broken and busted, as someone I know has determined. Do women figure things out? Get counselling? Have better insight into themselves? Or just have a better support network?
It was strange. Anyway, I spoke to several nice women who I'd be happy to socialise with again and even got a phone number!
I had rung three friends to see if they wanted to join me later: one had her daughter and couldn't; another was already out locally, very drunk; and the third didn't want to catch the train into town by herself. I couldn't let that bother me and as it turned out the train was almost as busy as peak hour with people actually standing, so I felt quite safe.
The only unfortunate thing is I ended up sitting opposite a young couple and hearing their conversation. Actually, they weren't really a couple: she was shrinking away from him, he had his arm over the back of the seat and then draped around her, making excuses to touch her. He was being all worldly wise and trying to advise her on the direction her life should go. . .while trying hard to appear avuncular but still wanting her. It was extremely icky.